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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Five things to know about writing!


Five things I really wished I’d known before I started writing. Maybe some of you can add more.

Looking back I had no idea what was entailed in being a published author. I just had all these stories in my head that were clamoring to get out. So I started writing, something I’d always done sporadically, even on my jobs. Thank god for computers. Even I have trouble with my handwriting.

So I wrote several books and started sending them off. And learned RULE No 1. Learn about your craft before you start to submit. After I’d gotten rejections I started to take the comments, if I was lucky enough to get them, quite seriously. So we come to RULE No. 2. Expect rejections at first, don’t’ be overcome by them. And then start to learn all you can. There are loads of books out there to help. I personally think Debra Dixon book on motivation and conflict is a must. Ask your writer friends which ones they’d recommend.

Go to lectures, go to classes on or off the web. Even if you only get one revelation per lecture it’s worth your time and effort. So here’s Rule No. 3, which is something like No.1. Keep learning even after you think you’re pretty good. For instance, I’d never heard of POV (point of view) before I started getting criticisms. I was jumping around from one character’s mind to the other. I still like to do that, and still don’t agree it’s always bad. I think at times it adds spice to the scene, but believe me, the editors don’t like it.

Rule 4. Have your website in place before you’re published. You’re going to need it like crazy, so you might as well enjoy having one.


Rule 5.  Be prepared to re-organize your life. I had no idea that promo-ing is mostly up to the author.  Sure, your editor does the basics, but it's up to you to get the word out that this is a special book. I still find this hard. I'm still learning to do it right after thirty-four books. Other things in your life have to be relegated to second choice or you simply won't have time to write and promo. I'm still not fond of promo, but it's getting a little easier for me. I'll probably always prefer the writing part if my life. I'm trying to promo in the morning and write in the afternoon and evening. Lunch with the girls is no longer part of my life. My wonderful family comes first, as always, but sometimes it's a juggling feat. I just wasn't prepared for the chunks of time spent on promo.

Anything you want to ask I'll be happy to answer. Please write me at jswriter@earthlink.net.....
Or just tell me about your road to publication.....




7 comments:

Tina Donahue said...

Good advice, Jean. The more I know about writing, the more I realize how little I know. It's always a learning experience.

Cara Marsi said...

Excellent advice, Jean. I didn't know any of this either before I started writing. I had no idea what POV was. I never noticed head jumping in any of the books I'd read, and many of the ones I'd read years ago had lots of head jumping.

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks Tina. I certainly agree. And Cara, I still like head-jumping...Would certainly do it if my editors allowed it...I like knowing what both heroine and hero are thinking when they lock lips for the first time...

Melissa Keir said...

Those are some wonderful things. I also agree that when one door closes, another opens! Just think about the publishing houses that closed and you get your books back.. that doesn't mean you are done, you just need to move sideways!

jean hart stewart said...

I like your comment, Melissa. Being an author is humbling but wonderful....

Sharon Hamilton said...

Great post, Jean. Wise words crafted and hewn through hitting walls and making mistakes. We all do them. And hopefully, we all learn from them.

As they say, it's not how many times you get knocked down, it's how many times you stand back up. May you continue to learn, to stand and to love the woderful life you've created!

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks, Sharon. I do absolutely adore the writing life. I'm lucky in so many ways...

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