For time stealers, word wizards, sentence scramblers, plot puzzlers:
Most writers get similar questions about the business because getting published is akin to having to search through a myriad of obscure clues beginning with the naked, dead body in the Louvre. Oh, wait. That’s been done before. And we know the ending. Go figure.
How did you DO that? Yeah. How did I get that book published? It seems like there’s a huge gap between the writing and the publishing and how that bridge is built is a mystery that only few hold the blueprints for.
At the end of the day, I really, truly believe that it boils down to great writing. A great concept. Something commercial. A novel that will take our breath away, surprise us as readers, take us on a journey — a novel that will make a promise to change how we think about the world. And a pinch of luck. (Yeah. That last one’s a bugger.)
Every writer, of course, has a few rules. I have just a couple because, well, I tend to break the others that seem to be the “golden rules” of writing. (I don’t write every day. I don’t live and breathe writing. I haven’t read Ulysses. I don’t want to read Ulysses. I love bad TV shows. I never had a teacher say, “You’re so talented. You must write.”). But here are things I DO do.
1. I write what I love. (I write my truth. Even though it might not be popular, trending, or the “in” thing. Each of us has a story in us. The sentences and words peel it away.)
2. Read, read, read, read. Read everything in your genre. Read every best seller, award-winner, book that’s getting buzz and obscure titles only your bookstore guru has read.
2. I depend completely on BIC inspiration. (Butt-In-Chair).
3. I remind myself that books get written one word at a time.
4. I write what I love.
Here’s the blueprint for writers. Keep at it. Dream big. Work harder. Magic happens when you do:
Writers and Bloggers to Follow:
Chuck Wendig Terribleminds:Amazing, funny, witty, smart, and the most creative mind for creating the BEST cuss words on the planet.
Jane Friedman: Writing, querying, business information that’s concise, practical and worth your time.
Harold Underdown and the Purple Crayon: This guy KNOWS the business. Up-to-date information about what’s new, who’s new, and who’s going where. Plus he exudes kindness and class.
Agent, Agent Info., Queries and More:
Nathan Bransford (An former-agent turned writer/novelist who has solid information on his blog.)
MS Wishlist (Take the guess-work out of what agents, editors, publishers want. It’s all here!)
The Editor’s Eye:
SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators): Without SCBWI, I would never have found critique groups, the BlueBoards (Verla Kay), an agent and have the career I do now!
The Query Letter:
Jane Friedman’s COMPLETE GUIDE to writing the Query Letter
Writing a “Darn Good” Query Letter
Jane Friedman’s BACK TO BASICS and synopsis writing (I told you she was an amazing go-to for all-things-need-to-know)
Best Websites For Writers 2015
According to Writer’s Digest