As I peruse different websites offering advice to aspiring writers, I notice so many of them say "set goals." They push you to ask yourself, "What do I want to accomplish with this manuscript?"
The Life & Death of Lily Drake was my first novel. I had no real goals as far as most aspiring novelists. In the back of my head, I didn't make a far-fetched list of accomplishments to achieve like the following:
1. Get published
2. Sell a million copies
3. Make a Lily Drake movie
4. Buy a beautiful house in the French Quarter and live happily ever after.
Although, #4 is an actual goal of mine, it had nothing to do with the book.
What I had hoped to achieve by writing the Lily Drake series had more to do with writing a different type of book, even if no one ever saw it. I wanted to write a book that someone like myself wanted to read. My goals were more like this:
1. Create a heroine that is older, has a family, and is more relatable to women my age.
2. Write scenes where said heroine doesn't wait around for a man to come save her. She takes charge and saves herself. Create a protagonist that I would be proud for young girls to emulate.
3. Make sure the main character is more like every woman. She won't be a size two with a giant bosom, perfect natural blond hair, a perky demeanor all the time and SHE WILL MAKE MISTAKES.
Will I ever win a Pulitzer for this? Of course not, however, if one woman reads this book and somehow even for a few moments I made her feel empowered, then I have achieved my goal.