Wednesday, August 22, 2012
8 Ways To Become A Better Writer
I love Dean Wesley Smith's articles, especially his advice to writers. Here's Dean's most recent advice to new authors, paraphrased.
1) Never stop writing, and never stop having fun.
2) Don't limit yourself: try both indie and traditional publishing.
3) You don't need an agent. Send your manuscript directly to the editor, even if the editor says she doesn't accept unagented material.
4) Hire an IP lawyer if you receive an offer from a publisher. An IP lawyer can explain the contract to you, tell you if there are any 'gottya' clauses, and help you negotiate with the publisher.
5) Be professional. When you publish your own work yourself, make sure you're dong a professional job. (Indie Writers: 10 Things Not To Do)
6) Follow Heinlein's Rules of Writing. Figure out ways to give yourself more time to write. (How To Be A Writer)
7) Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about writing and publishing. This takes time. Reading the following blogs helps:
- A Newbie's Guide to Publishing
- Dean Wesley Smith
- Kris Rusch
- The Passive Voice Blog
- Mystery Writing Is Murder (Elizabeth Craig also tweets links to great articles on writing)
8) Don't be discouraged. For most writers it will take years to learn how to be a good storyteller. Don't be impatient and don't ever give up.
To Dean's list I'd add this: Don't be shy about experimenting. If you are indie published and one of your titles isn't selling as much as you'd like--or even if it is!--experiment with different covers, different prices, different marketing strategies, but all the while keeping in mind that the best way to market your work is to publish a new book.
Other articles you might like:
- Pixar: 22 Ways To Tell A Great Story
- Penelope Trunk Discusses Time Management
- Fifty Shades of Grey - Oh My!
Photo credit: Ben Fredericson