Friday, January 25, 2019

Establishing Yourself before Your Book Is Published: Submitting, Platform, and More

Book journeys are divided into very distinct experiences:  the creation of the book and the selling of the manuscript.  Many writers struggle more with one than the other.  I worked with a private client who was aces in marketing; she already had a website for her book before she'd finished editing it.  Another had a background in graphic design and was all about the book's beautiful appearance--we mostly worked together on the writing, which came harder to him.  You may cringe at the thought of promoting yourself (selling your manuscript involves selling yourself too!) or you may be all over it.  

Friday, January 18, 2019

Location in Your Story: The Importance of the Inner and Outer "Container"

Realtors know that location is everything in buying or selling property.  Try to sell a house that's near a busy highway or high tension wires, and you'll learn this.  In story, location is also really important--I wouldn't say it's everything to a story, but it's as vital as good characters and strong plot.

Unfortunately, it's the aspect of writing that many writers tack on or ignore altogether.  

One of my students, Margaret, was working on her memoir about growing up in post-World-War-II Mississippi. The storyboard worked well: plot points were good and you could track the dilemma of her story. So Margaret confidently took a few pages to her writing group for review.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Revision Checklist: When You're Ready to Revise, What to Focus on First

If you have any love for the refining and shaping process of making a book, revision can be much anticipated.  I'm not talking about the early tweaking of individual chapters, which can result in rewriting your opening chapter 1 so many times, you get sick of the book and never write chapter 2.  (I've seen this so many times, and it's a sad thing.) Real revision, in my mind, is not that level of line editing but a whole-book reshaping, a re-visioning of the book's purpose, and an attempt to get out of the writer's chair and into the reader's.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Fantasies of the Writing Lifestyle: How to Get Real about What to Expect

A colleague sent me two fascinating articles recently about the reasonable and unreasonable expectations we writers have of the writing life.

The first is a funny-sad yet informative article by writers Rosalie Knecht from Lit Hub (link here) about the colorful fantasy some have of the writing life.