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What Makes A Writer Successful ….

Acclaimed author Sarah Waters, has these thoughts about the success of her writing career

KEEP TRYING:

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.

 


Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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4 comments
  • Hard to believe this amazing author was turned down by ten or so publishers. You’d have thought they’d all have been snatching it out of her hand!

    • Hi Cath,

      Yes, just goes to show that perseverance pays off, doesn’t it?

      I bet those publishers are really kicking themselves now!!

      I wonder if any of them have had the audacity to try to lure her away from her present publishers?

    • Hi Nikki-ann,

      I particularly like the one about respecting your characters.

      I have read so many books where characters get lost in the plot, to the point where they may as well not have been mentioned in the first place.

Written by Yvonne

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