Taylor is the author of the “Antidote” trilogy. She began studying at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013 and is getting a degree in English. She enjoys reading and writing instead of doing her homework. She is currently working on “Prospect,” the second book in the trilogy.
Guest Post: The Writing Process
Truthfully, I had no clue what I was doing when I wrote my first book. I had written many short stories and poems. They eased my mind and I realized just how much I loved to write. One night, my brother put on the movie, I, Robot. I was writing a quite terrible short story about aliens (*shakes head in shame), and it hit me. What if the world was turning into robots? I was a senior in High School with a big idea. I thought I would just write a quick short story and call it a day. But my heart wouldn’t let this idea go. My short story turned into fifty pages, then eighty pages. This is when “Antidote” was born.
I wrote the entire book out in my journal. Mind you, it was a horrible rough draft. Words scribbled all over the page, but when I was done. It was all I thought about. I began to extend it. I wrote out an entire trilogy on paper. I told my family about it. I told it to anyone who would listen to me. I read it out loud to people who wanted to hear. When I realized that people were into the idea, I began to type it out.
I typed it pretty fast. It took me about a month and a half to finish. I typed every night. Sometimes even ditching the journal ideas and writing new scenes. It was such a good time for me. The book came so naturally to me that it was as if I was meant to write this book. I was just typing it for myself but when I got to 210 pages, I said to myself “why not try and get published?”
I started to send it out to many places and finally self-published in 2014. I began typing out the next two books and sent my second book to Booktrope. That is when my dream came true. I have my dream team, my dream cover. Most of all, my goals seem to be closer than ever.
In 2016, what I thought sent my world crashing down, was actually a small earthquake leading to something great. Booktrope closed down. I thought it was kind of the end of the world. That’s when Patchwork Press came into my life and changed it once more, and for the better. I feel in control. I feel like I am with a group of writers who appreciate me and are behind me every step of the way.
My publishing story is much different than other authors, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have gained experience from self publishing and being with a small press. I know that I can use this knowledge for the rest of my book writing days.
My writing process may be a little different than most, but it works for me. As a writer, you MUST find what works for you. Not what works for others. This is your dream. This is your passion. When the time is right, it will come to you. By “it” I mean the story or even the patience to tell your story to the world. For me, it came naturally because I feel like this was the story I was meant to share.
Writing the Story:
Dialogue is my strong suit. Character building? Not so much. Since I know my own self, it is easy to begin to work on the things that don’t come so easily to me. When it came to sitting down to write, I found my own habits and tendencies. I found what worked for me. Since I was writing in high school, school came first. Now that I am still writing, I am in college. So I have to put school first (yeah right) and writing next.
I had to find the perfect time to write as well. I write at nighttime. It is my way of cooling down from the day. Sometimes I’ll put music on. It helps me find the right things to say when I feel like I can’t find them. I’ve been able to find the time and place that allows me to be free of the world and write my books. That is my advice to writers; find that one place that makes you feel like you can do anything and write. For me, that is alone in my room, particularly at 11 at night, with music to escort my thoughts.
My goal every night is to write at least one chapter. If what I am writing is complete crap (and trust me, there are days like that,) I stop and go to bed. I reevaluate my life (kidding) and by the morning, I am refreshed and remember why I love this. This is a passion. Without it, I couldn’t stay up countless nights and sometimes forget my homework for school the next day.
Basically I go through a lot of editing. I will be the one who goes into my book fifteen times and still miss a lot. My eyes, and my great friend, Edee’s eyes, alone edited the first edition of “Antidote.” I have found, it takes more than us to fix a book and it’s problems. Now that I have edited the book so many times, I have found my bad habits. I see that I can have plot holes without even realizing it! Here is my advice to you: When you think you’re done, you’re NOT. So the editing/publishing process for “Antidote” went like this (2016 edition).
- Wrote “The Antidote,” which is the self-published version.
- Edited the book about four times over before sending it to my friend, Edee, who is also a self-published author.
- Edited all the mistakes Edee fixed for me.
- Edited the book about another four dozen times.
- Sent it off to Self-publication Land.
- Wrote “Prospect,” which is the second book in my trilogy and sent that off to Booktrope (wait for the squeals when I got accepted and asked to republish “The Antidote”).
- And so it begins. Process begins with me submitting the Self-published version of “The Antidote” for rewrite and edit.
- Change name from “The Antidote” to “Antidote.”
- Edit number one from my editor. I fixed all the mistakes I was foolishly making.
- Send off my first round of edits back to her.
- Editor sends me the second round of edits.
- I fix all mistakes and send to Proofreader.
- Finally “Antidote” is ready.
- Repeat steps 9-13 with “Prospect.”
Now that I have republished “Antidote” one last time with Patchwork Press, I have started to edit “Prospect” with its finishing touches.
That is just a super dry run of how it went. I was an amateur. I had to change a lot. Sometimes I would write things that didn’t make any sense and would have “What??” in the margins. I look at writing completely different now. My mind is stronger and sharper now by seeing the mistakes I made. The editing process takes a lot longer for me now because I thoughtfully/logically put words together. I know that it isn’t just the story that matters. Every single word must make a difference and an impact somehow.
What I’ve Learned:
I have learned a lot from my experiences with writing. I have learned my own strengths and most importantly, my weaknesses. Most of all, I have learned why I am here, as a writer. I am here to write for my happiness. I am here to write so I can bring joy to others as books bring joy to me. I want to change someone’s life. Make them crave books as so many books have done to me. Right now, it isn’t about being successful in book writing. It is about learning the ropes and one day I know I will be a fabulous writer. It is a long road ahead. But it is the road I want to be on forever.
Antidote (Antidote, #1) by Taylor Hondos
Life sucks, and then you rot. No one knows how Dermadecatis is contracted, but its existence has changed everything for 18-year-old Lena, in this riveting debut from Taylor Hondos.
No contact with other people.
Masks must be worn in public at all times.
Four months ago men, women and children alike began to rot from the inside out, and the world as we know it changed forever. Life goes on, but now everything revolves around the need to survive and find a cure for Dermadecatis, the disease that Lena Alona’s father discovered.
Unfortunately for Lena and everyone else who is desperate to survive, her father’s secrets died when he did.
Published June 1st 2016 by Patchwork Press (first published May 30th 2014)