Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thinking of Writing a Novel? There Are Things You Should Know

If you’re a writer who’s actually admitted as much in public, I’m pretty sure that ever other person you’ve met has told you they either have a great idea for a book, or are working on one. With the ease of publishing one’s own work and the highly publicized success stories (few though they are), more people than ever want to write and publish a book. If you know someone like this, you might advise them to think it through a little more. They can start by reading a terrific blog, called 25 Hard Truths About Writing by Chuck Wendig. The blog is funny, caustic and entertaining. Also, a lot of what he says is quite true. Be aware that he drops plenty of F bombs in the piece, so if you offend easily it might not be for you. Of the 25 truths, here are some of my favorites:

  1. The publishing industry is alarmingly subjective (no kidding)
  2. They may like your book, and still not buy it. (also very true)
  3. About a billion books are released every week (it’s really not that many, but a lot!)
  4. Self-publishing is easy when it should be hard (too many authors are skipping crucial steps, like editing and well, adequately plotting)
  5. All the world’s entertainment is your competition (yep)
  6. Your online followers are not also book buyers (there are exceptions, though)
  7. People are going to steal your book (a number of colleagues have had their books pirated)
  8. You are now in marketing and advertising. Congratulations (don’t you now wish you’d studied this in school?)
  9. It’s really hard, luck matters, and frustration is guaranteed (absolutely!)
 As I said, Wendig’s blog is really worth reading, unless you’re easily discouraged.

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