Writing and Publishing Resources
Some writing advice and industry links
A little peptalk....
There are many people who know much more about writing and publishing than me, so I'm sending you to drink from their wells of wisdom with a collection of links below.
But if I were to pick the most important things I've learned about writing and publishing, it would be these:
- Read everything you can get your hands on, especially in your own genre. I wish I could go back in time and take my own advice! My writing improved exponentially when I started reading more YA fantasy because I learned with each book--and my peers are at the top of their game.
- Whenever you're watching a movie, reading a book, or hearing a story someone's telling, ask yourself--what about this caught my interest? What moment made me like or dislike the character? What made my interest wane? What can I learn from every single story I experience?
- Don't be afraid to write something bad. Your first draft will not be perfect. No one's is. But get it down on the page and then edit, edit, edit. Then edit some more.
- DO NOT QUERY WITH YOUR FIRST DRAFT. Let it sit for a few weeks. Look at it with new eyes.
- Be vulnerable and show it to someone who can respond with a mixture of encouragement and tough love by pointing out what blind spots you're missing. Don't be surprised or crushed when they find some--blind spots exist for everyone! (*Unfortunately I cannot personally take a look at your writing, but check out SCBWI, Grub Street, or your local library for some leads on finding a beta reader or critique group.)
- Remember that the people who are getting published are people who have spent years learning their craft. It's been said it takes 10,000 hours to master something*. Another popular mantra I've heard is that often the difference between those who get published vs. those who don't is simply persistence. Part of the process is developing a thicker skin and learning how to incorporate feedback--skills you'll need to have when you repeat the same process again with an agent and then again with your editor.
- Now edit some more.
- Ready to query? Click here. If you need encouragement, click here [coming soon]. For an overview of the whole writing and publishing process, click here [coming soon].
Some resources I found helpful throughout my writing and publishing journey:
- Jane Friedman
- K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
- John Truby, Anatomy of Story (*More for screenwriting but it helped me better understand story structure)
- Save the Cat! and a helpful explanation of the beat sheet
- Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
- Mary Kole's Kidlit
- Writer Unboxed
- First Five Frenzy
- YA Highway
If there's a writing resource that you've found particularly helpful, I'd love to hear about it and add it to this list! Please drop me a note in the Connect section.
Best of luck! I hope your story will be one more light that makes it out into the world someday.
Take me back to Resources for Writers!