Newbies :: Live as a Writer Does

It’s a series on Advice to Newbie Writers. This will last a while. Enjoy.

Advice to Newbies ~ Live and Learn

Herewith, a continuation of my response to a Newbie Writer’s concerns. (See the 9/1 post to read her second email. Names are changed to protect the innocent.)
This series began back in July, and I offered that Newbie Writer 7 mistakes along with ways to avoid them. August followed with 3 Newbie Notta Mistakes, because everyone with a little sense goes into something completely new with background research.
Since she popped a much longer email to me for more information about Advice to Newbie Writers, my response to that one became the September posts … and those responses are continuing here in October.
She sent a third email, which I posted on October 1 (Remember, names changed!).

In the last post, we looked at the Self-Publishing World, and I closed that post with the 6 parts of publishing: Write / Covers / Edit / Format / Publish / Market.

This post looks at that first step.


My epic self-publishing journey began in 2013, when I finally noticed how the Kindle was affecting the readers marketplace.

You can notice things like this when you turn off all the social media and TV and do something that lets your brain meander around. A thunderstorm killed power to the house. I had daylight but little more, so I crocheted, and my mind turned

  • to wishing I could read,
  • to thinking about the indie writers on my Kindle,
  • to wishing I could be like them,
  • and then to realizing that I could be like them.

So I decided to enter the electronic publishing market. I had a handful of completed manuscripts—five fantasies and two historical romantic suspense and several partials.

Once the power came back on, I pulled out all of those completed manuscripts then picked one fantasy and the two historical romantic suspense. Over the next few days, I mulled over two pen names, one for each niche market.

On Saturday following the storm, I started preparing the first manuscript. None of the three needed drastic revision, just bringing them up to date with my writing skills since I first penned them.

So the tail end of 2013 prepped the fantasy, and the beginning of 2014 prepped the two HistRomSuspense novels.

As I completed the revision of the second HistRom suspense, I decided to write a 3rd HistRomSusp while I looked for a cover designer whose aesthetic I liked.

A Word of Advice

When writing, save your work. Don’t just save it to the Cloud or your Hard Drive. Save three separate and distinct electronic copies EVERY TIME. I use my hard drive and two more separate places, a flashdrive and a separate hard drive.

Reliance on the Cloud doesn’t suit me. My local internet service until three years ago was highly unreliable. Now when the internet goes out, I turn my phone into a HotSpot. Unreliability of the internet service means that I don’t depend upon it when I want to write.

I’ve been around computers since the mid-1980s. I can remember using MS-DOS, but not for long. The advent of the Icons to find files. I can remember being excited about WYSIWYG, What You See Is What You Get. I remember being totally excited when the memory drives of computers did not require you to put in a floppy disk to start the program and save work to another floppy disk (an endless round of one disk then the 2nd disk over and over in order to save documents). I remember Windows 3.1; I fell in love with that operating system and its Word program. Great days.

Since I’ve been around computers for that long, I know that electronic files get corrupted or can decay. (Magnets!) Thus, multiple places to save documents. I also print out, chapter by chapter, each draft.

My work process currently follows this process:

Sketch ideas and develop the tagline and basic character information

Write the rough draft and create the MasterBook while writing. This rough draft will follow the best plot structure that I know, presented by Christopher Vogler in his The Writer’s Journey.

Write the good draft. Adding details for depth, for sensory experience, for character development and interaction and relationship building, and more.

Rounds. Edit the first time for plot holes and character discrepancies. Then edit the second time for content. Correct 1. Proof and correct 2. Let sit for a bit. Proof and maybe edit then correct 3. Enlist other eyes. Final proof and correct, as needed.


Market consistently.


Worried about Writing the Book? Not sure where to start.

Discovering Your Novel is a slow-burn through the writing process, perfect for people who are holding down a stressful job and have a hectic life and only a few minutes each day for writing.

These sample charts, downloadable pdfs, give you a taste of the information in DiscNovel.

DiscNovel Harvest Chart pdf

DiscNovel Analysis Charts pdf

DiscNovel Foundations Charts pdf

DiscNovel Finishing Chart pdf

Find more information here.

Discovering Your Novel, everything you need to know to write your first novel or to rescue those story ideas that never turned into completed manuscript. Designed to write your novel in a year and set up in a weekly format, with Charts!