Mandy's Musings

Ramblings of romance author Madeline Baker/Amanda Ashley

Friday, July 08, 2005

So You Want to be a Writer......

So, you’re thinking about writing a novel. Well, believe me, it ain’t as easy as it looks! The writing part is fun, the business part ain’t much! But then, there are so many fun things along the way - like seeing the cover for the first time. That’s always been a high for me. Fortunately, I’ve loved most of them, tolerated a few, and really only disliked one. I have, indeed, been blessed by the cover fairy!

There’s no right way to write. Some authors make detailed outlines. They do long questionnaires, filling in every little detail of their characters’ lives - where they were born, where they went to school, their likes and dislikes, their horoscope, etc.

Others, like me, just sit down and start writing. I often don’t have names for my characters, never a title for the book until it’s written. Most often, a line or a thought pops into my head and I type it onto the computer screen and see where it goes. Sometimes it turns into a book. Sometimes it just sits there. Sometimes for years.

Some writers have a set goal each day. A certain number of words or pages. Some sit in front of the computer whether they feel like writing or not.

I write all through the day, a little here, a little there. When I need a break, I get up and do my laundry or go shopping or read my email. I try to write a minimum of a thousand words a day, which really isn’t very much.

Some writers swear by critique groups, some avoid them like the plague. I love mine, plus there’s nothing quite like reading your work out loud to hear how the dialogue really sounds and find errors you don’t notice when you’re reading it on the computer.

Most published authors advise new ones to just write the book. Don't edit as you go along. Don't polish each page. Don't worry about punctuation and spelling. Just write the book, then go back and do all that other stuff. As every author knows, you can edit a book to death. Not only that, but every time you read your work, you'll want to change something, I guarantee it.

Be advised that writing is a waiting game. You send in a query letter. And you wait. You send in the requested manuscript. And you wait. They buy the book. And you wait - for a contract, for an advance, for a pub date, for line edits, for galley proofs, for cover proofs and, finally, to see your book on the shelf.

There’s little in life more exciting than finally seeing your book on a shelf. For me, it’s a thrill that has never diminished. It was exciting when I saw my first book in a store. It’s exciting 50 books later.

So, is it worth it? YOU BET!



Blogger jon said...

links for astrology forecast info is so cheesy but we were looking at it anyway...why i dont know. I guess it is fun to play around online. Anyway, I saw your links for astrology forecast posts and though it was cool...Alright, well...have a great night, I am back to links for astrology forecast surfing LOL : )


10:07 PM  
Blogger natalie said...

I have a question, Mandy. When they ask you for you manuscript, should you copyright it before you send it in? Also,are they picky when it comes to font? Thank you so much for your input!

3:43 AM  

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