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May 4, 2021

5 Tips to a Successful “The End.”

By: Jaelle Keyes

As an aspiring new author, I’m sure you’ve read the dismal statistics on actually getting to the words “The End.” If you haven’t, don’t. Statistics are great for a lot of things, but self-motivation isn’t one of them. 

I’m an aspiring author too, and until five months ago, I was one of those statistics that never finished what she started writing. 

Yup. You read that correctly. You might ask, “Why would I take advice from you then?”  My answer is, “You don’t have to.”
I think a better question, because you might be in the same leaky boat, would be, “What changed?”

The answer is simple. I got serious about what I really wanted and I plugged the holes. 

It really boils down to five simple and attainable action steps that rocketed me to writing my fifth novel and about to publish my first. 

Let me share them with you.

Tip 1. Schedule Your Writing Time 
You set aside time to do multiple things during the week, the gym, doctor appointments, oil change on your vehicle, etc. Why not make a standing appointment with yourself to put your words on paper or on the computer? It can be as little as thirty minutes three times a week at 7:00 a.m. Do the math. 
    500 words
X 3- 30-minute sessions per week
= 1500 words per week

    1500 words per week
X 52 weeks
= 78,000 words
Hey, that’s a decent-sized novel. Look at that, you’ve written a book, all because you made an appointment with yourself and you kept it.

Tip 2 Learn Your Craft
I can’t tell you how many books I started only to have them fizzle out around the 10,000-word mark. I bet you can guess what I was doing wrong. Yup. I didn’t know my craft. I’ve read thousands of novels and thought, “easy peasy, I can write a book no problem.” Sound familiar? Reading and writing are two different animals. Cats and dogs actually. I didn’t understand tropes, or beats, or pacing or the rules. Did you know you can only break the rules when you know what they are? There is so much information out there! Some of it is even free! I chose to start following fiction writing blogs, youtubers, and I did spend around thirty bucks on craft books. I can’t stress enough to learn your craft and make it an on-going thing. Schedule another fifteen minutes to learn something about the writing world every day. Grammar is my kryptonite, so guess what I’m studying?

Tip 3 Find and Build Your Tribe
Be choosy whom you let read your work. Great Aunt Edna may love and support you but is she really the best person to share your WIP (work in progress) with, if all she tells you is how wonderfully talented you are? Critique partners, beta readers, and arc readers have been a huge blessing to me. We see plot holes, character deficits, and chunkily worded sentences. Find people that fit your genre. HINT: Critique Match ahem. It’s okay to send a sample chapter to see if you’re going to be compatible, in the writing world it seems to be the norm, with no harm no foul if you don’t mesh. 

The same can be true with cover designers and editors (and I highly recommend using a professional from the get-go). For me it’s a must. 

Tip 4 Write What You Know
I can see you opening your mouth to argue, so just hold the phone, okay? When I say write what you know, I don’t mean you have to know quantum physics to write a book on time travel, but maybe you make the world’s best chocolate chip cookie, and people are time traveling to get some. I would! If you can add that recipe or details from that recipe into your writing, it gives your story a robust authenticity.

In my first book, my main female character walks into a garage, the mechanic under the hood of a truck tells her to hand him a wrench. There are two wrenches to choose from, so she asks him, “Do you need the nine-sixteenths or the half-inch?” Do you think I know what size wrench he needs? Ha! I don’t even change lightbulbs! My husband is the motorhead and his knowledge allowed me to add authenticity to my book. These little nuggets will add enjoyment for your reader. 

Tip 5 Challenge Yourself
After I got my, er stuff together, I wrote my first “the end” in six weeks. I wrote my second in twenty-four days. I give myself word, scene, or chapter goals usually on a weekly basis and I strive to meet them. If I don’t, that’s okay. Life happens. You can bet if my grandsons show up, I put the computer away and spend quality time with them. Writing shouldn’t make you miserable, it should set you free. Above all else, enjoy the process, and celebrate your accomplishments. Whether you write fifty or fifty thousand words, you can reach a successful “The End” by consistently moving forward, plugging the holes, and not giving up.

About the Author:
Fantasy Romance and Contemporary Romantic Suspense author cooking up steamy happily ever after romances with appealing female characters, and mouth-watering alpha males. Served with a side of adventure! True Love Conquers All!  She plans to release her debut Contemporary Romance Novel, Hot Rod in May of 2021.
If asked, Jaelle says it’s easy to write happily ever after’s when you live one. She believes the secret to a man’s heart truly is through his stomach and most problems can be solved with a strong cup of coffee. She’s the proud momma of four beautiful strong women, and the grandma of two plus grandkids. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband of almost thirty-five years and her two Jack Russell Terriers.
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