Dramaquill's All Things Writing

December 31, 2014

Resolutions or Goals?

According to several online sources, it seems that approximately 40-45% of folks make new year’s resolutions.  Sadly, it’s also reported that approximately 60% fail at keeping them.

As a writer, do you make resolutions?

Several years back, the moderator of my online critique group challenged the members to submit their writing and writing related goals for the coming year.  As a member of the group, at first I struggled a little.  What was the difference between a goal and a resolution?

What I discovered was that my goals were quite specific and focused:

  • Revise the last five chapters of my novel and submit it to my critique group next month.
  • Draft a query letter and send it to (insert name of publisher here) the week my critique group goes over my chapters.
  • By the end of January, finish the second act of the play that my drama group will be performing in the spring.
  • Pick three agents from my list of potential agencies to query.

Everything was quite specific.

Had I made a list of resolutions I fear they would have been very similar to those made by many who fail to see them through:

  • Write more everyday
  • Read more books
  • Start or keep a journal
  • Pick your platform
  • Join a writing group

These are all very respectable but since they aren’t as specific (no deadlines or set amounts) that it’s much easier for them to fail.

So this year, are you going to make a list of resolutions or are you going to set some writing goals?

February 22, 2008

Agent or Publisher

New authors face the big “catch-22” scenerio when they begin subbing out their manuscripts.  Should they try to get an agent first, or go straight to the publishers?

What’s the catch-22?

Well known agents are most likely interested in established writers whose works (and even name) can guarantee good book sales.  Big name publishers don’t usually accept unagented authors.

So what’s a newbie to do?

Think small!

Although it would be nice to land your first book with Harper Collins or Penguin Putnam, the likelihood of that happening for an unknown author is slim.  (I’m sure we could all find case scenerios where it HAS happened, but it’s not the norm.)

The newbie author would do well to search through the guidelines in the Writer’s Markets books, available at most bookstores and also online at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.  There’s a general book filled with resources in every genre from magazines to books to plays.  The series also has separate volumes for poets, novelists, children’s writers and more.

Now zone in on some of the smaller publishing houses.  Yes, they accept and publish fewer books each year than the big guys, but they are also very open to working with newbie authors.  One of the writers in my online critique group pitched her MG novel to the editor at Bloomingtree Press and her first book will come out next year.

If you’re really set on getting an agent, one great way to make some connections is by going to writers’ conferences.  Participants can set up “face-to-face” meetings with editors and agents, often resulting in being asked to submit some of their work. 

The agent versus publisher dilemma has long plagued new authors and in the end, the decision is yours when it comes to which route you want to explore. 

Either way, make sure that your book is as polished and unique as it can be.  Don’t send drafts that haven’t been critiqued, proofed, written and rewritten until they contain only your very best writing. 

November 19, 2007

You never know who might be watching

I just heard a fascinating story from an online writer friend who has a blog that I’d love to share with my readers.

There are a ton of blog spots online and blogs on everything from soup to nuts.  So do you ever wonder why you bother?  Do you ever questions whether or not anyone even cares to read what you write?

Well this might make you all get inspired to keep up with your blog and to remember that anyone, and I do mean anyone, could be reading…

An agent, in the same genre as my writer friend’s unpublished novel, contacted her with a request to read the manuscript – all based on reading her blog.

So remember as you post comments, entries and interact in blogdom, you never know who might be out there checking you out.

Anyone interested in a suspense novel?????

Hey, it was worth a shot.

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