Last time I wrote a post about advice for writers, I spelled advice incorrectly. I spelled it “advise.”… Seriously. And I do it all the time. It’s one of those words I cannot get a handle on no matter how many times I misspell it and how many times someone points it out. I’m getting better, but we shall see if it sticks lol.
Anyhow, with NANOWRIMO being just a day or so away, I thought I’d give out some more advice because sometimes the best way to learn new things is to teach, so the best way to really let thing sink in to your brain is to advise someone else (see what I did there? I’m using both “advice” and “advise” in this post to learn the difference lol).
1– Never assume you know everything. You don’t. I don’t care if you’ve been writing for a million years and you have umpteen degrees in writing and you have eighty novels on the market, all bestsellers, and your mom thinks you’re awesome and you live in a mansion by the sea bought with royalties from your eighty bestsellers. Even the most seasoned writers can learn from newbies. You can learn from people who do not write at all. You can learn from your dog. Don’t be the asshole who thinks he’s made it to Stephen King caliber when, in reality, you haven’t made it out of your mother’s basement.
2– Follow submission guidelines. Do not assume your story is so awesome you don’t have to follow guidelines like everyone else. For those who may not know, submission guidelines are there for a reason. Sometimes many reasons.
Example of Submission Guidelines (the short of it):
Word length: 2,000-5,000 words
Accepting werewolf, vampire, and zombie fiction only
Attach: Ms, cover letter, and brief bio.
Send to: submissions@phonybalognapress
Subject Line: Submission/AuthorName/StoryTitle
So, if you read those guidelines and send them a 7,000 short story called “Roses In the Wrong Garden” about a character who fades into another dimension after wandering through an enchanted garden, you’re not likely to be accepted. Why?
Cause your conceded self thought you were too good of a writer to be rejected. You thought they’d make an exception for you. They might have another antho open taking garden stories and you might actually be lucky enough for them to send that story to the right department, but chances of that happening are pretty darn slim. Send your stories where they belong and don’t try to fool yourself.
3– If you constantly get two different words mixed up (advice and advise), use them both all over the place until you get it through your head that they are NOT the same word. I’m doing that right now myself. It’s helping.
4– When in doubt, you should probably do more research.
5– Help your fellow writers out every now and then. If you see someone struggling along with their work and you know through social media that they are having it rough finishing something, offer them an ear. Don’t bad mouth another author for their successes or their shortcomings. That’s just not nice and it’s bad business, also. Writers should be encouraging each other. ESPECIALLY writers in the same or similar genres!
Do you know why? Because if I wrote a horror novel and Author Suzie Q. Cutiepie wrote a horror novel and both novels involve vampires, then readers who loved my novel are going to want something equally as awesome to read afterward. That means they might pick up Suzie Q. Cutiepie’s novel. Why not help each other promote instead of badmouthing and being jerks? I share links to other people’s books all the time and other authors share links to mine from time to time too. 😀
6– Get some sleep at night. You can’t write if you can’t hold your head up.
This is all I have to say today. I felt these things needed posting, so I posted.
To anyone participating in NANOWRIMO this year, look me up on the Nano site! I’d be glad to be your buddy! And good luck! May the force be with you.
…And may the odds be ever in your favor!