Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Becoming a Writer

I didn't become a writer overnight. (I wish I did!)

It's the same little story - I'd been writing since I was knee high to a grasshopper (and whoever met a knee-high grasshopper anyway?). I used to scribble stories etc etc etc.

Some writers started simply by reading a book and deciding they could do it better - and they became successful writers!

The first book I wrote, the publisher sent it back with instructions to keep my fantasies to myself *ouch!* ( I didn't know about erotica then, but appprently I might have passed for writing it?!) I got so steamed I thought , "I'll show you" and wrote Heart of an Outlaw - and sent it back to the same publisher! (No, this wasn't Wings ePress It was an Aussie publisher who went broke - then I found the wonderful Wings ePress mob! but that's another story...).

This publisher took the time to read it - all 800 pages. She sent me a letter and the whole manuscript back and said it needed to be cut in half, but she liked it.
Lesson one in self editing. Editing that book broke my heart, but you know, to get somewhere, you have to climb mountains. Oh heck with it - it broke my damned heart! But I knew I had to. I learned how to edit and tighten. I typed that thing out three times on a type writer and sent it back. It was accepted (then the publisher went broke, as I said, and Wings took me on).

Learning to be ruthless with your own work is probably something many writers go through. You need to be ruthless, because when you turn in a finished manuscript, you want it to be nice and tight and done as correctly as you possibly can. That's a key element to getting it noticed.

But the story line has to make sense.

What's the best advice I can give? Read the genre you want to write in. Study the stories, the way they're written, even check out the other books in the genre published by a certain publisher, if that publisher is who you're aiming to pitch your book at.

But I digress... (I've always wanted to say that!). Writing is a learned art. There's so much more to it than simply sit down and write a good book. (unless you're one of the lucky buggers!!!). I say sit down and write that book, then review it or get a trusted friend to review it. Redo it if you have to. Send it off. Take rejections as part of that learning process, and soldier on. Many great authors got rejected many times. Welcome to the world of writing!

And don't be afraid to try something new, something different. If it doesn't work, re-do.

My best advice is to read and write, live your book, see it playing out in your head as you write. Remember, it's a learned art! Practice makes perfect.


1 comment:

Savanna Kougar said...

It is a learned art...that's my experience, anyway.