Top Author Tips to Get that Novel You Wrote in a Month to PUBLISHABLE

While we are all at home, doing our part to flatten the curve, our Writing Gym members are taking advantage of this quarantine time to work on their writings. One of our amazing Writing Gym members, O’Dell Isaac, is at the Revision phase of our program. 

Currently, he is working on a detective story, in which the main character is helping the Health Department find a person who is HIV positive. During his search, he finds himself in the middle of craziness as he works to solve his case. 

I had actually reached out to O’Dell when I saw his post on our Writing Gym page on Facebook celebrating his completion of a 50,000 word novel for NaNoWriMo. I congratulated him on his achievement and then asked him: “What’s your next step?” 

“I actually didn’t know what to say,” O’Dell states, “I was too busy doing my victory dance to actually think about what I can do next. I realized that what I was celebrating was not something I was comfortable giving to an agent.” 

“It’s one thing to want something, but it’s another to have a concrete plan with steps to take and here, we’re talking about my publishing career,” O’Dell insightfully states. We talked in hindsight of our first telephone call. From there, I asked him to send me the first 20 pages of his manuscript. I called him back, had a longer conversation with him, and he finally joined the Writing Gym. 

“I didn’t really have any idea what I was getting into. I was nervous but excited too,” O’Dell continues, “because I was taking a step that I had never taken before. I didn’t know what was out there, but I figured it was going to represent forward motion. It was going to take me further than I had been in this process.” 

O’Dell greatly credits the Writing Gym for its accountability aspect: “Someone is getting you to work out the tools that you have and develop new ones that you may not have had before. Someone comments on your results and looks at your writing and sees the maturation, the progress.” 

O’Dell states that he has come a long way in his writing that when he opened his manuscript again it seemed to him like someone else had written it. “I’ve come so much further that it almost looked like it had been written by someone else, but the encouraging part of that is that I’ve become a much stronger writer.” 

We love analogies here at the Writing Gym and I especially love what O’Dell states about the toolbox. There are a lot of programs out there that, in the context of the toolbox analogy, would come up to a broken door that you’re trying to fix and replace your hammer with a screwdriver or a wrench or something else. Then, you’d have to figure out how to use that tool instead of the one that you are familiar with. 

Now, you’re stuck with a tool you have no experience with. At the Writing Gym, we open your kit and we take note of what works and what doesn’t work for you personally and move forward with that knowledge. 

The most important and beneficial thing that O’Dell has learned with us is to believe in himself. “Self-belief is something I never really had before. But now, I know that I have the tools that work best for me and my genre. It’s just a matter of knowing how to apply those tools.” 

Indeed, the Writing Gym wants our writers to improve and to succeed. We want to point writers at the right direction and help them achieve their writing and publishing dreams. 

We are so happy that we have O’Dell in our Writing Gym membership. We are proud of all his achievements and we hope that you, too, can take advantage of your time inside your home to write and write and write. 

Stay safe and happy writing.

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