Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? All you need is a computer, pen and paper, sit down, and write. This simple process is not as easy as it looks. #crystalpubs2014
- You need an idea-something that hasn’t been done before. Agents and publishers will ask you what your work most resembles. That can be a trick question. Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings. How similar is your book to Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings? If the comparison is too obvious, you have nothing original to pitch. Every writer has some kind of influence. Make sure you point out how yours is DIFFERENT.
- Next, you just write as the words come to you. If you wait for lightning to hit you for inspiration, you may never meet your goal. A disciplined author is a dedicated author. The only way you will ever become a writer is if you write. You don’t have to write sequentially. Write scene by scene. See it as a three-act play in your head. Write. Don’t worry about detail. Believe me, you will return to that story again and again and again. The details will come. Ignore the introduction. It will write itself once you finish the ending.
- Learn your craft. Every genre or sub-genre has a set of rules. If you are new to writing, know the rules and follow them. You can bend them or break them later. Each genre has a word count. That is very important. Each genre has a structure. Subsequent blogs will feature other problems peculiar to new writers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can just sit down, pour your heart out, and make a million dollars. Readers are pickier than you think.
- Read. I can’t emphasize that enough. If you want to write YA romance, read all the romance you can get your hands on. Get to know your fellow romance authors. Don’t be shy. Follow them and stay on top of the game.
- Join critique groups, writing groups, go to conferences, network, get involved.
- Be active, stay active. Writing is a process. If you are not willing to participate in the process, then self-publish. Unfortunately, that is not the way to avoid rules–it’s another process! Don’t spin in circles.
- If you want to be an author, identify as an author. Talk about yourself. Have some simple business cards made: name, author (see example in featured image from Google Images). Take yourself seriously. “Oh, I write some. Haven’t published a book yet, but I like to write. It’s just a hobby.” That mentality will kill you. BE AN AUTHOR and announce it to the world.