The author who is seeking publication needs to focus first on the quality of what she or he is writing. Craft the best product--short story, novel, flash fiction, novella, etc.-- that you have the ability to create for a reader to consume.
And this takes time.
Join a writing group, find a writing teacher to mentor you, take classes from Writers Digest, i.e.
Writers Online Workshops
While earning my MFA I took their class, Focus on the Short Story and their Extended Short Story Writing Workshop for learning the nuts and bolts of how to craft a short story.
After graduation I enrolled in their Focus on the Novel Workshop each fall.
I used this class take The House through its first revision. It was also in this class that I learned how authentic my The House felt. The instructor had actually experienced what my protagonist in The House was undergoing.
All sorts of things can happen when you take online classes.
I’ve been told that John Grisham took classes from Writers Digest before getting published.
Online classes, where you interact mainly with the instructor, are perfect for writers who feel anxious and sensitive about receiving critique from peers whose suggestions may hold a bit of envy.
With the Internet as your interface you can monitor and control the amount of interaction you have, and the critiques you receive from fellow participants who are a bit disingenuous, and who are not as sincere in delivering their comments.
But you still must be ready to hear the truth about your writing.
The ability to take well-intended critique from those whose writing skill and artistry surpasses yours, and who want you to succeed is incredibly important. It is a necessity.
The ability to receive sincerely and well-meaning critique, insight and suggestions about your writing determines how far you will go and the amount of success you will achieve far more than talent.
As an author whom I recently interviewed stated, “Getting published needs to be incidental to improving your skill and artistry at writing. The writer’s job is to try and make what she or he writes today better than what we wrote yesterday.”
To grow into better writers is the author’s prime goal.
Likewise and conversely if we do this, publication of our work will occur.
The more you give of yourself in crafting the work to the best of your ability, the more pride you will hold in your heart for that work. This gives you passion for what you have created. And this passion fuels your ability to promote and market this work over the long haul.
It also empowers you to go back and writer your next book.
You cannot stop writing while seeking an agent or publisher. You must continue to write.
Writing has to be your focus if you are to endure as a career author.
Having said that I encourage you to listen my interview of author, Lisa Unger, the author I interviewed and quoted. After working in publishing for 10 years she revised and honed a novel she had written at age 19. That novel was published and she has gone on to write 8 more, having just delivered to her publisher a 10th novel that will debut in 2011.
Any novice writer can benefit from what she has to say.
Here’s the link to the interviews I have conducted with her.
Lisa Unger on Book Talk, Creativity & Family Matters 9/3/2010
Lisa Unger on Book Talk, Creativity & Family Matters 9/26/2009
Thanks so much.
Anjuelle is the author of Keeper of Secrets...Translations of an Incident and The House
They can sample opening pages of each @:
Visit Anjuelle's blog @
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