This Saturday I’m attending the Alberta Romance Writers Association Valentine’s Banquet. As one of four new(er) authors we will be sharing about our experience with the publishing industry.
So I was thinking about it. I’ve shared on Thursdays, especially back in the fall, the whole journey of writing/submitting etc that I’ve gone through. But if I had to sum it up in a few points, what would they be?
1. Write what you like/when you like. I’ve improved in my writing skills because I’ve been putting out a huge amount of words. But I’ve had very successful writing spats when I’ve had to sit and think for hours (driving…road trip…) and afterward the scene I’ve been pondering simply flies onto the page.
What works for me may not work for you but Nora Roberts is quoted as saying ‘I can edit a bad page, I can’t edit a blank page.’
So write. Lots.
2. Finish what you start. Until you write ‘The End’ you can’t start making the story better. You may struggle with a scene, and getting character motivation right, or whatever. Get it done, get it down. Then you can fight with the words to make it magical.
Having a lot of unfinished manuscripts, for me, is counter productive. I’ve noticed that the last half of most of my books is the strongest part. If I don’t finish I would -never- get to this part. Everytime I finish a book the start of the next one improves.
3. Get people to read your stuff. And I’m not talking people who say ‘Oh Wow, I loved it’, and that’s all. Doesn’t help. I want the dirt, I want mean, I want someone to say ‘That makes no sense’ or ‘Eughhhhh’ BEFORE I sell a story.
4. Submit. Yeah, it’s scary. No, the story isn’t perfect yet. If you’ve polished it up, submit it anyway. I am in the middle of revision on my cowboys- a story I really love but you know what? The suggestions from the publisher are making it move from a good story to a great one. I am so pleased! And once again, I’m learning a ton.
5. Have fun. There should be a thrill in you at some point while you’re writing, or you should try something else. When all of sudden I can see the characters interacting, read the story flowing on the page…it’s magical. It’s fun.
And oh so worth it!!
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