Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.~ Confucius
I had 8 months between undergrad and grad school. I had this huge amount of time on my hands and I spent 4 months of that year polishing up my mysteries.
To most people, unpublished writing is useless writing so I’m sure many of you have experienced being asked “when are you going to get published?” if you bring up the fact that you write in conversation.
I didn’t plan on attempting the whole “trying to get published” experience until I had a day job and was relatively settled but it was a good time to start doing research on the “writing industry”
Word Count: Novels vs Novellas
I discovered that my stories were too short. I always found it albeit annoying when I googled up novels and word count, there were endless posts about trying to shave off 20K words from a 100K + novel when it took tears, sweat and blood for me to get to 60K.
Agents bulk at selling novellas especially from an unpublished author. Nothing less than 80K would work for a mystery novel. I did more research and if I did just want to write novellas , then there are the eharlequin lines
Rewrite: Hitting 80k would have been “easier” if I outlined for it from the get-go
- Make sure characters were developed to their fullest
- Add a subplot or 2 relating to the original plot
- Develop a minor character
- Work on pacing
Daunting but I am willing to give it a shot and if it doesn’t work out, maybe those stories are fine as they are. I just have to start anew. Write another book making sure to incorporate all metioned above and plan for at least 80 K this time
Writing credentials: Yes Like any other job, you should have a resume
If you are already published well this isn’t a problem If you aren’t- maybe you have a degree in a writing related field a B.A in English or Journalism or an MFA. You may have even gotten some of the short stories you wrote during your undergraduate/graduate years published in a magazine or journal.
There are a few solutions to this one
- Enter Contests. Notable ones that relate to your genre. Win first place or be among the top finalists
- Join critique groups- You get advice from published & unpublished writers (even better if they write in your genre)
- Join Professional writing organizations- Okay so some of biggies only accept authors that have published at least 1 novel but certain chapters might be more lenient or they might have a chapter for the newbies
It was a good thing I started doing my research early. At least, I know what I need to get done when I am ready.