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How do I know if my writing is good enough to get published? How much time should I spend writing? Do I have to pick a specific genre for my writing? What is a genre? What if I share my work and someone steals my idea? What’s the best way to handle negative feedback? Should I self-edit or hire an editor before I pitch it to an agent? How do I find an agent?
These are but a few of the many questions I frequently hear or read from writers who know how stressful it can be to turn out a satisfying piece of work and get it submitted for publication. I’d like to receive comments from my readers about their writing stresses and any questions you might have about the writing/publishing process.
In return for your feedback, I’ll post articles that deal with the topics you turn up.
I love to read. I always have, from the time I was a young girl. These days, however, the amount of time I have to read is much less, and therefore more precious.
I see lots of stories that might be good or even great— if I could manage to get through them. How the story begins is a good indicator as to whether I’ll spend my limited time reading that particular story or not.
That is the premise of Hooked by Lee Edgerton, a great book for anyone writing a short story or novel they hope to get published.
We all know that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but if the beginning doesn’t start in the right place, it’s not likely any agent or editor will continue reading after the first few paragraphs.
In a world where mountains of manuscripts are rejected on a regular basis, how does a writer get theirs off the proverbial heap?
Hooked was written with the intention of helping writers do just that. The secret is in the beginning of your story. This book covers modern story structure, opening scene dos and don’ts, where to put that backstory you’re just dying to fit in, and more. The last chapter contains some thoughts from editors and agents about what they’re looking for in manuscript submissions— and what they don’t want to see.
Don’t waste time polishing up your prose until you make sure you’re giving your story its best chance at success— with a beginning that’s worthy of the rest of your story.
When I started this blog not quite three weeks ago, I knew I wanted it to be about writing and books. I didn’t want to bore people with ramblings about my life or random thoughts.
But as I travel around WordPress, I see that there is a definite social component to most of the blogs. I also see from my blog stats that my “About Me” page gets hit fairly often. Although I am not one to bare my soul to virtual strangers (I’ll blame it on my upbringing), I do not want to appear reluctant to be communal. I will share my opinions, as respectfully as possible, in my posts and in the comments I leave around WordPress.
So, in the interest of satisfying any curiosity about myself, let me start by saying that I am indeed a true Gemini. No, I’m not an astrology nut (I mean astrology buff), but it’s fun to consider its merits.
Gemini is the third Sign of the Zodiac, and those born under this Sign will be quick to tell you all about it. That’s because they love to talk! It’s not just idle chatter with these folks, either. The driving force behind a Gemini’s conversation is their mind. The Gemini-born are intellectually inclined, forever probing people and places in search of information. The more information a Gemini collects, the better. Sharing that information later on with those they love is also a lot of fun, for Geminis are supremely interested in developing their relationships. Dalliances with these folks are always enjoyable, since Geminis are bright, quick-witted and the proverbial life of the party. Even though their intellectual minds can rationalize forever and a day, Geminis also have a surplus of imagination waiting to be tapped. Can a Gemini be boring? Never!
Since Geminis are a mix of the yin and the yang, they are represented perfectly by the Twins. The Gemini-born can easily see both sides of an issue, a wonderfully practical quality. Less practical is the fact that you’re not sure which Twin will show up half the time. Geminis may not know who’s showing up either, which can prompt others to consider them fickle and restless.
They can be wishy-washy, too, changing their mood on a simple whim. It’s this characteristic which readily suggests the Mutable Quality assigned to this Sign. Mutable folks are flexible and go with the flow. Further, the Twins are adaptable and dexterous and can tackle many things at once. It’s a good thing, too, when you consider their myriad interests. The downside of such a curious mind, however, can be a lack of follow-through. How much can any one person do, anyway?
Yup that’s pretty much me, although I take exception to the wishy-washy part.
I love to talk, to read, to write, and I have been told that I have good communication skills. I get bored fairly easily, so I have to keep mixing it up— some of you who’ve been here before may have noticed that I’ve already edited my blog’s design template and probably will do so again, so don’t be surprised when you visit. I may even start another blog in the future about something else (or not), but writing is my true passion. I love to learn new things and I’m a technology junkie; I like toys- the cooler the better.
I’m also a leftie; did you know that only one in ten people are left-handed? I like to think that makes me special.
It also means I grew up with ink along the side of my left hand from dragging it across the paper as I wrote (clearly another advantage of personal computers), using left-handed scissors (unless I wanted to feel searing pain along my left thumb from right-handed scissors digging in), jamming the door lock in my parents’ home (by turning the door knob in the opposite direction from everyone else), and sitting at the end of the table at mealtime (to prevent knocking elbows with my right-handed sisters). I also had to learn to reverse everything I was taught to make it work for me like knitting, batting and catching (baseball), bowling, etc.
So, that’s me in a nutshell. (Did I say nut again?) All in all, I think I’m pretty normal. And until someone tells me otherwise and offers irrefutable proof, I’m gonna keep thinking it.