It Takes a Village to Write a Book

Have you heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? It’s absolutely true!

As is the saying, “It takes a village to write a book.”

Six weeks ago, I joined with eleven other amazing authors to participate in an anthology of short stories surrounding twelve fairytale princesses and their potential love interests vying for the princesses hearts in a bachelorette-type competition. The Princess Bachelorette.

In six weeks, I took my Snow White retelling from infancy to publication-ready, and it was an absolute blast! Today, I’m sharing my experience because I definitely did not do it alone.

I absolutely LOVED the idea of participating in a fairytale anthology and was so excited to join The Princess Bachelorette, but I had a few hang-ups. First, I don’t really like The Bachelorette **Quickly looks over my shoulder for the person who said that!** Second, based on my writing and revising style, it was a really short deadline.

My husband–who is basically my partner in crime–told me, “You can totally do this!”

Well, I wasn’t going to dive in without an idea. So, we spent hours brainstorming different fairytales and how they could fit into the Princess Bachelorette theme. And nothing was coming. We sifted through The Princess and the Pea, the Frog Prince, Snow White, Cinderella, and many more. But I wasn’t excited about any of the ideas. I enlisted two of my sisters to help give me some more brainstorming power. We bounced ideas around as darkness fell, I still had nothing.

Resigned that I might miss this opportunity, I hopped in the shower (my personal think tank) and came out with what is now Heart of Wynter. And I am in love with the story!

I spent the next three days outlining the short story followed by two weeks drafting. My husband is an angel and read through the draft so that as edits came in from my beta readers and later my editor, he could help me decide what changes I wanted to make and which I really needed to.

It’s easy to make the changes I agree with (usually). Those I don’t agree with never are easy. That’s why I find it is so important my husband has an intimate knowledge of the story because sometimes I just can’t trust myself to hack away at my book babies. I think every writer needs a confidant/work “spouse” to create the story with them.

After I incorporated all of the feedback from my betas, I sat at almost 16,000 words. One thousand over the max limit allowed for this box set *Palm Face*

You guys, writing a short story is a whole other beast! It took me a few days whittling away my description, removing unnecessary analogies and words, before I capped in at a few words over 15,000. And I sent it off to my editor.

Though we writers often wander through worlds that only exist in our heads, staring at our screens in an effort to help you see the worlds and stories only we see, we do not write books alone.

It takes an entire village.

Here’s a HUGE thank you to my village for Heart of Wynter (My brainstormers: Alyssa, Kristy, and Hubby. My beta readers: Amber, Amy, Leisa, Jess. My content editor: Carol. My copy editors: Sharon and Kathy. And to my amazing readers who (because of you) allow me to live my dream and make these worlds in my head a reality.

I used to think writing a book took just one person. The more I swim through this amazing author journey, though, the more I realize how untrue that is. Creativity feeds on creativity. And what better way to feed yours than to surround yourself with other creatives?