Indie Writer Do’s and Don’ts

The following is a guest post from Tim Morgan, an indie writer and filmmaker who spends his days masquerading as a software developer. Tim holds a Master's degree in English, his screenplays have won or placed in a number of screenplay contests, and in 2015 he served as a Shriekfest screenplay judge. His latest novel, WITCH CITY: CARDINAL launches a paranormal detective series.


Indie Writer Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t rush it.
Indie publishing and especially KDP have made it ridiculously easy to publish into the Amazon ecosystem. The market has been flooded by people who finished their book on Friday, submitted it on Saturday, and it shows up on Monday. Most have not been edited or even beta read, and the stories are of inferior quality. Don’t do this.

Do take your time.
Writing requires rewrites and polishing. As you go you should find yourself doing less and less as you go along. Eventually you’ll reach a point where you and your beta readers are nit-picking. This is when it’s probably time to hit the publish button.

Don’t expect overnight success.
Stories of someone becoming a huge success with their first book make the news because they’re extremely rare. Unless you’re already independently wealthy, chances are you can’t publish one book, quit your day job, and go it as an indie writer.

Do plan and adapt.
If you want to write full time, you’re going to need to plan on getting there. For many of us this is a transition. Pay your debt down as much as you can and simplify your life before you decide to go full-time indie. Make plans, monitor your successes and setbacks, and be willing to modify those plans based on what works for you. Keep your day job and find ways to keep the fire alive.

Don’t under or over utilize dramatic license.
I see a lot of beginning to mid-level writers who get stuck in one of two camps: they either make everything absolutely realistic (which paints them into dramatic corners) or they make everything up as they see fit, which can throw alert readers out of a story.

Do strike a balance with dramatic license.
There’s nothing wrong with changing the way things work. A great writing mentor told me that fiction is not meant to be a mirror of reality. That being said, you need to understand how things work in real life before you change things. If you can’t find a logical way to explain it, if everything else is compelling enough – you might not need to.


by Tim Morgan

The world is going mad.

At sixteen, Peter Cardinal is the sole survivor of a vampire attack that left his parents dead. His account is at first dismissed as the ramblings of a shocked teen, but he finds a sympathetic ear in his adoptive father. Peter sets his eyes on a career in law enforcement, vowing to avenge the murder of his parents.

"I solemnly swear I will protect the innocent at all costs."

With these simple words, Peter joins a once-secretive paranormal law enforcement agency known as The Program. Thrust into the spotlight on a tide of rising paranormal violence, the men and women of The Program are the last line of defense for the innocent.

Peter and his partner must race to find a missing teen before she becomes the next sacrifice to summon an unspeakable evil.

Where Tim’s book is sold

Tim Morgan