So, You Want to Write a Book? by Curtis Curly-tail Lizard

I’ve heard from many people staying at home now that lots of people want to write a book and writing creatively is a good use of time. I would even say it is a perfect use of time when the stories are about me–or even other reptiles, once in a while.

People often ask me for advice about publishing the stories they’ve written. After all, I’ve had several books written about me—I even inspired the first one! So, I do have some advice for potential book publishers.

Image courtesy of Anne Karakash of Pixabay

My first suggestion is to have other people read your story. It’s impossible to proofread your own book. To make proper edits—to find gaps in the plot or missing dialog responses, or you might have a weak setting—you must have other eyes on your words. But be careful about who you choose to read your story. I could have Clive read anything I wrote, but he’s a friend and he would tell me it’s wonderful, whether it was or not. He might even think it’s wonderful just because I wrote it.

You need honest feedback. Allison Andros Iguana (who was kidnapped and later escaped with me) would be a good choice, because she would give me a straightforward critique. Remember, honest feedback helps improve your writing and is not an attack on you personally. Many humans ask for “beta” readers, who enjoy helping authors polish their work before it is published.

If you want to write, you start by putting words on a page, by typing, or handwriting, or using a dictation app, whatever suits your style. As you know, every journey begins with a single step. Writing starts with the writing of a single word. Don’t even worry about whether or not the writing is good. Just get the words out. You’ll be going back and editing when the chapter/section/story is done—again and again, after you have received critical, honest, and sometimes even brutal feedback from others. It does take a village to write a good book worth reading.

If you want to read books written about me, check out the Curtis Curly-tail Series. Elaine A. Powers, who wrote them because she loves making science books fun to read (inspired by my perfection, of course!) had many people read and help edit these books. You can read their names in the acknowledgments at the back of the books, as proof. (Actually, she’s the one who taught me about beta readers, but I’m sure she learned it from a writing expert and now I’m passing it on to you!)

a blue and white children's book cover with curly-tail lizards illustrated
I met Allison Andros Iguana in this story. She is very brave and strong and I know she would be a good beta reader for me.

So, write those words down and don’t worry about perfection—no one ever finds it the first few times through. And ask for beta readers and for honest feedback. You’ll be surprised by how much better a writer you’ll become.