(This is from 2017 but published again after it was lost while updating the blog. So much for making sure everything was prepared before updating 😉 )
I’m back! It’s been a busy summer with the release of City of Deception, and I can’t believe it’s been months since my last post. Sorry about that.
Well, I’ll catch you up briefly then go on to the topic of this post. If you want to skip my update, just go to the first bold section.
I announced not only would I be releasing the sequel to City of Deception in June 2018, but I’ll be releasing a second book next year too! I’m rewriting the Curtain of Perception series (and probably renaming it) and releasing the third and final book in that series. More updates coming next week.
As for my life, I opened a new business, dyed my hair red for the first time, and learned to knit. Not important at all, but proving I have a life outside of writing.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about Rookie Writing Mistakes.
The first time someone asked me for writing advice, I just about teared up I was so happy. They trusted me to give them advice? When had I gone from a nobody writer to a successful one in their eyes?
It took six years before I felt I really knew enough about writing to be a “professional.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. Feeling like a professional doesn’t mean I stop learning about writing. I spend 30% of my allotted writing time on Pinterest reading blog posts about writing, publishing trends, and plot ideas. (If you’ve never done this, you can check out my profile. I’ve got several thousand pinned to help you start!)
I was a rookie and still am compared to the writers with thirty books and contracts with the Big Five publishers.
But I’ve learned a lot, and today want to share some of it with you. If you do the three things below, you’ll be a better writer than most rookies. It takes more than good writing and editing to make a great writer.
- Research, Research, Research!
Know your genre before you sit down to write. Is it nonfiction? Science fiction? Urban fantasy?
For instance: You might think there are a handful of genres. You might think Fantasy is just fantasy. It isn’t.
There are YA and adult fantasy. There’s urban, paranormal, epic, medieval…the list goes on.
Know your readers and genre well, as I didn’t when I published Black Forest. Now, I’m paying for my mistake by rewriting and rereleasing the whole thing Fall 2018. You want to rewrite almost 125,000 words? No, didn’t think so. Learn from my mistake.
- Don’t compare yourself to other writers.
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’re probably not going to be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyers. There are many reasons for that from sheer luck to talent to resources, but the main thing is you can’t be them. If you write a book similar to their’s, you’re ripping off their ideas.
You should ONLY write like you because that is better than anything else. If you try to write like someone else, it will be obvious.
I know, that sounds like a lame pep talk from a teacher. Sorry.
Painters replicate masters to learn. Writers do not.
- The Vital Need for Patience and Respect.
Just today I read a review a writer left on a poetry site for rejecting her work. She rated them low and fussed. She was more respectful than some, but still sounded whiny.
Frankly, people who try to defend their work for minor things sound like little sh*ts. (I’m sorry, but I get so pissed at the writers who do this. They give other writers a bad reputation for being temperamental.)
If a publisher rejects your writing, big deal. Welcome to the crowd! A popular YA author once had 149 rejection letters before her book was picked up and hit the NY Times Bestsellers list.
If someone tries to steal your work, that’s one thing. But whining because of a rejection or someone criticising your work? Respectfully tell them you respect their opinion and walk away.
I know these are very basic tips, but so many people take a lot of time to learn them. Learn them as a rookie and you’ll be farther ahead than most. I also have a PART 2 of Rookie Mistakes.
As always, hope this helps!