Okay, there is no secret, no Golden Ticket that will lead you as an aspiring author to fame, fortune and the most awesome books on the planet. That you’ve written, I mean.
Other authors, agents and editors alike may spew a few tidbits of advice in this category, but when it comes down to it, they all say the same thing.
Write a great story.
Sounds trite. Sounds rehearsed. Sometimes it even sounds like they make it up so they don’t have to tell you the real secret to getting published and be able to live off of your writing habit.
After hearing it from dozens of agents, as many editors and more authors than I could kill off in an end of the world story, I’m thinking it’s true.
Write a great story. They may also say write the story only you can write. These comments often get brushed aside in a mad frenzy to uncover that one golden nugget of publishing info that will propel you into book signing stardom.
I’m not sure what we’re all expecting. Maybe something like, “I need all of my main characters to be able to do origami, parasail and sew pillows,” or, “Every plot should have a three legged dog in it.” That’s what I secretly hope for, but after hearing the “write a great story” yet again this week at Writing and Illustrating for Your Readers (WIFYR), I’m going to have to acquiesce.
Writing a great story is a long, arduous, grueling process that can take years. Which, by the way, is not the timeframe I want to see on any project. Years? I don’t have years! Like a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, I want it five minutes ago! Have it ready for me when I drive up and I might give you a tip.
I will go into more detail of the awesomeness of WIFYR in subsequent blog posts. For now, let me tell you that I am embarking on a new novel, and I plan to use everything I’ve ever learned about writing and storytelling and character development and pacing and outlining and the find and replace command to make it the best story it can possibly be. That is my plan. Wish me luck.