I'm new

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Cmofield
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Re: I'm new

Postby Cmofield » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:55 pm

I wish I would have started actively trying to become an author around eighteen, would have been further along by now. Feel free to ask plenty of questions. I always do and folks around here are more than generous with their time and experience to answer any and all your questions.

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wondo
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Re: I'm new

Postby wondo » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:22 pm

I wish I had started sooner, too, though I do feel that life experience helps you be a better writer.
As to getting your work "out there" the best thing you can do for fiction is to write the novel. Then write a synopsis. You may want to write two or three, a long, medium and short. Every agent is different and all have somewhat different guidelines. Some will want a short synopsis, some a longer one, some want none at all, just a sample of the novel. Some will want both. Agents will make you crazy with differing wants and needs. You just have to go to their websites and study their guidelines and what type of fiction they are looking for.
Then write a query letter and start submitting to agents. Don't query too many at first. Only four or five. I try to keep five active submissions all the time, but every writer does this a bit differently.
mammamaia mentioned duotropes, and that is a good place to start looking for agents and markets for short stories. Prepare for many rejections, and to retool your query letter several times. I am working on the twentieth rejection for my first novel. I am just getting ready to start querying another. That is another key - as soon as you finish one novel, begin another. Never quit. Just keep scribblin
Good luck to you

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scratch
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RE: I'm new

Postby scratch » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:28 pm

Welcome aboard, Sammi!

Float on down and pay us a visit in the sci-fi/fantasy forum.  Even if it's not what you like to read or write, it's a good group of supportive and talented folks.

One of our mods, Lexi, is garnering some success and maintains a blog that you might want to check out.


jmar2
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Re: I'm new

Postby jmar2 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:06 pm

About this "writing for money" concept... You mean someone will pay us for this stuff? Wait, wait. Tell me more.

Oh, and welcome.

John

sammig3
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Re: I'm new

Postby sammig3 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:34 pm

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and also for your advice. Right now it's tough to do anything big until I graduate from high school but I'm working little by little.

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wondo
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Re: I'm new

Postby wondo » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:38 pm

Be patient. I am sure James will chime in here with better advice than anyone. You are still a youngun with a lot of miles ahead of you.
take it one step at a time and you will get there

sammig3
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Re: I'm new

Postby sammig3 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:59 pm

If anyone is interested I just posted what I have SO FAR of a short story I'm writing on the 'YA Fiction' Forum. Please read, enjoy, and critique!

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Lone_Wolfe
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Re: I'm new

Postby Lone_Wolfe » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:37 am

Hi Sammi,

My first bit of advice regards the subject lines of forum topics. It usually helps if you put something there that's more specific to the issue concerning you. "I'm new" doesn't really tell anyone what you need advice with and whether or not they can help. Something like "Getting the Word Out" would at least hint at what you're wanting to do. Just sayin'.

The big advice I'm seeing these days on getting your name out there is: attend writer's conferences. I'm told it's your best chance at meeting editors and agents personally, and that these people tend to be more receptive to people they've met personally, especially if you had a chance to interest them in your work. I know at least one published author who got her name out this way. At seventeen years old, you might not have the luxury of travelling abroad to attend a conference, but check around and see if there's one that happens locally. You may be pleasantly surprised.

You could also delve into the current copy of Writer's Market and look for interesting writing contests and/or magazines that accept submissions for whatever you prefer to write. Learn how to write a query letter in case you need to query an editor. Then get busy writing and submitting.

Lastly, you could go ahead and write the novel, find an agent to help you sell it, and start writing your next novel. Repeat as needed.

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mammamaia
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Re: I'm new

Postby mammamaia » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:28 pm

forget about your 'name' and just get your work out there... get your short stories and poems published in reputable venues [paying ones, if possible]... write a novel, if you have one in you and do all it takes to get that published...

but be sure to have a good-paying 'day job' to keep you going while you do all that, since comparatively few writers make a living only on their writings...

best place to find venues for your work: www.duotrope.com

love and hugs, maia

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Re: I'm new

Postby DBergendorf » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:56 am

Study writing. Pick up books and see what makes them work. I mean, don't just enjoy them, look for structure. After all, writing isn't all intuitive. A lot of it is brick-and-mortar. (You'll find that a lot of the truly good works have a pace and meter that's not unlike poetry.)

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