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Nov/Dec Mother Hen's Bin

Shine, Spit, and Polish Your Fiction Writing

(Excerpt of new ebook to be released 2008)


Many writers wish they possessed Aladdin’s genie to help them ‘best seller’ their novels. Realistically, however, we’d be living in a fantasy world if we believed genies existed. So for those writers who are waiting for a miracle…it will never happen. Determination, hard work, and perseverance are all elements you need to possess to ascertain success.


Remember there are hundreds, no thousands, and I would even dare to venture to say millions of writers around the world who are your direct competition. Granted, some may ‘think’ about writing, others will ‘begin’ writing, and few will actually ‘finish’ writing their tales. Which of these three areas do you fit in?


If you chose ‘finish’ then hurray because this book is aimed to help you further digest several steps to get you to that ‘best seller’ category.


If you chose ‘begin’ and wish to motivate yourself to ‘finish’— if you’re open-minded and serious enough to consider what I have to say -- then you’ll find this book helpful.


If you chose ‘think’…sorry. Pick up a pen, write down at least one word to a story to get you to the ‘begin’ stage and maybe, just maybe you’ll truly understand what it takes to be a writer.


And what does it take to be a writer?


PASSION! And something called Vision. Vision your success they say and you will be successful. Do I believe in this? To a degree, yes. Seeing your future success and helping it come to fruition means a passionate dedication on your part that will help you achieve this level of ‘vision’. Having goals and dreams inspires you and is something I actively work on. So writing down your yearly goals means you are outlining an agenda to follow in order to reach a part of your dream and vision.


Negativity should not be a part of your everyday routine. Allowing others to dictate and place negative notions of failure in you only helps to sway your success level. Why? Because you begin to doubt yourself, your writing, your mentality as to why you bother to write. Stay focused on your goals.


Your goals should be realistic. Expecting to win the Nobel Prize with your first published work within a year is NOT realistic. You are setting yourself up for failure. Committing to write and finish one or two novels within a year is more attainable.


Guarantee a degree of success by doing the following while writing:


  • Research publishers – you know what your book is about so now is the time to begin your research to find suitable publishers who are interested in what you have to offer.


  • Page turner – guarantee your reader an awesome read by offering them a tightly woven masterpiece. Make each page count.


  • Memorable character – create a character that will linger in your readers' thoughts. Think of Huckleberry Finn-what made Twain’s characters so memorable? What about Harry Potter? What distinct qualities did Rowling give this young man to have everyone entranced by him?


  • Wowser ending – before you place ‘The End’ make sure every foreshadow, every obstacle has been thoroughly gift-wrapped and packaged. Nothing hits a sour note more to a reader than when a solution they were expecting to see never materializes.


  • Edit like an enemy – be cruel, slash away at those words, deleting nonessential strings for one powerful word. Don’t rely on your Spell Checker only, ewe no what eye mean? Remove unnecessary clutter.


  • Incinerate weak passages – eliminate old clichés and come up with your own similes/metaphors. Make your writing more active than passive: The girl was thrown against the wall by the demon BECOMES The demon tossed her against the wall. The second eliminates the passive ‘was’ and brings the action to the forefront. See the movements as though watching a movie.


  • Repetition is boring – go through your manuscript and watch for repetitive words. In many manuscripts I’ve edited I find in one page alone several ‘he/she smiled’ taglines. Alter this description, give it a higher plateau to keep from repeating the same old.


  • Backward editing – when you believe you’ve exhausted your edits, enter your fictional world once more and read it backwards this time…begin with the very last paragraph of the story and move to the beginning. This will help you ‘see’ the words instead of ‘feel’ the storyline.


Let me get one thing out of the way: unless you are in that extremely small percentage of writers who get accepted with your first query, be prepared to get not one but many rejection letters in your career. Stephen King did, but never gave up. So toughen up, expect rejection letters and you won’t be as disappointed down the line.


Once you understand the competition you face, the odds of acceptance, the need to tighten your manuscript,  you stand armed in your quest for publication.



Lea Schizas