My Novel Journey

In August of 2011, I self-published a novella. Despite great reviews, the book never gained any traction at all. After a few promotions, I finally made about $500 off the book, with sales somewhere around 1500 copies (not counting free copes sold through Amazon Kindle Select promotions). That story was originally written as a screenplay and adapted after a careful critique of the screenplay revealed that I just wasn’t ready for screenwriting. Instead of writing another book after that, I dove into the study of screenwriting, taking ProSeries classes through ScreenwritingU and eventually winning the 168 Film Project’s Write of Passage screenwriting competition in 2013. Still, I wasn’t happy with my work.

Through Facebook, I’ve made many friends in the screenwriting world. The most successful of them contend that studying structure and analyzing stories is a waste of time; the only way to write a good story is to sit down and write a good story. Yet, I’ve kept on my path of study. My one question has been, how will I know I’ve written a good story if I don’t know what a good story even is?

Many people who read my first book loved it, and quite a few have even asked me recently when my next book is coming out. Short answer is, it will be out when I finish writing it. The long answer is this series of blog posts.

Throughout this series, I will talk about books that have helped me, about my outlining process, and — while I won’t reveal character names or specific plot points until the final draft is copyrighted — I will talk about the process of writing my current novel. Will it sell better than my first? Will it flop? Hopefully, we’ll find out soon.