Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pitfalls of Writing

You’ve finally finished a page-turning, sure to be one of the next best selling novels. It’s the best work you’ve created and you’re spirits are in the air, sailing high, waiting for that four letter word, ‘call.’ (It’s either a phone call or an email these days)

You haven’t as yet got a contract or an award, and you’re still getting polite rejections. When you reach this stage it can be one of the most frustrating stages of the writing process. You’ve spent hours putting your heart, full of emotion, into every page only to be faced by rejections.

Some say it’s time, place, what’s selling, or just sheer luck if an editor loves your story. I say it’s all of these, along with a reasonably well written manuscript, and a plot or storyline that people can relate to, a story that is marketable to a wide audience, a story that will make the publishers money.

At the beginning of your story you need to pull readers into those pages making them believe that our characters are real people, someone we could run into at the supermarket, (depending on what type of story you are writing, or someone that we see as a supermodel or star on the television) We need to capture the readers and editors minds and hearts and keep them mesmerized for the entire length of the story. It’s not easy, it’s sometimes hard, but it is obtainable. :)

If a manuscript is getting rejections, and you have had it critiqued take into consideration what those rejections say, take into consideration what your critique partners say. Does it need rewriting? Does a scene need to go completely or do the characters need more depth? These are things to be taken into consideration when you come to that blank wall of, Will I rewrite, will I tuck it away for six months or more and start another manuscript? Has it been rejected at least ten times? If so I suggest tucking it away and begin a fresh manuscript. I do.

I have re-written a full manuscript, changed scenes completely, and taken two or more scenes out, hence trying to improve on what I already have. During my journey I have taken onboard what editors have stated, noted what critique partners have said, and really looked at how my writing can be improved. I think with each manuscript I write I can see a change, a change I am proud of and let’s hope it leads to more contracts.

So don’t bash your head against a wall wondering why a manuscript hasn’t sold. Consider the above tips. It could save you a lot of disheartening setbacks. :)  And me too. :)

And if you haven't already seen this video clip, go and have a laugh. I do each time I watch it. :) 


Sally Clements said...

Great post, Suzanne. And very true. I think that the whole business of landing your manuscript on the desk of someone who really likes it is a bit of a turkey shoot, but if the eager writer does as you've suggested, and considers R's as a badge of bravery rather than a rejection, they will get there. I know my writing gets better the more I learn and do!

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Thanks for stopping by Sally.

I love your analogy of rejection, 'badge of bravery.'

Perhaps we all should start calling a rejection, A badge of bravery. :)

Guess what I've just received a badge of bravery. It does sound so much better.

Maria Zannini said...

It is frustrating. I'm always in awe of the writers who had been at 10, 20 or more years and still plugging away.

That's perseverance.