Monday, April 22, 2013

Writing Tips - Ten Tips for Aspiring Authors

Everyone has a tip for an aspiring author. For the next few weeks I'm going to share with you tips I've collected over the years. I hope they will inspire you as much as they have me. You may not find every tip helpful, but hopefully you'll find something to take away that will help you with your writing.

My first "guest" advisor is Karen Kingsbury, a Christian writer from Tennessee.

She offers these ten tips for aspiring authors:

1. Keep Writing: If there is a book inside you, do everything you can to get that story out. Write, write, write. Get it finished and make sure it is written to the best of your ability.

2. Join a Writer's Group: There are many Christian or other kinds of writers groups for aspiring authors. In order to make your manuscript the best book it can be, you should join one of these groups and learn from others. Do an Internet search for the kind of book you are writing. Many writing or author groups or organizations will display. Find the one that works best for you. You may find local groups where you can attend in person or online groups for extra help.

3. Join a Critique Group: Once you've connected with a writers' group, you should be able to find a Critique Group. Either through the writers' group or in another Internet search. If you don't know what occurs in a critique group you usually read one another's work and offer feedback. Everyone writes at a different level, thus various levels of expertise is provided.

4. Read Other Books Similar to Yours: There's an old adage that says "write what you know." If you want to write Romance stories, read Romance books. Editors and agents will expect you to be well versed in the genre you intend to write. Read, read, read.

5. Get a Copy of Writer's Market: This informational book releases a new version every year chock full of editors and agents acquiring new material.

6. Write a Brief Synopsis for Your Book: Once you've finished your book and it's the best it can be, write a very brief one or two sentence synopsis describing the story. This will go a long way in helping you convey the story to an editor or agent.

7. Write Back Cover Copy: After the synopsis, you'll want to create back cover copy for your book. To do this, you'll expand the synopsis until it's long enough to work as back cover copy. In order to help you, read back cover copy from various books to get an idea about the type of back cover copy needed.

8. Write a 2-3 Page Synopsis: Expanding on your brief synopsis and back cover copy, you will create a synopsis that contains all the information about your story. You will not hold anything back in this synopsis, whereas you might have hinted or intrigued your reader of the back cover copy or brief synopsis. It will contain information about characters, plot points, conflict and resolution in a concise version of the novel.

9. Submit: After you've edited your manuscript, written your brief synopsis, the back cover copy, and a 2 - 3 page synopsis, you are ready to submit your package to an agent or editor. Do your homework. Stud the Writer's Market. Find agents or editors looking for the kinds of stories you write. Take into consideration exactly how they want your package delivered. Each agent or editor will probably want your work arranged differently. Follow their requirements. Overall, make sure you include the following:

   * Cover letter introducing yourself and your idea
   * Brief bio of yourself
   * All forms of your synopses
   * First three chapters of your book

10. Pray! Nothing written or done for God will happen without your diligent prayer. Pray and seek God's will.

Thank you to Karen Kingsbury for her insight and tips for aspiring authors. We appreciate the help.

Keep Writing!