- This has now been moved to HubPages
For more details see www.ravenauthor.com
For more details see www.ravenauthor.com
AJ, I know it might sound strange, but is it acceptable to be writing a story set in the same city where I live? I want to give it authenticity but it seems too familiar - a bit naff - what do you think?Katie, It’s more than okay, it’s excellent. When writing ANY story, be it short or full length novel, it's important to write about things you’re familiar with – especially when you’re struggling to make your mark - it's what I always advise.
Give it a try - you might just approve.
If you do, and you find it okay, let me know. I look forward to your views and opinions.
That's quite an unusual and interesting background for an author. It must have honed your writing to a fine point. What actually prompted you to write your latest book?
Gareth, I suppose this is a bit superfluous, but is your book aimed at men, women or children?
So let’s do a quick plug for your book - where can readers pick up it up from?
Wow! That’s a pretty incredible achievement. Most authors would give their eye-teeth to get that sort of status. Do you have any other work in the pipeline?
And the masterpiece that’s wowing the bookstores, can you give us an outline?
Gareth, thanks for your time, I know you must be busy. Your book sounds quite something. No wonder it looks like hitting the mark. I wish you well. Maybe you'll come back in a couple of months and tell us how it's going.
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Hi Anthony, I'm writing my first book, and I wonder something, should I double space?
I want my book to be about three hundred pages, and if I don't double space, then it's about eighty five pages, its lots of detail crammed onto a page and I'm thinking that might not be right for the first book I have ever written. I think maybe if I keep it double spaced then it will make it easier to read for some people, but I'm not sure. What would your advice be?
Anthony, I'm not a writer, but have found myself writing a book. How do I get published?
I have looked on the interent, but there are so many publishing sites, I dont know what's good and what's not. Can you help ?
Clare, I'm afraid that as a new author you will need to live by the maxim to be not "As Good As" your favourite published authors. You have to be BETTER! The problem is, publishing houses will always go for the safe bet. They're in it to make money, not make you famous. They have a limited number of books they will publish each year. If yours isn't outstanding, I'm afraid you'll not get in, they'll reach for one of their stable of established authors.
To achieve this, you must first of all make sure your manuscript is as good as it can possibly be. Be absolutely certain you've tied all loose ends and make sure you've followed industry standards for presentation.
Edit out ALL unnecessary pronouns and adverbs - nothing screams amateur more than overblown descriptions. Most new writers feel they need to give full descriptions of everything in the book. DON'T. Sometimes what's left out says more than what's in....
When you've cut, cut, and cut; when you've polished it until it glistens, write a short query letter to your chosen publisher. Explain any experience you may have, the genre of the work, the word-count, and present a VERY short synopsis of about 100 words (see book blurbs for examples). Only present a full synopsis IF the publishing house asks you to submit the first three chapters.
In terms of an agent - it's almost as difficult to gain acceptance with a reputable agent as a publishing house. You must go through the same process.
You'll find lists of reputable agents and publishers in several trade oriented books such as Writers and Artist's Yearbook http://www.writersandartists.co.uk/ .
End of post - How do I get published?
This week I managed to persuade author, Trevor Dalton, to give an interview. He's a big lad, so I hope I get this right, I wouldn't want to end up in one of the horrible situations he dreams up for his novels.
Hi Trevor, to start off with, would you like to tell us how long you’ve been writing?
So just how many books have you written so far?
And just what was it that prompted you to write these particular books?
Trevor, that couldn’t be more true. So your books, are they aimed mainly at men, women or children? Who ought to be searching them out.
And where are your books available from?
So, after all this, Is there any other work in the pipeline?
You sound as if you're well into it. Would you like to give us all an outline of your latest published book?
Wow Trevor, it sounds fantastic. I hope everyone out there rushes to Amazon and orders it right now.
Good luck with your sales, then. Keep in touch and let me know how you go on.
next post on Tell Me a Story
AJ, I’m sorry to be a pain, but I’m still not really sure about conflict, what it is and what you mean by it. Can you explain it a little more? I mean, I sometimes read books and there’s no quarrelling or shouting in it, so where’s the conflict then?Hi Eileen, thanks for visiting. Okay let’s take a deeper look.
Tell Me a Story - writing advice
Are you going off the rails, are you lost about what your plot should be doing? Look no further. Check out these simple rules and make sure your story follows them.
A plot should always contain:-
Don't forget that your plot HAS to be plausible, yet larger than life
Follow these simple lines and you'll soon be on the right track
Libby J, it's certainly true you should be sure the publisher accepts books in your genre. It would be a complete waste of your time and their's to send a horror story, to a publisher who specializes in romantic suspense ... The best thing to do is check for suitable publishing houses in a trade book such as Writers' and Artists' Yearbook They describe who publishes what, and how to write a letter of submission. They also give information on reputable agents, which might be useful.
In terms of age, publishing houses don't normally question how old an author is. They'll only be interested in whether your work is up to scratch. My main concern is whether you have sufficient maturity of writing. You'll probably be up against writers who have years of experience, so be prepared for rejection - but having said that, rejection happens no matter what the age. It's an unfortunate fact of a writer's apprenticeship.
You certainly show signs of maturity in posing questions about your age and ability, so maybe you ARE ready. I certainly wish you well.