What I learned that helped me write book #2

What I learned that helped me write book #2 by CK Van Dam

Someone recently asked me if writing the second book, Lone Tree Claim, was easier. I thought about that question and realized the answer was “Yes.”

Writing and publishing my debut novel, Proving Her Claim, was a huge learning curve. I wrote about that learning curve in an earlier blog: I read countless (really, I stopped counting) “how to” articles. Boy, did I have a lot to learn!

This time around, I had a better idea of how to structure the plot, how to develop the characters, and how to manage that pesky Point of View issue for the second book. And, since I could focus on writing the book, it came together more efficiently.

I also had a better understanding of the “mechanics” of the indie publishing process. Since I don’t have a big-name publishing house, I must manage the entire publishing process. And it IS a process — from formatting and submitting the manuscript for printing to selecting Amazon categories and marketing the book.

Having a relationship with a developmental editor whom I trust was invaluable. Her input helped make the story and the characters more vital and her recommendations improved the manuscript. I also had resources for proofreading and formatting. And, of course, I relied on my favorite illustrator for the cover design.

However, I connected with experts this time to ensure a historically accurate story. My favorite history professor provided research recommendations — including Civil War military history Additionally, a long-time friend who is also a Civil War re-enactor offered ideas on approaching that portion of the story. I appreciated their support and advice in this journey. (Note: any inaccuracies in the next novel are my fault).

Finally, the beta readers have been invaluable. These amazing people have been on the “front line” of the publishing process, providing input regarding the plot, the characters, and so much more!

Launching Lone Tree Claim: On the Dakota Frontier has been a fascinating journey to bring these new characters to life.