I am grateful to all the people who have been supportive and followed my writing journey. My novel After She Said Yes was launched on June 2nd of 2019. What it took to get to this point is crazy. I wrote a 71,000-word women’s fiction novel in only a few months, but the time it took for rewriting, editing, querying, and finding a publisher has taken over two years. I am writing this to share my writing journey with you and what I learned along the way.
So, let’s get to how this book came to be and I got to this point.
- Come up with an idea. I know this is obvious. But one night when I couldn’t sleep, the idea for this book came into my mind.
- Write a Short Blurb. This goes over what would happen in the novel or what the big plot would be. So where did the idea come from? I sprung up from my bed when the idea came to mind and wrote all that I could think of at that moment in a note on my phone. If you are a writer or artist, you know that when creativity strikes, you take full advantage of it, no matter how late at night it is.
- Having an idea is not enough. This because there are plenty of book ideas I have that started just like that, but I never did anything with them. After coming up with the idea this time, I showed my writing critique group. They thought it was the best idea from the book ideas I have shared with them, so I decided to stick with it.
- Be prepared to work. You will work hard and put in all that is in your heart. Now I am currently working on a new novel and I am reminded of just how hard it is to create something out of nothing. But the finished product is always worth it in the end. I find it to be a very fun experience.
- Write an outline with the plot or subplots (I didn’t write a character outline but some recommend it). Why is writing an outline of your novel so important? Though I updated my initial outline many times, it was very helpful to have it when I had writer’s block.
- Write your first draft. Some people recommend editing as you go. I did not do that with my debut novel and I regret it because it made the editing process harder. I recommend to write a few chapters and then go back to edit anything that doesn’t make sense or doesn’t sound well.
- Celebrate! You wrote a novel, which I can tell you is a huge accomplishment in and of its self. Remember, a lot of people have book ideas but never follow through with them. You were one of the people who did. So congratulations!
- Take a break. Other writers say after this to give yourself a month or so break to reflect on what you have written. (I took a two-week break.) Then after this, go back to re-writing your novel. You may do this a few times until you feel it is perfect. Just kidding, you will never think the book you wrote is perfect but you has to make it as close as possible to satisfy yourself. That is where my next point comes in.
- Join a critique group and get beta readers. This is when the writing critique group and beta readers come into play. They helped me so much! I never knew how much blood, sweat, and tears would actually go into the making of a novel. I mean that figuratively and literally. It takes a lot of time, energy, and emotion. I poured my whole self into this novel and the characters, but I was lucky to have a writing critique group to aid me and keep me motivated along the way.
- Writing a book is a long journey. There were times I didn’t want to write. There were times when I had writer’s block, but I had to keep pushing myself. I would not let myself forget the reason I started writing in the first place or the reason this novel is so important. I believe my debut novel After She Said Yes will help many women and resonate with many people.
So what is my debut novel about? My novel, After She Said Yes, is a Women’s Fiction Novel about Aurora, a magazine editor in Madison, Wisconsin. She finds her way out of an abusive marriage after catching her husband, Gannon, doing something she could never forgive him for. Battling the wounds inflicted throughout her abusive marriage, she strives to find the strength to be an independent woman again. Aurora is confronted with a rekindled flirtation with her soon-to-be ex-husband’s friend, Melih, a Turkish Muslim man. But will Aurora’s previous marriage stand in the way? Finding surprising success after an article of hers goes viral, Aurora must make a choice. She tells herself to come to terms with the reality that a woman cannot have both a successful career and love. Will she pursue her long-awaited dream job, or choose a shot at love?
I hope this novel shows women that there is a light at the end of that sometimes very dark, what seems like a never-ending, dark tunnel. I have volunteered for women’s shelters. This does not include any of their stories, but I wanted to write this for all of those women I spent time with and tried to help from when I started volunteering at fourteen years old.
Stay tuned for more posts on how I became a writer and the tips and tricks I used to have a successful debut novel!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I look forward to keeping you posted on more updates on my debut novel After She Said Yes!