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Part Two of 10 Steps to Writing a Remarkable Novel. Written by Julie Breedlove, Marketing Manager

Did you figure out your answer to my question last week? So, what is the legacy you’ll leave behind? If you’ve thought more about my secret, that your essence can last beyond your lifespan in a published book, and are still interested in the writing process I began last week, let’s continue. Steps 1-5 can be found here if you missed it. Remember, these steps are only the beginning to publishing a book . . . but it’s a lively start for a long shelf life.

6.  Become Reacquainted. Introduce yourself to your writing again after it’s had time to chill. Take in how your words feel and your story flows. Stand back and listen to the new meanings and new possibilities in each section, paragraph, sentence, word, space. You’ve both changed between steps 4 and 6. Similar to a child, you created it, but it now has its own opinions and preferences. Sit with those. Study them without judgment. It’s no longer you, it’s separate. You control it, but it’s got its own soul. Take notes and capture the newfound ideas that come about. Prepare to do some real work.

7) Hold it. Then Mold it. Press the pause button. Go back to step 2 and 3 and check in when them to ensure they still have a pulse and a footing. If both are intact and your purpose and foundation are alive and standing tall, put on your work clothes, roll up your sleeves, and mold, rework, and nurture your story. This is where your red pen, scissors, glue, and thesaurus come in handy. There’s some heavy lifting required here. Don’t wuss out.

8) Dare to Share. Let people read it and seek honest opinions and feedback. You might need to extend outside of your safety zone and share with someone other than your cheerleading team (thanks mom, still love your support). Find people who can offer you raw honesty and have insight to offer on your subject, theme, and writing style. You might even want to enlist the help of a professional editor to guide you through ironing out the wrinkles, shaking out the details, and spacing out the sweet spots. There is only so much you can do before you need someone else’s opinion, guidance, praise, or criticism to grow any further. This is the fertilizer. The stuff that can really stink, and hurt your back to shovel, but offers so much value to the story’s roots. This is the necessary nutrition beyond sunlight and water for continued vitality and growth.

9) Decide What’s Next. For some, this is as far as they want to go. The process is complete and “writing therapy” has worked. But I wonder, did you really go through all the blood, sweat, tears, and well . . . “fertilizer” to just file it away? Why create a new life to build and nurture and then just store electronically to accidentally delete or print once and lose? When you’re comfortable with your manuscript, decide if you want to share it with the world. If you want to stamp it as truly complete and eternalize its existence, be bold and see if it’s got legs to stand on. It should, if you took step 3 seriously.

10) Be Brave and Submit to a Publisher. Consider all of your publishing options and which is right for you and your book. Traditional houses can be impersonal and challenging, and self-publishing routes are risky in that they might not give you or your book the attention it needs. With BQB Publishing, we offer a much-needed balance. We can give you access to the professional services necessary to publish a book you can be proud of, but also offer you a voice in the process and a team of people committed to personally guiding you and your work. Check out our process, send in your completed manuscript, and decide if you want to continue offering fuel and oxygen to that tiny spark that began your journey through these steps. Write. Ignite. Mark my word, your published words will burn longer than you.