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Question for published authors...

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 10:30 am
by Terra
I was wondering what would be your number one piece of advice for aspiring writers trying to become a published author, like me. :D


Re: Question for published authors...

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:07 pm
by pls
Don't quit.

Re: Question for published authors...

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:37 pm
by wdarcy
Paul's advice is right on. I believe it was Winston Churchill who said: "Never, never, never, never ever give up!" :)

If James A. Ritchie were still around, I'm sure he would point you to Heinlein's Rules for Writers. However, as he seems to have deserted us, I will do the honors.

Heinlein's rules are almost absurdly simple, but if you follow all five, you will be a successful published author. If you omit even one, you won't be. If memory serves, here they are:

1. You must write.

2. You must finish what you write.

3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial command.

4. You must submit your work.

5. You must continue to submit your work until it is accepted.


Re: Question for published authors...

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 4:46 pm
by Terra
Thank you to both of you gentleman. :)

I'll share a secret with you...

I felt like I was on a diving team and it was my turn. I was atop the 10 meter diving platform and questioning myself as to why I was attempting this being afraid of heights. I told myself to just shut up and do it. My heart was beating so hard, I thought it was going to crash through my chest with the next beat. My hands were soaking wet although I hadn't touched the water yet. My stomach felt as though it were harboring a butterfly house. I slowly blew out a breath to relieve the pent up stress threatening to freeze my body. I then took in a deep breath and held it as I took the plunge...

That was what it felt like to me when I did it.

Did what already, you ask.

I queried 5 agents today. I dove in and got my feet wet anyway, lol! It was scary to me, but at least I did it.

Is it always that scary or does it get better as you go along?


Re: Question for published authors...

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 6:00 pm
by wdarcy
Yes, it does get better, Terra. Just accept the fact that you will get rejections, that it's nothing personal, and that it's all part of the game. Also remember that the agents are not rejecting you or your book, but your query letter.

But wow, your writing is good! If your book contains the same level of writing contained in this post, I would think agents would jump at it.

Good luck!


Re: Question for published authors...

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 6:46 pm
by Terra
Wow! Thank you so much for that that compliment on my writing, Warren. I most certainly wasn't expecting that. What a pleasant surprise.

As far as having that thick skin? Yes, I've been mentally gearing up for rejection and do realize it is part of the process. I understand that I won't be a good fit for every agent or agency and it is extremely rare for someone to get accepted or signed right away.

As far as the same type of writing in my books, I'm afraid not simply because they are children's books although I do remember feeling that way the first time I climbed up the big silver slide when I was a child. I most certainly wouldn't have described it that way though. ;)

Here is an excerpt from my first book of the Little Jenna Jafferty series...

...When Jenna and Daddy reached the lake, Daddy told Jenna to stay on the big board leading to the dock. He added that if she stepped off, she would be in the black muck and Daddy would get in trouble with Mom for Jenna’s shoes and socks getting ruined. Jenna loved her daddy so much that she didn’t want Daddy to get in trouble. So she carefully walked on the wooden board, being cautious not step off into the black muck. Tada! She did it! She was on the dock now.

Daddy set his fishing pole and big tackle box on the dock and began unloading the things he would need from it. He took out a carton of worms, and packages of hooks, sinkers, and a red and white bobber. The bobber reminded Jenna of a toy ball. But the thing Jenna was most curious about was the carton of worms.

Daddy picked up his fishing pole and began to get everything ready while telling Jenna what each piece was for. Jenna watched and half listened to Daddy because she couldn’t stop thinking about that carton sitting there with worms in it. Finally Daddy took the lid off of the carton, set it down on the dock and then reached in and pulled out a worm. He attached it to the hook on the line of the pole and dropped it into the water.

“Okay Jenna”, Daddy said while grinning at her, “This is where we watch the bobber and wait for it to be pulled under by a fish getting breakfast”. Jenna watched that bobber bobbing in the rippling waves for a while and found it to be quite boring. She was more interested in those squiggly, wiggly worms twisting around in that container and wanted to explore those.

Jenna looked at Daddy and saw that he was closely eyeing his bobber. So she reached for that carton and began to work the lid off, never taking her eyes off Daddy. When she got the top off, she put her hand in the carton and felt the worms weave in between and around her fingers. “Wow, what a strange feeling. It kind of tickles a little.” Jenna thought to herself. She wondered what just one worm would look like and untangled one and pulled it from the container. She held it up to her face for a closer look, but that doggone slippery thing wriggled right out of her fingers and landed in the water with a PLOP!

Jenna fretted as she thought, “Oh, oh! Daddy is going to be mad at me for losing one of his worms”. She glanced up and saw him still staring keenly at that red and white bobber. Jenna sprang into action and jumped right off that dock to get it back. Daddy heard a big SPLASH!

He quickly turned and saw Jenna underwater swimming just like a frog. She was kicking her legs out and in, and out again. Daddy saw her thick hair dancing all around her under the water. “No problem.” Daddy thought to himself. He quickly dropped his fishing pole, got down on his knees, reached in, and pulled Jenna up by her thick head of hair...

That's just a sample of the type of writing I'm doing for this series. It's not quite the same. ;)