By Elizabeth Thabault | email@example.com
Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”. This is the case for Brittni Chenelle Wilson, who came up with the idea for her novel from a vivid dream she had one night.
Wilson, a recent Flagler graduate is in now in the process of publishing a novel, titled, “Involuted: The Tale of the Red Riboon Tree”, a young-adult fantasy fiction novel. The author made it her new year’s resolution in 2012 to complete a novel, and six months later finished the first draft.
“Involuted:The Tale of The Red Ribbon” tree follows two characters in high school, who get pulled into their book report. Their mission is to figure out why they were chosen to enter this world, and how to get home. They find out they are inside their book and are writing the story as they act. The story focuses on the relationship between the two main characters.
“They realize that each other is the key,” Wilson said.
As an author, Wilson found that actually finishing a novel was an accomplishment in itself.
“I was always one of those people who wrote two pages of my book, put it down and never started it again,” she said.
But this time Wilson vowed to end the habit, and achieve her goal with the help of some online tips.
“I googled how to finish a novel and one of the key things was to write a chapter by chapter summary of the whole book. That way if I ever put it down, I could just pick up where I left off and know exactly where I was going with it.”
This way of writing gave Wilson an organization that was lacking in her previous attempts, and allowed her to develop the plot of her novel with ease.
“I didn’t even have to go in order, I could jump to the end or the middle if I wanted to. It was much easier to get it finished that way.”
Wilson credited this method to her eventual success in reaching the end of the book. Once she finished the chapter summaries, she began to take the novel more seriously and see if she could get it published.
After Wilson completed the first draft of her novel, she began the editing process which would lead to the competitive field of publication.
Wilson explained that in order to even submit your writing to a literary agency, hiring an editor is essential. She found out that it costs upwards of $2,500 to get a novel professionally edited.
“You have to be willing to invest in yourself,” she said.
Wilson sent out the first chapter of her book to 15 different editors to get a sample of what kind
of work they did. The results she found were incredibly helpful. Wilson learned many literary tools that she would have never thought of without the editor’s tips.
“These professionals came in and made my book look it was coming off the shelves,” she said.
Wilson hired an editor whom she felt understood her humor and wanted to take the story in a
“Involuted” in its entirety is currently the editing process, but Wilson is still hard at work in
submitting it for publication. She found that for her book to be noticed, networking is a key
By observing other successful authors, she took note of how they were discovered by literary
agents, who invest in the novel and facilitate the publishing process.
“I heard this interview by an author who just made the best seller list for the sixth time. He sent out a letter saying he had an army of people who are behind him, that was around 400 people. I have more than that right now,” Wilson said.
Wilson created a facebook page for her novel when she finished writing it. The page currently has over 500 likes.
“Once I get to a thousand likes, I’m going to start selling merchandise for it. A lot of people are
getting interested, and it’s really building faster than I thought it would,” she said.
Wilson recognized that literary agents are more likely to connect with a novel that already has
fans and supporters.
“They want to know that you’re somebody, that this is going to be an easy sale for them.”
Wilson is promoting her novel on social networking sites to develop a strong platform of
support. She aims to give her novel as much exposure as possible in hopes of being discovered
by a literary agent.
Wilson also recruited people to create artwork for the novel, by drawing a
few scenes and characters from the book. This way she believes people can start connecting with her characters before the book even comes out.
Through her research and dedication to getting her book published, Wilson stumbled across the
primary way to land a literary agent, which is by referral.
“if you know someone who’s referring you, then you skip over that giant pile of thousands of
people who are sending in their work,” she said.
Through networking, Wilson met a referral through “a friend of a friend of a friend” who is
going to read the novel when it is finished the editing stage. She hopes this connection will lead
her to find a literary agent, which is one of the last steps in the publishing process.
With her dreams of publishing a novel within reach, Wilson is excited for the end result.
“I think for a writer, getting your novel published is the ultimate goal. It’s amazing to be able to share something that’s in your head with other people, where they can go through and read what you’re feeling… I started feeling an accomplishment when my artists started to draw the characters from my book. Something that didn’t exist before, now does.”
More of Wilson’s fan art and updates on Involuted: The Tale of The Red Ribbon Tree can be found at https://www.facebook.com/InvolutedTheTaleOfTheRedRibbonTree?fref=ts