Are you interested in becoming a writer? Well, the bad news is that you’re about to enter an incredibly competitive industry. The good news is that there are ways to make things a little easier for you, ensure that you do stand out and who knows, maybe even get a publisher. The first step is making sure that you pick the right genre and subgenre for your book.
Hint: Don’t Write Contemporary Fantasy
Contemporary fantasy has become such a popular genre in the writing world that getting noticed with this type of writing has roughly the same odds of winning the lottery. If it’s not a one in a million chance, it’s fairly close. You can thank Harry Potter for this with many want to be authors hoping to become a billionaire with readers all over the world desperate to hear about their character’s exciting adventures. Instead, you should pick a genre that’s a little less toyed with or has died down in popularity in recent years. This rules out vampires, zombies, angels and demons and high-class Literotica.
Instead, try to aim for a different genre and make sure that you have that unique selling point that makes your book stand out from all the others.
Don’t Let The Book Write Itself
Some writers love to let their writing get away from them until it feels like the book is writing itself. If you do this, you’re going to have trouble keeping it a page turner. A lot of writers are famous for spending pages on in depth details with little to no payoff. Tolkien comes to mind here however you need a great deal of skill to pull off this type of writing. Instead, you should be writing with a plan and treat each chapter as its own story. It needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end. It needs to have a point for existing in the overall context of the story. If it doesn’t then too many subplots will way your novel down.
Oh, You’re A Writer, But What Have You Read?
If the answer is nothing, you need to change that. You need to make sure that you are reading as much and as often as possible, particularly, in your chosen genre. With free Kindle books, you can get a good feel for a wide range of different writing styles, tones, and genres. This is going to help you avoid the cliches, the overused plot lines and your writing being an accidental copy of a book that already exists. A writer that hasn’t read anything is a massive red light to literary agents and virtually anyone who they need to support them to succeed. It suggests that they won’t have much experience of the type of writing that sells and perhaps the type that doesn’t. It’s important that you don’t just read the popular authors either. You need to make sure that you’re reading indie writers and people that you have never heard of before or only have a readership of a few thousand people.
As well as this it is worth reading a variety of different genres. You may notice that some of the best writers don’t just fit into one category. It’s often a smorgasbord of different ideas with everything from Shakespeare to modern murder mysteries influencing it. If you want a modern example of this, be sure to read Game Of Thrones. The influences from different authors and writers from various decades are highly noticeable when you study the author’s style.
Join The Community
There was a time when authors would sit down in dark rooms by themselves for hours on end. They would write for hours, and when they were finished, they would scuttle off to the publisher and see what they thought of their latest creation. But the industry has of course changed, thanks mainly to the internet. Now, it doesn’t go to a publisher, it goes to a literary agent, and before that, it may hit the internet. This was certainly the case for Love, Rosie.
Her book was picked up and published after being posted on a site for criticism and commentary from fellow writers. This tends to be how things work these days. If you want your writing to gain attention, you might have a better chance posting it online rather than sending it directly to agents.
There are various outlets like this available, such as Wattpad. It’s a great way to share your writing and perhaps gain some fans. Social media has also become a useful tool for writers who want to get people interested in reading their work. The other benefit of course is that by sharing it you can get criticism that could ultimately help your writing and increase your chances of getting published.
Why Not Self Publish
You don’t need a publisher to make your writing a hit anymore. You can publish it yourself, and even financially, this provides certain benefits. You get a greater slice of the profits, although you will need to take on more responsibility for the quality of the book. You’ll have to check for spelling errors and ensure it’s grammatically correct or get someone else to complete the work for you. So, it can mean more effort is required from the author. Still, it’s a fantastic opportunity and one that new authors shouldn’t overlook anymore.
Although, you do want to be careful that you don’t publish something that isn’t to a high standard of quality. If you do, it can be difficult to get people interested in your writing again. Particularly, once the poor reviews start pouring in.
As you can see then, there are ways to make things easier for you as a new writer, hoping to be published. The best way to make sure your writing is kept to a high-quality standard is to finish it and then put it away for up to a year. Take it out and read it again. You’ll then be able to see whether your writing has improved over the past year or if it really is ready for publication.
Collaborative post contributed by Laura Peters.