If you know some one that is a craft-o-matic with their writing, then I suggest you stick close to them. I have a few of them, but one in particular soars above all others- author Bonnie Paulson, http://www.bonnierpaulson.com/. She drags herself from bed in the wee hours to pound the keys and surf the net. And I (feeling a little guilty) get to glean off of what she reaps. She’s trying to build her craft. She finds amazing sites, blogs and hints that show how an excellent story is crafted. She doesn’t need all the info, and neither do I. But, some of our other friends may. So we share and email and text our findings and links. Well, mostly she does it, I just pass it on where it’s needed.
You never want to believe you are the greatest writer, there is always someone better. But seriously, if an author believes their work is flawless, then they can’t grow. And growing, changing and learning is what the writing world is all about. So striving to build your craft is essential. I’m thankful for my craft-o-matic bud, Bonnie. Thanks for helping me grow!
Many authors I’ve spoken to have different ways of sending out queries. Some do it once a day for a week. Once they start getting rejections they send out a new query per rejection. That way they always have the same amount out there. Others have their list and just query everyone they possibly can. Others send out in groups. Five to a dozen seems to be the common set. Once nearly all of them return they send out the next set.
But, no matter how you query, just send those letters out. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. 🙂
Tomorrow I’m teaching a quick class on characterization at the Jewett House for the Idaho Writer’s League. It’s something I’ve had to learn and build on top of by taking classes myself. But the most helpful thing to me was learing it through writing. I’ve written two full novels, two shorts, and several partials that I’ve set aside or am currently working on.
I highly encourage all writers out there to read books on writing, but taking classes on writing can be helpful in its own way. The feedback that other writers give you can be helpful. Of course there’s always that one person that can be overly picky or critical, so I give you my blessing to ignore them. But, without the help of critique partners, I wouldn’t already be on my third novel. If you tend to hear the same suggestion over and over I suggest you look into considering their advice. Remember, every publisher is looking for something a little different from the last. Keep pushing and learning!