It’s done, it’s gone, I’m moving on.

My completed novel, A Bother of Bodies, has been submitted to the Poison Pen Press mystery contest; I can no longer fiddle with it. Hallelujah. Because really, it was time I left it alone. But, easier said than done. I was rearranging furniture right up to the moment I hit the submit button.

Winner will be announced May 31st of this year, and I will do my best to forget all about it and move on to book number two in my Mabel series. This book will be so outlined, so organized, so well-thought out, it will make book number one look like…well…like it was the first book I ever wrote.

I’ve learned many things while writing all 86,330 words of my first novel. First and foremost? Take advice. Get help. Learn how to do it. Even Tiger Woods gets help with his putting when he needs it.

If you want to write, I’m going to assume (I can do that…it’s my blog), you like to read. So read. Start with Stephen King’s, On Writing, a must-have for every writer. Then download some books from here, James Scott Bell also blogs at The Kill Zone. A very helpful fellow. There are also free sites, such as Hiveword, that will help you organize your creativity and harness your imagination and, according the e-mails I’ve been receiving, James Scott Bell, and Mike Fleming from Hiveword, are developing a program called Knockout Novel that sounds interesting. Check it out here –

If you want to be a pantser, that’s fine. In fact, better than fine. I will always consider myself to be a pantser. But you’ve got to know the rules before you can break them. Learn them, then break them.

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10 Responses to It’s done, it’s gone, I’m moving on.

  1. Linda Hryhorchuk says:

    Congrats!!!!! Maybe your hardwork will pay off & you’ll win the contest.
    Can’t wait to read your book. Who knows it might make the best sellers list.

    • ajcap says:

      Thanks, Lin. I don’t know about winning, there are A LOT of entries to these contests but I’d be absolutely thrilled if I was short-listed…an honourable mention…anything to give me hope I’m doing something right.
      If not, keep on working at it until I get it right.
      Looking forward to seeing you soon…hope I get a present…

  2. Barb Taub says:

    Great advice! And best of luck with the contest. My fingers are crossed too.

  3. Val says:

    woooo hoooooo

  4. S. J. Crown says:

    Congratulations! Keeping fingers crossed.

    • ajcap says:

      Thanks, Stan. Really looking forward to my next book because of what I’ve learned from this one. I figure by my tenth, the whole process will be downright simple! :)

  5. Linda MS says:

    You wrote a whole book!!! That is so neat! And you even submitted it to a writing competition! I am so proud to know you. I’m so keeping good thoughts for you.

    I wouldn’t ever be able to get a novel entered. I’d be sitting there at the last moment on the last day, at the absolute last minute, checking to see if there wasn’t something else that needed changing. I’m one of those people who could edit my book (or at least the first chapter over and over again) into something really, really boring.

    Which is why I’m grateful for all the good info you posted here. Thanks.

    • ajcap says:

      You’re welcome, Linda, and thanks for the good thoughts, AND you would be able to get it entered, because, after a year of obsessing over every word, you would just want to get rid of the damn thing and move on. Get to that point! You’ll see for yourself. Seriously, once you get moved, we need to work on that novel of yours.

      This book is actually my second completed novel. My first, which you also were very influential in me finally completing, was written about ten years ago, when I joined the writing group to which you already belonged. Just never did anything with it, but I re-read it the other day and I think it can be resurrected. Meanwhile, I’m going to do fun stuff for awhile. Like flash. Love doing flash.

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