Tag Archives: editing

Impact Your Career: 7 Free-to-Enter Writing Competitions

I love learning about an author’s journey from first word to published book. Wooing an agent and publisher in this industry can be grueling; slush piles grow and opportunities to surprise and intrigue are often slim. Winning a respected national writing competition can propel your manuscript into the right hands, or add a compelling edge to your already superb query.

If you’re frequently or widely entering competitions, fees can add up quickly. Jane Friedman, author of the blog There are No Rules, and  kindly known as “the most progressive media professional you’ll ever meet,” says “there are a handful of national writing competitions—totally free to enter—that can make a huge impact on your writing career.” Here are seven.

Amazon Novel Breakthrough Award
There are two categories: general fiction and young adult. Unpublished OR self-published work is allowed. Entrants must provide a full manuscript, an excerpt from the beginning of the novel, and a novel pitch (plus some other info). The winner receives a publishing contract with Penguin.

Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel
Manuscripts must be between 100-224 typewritten pages. Manuscripts entered in this contest may not be under consideration with another publisher or an agent. The winner gets a publishing contract with Delacorte.

Real Simple Life Lessons Essay Contest
This popular newsstand magazine runs a contest every year looking for a personal essay by a new voice. Max of 1,500 words. The winning piece appears in Real Simple.

First Crime Novel Competition (Minotaur)
Open to any author who has not published a novel (plus self-published authors, though you may not submit your self-published work). Length should be about 60,000 words or at least 220 typewritten pages. The winner gets a publishing contract with Minotaur.

Writers of the Future Contest
All types of fantasy and science fiction work are eligible for this contest founded by L. Ron Hubbard. To be eligible, entries must be works of prose, up to 17,000 words in length. The contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or more than three short stories, in any medium. Winners receive cash prizes.

Harlequin New Voices
Harlequin occasionally runs competitions; the deadline for their next competition is tomorrow! Entries are accepted across 6 different romance subgenres. The first stage of submission requires your first chapter only; subsequent stages require more material.

Iowa Short Fiction Award
The manuscript must be a collection of short stories, at least 150 typewritten pages in length. Any unpublished fiction writer is eligible to enter. Previously entered manuscripts that have been revised may be resubmitted. Writers are still eligible if they have published poetry or self-published a work in a small print run. The winner is published by the University of Iowa Press.

Are there any other contests that don’t require your cash to enter that you know about and recommend?

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Filed under Best Writer Tips, Fiction Novel Writing, For the love of writing, Guest posts

Act One: 10 Essential Elements

I’m a little addicted to the The Script Lab. As I worry over and scrutinize my fiction novel, tweets about screen-writing from @TheScriptLab interject with lucid, helpful, applicable ideas. My blog is for creatives of all stripes, and ideas for good writing can come from any genre. I really like this list of elements; it reminds me of both my responsibility to me reader and also makes a handy checklist to ensure all the key pieces are visible and organized before pitching a potential agent with my first chapter.

Let’s see what we can learn about the ten essential elements of Act One today from the informative folks over at The Script Lab:

The first act is very simply: the beginning of your story.
Usually the story begins at the moment when the first character faces the difficulty that he or she has to solve, and it better be a clear difficulty, and he better realize that he must do something. Dramatic form means action, and action brings tension. So the awareness of the tension, and the clarification of what the nature of your tension is, helps to build the whole manuscript.
ACT ONE: ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS
Tone.  Very quickly you want to establish the tone: is it serious, a comedy, a fantasy, a spoof? Let people know right away that it is okay to laugh, to cry, to dream, etc.
Theme. You will also want to establish the theme – what message are you trying to convey: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, “The underdog triumphs”, “Good versus evil”, etc.
World of the story. As the story begins, you will introduce the world of the story – where does it take place? What is different and interesting to this world? What are the rules of this place?
Character introductions. At the same time, you will introduce the principle characters to the audience. Be specific and original. Let us know their age, how they dress, walk, talk. Give them a scene in which they stand out from the others. Let the audience know these people are special.
Protagonist weakness. The main character’s weakness(s) must be clear so that the later obstacles can attack that weakness in the second act.
Point of attack. The point of attack (or inciting incident) is the moment when the dramatic conflict announces itself. It’s the first perception of the predicament to come, and usually, a moment that is very visual.
Main tension. This predicament sets up the main tension around which the story will be built: Will they fall in love? Will they rob the bank? Will they escape alive? Will they do all three?
The stakes. The stakes have to be clear in order to show the audience how and why this tension is important to them, or – more importantly – what will happen if the character does not solve his/her problem. It should be huge – a matter of life and death.
Objective. A character’s objective or goal is what drives him. This should be very specific, very clear. How badly does he/she want something and what are the lengths he/she is willing to go to get it.
Lock-in. The first act concludes once the main character is locked into the predicament, propelling him/her forward on a new quest trying to accomplish a specific goal. Now the reader/audience knows the character, the predicament, and the objective, so everything else is about the future.

Usually the story really begins at the moment when the first character faces the difficulty that he or she has to solve, and it better be a clear difficulty, and he better realize that he must do something. Dramatic form means action, and action brings tension. So the awareness of the tension, and the clarification of what the nature of your tension is, helps to build the whole script.

Follow me on Twitter @RebeccaLacko

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Seth Godin’s advice for authors’ About pages

When someone comes to your site for the first time, they’re likely to hit “about” or “bio,” says author and marketing genius Seth Godin.  Why? “Because they want a human, a story and reassurance,” according to his straight-from-the-hip article, Five rules for your About page. (Mine is called “Meet Rebecca Lacko”; it’s right here.)

Here are Godin’s helpful guidelines (okay, they’re actually imperatives):

1. Don’t use meaningless jargon:

... is a recognized provider of result-based online and mobile advertising solutions. Dedicated to complete value chain optimization and maximization of ROI for its clients, … is committed to the ongoing mastery of the latest online platforms – and to providing continuously enhanced aggregation and optimization options.

2. Don’t use a stock photo of someone who isn’t you (if there is a stock photo of you, congratulations). The more photos of you and your team, the better.Handshakes

3. Make it easy to contact you. Don’t give a contact address or number that doesn’t work.

4. Be human. Write like you talk and put your name on it. Tell a story, a true one, one that resonates.

5. Use third party comments and testimonials to establish credibility. Use a lot of them. Make sure they’re both interesting and true.

Seth Godin has written a dozen worldwide bestsellers that have been translated into more than thirty languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. Talk to him at Seth@SethGodin.com.

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5 Key Questions Every Book Proposal Must Answer

The book proposal may require as much time to prepare as your first draft of your manuscript. Or perhaps your fifth. While there are several schools of thought on what agents specifically look for in an effective book proposal, Gary Smailes, the author of several history books for children including the Brave Scots and Modern Hero series, has identified The 5 Questions Every Book Proposal Must Answer.

Smailes is quick to remind writers that “the agent or publisher will be assessing you, your book and your concept for commercial viability,” in order to determine if it to sell enough copies to actually make a profit.

“The job of a good book proposal,” says Smailes, “is to convince the agent or publisher that your book is a solid business investment, as well as a well written work of literature.” Here are Gary Smailes’ tips for ensuring your book proposal has answered five key questions:

1. What is your book’s genre?

The book industry is divided along the lines of genre. Publishers and imprints collect expertise in editing, production, sales and marketing all based on a particular genre. After all, it takes a completely different skillset to sell cook books, as opposed to romance novels. In turn, agents look to gain knowledge and trust of these publishers. This means agents too become genre experts. An agent with in-depth knowledge of the cook book market, its publishers and internal editors, is very unlikely to have the same insider knowledge of the romance genre.

As a writer looking to have their book published, it is essential that you pin point the correct genre. Only once you know your genre, can you then go on to find a suitable agent or publisher with expertise in that genre.

One good method of identifying your genre is to look at competitor titles. If you look for books that are like your book, there is a pretty good chance that these will be in the same genre. My advice would be to go into your local book shop and find just one book that you are sure readers of your book would also enjoy. Then, identify two or three other titles that are come under the same genre.

The list of competitor titles that you produce will allow you to do two things. The first is to correctly identify the genre of your book. Using Amazon as a guide, you should be able to do this. The second is that the competitor titles will allow you to demonstrate to any potential publisher or agent that you have knowledge of your given genre. When pitching your book, your list of competitor titles will encourage the agent or publisher that they are dealing with a book that they can sell. The agent/publisher will have an intimate knowledge of the genre, if you are listing titles they know well, then there is a pretty good chance that your book will be a fit for their list.

2. Who would read your book?

Readership is an important aspect of your pitch and is closely related to your genre. My suggestion is for writers to develop the concept of the ideal reader. This is a fictional person who represents your target audience. You need to be able to explain the age of your ideal reader, their buying habits, the kinds of books they like, the lifestyle they lead and the reasons they will buy and read your book. Once you have this person in your head, it becomes easier to paint a picture to potential agents and publishers of whom will be your target reader.

3. Is the book written, if so how long is it?

In regard to fiction books, submitting a proposal for a completed book is better than submitting a proposal for a partially written book, or an idea. Think about it, when submitting a partial the best response you will realistically receive is a request for the full book. This will send you into a tail spin of panic as you rush to finish, simply because an agent has shown a glimmer of interest (an agent request for a full manuscript, is a long, long, long, long way from an offer of representation). Before you submit a partial, ask yourself why? Are you simply looking for someone to like your book? Are you looking for validation? If so, then the book submission route is not the best way to discover if your partially written book has commercial potential.

Assuming you have completed your book, the agent/publisher will be interested in knowing the book’s word count. There is no exact science here, but agents and publishers are looking to check whether your work is not too long or short. Look at your competitor list, the word count of these books should be roughly similar to your own. If your book is too short, then consider expanding before submission. If it is too long, then consider removing sections, or even splitting it into two or three separate books. Either way very long or very short books present agents/publishers with a problem.

4. What aspects of your biography may provide an interesting marketing angle?

Your book proposal should establish that your book will fit into the agents/publisher’s area of interest, show that you understand the marketplace and clearly identify the readership of your book. However, there is still one important aspect – YOU. When it comes to marketing your book, the publisher will be looking at you as a writer, and trying to determine if any aspect of your life can be used to leverage the book. If you are a skateboarding granny or a skydiving vicar, then great. But even us mundane, normal people will have an angle to offer. Maybe you have a huge online presence, or an interesting childhood or even a record number of rejections. There will be something hidden away that can be packaged to make you a more interesting prospect as a writer.

The key to understanding what to include in your biography is not to see it as an interview, but an opportunity. The agent/publisher is not looking at your credentials as a writer (though these play a part) they are looking at you as a whole and what you can bring to the marketing party. So when writing your biography, don’t be afraid to share.

5. Are there any unusual issues that are worthy of mention?

Agents and publishers hate surprises! If your book comes with baggage, then it is better to get it out in the open as early as possible. If you need illustrations or photographs, then include this in the pitch. Translations costs money, so do fancy covers. Color photos are more expensive than black and white. Oversized books bring their own problems and if the book has appeared as a self-published project the agent/publisher needs to know. The general rule is that if it is going to cost money then mention it up front.

One aspect that worries writers, agents and publishers alike is copyright. It is essential that you have a clear copyright position established prior to pitching. One special word of advice here comes in regards to songs. The use of song lyrics in a book can be a potential stumbling block for any proposal. Getting permission for using song lyrics can be expensive and time consuming. My advice is to simply avoid using lyrics at all costs.

@RebeccaLacko’s note: This last item causes me tremendous strain. If you’ve read my book pitch, song lyrics play a significant role in my story. I’ve already broken one of Smailes’ rules: I pitched my fiction book idea and received requests for three chapters and a synopsis. It sent me into exactly the tailspin Smailes described, but it also validated to me that I had a commercially viable story. Hmmm.

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“How I Evaluate Full Manuscripts” (Porn for aspiring authors)

You’ve finished your manuscript. You took an online class about preparing the perfect query and pitch for your beloved manuscript, the result of countless months and/or years of laborious love. You spent hours online researching the perfect agent–that one talented and dynamic marketing genius who will sincerely get you, love your book and will work tirelessly until it sits next to the checkout at the bo0kstore in the airport, among its friends (other New York Times bestsellers that just don’t seem to stop selling.) At last, an editor requests the entire manuscript! Forget sleeping; do not rest until you receive a phone meeting. But what is this agent thinking while he or she pores over each and  every word?

Here, Mary Kole, an associate agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency tells all in her blog post, “How I Evaluate Full Manuscripts” on www.kidlit.com. It’s a fantasy come true that she should share all these juicy details. In Kole’s words:

“This past year, I’ve built up a great client list and sold some great books. And I want nothing but more of the same for my next year, my next five years, my next ten years in the business. And as publishers have tightened lists and as my own experience with editors and published books and writing and marketing grows, my standards have risen even higher. It’s more difficult to catch my eye now, as I’ve seen more, and, more importantly, gotten sick everything that’s tired and flat and been done hundreds of times before. There’s still, of course, room on my list. Lots of it. But those slots are harder to grab, and those worthy writers are harder to win over, as they tend to have lots of offers. I find that, if a project has me really excited, more often than not, a handful of other agents are also about to offer or already offering on it.

So now that I’m entering my second year as an agent, I’m finding myself being more exclusive about what I want to take on, but I’m also finding myself in more competitive situations with bigger agents.

First, a query letter catches my eye. Because I want to be completely sure of my judgment and rule out chances of slush psychosis, I put it in my Maybe Pile. Since this is a fantasy scenario, let’s just say I dutifully return to my Maybe Pile the very next day (instead of a week later, after I realize that life has gotten away from me) and request those manuscripts that still sound good. For any batch of slush, I end up requesting one or two manuscripts at a time.

Once I get the manuscript from an author, I put it in my queue. At any point in time, I may have between two and ten full requests in line. And I get to them depending on how much time I have and in order of request date. It usually takes me two weeks to a month to respond to a full (unless, of course, the writer has other offers or I’m very interested in something, right after the query, and need to read immediately…and this doesn’t happen that often, even with full requests).

The other thing I do when I get a full request in is I send it to my readers. Yes, I have readers. ABLit agents work with qualified young publishing enthusiasts on full manuscripts and sometimes client manuscripts. Since we’re scattered all over the country, my colleagues and I have our own networks of readers, although there are some readers that everyone at the agency works with.

I currently have several readers and I also work with one of our agency readers. I have a very rigorous reader screening process and choose my readers very carefully. I don’t always agree with them, but value their feedback. They provide a valuable service to me, as they fill in my blind spots and make sure I’m not missing anything — good or bad — about a manuscript. (I started out as a reader for ABLit, so I love teaching and working with my readers, it’s a great learning experience for both of us.)

So anyway. I send the full request to all my readers and read it myself, as well. If the manuscript really catches my eye on a read, or if a reader highly recommends something that I haven’t gotten to yet, I kick the submission into high gear. When I’m interested, I read quickly.

Most submissions, unfortunately, tend to fall apart by page 50 — the first benchmark, when I tell my readers to check their guts and see if they still want to keep reading. If I can put a full request down by page 50, I will not pick it back up again. The issue is usually voice, character, pacing, or plotting. (The voice is flat, the character is one-dimensional, the story crawls along, and we haven’t gotten into the main plot/action of the manuscript yet.) If my readers chime in and say that they put it down as well, it’s a decline. (My readers don’t talk to each other about submissions, nor do I let my readers decide for me…it’s not rejection or offer by consensus…but because I have such good readers, I tend to agree on manuscripts with at least one of them and really do take their feedback into consideration. Still, the final decision is mine.)

If a submission is really good, a “kick it into high gear” submission, a “finished it in one sitting submission,” and I think it is especially commercial or might attract other agent attention, I will ask that all my readers finish it and send me a reader’s report. I will also take notes on the manuscript and pick out the most choice editorial ideas to share with the author. If I finish a manuscript and can’t stop thinking about it, if I bolt awake in the middle of the night with editorial ideas for it, if I start checking my calendar for a time to get the writer on the phone, I know I have a very strong candidate for an offer of representation. I usually give myself a few days to make sure the project is still an I-can’t-live-without-it submission. If I’m still obsessed with it, I let the writer know and then we schedule a call.

Still, not all of my offers end in the writer signing up. And all of the manuscripts I take on do go through revision, based on my editorial notes from my first read and from the repeat read that I always do after I take someone on. And yes, I have read good manuscripts that were getting lots of offers but that I thought needed work, and I’ve passed on them rather than competing for them.

But high as my standards are and tough as my editorial vision is, I do love the whole process of reading a potential client’s manuscript — from the exciting request to the potential treasure trove of the full to the rare manuscripts that sparks my imagination. And I’m definitely looking for more of this magic, and more successful offers. Keep those submissions coming!

What is agent Mary Kole looking for? “A really edgy, dark YA novel with a real voice to match…no edgy for edginess’ sake and no voices that are sarcastic just because, please. Ghosts, murders, mystery. Ghosts, ghosts, ghosts. Did I mention ghosts? I like them less old-fashioned-spook and more creepy-under-your-skin. A MG or YA with any of these 3 elements would be absolutely great!

If you want to find out more about Mary Kole as an agent, please check out her bio on the Andrea Brown Literary Agency website by clicking here.

Connect with Mary on Facebook and Twitter.

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7 tips for aspiring children’s writers from author Audrey Vernick

For many years, New Jersey children’s author Audrey Vernick wrote literary short fiction, where a big success is “selling” your story to a literary magazine that pays you with free copies of the magazine. Honored twice by the New Jersey State Council of the Arts with its prestigious fiction fellowship, Audrey has published seven children’s books and now gets to hang out with cool and funny kids at readings. Good call.

Vernick has figured a few things out along the way. “I also continue to make the same mistakes over and over,” she quips.

1. Apply for fellowships and grants. I always thought fellowships were for other people, like second homes and well, clean homes. Until I applied for a fiction fellowship and actually got it. That fellowship, more than any single other milestone, made me feel like a writer. Do not think a fellowship or grant is beyond you. I’ve also served as a juror for an arts foundation, evaluating manuscripts, and trust me: your work can definitely stand up to the rest.

2. Find good readers for your work. I always have a few people read my work before I send it to my agent. I’ve been lucky to meet people along the way who get what I’m trying to do and point out when I might be missing the mark. Time and experience have taught me to gratefully accept the suggestions that work for me and cast aside those that don’t. This did not come easily, naturally, or quickly. See #3.

3. Do not let critiques hurt you. I learned this with tears and pain and possibly a voodoo doll or two. Maybe you can do better. My first workshop in graduate school nearly killed me. I’m not sure there’s a way to protect yourself from that pain. If you’re writing honestly and earnestly and someone is nasty, it can hurt. As I’ve gotten older and nastier myself, however, I’ve gotten better at dealing with it. Remember that this whole business is subjective. Find the readers who get you; try to disregard the rest.

4. Don’t underestimate luck. I think it’s vitally important to continuously work at craft, to improve, to revise with vigor. But on the publication side of things, I can’t get over the amount of luck one needs. Maybe it’s a combination of luck and timing. This year’s hottest trend might have been rejected two years ago as too out there. I advise having good luck, not bad.

5. Obsession doesn’t help. I’m not completely sure this is true, as I think I’ve willed some things into being. But I do know that checking one’s email more than three times a minute is not healthy and won’t make an agent respond faster. And I learned this month that there’s a correlation between descending into pure madness and watching your Amazon ranking. That said, I think obsession is, by definition, kind of hard to stop. So take note of it, make fun of yourself, and try to work yourself down to checking your email twice a minute.

6. Keep learning. Whenever I can, which isn’t that often, I take a writing class. I always learn something. I seek out classes taught by writers I admire. I also learn by reading, but I assume all writers are voracious readers.

7. Everyone wants to write a picture book. I don’t think I have yet met a person who hasn’t told me about the picture book he is going to write. Or the one she wrote that’s going to be published as soon as she sends it out. It makes sense. There are so many bad picture books, and invariably, those are the ones our children want to hear over and over. It’s reasonable to conclude that if you write one that’s not bad, it will be published. But I’m not sure it works that way. Still, I smile and wish them luck. And you, too.

Have you written a children’s book manuscript? Submit your story to MeeGenius!

As a writer, Audrey Vernick shares her books and stories with readers and aspiring writers of all ages. “I have spoken to small and large groups at elementary schools, public libraries, book fairs, and writers’ conferences, and have conducted numerous writing workshops.”

Vernick’s presentations touch on New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania Core Curriculum Content Standards, including comprehension skills and students’ response to text. In particular, I focus on drawing conclusions, genre, retelling, and plot/character development.

Email audrey@audreyvernick.com for information on rates and availability.

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Television as Teacher: 5 things we can learn from TV writers and their characters

A few weeks ago I attended the Writers Faire at UCLA. There were over 45 seminars on the craft of writing, presented by a humbling variety of the nation’s finest authors, poets and screenwriters—who just happen to teach at UCLA. (I’m salivating as I write this. I live just a few hours south–too far to attend classes in person, yet close enough to be heart-broken by this geographic tragedy. However, I will take advantage of the faculty’s 1-day and 4-day programs… and possibly its online offerings. More on that later.)

What I discovered at the event was an unexpected illumination of creativity spawned by the screen-writing instructors. I’d attended to learn more about the art of novel-writing, but ended up rapt by the pace and passion offered by the screenwriters, and have since been more open to finding inspiration in unexpected places.  Janice Gable Bashman, co-author of the new book Wanted Undead or Alive: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil (Citadel Press, 2010) and contributing editor of the Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International
Thriller Writers) suggests we writers look to television of all places to learn more about shaping more captivating scenes, characters and storylines. Here is her advice:

1. Jump Right In—Television shows start smack in the middle of the action to grab and hold our attention from the get-go. This method discourages the viewer from flipping the channel to find something more interesting. Once we’re hooked, backstory is revealed. Tune in to any drama or even the news and you’ll see this method in action. Today’s readers expect the same from their books. They want to be hooked after reading that first paragraph, the first page, the first chapter. They want a book so exciting that they can’t put it down, a story that captivates their hearts and souls and fires up their imaginations. They want a story that pulls them into a new world and threatens to hold them there until the very last word. It’s up to writers to hook the readers, to keep them interested enough to keep reading. And it all begins with the first scene. Make it exciting.

2. Use Hooks and Cliffhangers—What keeps us hooked to television shows when the distractions of home,

family, friends, work, the Internet, etc. threaten to pull them away? It’s simple really. Good storytelling. But it goes beyond that. Just because it’s good doesn’t mean viewers will stay tuned, especially once a commercial comes on. Television shows tease us when going into a commercial or ending the show. They leave us hooked with an unfinished question or scene that makes the viewer want to know more and makes us wonder what will happen to the characters in the future. This process is a deliberate effort to keep us watching the shows. And it works. For writers, it’s important to begin and end a scene with a hook. It can be an unfinished question, a line of dialogue, or a bit of action—anything that grabs the reader’s attention and make the reader wonder what comes next. The hook compels the reader to turn the page and read more. As readers, we’ve all experienced that book that keeps us up well into the night when we have to get up early the next day. What keeps us reading each page, each chapter, when we know we should really go sleep? It’s simply a good story combined with great hooks.

3. A Break From Writing Is Not a Waste Of Time—We’ve all seen the television character who can’t solve a problem but who is then hit with a great idea while fiddling with the remote, hanging out with friends, playing basketball, or cooking. Some of the best ideas come to us when they’re least expected. Some writers believe that writing is the only way to find new ideas or resolve problems, but sometimes taking a step back from the process yields wonderful results.

4. It’s Not Always Best To Brainstorm Alone—Ideas don’t occur in a vacuum. Television cops don’t work alone, the women on “Army Wives” solve problems together, and the creative group on “Mad Men” is just that—a group of individuals who work together to brainstorm ideas. Many of the ideas are terrible and are rejected, but then a unexpected gem emerges from the give and take among the group members. When stuck for ideas or for solutions to plot problems, writers often stew in their chairs, surf the internet, knock out chores, or play games on the computer with the hopes that the solutions will magically appear. Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn’t. Shooting an idea past a colleague or brainstorming with a friend can be just the thing to bring freshness and excitement to your work.

5. Diversification Is Key To Success
—How many good television shows have gone stale? They show the same twist on an old story line over and over again. As a result, we become bored, abandon the shows, and find new ones to watch. Also, have you noticed how advertisers don’t focus on only one market? They diversify among television, print, radio, and the internet and adjust their advertising to each market to achieve the highest success rate and to reach the widest audience. As writers we must diversify in order to succeed in this ever-changing industry and to ensure our work is constantly in demand. If we focus on only one market and that market becomes stale or fails, we’re out of work. But if we diversify and continually look for new opportunities in untapped markets, the opportunities are endless.

What forms of media have inspired your writing, and how?

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