This guest post is a part of the Forgiving Trinity Tour hosted by Amanda over at Letters Inside Out. I asked Liz whether or not she had some advice for all of those aspiring authors out there, and here is her wonderful answer (:
The Guest Post
Advice for Aspiring Writers
I’m actually super glad Celine asked me to write this one, because every author I know gets this question. A LOT! There are huge numbers of aspiring writers, and here’s the cool thing…a few years ago, you could have the most amazing book around, and if you couldn’t get an agent or publishing house to sit up and take interest, it wound up sitting on your hard-drive forever. And ever!
Today there is a revolution in indie writing. More and more authors are opting to self-publish their work, and they’re reaching more readers than ever. So say you maybe have the writing bug? What should you do?! I’ll totally give my advice FOR FREE, and you can read it or ignore it or disagree with it…but I’m sincerely glad you’re on your way. The world needs more awesome books!
- Finish your book.
- Finish your book. You might say, “Hey, Liz! That was rule number one!” It is. It’s so important, it could be one, two, and three. It could even be four and five. And maybe six.
Here’s the thing. I’m not saying you HAVE TO finish every single book you start. Take the book you’re passionate about. Sit down. WRITE IT. ALL. TO “THE END.”
Maybe you’re not totally happy with it. (It’s really normal to not be in love with it…in fact, you should be kind of stumped about some things.) Maybe it’s riddled with missing commas and flat characters and plot holes. ALL. TOTALLY. OKAY! Why? Because you’ve got a FINISHED BOOK to work on!
Some people moan and groan about edits. I LOVE edits! LOVE EM! I don’t want you guys reading my soggy, messy, mistake-riddled crap. I want you to see the book I buffed to a glossy shine. So let’s say you and I wrote a book and it’s DONE!
Well, it’s not done at all ;)!
- Get help! GET HELP!!!!
Thank Kali for the internet! The internet is where I met every single one of my amazing critique partners. One I met through a YA Writers’ club we were both in. One I met through the comments of a blog we both followed. One I met because we’d read each other’s books and loved them. All different ways, all different styles of critique partners, all amazing!
You may think, “No one understands my vision! This is my baby! My words are precious!” Get over it…right now! If you choose critique partners who love you and adore you, they will help you so much. They will tell you what they love about your writing and encourage you to do more. They will point out inconsistencies, mistakes, plot wholes, character weakness, funny wording, and bad dialogue. And then? You go back and fix it all!! WOOHOO!!
Choose wisely. Your book IS amazing (correction: your book WILL BE amazing!), and if you don’t give it to people who will love/cherish/beat-it-up-for-your-own-good-but-sweetly, it will NEVER BE ITS BEST!!
Doesn’t Rosie just make cleaning up whatev feel like futuristic fun?! Maybe writers of the future will have sassy cyborgs to help them edit!
- You don’t have to do this alone!!
There are so many people who can help you…and at first you might be poor and can’t afford it all. But get what you can for free/cheap/barter. I have a bunch of awesome friends who do read-throughs for typos. I have beta readers and crit partners who do their thing for my love and support. I would love to one day hire top notch editors, just so I can stop making my friends scream over my missing words and incorrect colon usage.
Cover artists range in price. Find one you like who’s in your price range, and see what you can do! Remember, if you’re indie, you can change your cover/price anytime, so there’s room to play around with any decision you make!
Contact book bloggers and ask them (politely) if they’d like to read a copy of your book (IF your book matches their submission guidelines AND they’re taking books on). Book bloggers are the gods and goddesses of the writing world. Authors swoon over them! And why not?! They are amazing people who READ BOOKS AND WRITE ABOUT THEM JUST BECAUSE THEY LOVE BOOKS!! WHAT?! That’s passion I can get behind!
You don’t need to have a big, shiny publishing deal to find a whole crew of people who will love and help you!
- Find other writer friends.
Do not make connections with authors and immediately tell them how much they’d love your book. Actually, one of the ways I made quite a few of my friends was by reading their books! I sent them notes telling them how much I loved their work (and I meant it!), and sometimes we really hit it off! Writing can be kind of lonely and confusing, It’s hard to put your work out there and have other people talk about what they don’t like or what they think you did badly. It’s nice to have a shoulder to cry on, especially if that shoulder GETS IT! My greatest happiness is the amazing writer friends I’ve met and grown close to on my journey!
True that, Calvin. When you find your Hobbes, hold on tight!
|This is funny! You can totally buy the shirt and wear it…but ironically. Because YOU WILL FINISH YOUR BOOK! You will. I know you can do it.|
|Cause it will have holes and problems and issues…but you’ll solve them! How? So glad you asked. See number three, directly below this terrible picture!|
Thank you so much for having me on and letting me share my tips, Celine!
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