It’s all in the execution


A poor plan properly executed, will work. It’s all in the execution.

By Rory C. Keel

As you step out on the stage of becoming a writer, there are many unknowns. Writers groups and conferences are helpful in learning the in’s and out’s of writing and publishing. However, unless this knowledge is put into a plan and executed, it is useless.

Develop a plan

Set short-term goals and long-term goals for your writing and put together a plan to reach them. Write them on paper or log them on a computer where you can physically see them every day to remind you of what you want to achieve.

Finding a topic or story to write about this week is a good example of a short-term goal. Set a daily, weekly, monthly word count to reach and a time management schedule in order to meet them.

Develop long-term goals such as setting a date to finish the first draft of your story or novel, research agents or publishers to pitch your book to or determine to submit your story to multiple markets until someone buys it.

Now execute the plan

You must execute your plan! Good or bad, no plan will work unless you carry it out. When you plan a vacation you use the knowledge you have available and make a plan. If you never move forward, you will never reach your destination.

What if your knowledge is limited or you realize your plan is not perfect? Move forward – adjust. Often we need to reread the map or take a detour to get to our destination, but we continue to move forward. Even a poor plan that is properly executed, will work, but it must be executed to reach the goal.

Roryckeel.com

Advertisements

It’s all in the execution


A poor plan properly executed, will work. It’s all in the execution.

By Rory C. Keel

As you step out on the stage of becoming a writer, there are many unknowns. Writers groups and conferences are helpful in learning the in’s and out’s of writing and publishing. However, unless this knowledge is put into a plan and executed, it is useless.

Develop a plan

Set short-term goals and long-term goals for your writing and put together a plan to reach them. Write them on paper or log them on a computer where you can physically see them every day to remind you of what you want to achieve.

Finding a topic or story to write about this week is a good example of a short-term goal. Set a daily, weekly, monthly word count to reach and a time management schedule in order to meet them.

Develop long-term goals such as setting a date to finish the first draft of your story or novel, research agents or publishers to pitch your book to or determine to submit your story to multiple markets until someone buys it.

Now execute the plan

You must execute your plan! Good or bad, no plan will work unless you carry it out. When you plan a vacation you use the knowledge you have available and make a plan. If you never move forward, you will never reach your destination.

What if your knowledge is limited or you realize your plan is not perfect? Move forward – adjust. Often we need to reread the map or take a detour to get to our destination, but we continue to move forward. Even a poor plan that is properly executed, will work, but it must be executed to reach the goal.

Roryckeel.com

The Social Network


The Social Network

 By Rory C. Keel

For a writer, social networking sites are beneficial in several ways. First, they can help you make connections with other writers who are trying to achieve the same goals. The ability to discuss with others the techniques that work, and those that might not, can help you as a writer avoid mistakes and pitfalls by increasing your knowledge of the writing craft.

Second, social networking sites can provide the ability to contact and reach out to successful writers and their publishers, creating opportunities that you might not otherwise have. Due to the high volume of manuscripts received by publishers, many good writers may be overlooked. By networking with publishers, agents, and the authors who write for them, your connections could turn into an asset when you are ready to seek publication.

Third is marketing. As much as we would like for our writing to sell itself, or for our publishers to do all the marketing, we will need to do some of it, if not most, for ourselves. A majority of publishers will want to know your platform – in other words, do you have an audience? With social networking sites, you can develop a potential vast audience for your writing.

PPW Window, Volume 2009, Issue 6, Presidents report By Rory Craig Keel

roryckeel.com

The Business Card


Outtakes 64

 

The Business Card

By Cait Collins

Let’s face it, business cards are a must. Can you imagine a salesman going to meet a new client and forgetting to bring his business cards? Talk about a major mistake. That little card is your signature. It represents you and your work. But what if you had a more visible signature piece?

My writer friend, Dee, received the best gift from her kids. It’s a royal blue cloth purse depicting the classic monsters: The Wolfman, The Mummy, Dracula, and Frankenstein’s monster. Strangers walk up to her and ask “Were did you get that purse?” “Why monsters?” Then she introduces herself and says, “I write horror.” The purse opened the door to promoting Dee’s work. She can go on to engage the potential reader as to his likes and dislikes, what frightens him, his go-to authors. She’s hooked a fan. If it works with fans, just think the impact that bag will have when meeting agents and editors.

Every writer has some item that sets them apart from the crowd. I have a collection of antique and contemporary lizard broaches. I wear them when shopping my novels.  The creature glittering on my shoulder creates interest and might lead to an invitation to submit the work. I began collecting the lizards after hearing the legend of the well-loved lizard becoming a dragon to protect its owner. I still wear one of the pins in situations where I feel I might need an edge. They are a conversation starter.

No matter how well written or unique the story, marketing and promotion are necessary. A prop might help a more timid author to open up and enthusiastically promote the project. I’m not suggesting a cheesy prop or outlandish get-up. Use something simple and in keeping with the setting. Accessories such as jewelry, Dee’s purse, or a rodeo belt buckle just might give you an edge. I’m certain Dee doesn’t mind folks associating her purse with her writing. And I really don’t mind an agent referring to me as the lizard lady as long as he remembers the title of my book.

Why do You Write? – Keeping the Big Picture in Sight


Middle Grade Monday

Why do You Write?

Keeping the Big Picture in Sight

By Natalie Bright

So, why do you write?

I don’t mean the reasons that we hear most people repeat: they want an agent to get a big publisher for a big book deal and a big movie deal so they’ll make major bucks and then retire to their massive beach front property. I honestly don’t believe that’s motivation enough to put oneself through the endless torture of trying to write. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life.

What about the gutt-wrenching, down in your soul reason you’ve never told anyone, ever. If everything suddenly went to ePublishing and all books were free and there was no way whatsoever that you could ever make money writing, would you still write? I’d like to think that most of you would, because you haven’t lost sight of the big picture.

The Big Picture: Story, Story, Story

Story is the reason. It’s the oldest form of human entertainment. Down through the ages, “tell me a story” has brought countless generations together. From the time we were youngsters, we remember stories that spoke to us and left their imprint in our brains or hearts. Agents, editors, publishers, book packagers, book stores, book buyers  and now the ePublishing world all gravitate around a need for quality work. It’s all about story.

Who Holds the Key

Writers are the key to this process. The successful writers I know are continuously learning and improving upon the craft, and they have a zillion ideas in their head, just not enough hours in the day.

Falling in Love with Your Work

It saddens me to meet writers who have lost sight of the big picture. They have talent, amazing ideas that I’d be thrilled to see as a book, and they are very capable, yet they’ve very much attached to their work and remain steadfast to argue and justify instead of moving forward.

I understand that you may not agree with others opinions. That’s okay. In the end, remember that it’s your work and you can write it however you want. I’ve discovered that most writers and editors and agents tend to be very generous people. They enjoy helping others reach their dreams.

When someone says “I have this story”, my first instinct is elation. I want to grab it up, I want to read your story, I want to love your work, and I want to help you make it better. People who work in publishing have never lost sight of the big picture and know that there’s always a better word or phrase. There’s always a better way to tell the tale.

So Why Be Snarky?

Here’s a thought; don’t submit your story to a critique group, editors or agents if you don’t want to know what’s wrong. Don’t waste other people’s time by asking for advice that you never have any intention of following. It’s okay to be completely and absolutely in love with your work. Treasure it, keep it safe in a beautifully padded box, but don’t make copies and don’t ask me to read it.

Honest opinions are golden in this business, so why do writers waste their creative energy fuming and fussing over opinions when they’ve solicited said opinions? Let me repeat, in the end, it’s your work and you can write it however you want.

Listen, Learn, Find the Magic

For me, once I was able to really hear the feedback without argument and move past the fear of chopping off the fish head or rewriting parts that didn’t fit, then I understood even more about the writing process.

The story will take over and empower you and you’ll know why you write.

My hope is that you’ll realize you write because you want your story to be the best that it can be, and it will entertain, teach, touch a heart, or make a life-long impression on a reader. And you’ll know when it’s ready.

In short, the big picture of this maddening process:  you write because there’s a story burning deep in the core of your being, and no one can tell it like you.

www.nataliebright.com

It’s a Real Job


Outtakes 54

It’s a Real Job

“I always thought about writing a novel. I think I could do it.” I hear that statement 99% of the time when folks find out that I’m a writer. I’m sure most authors have heard similar responses. If people really understood what it takes to write that novel, they might reconsider their responses. Do these well intentioned folks really think writing is easy?

What does it take to be a writer? Some would say talent is the key component. Of course there is a certain degree of talent involved. However, there are thousands of folks who have the ability to write, but never start. I have a nephew who has talent, but he doesn’t write. Why not? Because he prefers music to the written word. He devotes his energy to perfecting his skills on the various instruments he plays. Simply put, talent comes into play when the writer has the desire to write.

The desire to put words on paper propels a talented person to begin the journey. He buys the right books, studies the craft, experiments with a few ideas. He might join a critique group and a writers’ group. As he presents his work to his peers, he receives kind but honest feedback on his writing. He rewrites, but his critique group still is not satisfied with his efforts. Frustrated, he packs the first novel in a box and shoves it under the bed. The book is never completed.

A successful writer combines his talent and desire with bulldog tenacity. No one is going to convince him it can’t be done. He plans his writing time; places his backside in the chair and writes. He listens to other writers’ critiques and does the necessary rewrites to produce a better product. The writer risks rejection when he submits the finished novel to agents and editors. A writer doesn’t expect overnight success or instant wealth. Instead he will take the free short story publication to enhance his writer’s resume. He will volunteer to help at a conference or present a program to students. He keeps up with current trends in publishing. Deep in his soul, he believes he will be a successful writer and he works for it.

Writing is a real job.  It requires talent, desire, effort, a thick skin, risk, confidence, and tenacity.  No one component is enough. Even Snoopy concedes “Good writing is hard work.”

Cait Collins