Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

Many newbie writers ask "What's the secret to getting published?"

I have the answer. Are you ready?

There. Is. No. Secret.

Every agent and editor you ask this question to will have the same answer as me. There's no secret. What there is is this:

Good writing.

Good storytelling.


The second you think you know everything you need to know about how to write a good book, turn off the PC and give it up. Because you've just lost the drive and professionalism it takes to be a success in this business.

Always keep learning. Always look for better, smarter, fresher ways to tell your stories. Always do what you'll say you do when you say you'll do it.

And this is key: learn grammar and punctuation basics. Editors will work with you on correcting poor grammar and improper punctuation, but you really don't want them to have to focus on the minutia. You want your editor to focus on the plot, on the meat of the story, so it will be the best story it can be by the time it makes it into the hands of your readers. So learn the difference between further and farther, when to use lay and lie, and where commas should and shouldn't be placed.

Good writing. Good storytelling. Professionalism. Not secrets, just common sense.


Colleen Love said...

Hi Sherrill!
This is great! I may actually be here awhile then. I have so much I want to learn and love every step in the process of it.

When I see how unprofessional people can be, it is staggering to me. I don't understand how people can be that way! Honest, I don't.

Great tipsies today!
Thanks, Sherrill!

Sherrill Quinn said...

Colleen, I make every effort to go to my local RWA chapter meetings every month, because even if it's a subject I believe I know well, there is *always* something new I pick up or something old that's reinforced. While I don't ever see myself going back to college, I do see myself as a life-long student.

The lack of professionalism on the part of some folks is, as you say, staggering. Equally staggering is the thought that they don't seem to realize it (or perhaps they don't care).

Take care!