For those who don't know me or are visiting my blog for the first time, I have published my first book, We Will Meet Again, last year, and here I am sharing my learning experiences. You may want to read the first part. Sharing the link.
9 Things I've Learnt As A First-Time Author - Part 1
Here goes the second part.
FIRST-TIME AUTHORS - YOU...
SHOULD NOT rush to get your work published.
'Haste is the mother of imperfection' - this old saying still carries a lot of weight. Time is an important factor. Don't waste time but do give your manuscript some time. Let it rest. Then write. Revise. Re-write. Edit.
Have patience. If you think you are very patient, then have some more patience.
SHOULD (read must) Get a Beta Reader.
You should write what you love, but avoid loving what you write. Believe in your story and characters - that's very important - but don't love what you have written.
Get a Beta reader even when you think that your manuscript is perfect, and you don't need one. Trust me, you badly need a Beta reader. Not necessarily a professional who charges hefty amount, but someone who is willing to spend time on your work. Someone who reads a lot especially the genre you are writing in. And, someone who can be honest - brutally honest. You don't have to agree on every point she/he mentions as you know your craft better, but it does help you to see your own story (And, the way it progresses) in a new light. To fix plot holes. You don't want your readers to fall into those big-tiny (plot)holes, do you?
SHOULD NOT seek perfection in your first draft.
Perfection - let it remain an exciting journey. It will instill a disturbing restlessness in your mind if you try to make it your destination. Please understand, perfection is a mirage.
Don't expect much from your first or even second draft. Finish your manuscript first; it could be good bad or even ugly. Doesn't matter. Collecting your wandering thoughts and ideas, capturing your imagination that crawls in your mind constantly, and clutching those ephemeral flashes of ideas are more important that making your manuscript perfect. You can polish your craft later. And, do polish it later nicely.
SHOULD Edit your manuscript meticulously (and immaculately).
This is the biggest problem. Not just self published/first-time authors, but even biggies make mistakes. It's wise to hire professional editor (at least for final proofreading), but that can be tricky. There is no 100% guarantee of getting an immaculate, error-free manuscript. You must choose wisely. However, self-editing is possible.
(Careful) Editing is the essence good writing. Writers must take it very seriously and do it very carefully. (Self Editing Tips That Work - it requires another post. Will write it soon).
Tell me what's your take? Are you writing/planning to write your first novel? Or written one already? Please share your views. I'm all ears (err eyes), always ready to learn.