Skip to main content

Advice for Writers

The Best advice I can give to writers can be summed up in five tips and is partly what I've read, heard or learned on my writing journey.  


First – Keep writing and be ready. Write as many novels (and short story, poems, essays, etc.) as you can. Learn how to write a synopsis and query if you plan on submitting to agents and publishers. Learn the mechanics of writing and structuring a story. Take classes, enter contests, find mentors, work with beta readers, critique partners and editors - all with the goal of improving your skills and making your novels better.


Second – The road to getting published is not for the faint of heart. If you can’t learn to live with constant rejection then you might not want to publish your work. Writers must grow thick skin. We are going to be judged by our work constantly and must remember why we write in order to overcome haters, trolls or simply people who don't like our work/style. Not everyone is going to like your work that is a fact.


Third – Do your research in your genre for average word count and for the popular (like strong heroines) and dying trends (like love triangles). Be on the lookout for popular and award-winning books in the genre and when at all possible break down those books to see why they succeeded. Did the book ride a trend? Was it different than other books in the sub-genre? Do you think it was the author's notoriety that sold it? How was the book paced? What subjects did the book deal with? Male or female heroine? First or third person point of view? Examine books that might be like yours as well and ask yourself what makes your book different.


Doing your research matters when it comes to writing to standards the audience expects. In lower YA, sex is not acceptable, in most all YA explicit sex isn't acceptable either. In Murder mysteries the body is found in the first few chapters. So you need to know your audience to know who to market to and also to list your book for sale withe proper tags, among other things.


Fourth – Establish and build your author platform by joining and being active on Twitter (at least) in order to stay in touch with agents, publishers, readers and writers.  

I establish​ed​ and tripled my​ social media platform ​by: 

  • follow​ing ten​ or more people a day
  • committing to make​ three posts a day​
  • joining in on popular writer hashtags
  • retweeting at least once a day
  • favoriting a tweet at least once a day
  • engaging in a conversations at least once a day.

Fifth – If you love writing, don’t give up. I’ve heard it can take ten years from when you first start writing seriously to get an agent or publisher. I've also heard people usually sell their 4th - 7th books or very late drafts of their first books (Draft 15-30).

If you decide traditional is not the route for you and you intend on self-publishing, make sure to work with beta and critique partners and hire great editors you trust (and most importantly take their advice) in order to put out a comparable product on the crowded market. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Query Wins for Me

I am getting ready to query again after about a six-month hiatus and looked back through my records of responses and was quite pleased.  In the past, I’ve had many close calls. I’ve had full requests from publishers and agents alike for a few different books I queried. I could have given up with the mounting rejections but the rejections I’ve gotten over the last year and a half have MOSTLY been inspiring. This might not make sense to anyone who hasn’t been through the querying trenches but there is such a thing as a good rejection. A good “no” per se. In posting this I want to say that if you are a writer seeking publication, you need to keep writing, revising and editing…but especially keep submitting. Here are a few of my rejections: “I loved the concept and was riveted by the world you have created, but ultimately I just didn’t fall in love with the voice. It’s not for me, but I wish you the best of luck in your search for representation.” ‘There was so much he

Agent Protocol & Questions When You Get an Offer

Agent  Protocol - W hat is the standard protocol when dealing with agents? Should you respond to a "no" from an agent with a polite thank you? Although we want to be courteous to agents who take the time to look over our submission materials, you have to remember than they get a ton of emails a day and if everyone who got a no responded with a thank you or anything else then they would get inundated with more emails. Can you respond by asking why or for more in depth feedback? Agents aren't here to make us feel good or give us feedback-plain and simple.  If feedback is what you are looking for then find a good beta reader or critique group, enter a contest or a Twitter pitch party. If you enter a Twitter pitch party and an agent favorites your pitch sometimes if they reject you, they will give you a little feedback.  When should you nudge? If an agent hasn't responded to your query and it is two weeks past their normal response time then I would say nudge. Howe