Thursday, April 10, 2014

Seven Tips for Aspiring Writers Barbara Wallace





Don’t chase trends.  Ignore talk about what’s hot and what’s selling.  Chances are, by the time you perfect your manuscript, the trends will have shifted.  Focus on writing a good book, not a marketable one.

Hone your voice.  So often I read unpublished manuscripts where the writer attempted to emulate her favorite author.  As a result, the manuscript is often technically perfect, but lacking spark.  As much as you might love their books, there can only be one Kristan Higgins or Ruthie Knox.  Be yourself.  Don’t be an imitation of someone else. 

Finish your book.  Sigh.  If I had a nickel for all the times writers drop a story because they got bored halfway through.  Or spent their energy honing the first three chapters as though writing a proposal.  I’ve got one word for you.  STOP!  The only sure way to publish a book is to have an entire book.  Similarly,

Understand the difference between a finished manuscript and a publishable manuscript.  The dark side of self-publishing is that it’s led some authors to believe that simply writing a book qualifies them for publication.  Not every book deserves to be in print.  I know – I have a half dozen books on my computer that will never EVER see the light of day.  Nor should they.  Be ruthless about your craft, and be honest with yourself. 

Accept rejection and failure as inevitable.  Everyone stumbles.  Falling down is part of the learning process.  What falling down isn’t, however, is a judgment on you as a writer or as a person.  Learn from your mistakes, and grow.

Never stop learning your craft.  Too often, I go to writers conferences only to find the hallways filled with new authors networking.  Meanwhile, there are bestselling authors sitting in the front row of the craft sessions taking notes.  The best writers know that learning never ends.  Strive to be one of those writers. 


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1 comment:

barbara wallace said...

Thanks for hosting me Liz!