There are a lot of things to consider when making the effort to publish a well quality novel.
Revise: This may sound like an obvious one, but it’s often underestimated as it requires a lot of work. Whether it’s self-publishing or traditional publishing producing a quality novel is key and that can only happen with persistent editing and revision. It’s a lot of time and energy that I’m sacrificing for it and I’m loving it.
Critique circles: So this brings me to critique circles. Finding beta readers or others who are willing to exchange critiques is very helpful, especially to the authors who are don’t hire a professional editor. A professional editor will spare a lot of time, however, and polish a novel. it’s good an option. A professional editor can charge between 1,000-3,000, however. It’d be worth it if a writer can afford these expenses. I’m willing to spend loads of energy and time doing my editing along with beta readers and critique circles. I am currently majoring pursuing my Masters in English, which is not necessary to become a published author, but it helps with the revision process.
Read everyday, anywhere anytime, when you can. Read all types of books, fiction and nonfiction. Even if it’s only thirty minutes in the bathroom or waiting in an office somewhere, or on a lunch break, I get in a reading. Of course, I read my novels, but I also seem to obtain a lot of benefit and ideas from reading magazines such as National Geographic, Discover, etc…and news articles, not to mention a lot of other nonfiction.
I write everyday. I usually record my progress paying attention to my novel’s word count and average 3,000 words daily. Like an athlete has to practice to maintain her or his skill, a writer has to write to maintain her or his skill. This allows me to grow. Writing short stories weekly also has helped me not only maintain my writing, but has helped me develop the origin of a new story, a short story I could expand. I have five works that I first wrote as short stories that I’m now outlining for novels. I have been a mid and long distance runner for years, but only recently have I began to increase my pace. Why haven’t I been able to run distance races as fast as I wanted? Because I did not try, I didn’t train for it. After only three weeks of speed work, I notice my runs are becoming faster. No pain no gain, is right!
So, my strategy for being the best writer I can be is pretty simple. Consistency is key. With hectic schedules, work, school….it’s difficult to slip in time for writing and reading, but it’s there. I look for every opportunity I can.