Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 MUSTS For Successful Writers

Please excuse our small departure from the normal content of this blog. We will resume our regularly scheduled programming next week. What can I say? When satire strikes, you must obey. 

You've got a really awesome idea for a book. You know your screenplay is a billion dollar hit. Maybe you just like words. Whatever the reason, as my friend Anna would say, you wish to be a writer. The only problem is, you're not sure how to do it. Don't worry! I've got 5 MUST-DO tips for you that will turn you into a huge success:

1. Start Fast and Give Up Faster

Everyone knows that if you're going to be successful in publishing, it'll happen overnight. This industry moves fast, so you have to move faster. Got a rough draft done? Good enough!! Slap together a query letter and send that puppy out. No one expects you do have a polished piece; there'll be plenty of time for that once somebody writes you a big check.

If you've sent one query, though, and it got rejected, best to give up right away. One rejection is enough: as everyone knows, all agents and publishers like the exact same thing, so if one said no, they'll all say no. No big deal, though, since you can write another one in the next couple of hours!


2. Write Only What You Know

You know the old writing adage, write what you know? Well, it doesn't go far enough! Write only what you yourself have seen, felt, touched, or experienced. Driven a Ford but not a Toyota? Then your characters should only drive Fords. You can never imagine anything else to any degree of accuracy. This means that your stories will be populated by you, yourself, and you, but that's totally OK: who doesn't love a navel-gazer?


3. Put Everyone You Know In Your Work

The best way to make sure everyone you know buys your work is to put them in it. Don't disguise - how else will they know it's them? Don't tell them ahead of time, either, because that'll spoil the fun. Make sure you bring out their worst qualities and share their deepest secrets, because drama sells.

Also, who is your main character going to talk to if you don't put in your family and friends? See #2 above.


4. Never Read

Ever! It'll waste precious time you need in this speedy, ever-changing field. You read in school, right? That's enough. You can figure out what sells and what's good by looking at covers and thinking about it.


5. Get Sensitive

Feedback works best when you're too defensive to hear it, so make sure you can't stand to hear a word against what you've created.

And besides, everyone - and I do mean everyone! - is going to LOVE you and your work! Writers are great at pleasing everyone. What better way to enjoy it than to soak it all up? So shed those protective layers and make sure your skin is good and thin; that way all of the universal adoration will sink right in.


That's it! That's all you need to know. If you follow these, I fear for you know you'll be a HUGE success!

Got any more great tips for becoming a successful writer? Share them in the comments!

Disclaimer: no writers were hurt in the making of this post, but then. no writers were made in the making of this post, either. 

33 comments:

  1. LOL
    The best part is the disclaimer. :P

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  2. Of course, that's where I went wrong--my book isn't about me at all! LOL. Fantastic.

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  3. Best morning pep talk ever! I'm ready to write that next bestseller before lunch! :P

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  4. Ha! I loved this! I bet there will be a few aspiring writers who read this and think you're serious. :P

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  5. ha! I loved this, (sadly I have friends who live by it, though!)

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  6. LOL. You forgot to say never network with or talk to other writers who might give advice or share.

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  7. #3 is funny. You left out the part where none of your friends or family will talk to you after the book comes out.

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  8. Finally! The kind of advice I've been waiting for. I knew all those other posts about patience, and reading, and developing thick skin was written by a bunch of hacks. ;)

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  9. That was hilarious! Yes, number three was the best.

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  10. LOL #3 is my favorite too, plus I love the disclaimer. :D

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  11. LOL! 3 and 4 totally got me. Anyone who expects to write a best seller but doesn't know what a best seller looks like, yup. That's awesome.

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  12. Love it! The scary thing is that so many people actually follow this advice. I think this might be a kidlit thing, but you forgot to mention that sending a prototype of a stuffed animal based on your main character is de rigeur for query letters. :)

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  13. I should stick this on the fridge!

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  14. I've been doing it all wrong! Thanks for the tips ;)

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  15. You will want to sell me some land in Florida won't you?-LOL very funny and the sad thing is if your name is Dumbnut Harpy who has had music hits before you were 17 and decided to write your bio when you were 22, it would be published. Love the #3 and I believe Truman Capote did just that....may he rest in peace

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  16. Of course! That's what I've been doing wrong. It all makes sense now. ^_^

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  17. Wow, I've been doing it all wrong. I have to go start over. Now I'll be able to sell my MS. Thanks!

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  18. LOL! Boy did this give me the giggles. :D Thanks for the reference to my blog. <3 You've got a knack for writing humor pieces - I can only imagine what your WIP will have! (Thumbs up)

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  19. That was hilarious. ^_^ The only tip I'd add is demanding a multi-million contract right from the start. It's what you deserve, isn't it? :P

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  20. Excellent advice. I'm so releived to know that all that other advice I've gotten about working hard and being patient was a bunch of lies, lies, lies!

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  21. Bwa! Too funny! I especially liked number 1.

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  22. Best worst advice ever! Nicely done. =]

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  23. Haha...funny! Well done to bring a chuckle.

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  24. Hahahahahaha! Loved this, Liz! Had to tweet and share on FB. Yes, yes, yes to all of those things. I wrote a book, got rejected, wrote another and got rejected again, all before lunch.

    Thanks for coming over. :)

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  25. #3 and #4 are my favs. And, no, when satire strikes, we cannot ignore it. That would be wrong. And futile.

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  26. LOL! Great job with this one. I love the wit.

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  27. I plan to share this with all my friends . Meanwhile, now that I have signed a book contract I need to go order my yacht and private plane.

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