Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! I’m so excited. I’m about to grab your hand like you’re my crazy, BFF and drag you into my new world of fiction.
Watch the video unfold or, if you simply cannot stand my Texas twang or having to look at me for 16+ minutes, go on and scroll down below to the text – just know that I’m pouting when you do.
Alright text readers! I can’t inject the same level of enthusiasm here, so you may force me to use an exclamation mark or two.
Here’s the deal…
I thought I absolutely sucked at fiction when I published my first 10k short story. But people liked it. Then I went a little longer (23ish k). People liked that, too. So here I am working on the third publication of 40k.
Month 1 = just over $100. Month 2? Just over $700. I mean WOW – what growth!
When I think about all of my Internet Marketing tasks, I enjoy teaching people, but I wouldn’t exactly label it FUN. It doesn’t make me laugh as I write about colon cleanses or clap my hands and squeal when I finish a 5-page report.
But with fiction?
Oh yeah, baby. Toe curling, laugh out loud, tell the world FUN.
So I want ALL of you to join me on this journey. Publish your first book OR short story. I don’t care which. We’re going to hold hands and do it together. Scared? No problem – you can do it 100% anonymously with a pen name you never even reveal to us.
I don’t mind that at ALL!
Just do it. Wanna know what we’re going to do?
A 30 day challenge that goes something like this:
Day 1: Come up with a main story plot.
Nothing deep and complex. Just something like “A lawyer is found dead and everyone thinks this client did it, but it’s really the judge.” Or, “An alien lands on a small farm and kidnaps a farmer’s child. She comes back 10 years later and changes the world.” Or, “A billionaire’s stepbrother has a gazette who longs for a shape shifting lover, so he joins a biker gang and finds his happily ever after.”
Whatever floats your boat – just a MAIN plot. Couple of sentences long. This whole day you can search around, look for ideas, create twists, whatever.
Day 2: Create character blurbs.
Character burbs are about a paragraph long to me. Basically, it’s something like this:
Ten year old Savannah Guthrie is milking her cow when she gets abducted by aliens. She’s unafraid. Brave and hates life on the farm. Has no friends other than animals because they’re out in the country. She’s got strawberry blonde hair and a smattering of freckles on her face. Has no siblings and is ignored by her parents, who view her as more of a farmhand than a part of their family. Bonds with aliens, teaches them and soaks up their knowledge. Returns as a gorgeous 20 year old who merges two worlds and revolutionizes life here on Earth. Doesn’t trust humans, but is guided by aliens to learn forgiveness and bettering others who are ignorant.
To ME, a character blurb shows their mindset, not just physical details.
Day 3: Setting Details
I like to know a little about the place I’m writing about. For me now, it’s 1800s Texas, so I have to read background on those. Go visit online or head to a bookstore to read up about your setting. Learn little details you can weave into the story. People LOVE that in my books.
So for the farm/alien story, I might write out how many acres, what state (and quirks of it), weather, what the living quarters look like, the barn, the spaceship, the other planet, etc.
Day 4: Broad Outline of the Book
Notice I said BROAD. Not detailed. So for a broad outline, I might do something like this:
Scene 1: Savannah’s parents are jerks about chores, showing she hates life there.
Scene 2: Forgot to milk cow, goes out at dusk, alien abducts her
Scene 3: First hour on spaceship, initial reactions she has to aliens and them of her.
…and so on. Very broad.
Day 5: Detailed outline of the Chapters
So this is time consuming. If you have time at the end of day 4, you might spill into this one. Get as detailed as you like. For instance, I might do this for scene 1 listed above:
- Start to Savannah’s day showing her usual routine and details of the farm to set the stage
- Late afternoon, Savannah is caught playing with animals outside instead of doing chores
- Father makes her get a switch for a whipping
- Comes in for dinner where she’s scolded by her mom and then forced to sit in silence
- Goes to bed early, but realized she forgot to milk her cow (ends with her remembering)
Day 6: Pen Name and Review Analysis
Pen names are important! Look in your genre and see how it’s done. Find something that suits you, and that fits well on a book and also not already being used by a famous author!
Go through reviews – both good and bad – of bestsellers in your niche. See what readers of genre love and hate about the books. IE: My subgenre of western historical HATE when writers use modern language or situations. They consider it sloppy.
Day 7: Find a Cover Image and Outsource or Make Cover w/Feedback
I implore you to hire a professional. NOT a fiverr gig who happens to be a random person with cover creator software, but a REAL cover professional. Mine cost about $65 but you can find PREmade covers already done for much cheaper.
IF you go the DIY route, I suggest you get feedback. You need to know what’s not working that you aren’t spotting.
Day 8:-27 WRITE!
Write, damn it, write! You will divvy up the word count you’re shooting for and write for 20 days straight. Yes, weekends, too.
For me, I’m writing 40k so I’ll be doing 2,000 words a day.
Day 28-29 EDIT!
Edits are necessary. Outsource is best, but even if not, go over it (I like to use a print version) and fix glaring errors like typos or spelling issues.
Day 30: PUBLISH!
Scary, right? You’re going to hit the publish button on Kindle and it’s going to go live. Live, like Frankenstein!
And people will read it. They will comment on it. They may love it or hate it.
You will survive. You will read their feedback and make improvements. You will probably want to do this again.
So we will.
I’m on this journey at ground level, too. I’m going into a different genre, women’s domestic fiction. I have no following. Just me writing.
Terrified. You might be, too – but not one of us will die from this. I promise.
Are you in or are you in?
Note there’s no other option. 🙂 Mwuahahahaha!
PS – IF you want to get into Kindling, know that he shut down all his promos for it. So you have to have someone give you a link to get in. Here’s mine: Kindling. You don’t NEED it to do this challenge!