Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Author's Journey - An introduction

Moving further into the concepts of the writer and their writing-  and as part of my University Master's degree in Writing (Subject PWR70002 - Online Writing)-  I will be looking at the writer's journey and will include tricks and tips to help with those difficult times as well as answer questions you may have.

For those who don't know me, I am Amanda Howard, I am a true crime and crime fiction author, I have spent the past two decades interviewing and writing about serial killers and other violent predators.  I am a regular panel member on Australian television programs regarding criminology and have appeared on documentaries, radio, online  and in newspapers across the globe. 

Up to September 2016, I have published:

10 True Crime Books
3 Novellas and Short Stories
  1. The Cicadas Roar
  2. Charlotte's One of a Kind Cakes
  3. Writer's Block
3 Fiction Novels: Kate Reilly Ritual Series
So that is seventeen books so far, and I have another in the Kate Reilly Ritual Series coming out in November, as well as another True Crime book in February 2017. I also have a fair few other writing projects on the boil too that I will share as they come to fruition.  So I think with a CV like that I hope that I can offer some advice on both non-fiction and fiction writing, The processes of dealing with publicists, publishing houses, editors and the like.  

I have begun putting together a list of topics - of course these may change as time progresses -  that I think this could be a great way to start. Each blog will link back to this page too, so you can go from topic to topic. 

I will begin with the very first moment of a book, those tiny fragments of inspiration and take you through the writing journey until you reach your masterpiece. 

The topics I will cover include:

Ideas and concepts
  • The seed of an idea
  • Where to begin
  • Creativity - The Trial and Tribulations
  • Is the pen mightier than the keyboard?
  • Inspiration and dedication
  • Writer’s block and free writing
Thought mapping - chapters, characters, outlines, storyline
  • Who, what, where, when and how
  • Long Chapters/Short Chapters
  • Word count goals
  • Similar books/films/ideas
  • Write what you know or learn what you don’t
  • Fantastic sources and resources
  • Sourcing and referencing
  • Genre, rules and the artist
First drafts and Hemingway (my guide)
  • Writing packages and programmes
  • When you don’t love your first draft
  • When you love your draft too much to edit it
  • The Editor and the Author Within
  • The space between the work and the author (the need to leave early drafts to simmer)
The first edit - the brutal reality
  • Subsequent edits
  • Direction, misdirection and the need for a critical friend
  • When you get sick of reading your writing
  • Self-doubt and self-worth
Publishing, contracts and lit agents
  • Traditional publishing vs self-publishing
  • A changing landscape
  • Unscrupulous “publishers”
  • The traps new authors fall into
  • Contracts – what do they mean
  • The editor - friend, foe or something else?
  • Do they love it as much as you do?
  • When you don’t see eye to eye
  • Creative control
Covers - the reality of judging a book
  • KISS- obvious is good
  • The market and the shelf
  • More research
The finished product
  • Nothing like the smell of success and a book
  • The bookstore and the book shelf
Now what? Media, publicity and the hard sell!
  • Press releases
  • Your audience
  • Social media
  • Interviews – the good the bad and the ugly
  • Radio, television, newspapers – what’s the focus?
  • Nervous? How to curb it.
For now, before the journey commences, these topics will be a great start. Of course, stop me at any point throughout the journey and ask questions, request clarification or even perhaps suggest better topics. 

Thanks again for dropping by, I hope to put these topics up frequently, as my own inspiration ignites my passion.

Until next time, 


Amanda Howard 

Amanda Howard Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandahoward73
Amanda Howard's books (Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Howard/e/B001JP7X7I/

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