FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Browse the most frequently asked questions regarding Noveldom and its budding author, T. Cole Williams.
[Have a question that isn’t listed? Please reach out using the form on the CONTACT page.]
YOU ASK & I TELL
Who I am, what I’m up to, why I do it, and where I’m going.
- Mojo Diddy’s
THE FIVE W’s
I live with my husband and our fuzzy brood down in tropical Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We are the proud parental servants to a rambunctious, stone-deaf Bull Terrier named Liu Liu Kang (brownie points for getting that reference!), a polydactyl cat named Andre Hicks (ten more points to Gryffindor), a blubbering Bloodhound named Thor (every bit as reckless as his namesake), and a slightly obese kitty named Indiana Jonesy who, despite all her exploratory antics, still seems to pack on the pounds.
Before getting into the writing game, I was a web developer with a penchant for copywriting, marketing, public relations, event planning, business strategy, and graphic design.
I also dabble in horse training, pole dance, sewing, and existential philosophies that often leave me wondering if I even truly ‘am’.
Much like being stranded on a deserted island, it can often feel like you’re all alone to figure things out as you go.
I didn’t care for that feeling. Nope, not one bit.
So I created Adventures In Noveldom: a space where I can hone the novel writing process to help myself and others write novels more efficiently without all the stress.
But I didn’t venture into full-blown noveling until 2016 when, on a whim, I decided to take a day off from work to jot down a story that had lodged itself somewhere between my brain and retinas.
That day lit an unavoidable spark in my internal fireplace that has yet to flicker out.
So in May 2017, I took three months off from work to give myself enough time to create my story. I knew I wouldn’t follow through if I had to show up to work at the same time (my impatience couldn’t bare anything less).
By July 2017, I had finished my first novel, a story titled: Dashing Extreme Danger. And while I was smitten with my creation, my friends reminded me that it could be better. Much. Better.
In a fit of disappointment, I avoided writing anything fictitious for almost a full year.
I went back to my day job and tried my best to forget the shame I felt from creating a less than thrilling novel.
But, by April 2018, the fire had resurfaced, this time consuming my entire soul.
And this time around, I refuse to let my own failures, emotions, and setbacks run the show!
My husband and I are expats who choose to spend our career-driven years exploring the world!
1) so I can document my experience as I hone my skills as a novelist and become a published author (something I’ve always wanted to read about from those who’ve succeeded before me), and
2) so I can impart a simplified process unto the writing community at large so that other amateurs, like myself, can churn out their novels with ease and enthusiasm!
When I started writing my first novel in April 2017, I scoured the web looking for any and all nuggets of advice I could uncover. But it was no use. Everyone said the same, general thing: just sit down and write.
And while that may be mostly true, that didn’t help me understand how to feel confident, or trust my instincts, or cut a chapter, or rework a plot hole. I could find those answers with a basic Google search, sure, but I struggled to find anyone who discussed those issues in the moment, as they worked through them, whilst still in the heart of amateurville.
So here we are: Adventures In Noveldom, my quest to become a published author whilst sharing my journey along the way in the hopes that it may offer some insight for others to overcome all odds.
While I LOVE so many authors, those four are the ones that come to mind first, ahead of all others.
Pratchett for his fictional genius in creating the Discworld!
Rowling for meshing her magical fiction into reality, making us all wish we’d been accepted to Hogwarts at eleven years old!
Swift for his political satires, giving us such greats as Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal!
And Shakespeare for reinventing the poetry game in fanciful ways that leave everyone, even the most stringent anti-Shakespearean, laughing at some point!
I love fantasy, urban or high. My mind thrives in made-up spaces where I can unleash emotions that go unaddressed in my day-to-day life. Feelings like revenge or harmony, closure and acceptance.
I love sci-fi thrillers that incorporate modern experience with new-age technology in a way that really makes you wonder: should we as humanity go down that road?
I love the unexpected and the well researched. Give me a historical fiction that paints a realistic twist to a well-known tale in history and I’m there, baby!
ABOUT T. COLE WILLIAMS
In July 2017, I finished writing my first novel, but that doesn’t mean it’s ready for publishing quite yet!
I still need to work through a second draft, finalize illustrations and formatting, and then decide if I want to take another stab at finding a publisher or if I want to embark on a self-publishing journey.
In the meantime, I have begun writing my second novel (unrelated to the first), tentatively titled: Snowe Storms.
Stay tuned! 🙂
Sometimes I write to explore emotions deeper than possible within reality; sometimes I write to create solutions to odd thoughts that crop up and won’t leave me alone; sometimes I write to work through issues in my day-to-day; but mostly, I write because I can’t find the stories I really want to read out on the shelves!
At the end of every day, I write because I enjoy exploring my own imagination and it fulfills me to know that others’ might enjoy that part of me as well.
I tend to wake up naturally between the hours of five and six each morning, weekend or weekday, and the first thing I do is head to my office for a quick writing session. I’ll spend the first half hour of my morning working through a prompt I set up for myself the night before.
Why does character X do this?
What could happen instead of X?
If X meets X sooner than X action, what will happen to X, X, and X?
Since I quit my job in April 2018, I’ve been able to apply my entire day to writing, which is fantastic when I’m in a good flow, and absolute torture when I’m not. Regardless, I force myself to write for at least two hours everyday and produce at least 500 words.
When applicable, I set aside an hour in the evening, usually around six PM, to edit what was written the day before.
If I’m having a good morning after my prompt, I’ll make a tall glass of lemon water, review my chapter and character notes from the day prior, and open up a fresh chapter for the first part of my day.
Typically, I think up a particular piece of dialogue, or scene setup that provides me a jumping off point for the chapter I’m working on.
On a good day, I hit 1,000 words within the first few hours of my morning as I don’t stunt my prose or censor my creative flow.
Come time for my second draft, my writing speed slows down considerably as I work through the best way to describe my story’s action.
Because you only live once and I desperately wanted to live it in adventure! Fortunately for me, my husband felt the same way 🙂
We moved down here in 2013 when we realized at the rate we were going in Southern California, we’d barely be able to travel at all before the age of thirty.
It was time to make a drastic decision: stay put in California, working our butts off and barely scraping by, or take the risk to move to PV in the hopes of a better, healthier, happier life.
And we wake up every single day now, staring out a the sparkling Bahia de Banderas, listening to neon parrots chirp away in the trees, staring down at the quaint cobblestone streets that weave in and out of the city landscape, and think to ourselves: what a wonderful life we’ve created.
Not because I needed to stay awake or anything; just because it seemed like the sort of thing a novelist would do.
And in the midst of pondering the finer details of that first novel, I’d stare down at the coffee stains on my desk and do one of two things:
1) scold myself for not grabbing a gat-damned coaster for the umpteenth time, or
2) contemplate the similarities between being stranded on a secluded island and trying to write your first novel.
The two scenarios seem to have a strange amount in common though I wouldn’t know…I’ve never been stranded on an island.
But I tell you this much: were I to be stranded on an island, I strongly believe a guided map would increase my survival rate ten-fold.
Whether you choose to tackle them in order is up to you, but I’d recommend it.
Because hey, when a map says, “hang a left up ahead to take the easiest route,” who here replies with, “nah, I’ll just continue onward and ignore the advice in this here map because screw maps and what not…”
Go on, raise your hand. It’s ok, no judgement on this end!
But if that’s how you read maps, then why bother with them in the first place? Ammiright?!
If you’re starting from scratch with your novel, I recommend starting from STEP ONE: IDEA COVE and making your way through Noveldom in order.
If you already have, say, an idea, an outline, some solid characters, and a few drafted chapters, then you might decide to skip past IDEA COVE, THE OUTLINES and DEVELOPMENT DUNES and go straight into the WRITER’S TRENCH.
No worries, champ! It’s your journey 🙂
And know this: as I write this FAQ answer, I’m currently ensnared in a battle with my second novel and, despite knowing these steps and their value in being done in order, I skipped around and inevitably came back to the Dunes because I hadn’t taken them seriously enough to ensure I was hunky-dory down in the Trenches.
My point being: the Noveldom map is more of a reference…you’ll still need to watch your step to make sure you don’t fall off a cliff 🙂
EXPLORE AVAILABLE RESOURCES
Check out Freebie Forest, the Crest of Challenges, or Troubleshoot Valley to get help along your journey.
CONTINUE INTO THE PEAKS OF DRAFT
Ready to continue onward through Noveldom? Head into the Peaks of Draft to further map out your quest.