25 August 2020

Guest Post - Five Things to do after you’ve finished your novel by Charmeljun Gallardo


About The Book Series

Ready For The World: Driver’s Education

Ready For The World: Driver’s Education follows the story of Brandon Delacruz, a fifteen-year-old Filipino American teenager trying to make his way through life during the late 1980s. What Brandon wants out of life is simple: a cool car, a chance to be one of the cool kids at school, and most of all, a cool girlfriend. But instead, all he has are his loving family and his lifelong friends, Josh and Ally, to help him get through the minefield of high school life. 

As he looks for ways to get the car and status, Brandon fails to realize that the girl he’s been searching for has been there all along. But before he and Ally can explore a new relationship, a tragedy occurs that changes their lives. And now Brandon will have to find a way to balance his deep friendship with the excitement, trepidation, and complexity that young love brings...all while trying to keep his grades up.

Ready For The World: Superstar

Things couldn’t be better for Brandon Delacruz. After a long and winding road, he finally has the girl of his dreams. To top it all off, he’s discovered his destiny. He’s going to write the next great novel. Not bad for someone who a few months shy of his sixteenth birthday.

But after a tumultuous start to the year, he finds himself stuck between two girls. On one side is Ally, his best friend since kindergarten who’s suddenly become more of a mystery. And on the other side is Rachel, a brilliant and strong-willed girl that isn’t afraid to speak her mind. As he sorts his feelings out, he’ll find that the world isn’t like the one he’s writing about in his book. Real-life is messy and perplexing, especially in high school. 

And Brandon will learn that life can offer true beauty and grace...and heartbreak.

Purchase Links

Ready For The World: Driver’s Education 

Amazon India | AmazonUSA

Ready For The World: Superstar

Guest Post of Author

Five Things to do after you’ve finished your novel

1. Celebrate, But Not Too Long

Congratulations! You just finished working on your book. And all it’s cost you is some early mornings, a lot of late nights, and a few thousand brain cells. Now stop and do something else for a while. 
Like a fine wine, you and your book need time to breathe. When you’re writing you’re creating plot lines, character arcs, and plot twists. That’s why an author needs to step away after it’s done. It takes time to gain some perspective on what did or didn’t work in the book. Maybe a character needs reworking. Maybe a plotline needs clarification. But you won’t really know until you step away from it for a little while. 

The amount of time away varies for the writer. For me, I need at least a week. Any less, I feel that I’m still too close to it. Any more, I feel like I’m abandoning it. But a good amount of time is necessary.

2. Reading Is Fundamental

After enough time has passed, it’s time to read your book. And I like to approach reading my book like its somebody else’s work. I see what I like, what I don’t, and take notes the way a teacher would. This is another way for me to distance myself from my work. Taking notes gives me some objectivity that my book needs. I can be honest about what the story needs and what I could do to make it better. 

But it’s not all negative. This is also the time to enjoy reading what you’ve written. Laugh at what’s funny. Grab a tissue when the tears fall. Visualize the world that you’ve created in your mind’s eye and live in it for a bit. You’ve put in the time, admire your handiwork. 

3. Kill Your Darlings

Okay, you’ve laughed and cried as you read your story. You’ve written great lines of dialogue and scenes that you love. It’s funny, witty and everything good writing should be. 

Then you find that something that doesn’t quite work. Maybe a scene slows the momentum of the story or stops it cold. Maybe you find that a character said or did something that doesn’t feel true to who they are. 

It’s time to kill your darlings.

This is always the hardest part of writing, but editing is the most necessary. Your book isn’t about the one great scene or line, it’s about how that scene or line works in the entirety of the book. Some scenes will be shortened for pacing and others lengthened to emphasize their impact. Some characters will be reworked, re-imagined, or dropped. But that’s all part of the process.

4. Build and Expand

After you’ve cut the excessive stuff, it’s time to look at the impactful sections in your manuscript. These are the scenes that make or break your book. So make them count.

As the writer, you have to make these moments as visceral as possible. Take your time here. Use all your senses. Can readers see it come towards them? Do they hear the crashes or silences? Can they taste it on their lips, smell it wafting through the air, and feel it in their bones? 

This is where I have the most fun as a writer. I get to build and expand the depths of my characters. Because that’s when readers are truly engrossed in your work.

5. Won’t You Please, Please Help Me?

Writing is a solitary process. But because it is, no matter how much self-editing you do, there will come a time when you can’t see the forest for the trees.

That’s when you seek help. Getting feedback is key to taking your book to the next level. Look to family and friends for their input. If you’re lucky, they are writers too and aren’t afraid to give you their honest opinion.

If your mom and dad think everything you do is perfect, look to beta readers and content editors. If cost is an issue, look to writer’s groups that will exchange manuscripts. You can offer feedback and learn a little about another writer’s style and voice that could help you with your own.

But getting feedback is key. As a writer, you have to let go and let someone else see your story for what it is. Constructive criticism helps make your book the best that it can be. And that is what any writer wants in the end. 

About the Author

Charmeljun Gallardo is a former Radiologist and author. His first book is Ready for the World young adult book series. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a Creative Writing degree in 1996. He is a writer, photography enthusiast, sports fan, movie geek, stroke survivor, and an adventurous foodie. He lives in San Diego, California with his wife and son. 

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