Updates and Publishing News

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I’ve made a decision. A big one. More on that toward the end.

I’m thrilled to announced that I am now a contributor for The Aspiring Author Blog. I’ll be sharing writing tips and info specifically surrounding the thriller genre that can also be applied universally. My posts will go live there the fourth Monday of every month. Watch for the first one on June 25th. Meanwhile, check out my introduction and interview.

I’ve officially begun my final semester with UMASS Amherst UWW. I complete my creative writing degree this August. I’m in Writing the Graphic Novel with Professor Stefan Petrucha (who also offers courses through Udemy). In about six weeks, I begin Creative Writing: TV Pilot Script. Every class I’ve chosen has added tools to my toolbox, making me a versatile writer. I’ll be ready for every opportunity, whether it be in comics, television, or film—anything that involves story creation.

Post-graduation, I plan to edit a children’s book I wrote years ago, and have it illustrated. I’ve also outlined a sci-fi short story (in the vein of Black Mirrors). I’m going to complete it and send it to various outlets in hopes of having it published. I will then begin writing my debut novel: Lost Earth.

Lost Earth is a sci-fi/adventure/thriller. It’s fully outlined and will be the first in a series. Come September, I’ll add a word count meter to my website and update it weekly, so you can track my progress.

Now for that big decision: I’ve decided to self-publish my novels. As prevalent as self-publishing is these days, you might think, That’s not so big… but for an author (especially one whom always planned on traditional publishing), it is. It’s an entirely different path, and one not chosen lightly.

For me, it comes down to timetable. Let’s say I finish my novel, revisions and all, and it’s looking amazing. I put together a stellar query, send it to the appropriate editors, and get through dozens of no’s (or more) and finally land a yes. From that point, we’re still possibly looking at two years before my work sees the light of day. Why? Well, as a new author, I’m not the priority.

There are many other factors involved, but truly, I’m ready to share these stories with you. I’m ready to build an audience. I’d have to do my own marketing either way (unless you’re a big name, that’s the way it is these days). I might as well retain full creative control of my work in the process.

Self-publishing doesn’t mean the quality of my books will suffer. I’m not skimping. I’m springing for full professional edits and book design. You’ll get what you’d expect from a big publisher, only at a better price.

So that’s everything. For now. As I approach publishing, I will need your help spreading the word. Till then, stay tuned for more writing tips and updates. Tell a friend to sign up for my newsletters. I’m excited to share this journey with you. It’s gonna be great.

Writing Works – Tips on the Craft

Writing Works
by S.A. Battaglia

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If you’re like me, you’ve had the goal of finishing a book “someday” for longer than you’d care to admit. While I believe the more you learn up-front, the smoother the process will be, it’s also true that writing a book is like having a child: the timing will never be perfect. Eventually, you just have to do it and learn what you don’t know along the way. The advantage you have with writing over child-rearing is this incredible thing called revision.

Revision is the editing phase that takes place after you’ve completed your first draft. The exception is if you feel so stuck that you want to workshop what you’ve got to move beyond it. Workshopping is an excellent solution for: you don’t know what you don’t know. Eventually you’ll learn to do what Stephen King does and commit to a writing pace that allows you to out-write your doubt.

OK, so Stephen King writes 2,000 words-a-day when he’s working on a novel—return-of-Jesus being his only exception. But guess what? Stephen King has enough money to make writing books his primary focus. Most of us can’t live like Kings yet. What we can do is figure out what’s realistic and commit to it.

Consistency is key. Whether it’s 1,000 words-a-day (what King recommends starting at), 500 words-a-day, or 250 words-a-day, find what you can do and do it. Writing every day is like working a muscle. You don’t want to jump in too hard and burnout (or pull something). Do that and you won’t stand the thought of getting back to it for so long that your story—your characters—will rust.

Start somewhere. Start today. Don’t wait for conditions to be perfect, because they never will be. But, if you see if you see it through, you just might find that conditions improve. Then even more focus can be devoted to book #2!

Pace yourself and build your word goal up over time. Eventually, the occasional TV show might not be as exciting as hitting that target for the day (that’s where I’m at. It took a while). Once you get going, don’t look back. Looking back is what the editing phase is about. Until then, let go and let it flow.

Happy writing! Cheers.

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*All information regarding Stephen King’s writing is from his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, which I highly recommend.