With my recent interest in writing fiction as well as nonfiction, I may from time to time post reviews of fiction works and guest posts from fiction writers. Today represents the first of these posts. I hope you enjoy it.
Today I’m pleased to spotlight The Dan Diaries, the fourth book in The Beyond Series by author, D.D. Marx. D.D. will be joining us with a guest post plus there is a giveaway.
Dan Sullivan was the best friend of Olivia Henry when his life was taken in a tragic car accident. Shocked to be on the other side, Dan navigates his way by learning his new role in eternal life. His first assignment is as Olivia’s guardian angel. He has the crucial role of guiding her to her pre-defined destiny. Dan’s death throws Olivia into a tail-spin which causes her to veer way off course. He understands the enormity of the challenge when he hears the mechanism by which he can communicate. He’s only allowed to use signs and symbols to get her attention and cannot interfere with her free-will.
Every time he thinks he’s close, something throws her off track. He’s forced to start over by convincing her to trust in their enduring, unbreakable bond. Olivia can feel Dan’s presence but is still reluctant to believe the messages he’s sending. She is fearful of falling in love again at the risk of losing another soulmate. Can Dan persuade her to trust in his love from afar so she can finally receive the happiness she truly deserves?
Where do you even begin when writing a novel?
This is such a loaded question. I mean, who thinks they can sit down and write a novel that anyone would want to read let alone purchase – with actual money? It’s overwhelming if you think about it. What’s the first line? How do you pull the reader in? Does this even make any sense? I think the biggest thing for me has been to just – write it down. No matter how pretty or perfect it is, just get it out. You can edit until your hearts content, but it needs to start somewhere.
Remarkably, I was able to write and publish four books in three years. It’s surreal to comprehend. What got me to the end were two key things:
- I forced a deadline.
What I mean by that is I announced release dates. Then there was no turning back. I know how I operate and what makes me tick. I’m a procrastinator by nature. It’s how I’m wired. I’ve been like this my whole life – in school, at work and in life. It’s just how I am built. I do my best work under pressure. I knew if I didn’t have a looming timeline, I would choose everything else but writing my book. This single rule got me from hopes and dreams to published author.
- I pretended I was writing it just for kicks.
Writing is an intimidating prospect. It’s subjective. The same story can be told a million different ways. How it is perceived is all in the reader’s interpretation. How do you pretend to know what is good? What will resonate? What’s interesting or captivating? I just sat down and told my story like I was talking to a friend. I didn’t do any reading during the writing process because I didn’t want to get anyone else’s voice in my head. Writers can have endless cycles of churn if they think too much. “I should say it like this”, “Wait, no, this is much better”, “Oh, but I want to use this word” or “I want to elicit this emotion.” Every single word becomes an obsession if you overthink it. That’s when all the doubt sets in. Most of writing process entails trust and a gut feel followed by strong editing. Success is the ultimate reward but never guaranteed.
My advice to any new author is to dive in, with both feet, into the deep end. Pretend your words will never see the light of day. Don’t create expectations and it will all flow more naturally.
D.D. Marx is a contemporary romantic fiction writer and blogger. Marx is a graduate of the University of Dayton, as well as the Second City program in Chicago, where she currently resides. A proud aunt and self-described hopeless romantic, Marx has always had a knack for humorous and engaging storytelling. Her pen name is a dedication to her beloved friend Dan, who continues to guide and inspire her in her daily life.
2nd Prize: Win the complete Beyond series (4 ebooks total / open int’l / 2 winners)