Acclaimed author Sarah Waters, has these thoughts about the success of her writing career
Tipping the Velvet, my first novel, was rejected by about ten publishers before I finally managed to place it. Rejections are terribly disheartening, but placing a novel is a question of finding the right person to take it on – someone who will believe in it, and champion it on your behalf – so it’s going to take a lot of trial and error before you find the right home.
GET AN AGENT:
You’ll get no where without one. Finding an agent can sometimes feel as difficult as finding an editor – but again, it’s a question of hitting the right target. Do some research, then draw up a list of agents who handle material resembling yours and work your way through it.
GET FEEDBACK FROM READERS WHILE YOUR BOOK IS STILL IN MANUSCRIPT:
Be prepared to rewrite and revise your work, sometimes radically. Find a small number of readers you can trust to be honest with you, and whose opinions you respect. Joining a writing group can be useful, if you feel really in tune with the other members. I was in a writing group for a while, and it was fantastically helpful.
RESPECT YOUR CHARACTERS, EVEN THE MINOR ONES:
In art, as in life, everyone is the hero of their own particular story; it is worth thinking about what your minor character’s stories are, even though they may interact only slightly with your protagonist’s.
Don’t forget that Sarah will be appearing at the opening day of Scarborough Literature Festival, this Thursday 14th April 2011.
Leave a reply