Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Break Into Fiction –Why Some Writers get THE CALL and Others Don't
Today we have double the pleasure. Dianna Love AND Mary Buckham are joining us, and they're offering some fun giveaways, so stayed tuned for more on that in a minute. First, I'd like to tell you a little about our guests.
Dianna is a Rita-Award winning author (WORTH EVERY RISK) who also owns her own business
(www.ArtProductionsInc.com) where she designs, fabricates and installs unusual outdoor marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. She's excited about her next project, PHANTOM IN THE NIGHT (Pocket/June 10, 2008) -- a romantic suspense collaboration with #1 NYT Best-selling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Mary is a popular national speaker and writing instructor who has two award-winning books to her credit (INVISIBLE RECRUIT is her latest). She is also one of the driving forces behind www.WriterUniv.com -- an on-line university by and for writers.
Their topic today? Breaking Into Fiction – Why Some Writers get THE CALL and Other's Don't!
As I mentioned, Dianna and Mary are offering door prizes! All you have to do is post to be entered in the drawing, both geared toward aspiring authors. The first is a drawing for a set of 5 BREAK INTO FICTION™ templates from the highly successful Break Into Fiction™ Template Teaching Series (www.BreakIntoFiction.com).
The second is a critique of your query or cover letter to get you one step closer to a dynamite proposal package.
And now for blog…
We often wonder what it takes for writers today to break out of the pack of hopefuls to become a published author. As relatively new authors themselves, Mary and Dianna delved into this mystery and are here to share what they’ve observed while working with hundreds of aspiring writers. And they want to hear your views on what you feel it takes to get published too.
Dianna—When I was first writing and researching what it took to sell my “to do” list started with the simplest thing – reading. Prior to selling, I sought books by new authors to see what was selling. That was how I read Mary's debut book MAKEOVER MISSION -- a fast romantic suspense -- before I ever met her in person. Finding a new author isn’t as hard as it might seem in a sea of books. The Romance Writers Report always lists new sales and most new authors already have websites – Google them. Open a book and see how many books that person has published. If there are three or less, go to their website and find out if they are newly published or just changing publishers. These new authors are a barometer of what is being published and how commercial fiction continues to CHANGE. As readers, we may not notice the changes, but as writers we have to keep up to speed on this business.
Take a look at books written fifteen, ten and even five years ago. Compare the way the books start, the pacing, the descriptions, introspection and so on. With each new generation of writers, editors and readers – this industry changes. Adapting to these changes while keeping your voice strong in each book is important and plays into why some writers get THE CALL and some don’t. The writer who is unwilling to adjust to the world around them and accept that what they were writing a couple years ago might no longer be marketable will be passed by those paying close attention.
Mary—After working with hundreds and hundreds of writers over the last few years whether in a classroom teaching environment, working one-on-one with synopsis or query help or through the Break Into Fiction™ Power Plotting weekends there are several elements that I’ve seen that sets some writers apart and gives them that extra edge needed to break out and into the ranks of the published. The first is ATTITUDE. There’s a mind set that is loud and clear dividing those who will be published from those who’d like to be published. The first group will do what it takes, regardless of the obstacles, work or time involved. When they receive rejections they mourn, but then get right back to sending out another query, another proposal, getting more feedback if needed as they continue to press forward. They do not start their conversations with phrases such as “But I have a job…young kids…school-age kids…aging parents…no support…little time…” You fill in the blanks. Those who will be published offer no excuses.
The second issue is the willingness to take feedback and apply it. Not to say that all feedback is spot on, but those who will be published will keep pushing themselves to learn from others and apply what they learn so that their work and their process of working continues to improve. The ones who will be published continue to work at the craft of writing, whether it’s taking online classes or conference workshops, or analyzing other writers or improving what they already do well. The ones who will be published never give up, because that is a guarantee of non-publication.
Dianna – Once you’ve decided you’re “in” for the long haul, you can never, ever, ever stop learning or trying to improve your writing. I hope to still be learning something new the day I draw my last breath. I attack every story with gusto, wanting to drive my characters and plot to a new level. Mary and I often read for each other and I love the way she never fails to surprise me with the way she thinks. I want books that catch me off guard so that’s what I’m after when I write. We both analyze everything we come into contact with – novels, movies, short stories, characters, writing craft and style. If one of us finds something interesting we share it and the other will dig a little deeper for a new nugget of information. We love the time we’ve spent with all the thousands of students we’ve worked with on their stories while sharing our Break Into Fiction™ Template Teaching Series, but realized there was no way to reach everyone. That’s what led to the nonfiction book we’ve written that is coming out in Summer 2009.
Mary – The great news for writers everywhere is they have the choices daily to commit and work toward their goal of publication or not. They have the POWER. Many times as unpublished writers we think all the power is in the hands of editors or agents, but it’s not. It’s in your hands and the day you decide that nothing will stop you from being published is the day you’ll never turn back. You’ll make different choices as to how you spend your time, who you will associate with, how you will invest in your career. The greatest power to break into fiction publication rests with you and we’re here today to let you know that.
Now what about you? What do you see as the greatest obstacles to publication and what sets those whom you know have published apart?