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Guest Post: Nell Dixon
This week, I have a journey full of great writer's tips. Please welcome author Nell Dixon as she shares her personal journey and offers up some helpful advice to becoming an author.
Things I Wished People Had Told Me
When I first started sending out my writing for publishers and agents to consider and the inevitable stream of rejections began to come back I had a grumble list of things I wanted to know. Why didn’t my story work for them? How could I make it better? I’d read all the books in the line, looked to see what the latest trends were, had followed the instructions to the nth degree. So when would it be my turn?
Now, as a dual award winning author with fifteen books under my belt, and having worked with a variety of publishers from the big London print houses to the tiniest of E publishers and all shades in between I think, I hope, I’ve picked up a few things along the way.
Number One, yes be aware of the trends, know the market for the kind of book you want to write but write a book you love. A book you believe in, don’t be a pale imitation of someone else. Don’t be scared to let your voice shine out on the page.
Number Two, make it perfect. Don’t skip out on editing, polishing and really making your work ready for the market. Yes, you’re eager to get your baby out there but you spent a long time writing your book, you want to give it the best chance possible in the harsh world of publishing so shine it up.
Number Three, Work on your craft. You know deep in your heart where your weaknesses are. It might be a hazy grasp of grammar; it might be rushed endings or weak plots. There are lots of great writing sites and free workshops out there and tons of excellent books. Maybe find a critique partner and work with them.
Number Four, Write. This sounds obvious but I see lots of people who want to be writers, they love conferences and workshops. They like to talk about writing and books. They hang out with other writers, make websites and choose pen names but they never get off the mark because they don’t spend time actually writing. To be a writer you have to write. This means sacrifices for most people. I sacrificed doing the ironing and watching TV. (The ironing wasn’t much of a sacrifice, but don’t tell my husband)
Number Five, Be professional. If you have a deadline then meet it. Take time to say thank you when someone helps you or offers you advice. Treat others in the industry the way you would like to be treated. Writing is a business, treat it as a business. Oh, and the question of when will it be my turn? There is no waiting list, you aren’t in a queue. Having been writing for twenty years doesn’t mean that it’s your turn next as you’ve been there longest. You are not entitled. Be persistent, write the best book you can and work hard then maybe it will be you next.
Nell Dixon is a Black Country author. Married to the same man for twenty-five years, she has three daughters, a tank of tropical fish and a cactus called Spike. Winner of the RNA’s prestigious Romance Prize in 2007 and 2010, she writes warm-hearted contemporary romance for a number of publishers in the US and the UK including Astraea Press, Samhain Publishing, Little Black Dress, Myrmidon Books, E-Scape Press and Freya’s Bower. Her latest titles include Easter Holiday, Dangerous to Know and Brief Encounters.
Please support Nell by purchasing her latest novel Easter Holiday from Astraea Press.
Cornish farmer, Noah Penwarren is sworn off city girls, especially deceitful ones. Posy Carmichael is a city girl through and through. When romantic sparks start to fly will Posy’s secret end their Easter romance before it’s even begun?
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**Read about other writers' journeys (see A Writer's Journey index)**
Loved your advice here. I think when we first start out with stars in our eyes it's hard to believe someone would want to reject our stories (LOL). And I second the part about having a crit partner(s). Probably the best thing I ever did for my writing career.
Congrats on your most recent release!!! ((HUGS))
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