Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Long Road To Publishing

Unpublished authors need to fight the urge to quit. And believe me; it crosses my mind a lot. Attend conferences, join critique groups, and work on the craft diligently. Editors and agents give of themselves during workshops and interviews, even when they aren’t interested in your work. My writer’s organization of choice is the American Christian Fiction Writers, and I learn, learn, learn, at every conference that I attend.

Another must for unpublished authors is to read and glean from books like Characters and Viewpoint , by Orson Scott Card and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King. Before you submit your work to an editor or an agent, you should have critiqued it alone and with others until it is the absolute best it can be. Since I’m an unpublished author of fiction, I opted to have a professional substantive edit done. Yes, it will cost you. But it will also show you are serious about the craft.

I devote uninterrupted time to writing. That’s hard to do, and I think it’s particularly hard with fiction because of the added element of inventing storylines and plots. I’m working on three different storylines, and only one, a futuristic political suspense, is at the point where I’m presenting it to agents and editors who requested seeing a proposal and sample chapters at the conference. I’m researching others to send query letters to who I did not have a chance to meet. Wish me luck, and I’ll do the same for you.

Finally, let God guide your hand and mind.