I’ve spent the last few weeks doing a lot of marketing and promotion for my nine novels and it has paid off. My main blog, ALWAYS WRITING has reached a milestone 250,000 + page views, and the other sites that I post blog articles have reached a combined 150,000 + page views. Not bad for the twenty months they have been in existence.
Now that I’ve reached a comfortable level of exposure it’s time to get back to the business of writing books. I did manage a 20,000 word outline of a planned six book dystopian series, and also broke out an old manuscript from last year; a YA literary fiction novella about teenage drug abuse in the 1980’s. The manuscript only took six months to write so if I don’t think it’s worthy of publication it’ll go back into the drawer. It wouldn’t be the first manuscript collecting dust in that drawer and it won’t be the last. I believe readers deserve a rich, storytelling experience and I won’t publish a book that I don’t think possesses those qualities.
I’ve never written one book at a time. What I usually do is write two or three beginnings to different projects and then spend a few hours plotting out the gist of each. I’ll then write an intro paragraph for each one and continue on with the concept that most hooks my interest. I’ll write until a rough, first draft is complete (usually about a month). Then I’ll put the draft aside and start the process all over again with new ideas.
When I’ve got two complete rough drafts, I’ll work on both simultaneously, writing one in the morning and the other in the early afternoon. When both novels are nearly complete, I’ll choose one to work on exclusively until it is perfect (perhaps, another two months). Once that novel is finish to my strict and insane standards, I send copies off to my editor, formatter, and cover artist to put the book into production.
As the chosen book begins marketing and promotion, I’ll start the novel-seeking process all over again with three new story ideas. The remaining, nearly complete manuscript will sit in the drawer until I finish the first draft of my next new project. Then that one will sit and maturate while I spend time fixing the previous manuscript. This method allows for one heavily edited, thought-out, and finished manuscript about every six months, which is about pace with what I’ve achieved over the last two years.