To read part one of Tim's essay on his writing itch, scroll on down to yesterday's post.
My Writing Itch (Part Two) by Tim Northburg
I had to keep scratching as my itch persisted. At that point I had several people beta read my manuscript as I did some of my own self editing. I had them look for spelling and grammar mistakes as well as pick out any plot holes or character flaws they saw. After a year of doing this and making improvements I prepared myself to submit to agents.
I did a lot of research online and read many books on how to submit to agents. I joined Northern Colorado Writers in Fort Collins, Colorado and immersed myself in the world of professional writing to learn all I could.
I picked out 5-10 agents in Writers Market, and gathered more information about their submission requirements on Agentquery and their own websites. I drafted a query letter and made a one, three, and ten page synopsis. I also wrote a nonfiction like book proposal for my fiction novel. (I realized later that the information in my book proposal was great material for my website.)
I thought about his suggestions for a while. I changed the name of my character and kept submitting to other agents while I re-worked the beginning of my book. Then the itch intensified. I wasn’t getting any better results and the name change didn’t feel right, so I changed the name back to Bacon. I created a website, and began building my platform on social media sites. I was on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Google+, and had created a blog as well as made short introduction videos for my book and placed them on YouTube. I wanted to have everything in place for when my book was finally published.
First I used some of the chapters I cut out to make a short novella, The Decnalab Codex, that set up my novel and published it through CreateSpace, a division of Amazon. My itching and scratching intensified over the next eight months. I found a writing buddy and we read through, critiqued, and edited each other’s manuscripts chapter by chapter. I had employed the help of a retired English teacher to go through and copy edit my manuscript. I finally felt like I had polished my story to the point of publishing.
I drew the picture for my book and I designed my cover and uploaded my interior files. On March 1, 2013 I published my novel titled, Bacon Finnegan: The Sword of Fire which is book one of The Artifacts of Merlin Saga. Two weeks later I uploaded my book on to Kindle.
Today, the itch continues. I am writing seven more books to complete out my saga, and have started giving talks about the writing process and the elements of a story to local elementary school kids. I am having so much fun scratching!
When did your itch start? How did it start for you?
Note: Tim will be giving away a copy of one Bacon Finnegan book to a visitor who leaves a comment on yesterday's or today's post before midnight (Mountain Time) Friday, May 31st.
Tim, thanks so much for telling your story here. It discourages so many young writers to work so hard on their novels and then have no luck finding an agent. You show us a new path, one that lets us keep the joy of writing alive.
Learn much more about the Bacon Finnegan stories at Tim's website. He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.