Sunday, February 26, 2012

Writers Round Table

What is the best writing advice you ever received?
Jannine Gallant This wasn’t advice, but something I learned that I hope will benefit others. Quite a few years ago, I went shopping online for an agent, sending out dozens of query letters. After being ignored or rejected too many times to count, I was thrilled to receive acceptance from a company who only wanted to be reimbursed for the cost of copying and mailing my manuscript to publishers. The amount they were asking for was reasonable, so I sent them off a check and waited for the contract offers to start pouring in! After a year and a half (with intermittent contact saying these things take time) I discovered the whole company was a huge scam. Sure I lost money, but I also lost valuable time. Before you sign with anyone (agent or publisher), make sure you check them out thoroughly. An hour or two of your time could save you a lot of heartache. Predators and Editors is a great site to start your search.
Find Jannine Gallant here:
C.R. Moss Plant butt in chair and write every day. Turn off that internal editor and just write.Granted, sometimes I think this bit of advice is easier said than done—life gets in the way, the editing muse won’t shut up—but still, the advice is sound if one wants to be a successful writer.
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Mariposa Cruz A friend who wanted to get me involved in a home-based business venture lent me one of his empowerment tapes in hopes of recruiting me. The speaker emphasized the key to success was treating the venture like a job not a hobby. Show up every day, not dabble when you feel like it. It dawned on me Hey that could apply to writing! I decided to forego my friend’s marvelous opportunity. Instead I organized my submission files and added writing-related projects to my calendar. By taking a business-like approach, I accomplished more with my writing and still had fun.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

In the Town I Love

Candace Bushnell did it with New York City in One Fifth Avenue. Pat Conroy did it with Charleston in South of Broad. Both novels are love letters to their respective cities. Though extremely different in style, both authors convey a sense of place so strong that the setting becomes another character. Their readers can wander the streets like a native even if they never set foot within the city limits.

I fell in love with my adopted hometown while listening to a cowboy ballad under an Old West sunset. As the final guitar chords faded, this lifelong California girl realized Reno could also be home.

How can you make readers fall in love with your beloved places?