Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Making a Name for Yourself in the World of Fiction.

I am on the verge of having a new-found chance to try my hand at professional writing (http://apprenticewordsmith.blogspot.com/) and was looking for a bit of advice from The Table. I want to write fiction--fantsay novels, to be exact--and I'm not quite sure where to begin. Obviously, I need to finish my novel--a work currently in progress--and get it all polished up. But then what?

The general conscensus is that sending an enormous, unsolicited manuscript to a publisher is not a very good idea. But I have heard that one way to make a name for yourself in the genre of fantasy is to write short stories for magazines and contests. I'm willing to give that a shot. Heck, I'd be willing to write for Better Homes and Gardens, though I doubt the would hire me if they saw my house. But short stories are not my strong point. Long-winded, never ending ones are (and there in lies another deeply rooted problem).

Another approach I've heard is to get an agent. But I wouldn't have the slightest idea as to where to find a good one or how much money would go into that sort of thing. I am a substitute teacher, for crying out loud. I don't exactly have an infinite bank account.

Any ideas out there in the blogosphere?


  1. Ha... That's funny that you should mention short stories because I've been thinking of doing some once I'm finished with my screenplay. However, I'm as clueless as you on where to start with all that, though my friend Jenn, a fellow Tabler (is that what we're gonna call ourselves? lol...) has written many short stories. I think it's really all about focus. You have to plan a really tight story with minimal plot and place emphasis on the characters. I have about a dozen or so ideas tucked aside for short stories right now, and they're mainly just premises, since you can't really get into much development with a short story anyway. However, I cannot stress enough not to let other writing plans interfere with your current project, although it may be tempting to start something else at times, especially when you're in the midst of a hectic rewriting process.

  2. Definitely good advice about not letting new story ideas interrupt the editing process. Part of my issue is that I am a big planner. I like to make a list of steps and check them off as I go. Step one, write the story. Step two... well I have no step two so that bothers me. Ah well. I suppose I'll just have to figure things out as I go. How close are you to being done with your screen play?

  3. It's difficult to say. I have nearly ten pages of notes of new scenes and plot elements I want to incorporate. And the writing isn't yet at the level I want it to be. But if I'm able to focus this summer, I should be able to wrap up the second draft in early to mid-summer. But again, that all depends how much time I can invest in it. I'm going to force myself on a strict creative writing schedule once classes are out. I just want to get it done already! I have SO many other creative writing projects I want to get to, and I'm refusing to let myself start anything else until I finish my screenplay.

  4. Haha! I'm the same way. I get anal about stuff like that. I have a little notebook that I write all my ideas down. If they're really good ideas, they'll still be good ideas when I'm done with my first book!! Hopefully you'll be able to focus on it more this summer.

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