My 1st horror Ebook!!! My journey from an idea to novel….

Posted: January 22, 2011 in My Novels and Short Stories
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Hi Folks,

As some of you may know I will be publishing my 1st horror ebook “The madness on Beelzebub” very soon (click here for details) and it got me to thinking about when I first decided to write it and my journey from the initial idea to novel…And I thought I would share my experiences with you.

I guess I had my first idea to write a novel many moons ago and my journey, of writing a book, started with a single step, an idea.

That reminds me of quote I heard recently ” A journey of a thousand miles…. begins with a single step (Lao-tzu)”. I guess this can apply to anything.

Anyway, where was I. Well I had worked for about 12 years at Sanofi Aventis (a major pharmaceutical company) as a scientist. But I quit (end of 2006), for a number of reasons, sold the house and spent 6 months travelling around the world with my soon to be wife. We came back to england, broke and expecting our 1st child.  I was unemployed and had time on my hands and therefore made the decision to make use of this spare time and do something I’ve always wanted to do and that was write my1st book.

I had many ideas floating round my head so deciding on the story topic/plot was my first step and it was very difficult to say the least….But, after many sleepless nights I managed it….. I decided on a horror novel about a mans journey into madness, murder and the devil.  I wont give much more away as I don’t want to spoil the story if you want to read it.

Now deciding to write a story and actually writing are two completely different things… You sit there, open the word processing document software ready to start typing and then….. God! what on earth do I write, how do I put my story on paper? My mind went blank…

Now, because of my scientific background I decided to approach it the way I would approach writing a scientific report.  So I took time out to plan my novel. First I decided on the characters, when and where it was based, outlined a beginning, middle and ending….and, after a couple of weeks of planning what it was about I started writing…… It was still very hard as there were a lot of distractions but I did it.

So if you want to write a novel, take my advice, and plan your novel first…..and then write.

Here are my top ten tips:-

1. Decide on the Plot, What the novel is going to be about.

2. Plan your novel.

3. Map out whats going to happen at the beginning, middle and end.

4. Create your main Characters. Make notes about each of them and how the characters relate to each other.

5. Decide the tense, where and when it is based and who is going to be telling the story. For example it could be a character in the book telling the story from his perspective.

6. Keep a notepad for ideas. I had a notepad and would always write silly ideas in it, some of which went into my book and some didn’t.

7. Then write and make yourself write every day, whether it’s a sentence, a chapter, or more, you must regularly dedicate some time to your novel. Set aside a quiet hour where everyone must leave you alone. Morning or night, it doesn’t matter, although some writers work better at certain times of the day. Just make sure you write daily! In my case, I would make sure that I would spend an hour each morning devoted to my novel.

8. Seek constructive feedback……from somebody you trust.  I asked a couple of people to read mine and give me feedback. And I used this feedback to revise my novel.

9. Keep revising, editing and rewriting your story..

10. Complete & then publish.

I know there is more to it than that and I know there are several methods than you can use, but these were the basic steps I used. It took me about 2 years to complete in total, re writing it many times in the process. But at last it was complete (at end of 2008) and then I thought “now what do I do?”.

Well, I thought maybe I should try and get published, it cant be that hard can it??? lol mmmm how little I knew.  So I took a trip to the library and got the latest edition of the writers handbook and started writing letters to as many publishers/editors/agents as I could….. Well, 50 rejections later I realised it wasnt that easy…

We are not taking new authors at this present time… We dont publish anything from people who dont have an agent……its not what we are looking for at the moment, ect..

This was very disheartening and so I gave up on trying to publish it… Then I thought “Maybe I should try and do it myself, or try an ebook!”.  I did look at trying to publishing it myself, and there are many companies out there that will help, but its costs a lot money to self publish (which I didnt have at that time) and so decided not to pursue this route….

However, the idea of ebook appealed to me  BUT! by this time (last year) I was too scared to publish it.  After all the rejection letters I received it had really put me off…. If I did publish my novel as an ebook, what happens if no body likes it.  What happens if it doesnt sell. I hate to admit it but I was afraid……. very afraid.  And FEAR is a good persuader.

But then I got to thinking If I dont try, I will never know.  So after much soul searching, I conquered my fear and decided yes, yes I will publish as an ebook and if nobody likes it, so what! at least I have tried, at least Ive done it…… and the journey leads us to here and pretty soon my first horror ebook will be on sale as a kindle ebook, exciting times hey 🙂 I will let you know soon when it is on sale.  And by the way, if I can do it, you can do it too. Dont make the same mistake as me and let Fear hold you back… I guess this applies to a lot of other things too.

So has anybody else written a novel and managed to publish it themselves??  What are you experiences of writing? Let me know.

Thats about it now, But I have to admit writing this blog and talking about ebooks has got me thinking about another question. As ebook sales take off, will they overtake paper copies of books, and will there be a time when we no longer publish/sell books in paper format?? Just a thought…

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jason James and darren derbyshire, darren derbyshire. darren derbyshire said: My 1st horror Ebook!!! My journey from an idea to novel….: […]

  2. Phil Nash says:

    Hi Darren,

    I’ve never written a book, but I know the road to getting published can be a long and arduous one.

    Good to see you ‘sticking at it’.

    Found you via the 4N Forum.


  3. Chris says:

    I like your writing too.
    Thank you.


  4. Great to hear of a first experience. I am hoping to soon publish my first ebook, it will be on weight loss and fitness. Still compiling information and throwing together chapters, lots still to do.

    How long does it take to write a novel? I assume that the words flow quicker than with more factual books (constant verification of facts takes time) but of course, novels are so much longer.

  5. […] else written a novel and managed to publish it themselves??  What are you experiences of writing? Click here for my blog on my […]

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