Although you simply cannot distill creative writing into a proscriptive algorithm — people start in different places, and they learn in different ways — a review of the literature suggests that there’s perhaps too little scaffolding offered to new writers.
Think carefully about multiple and simultaneous submissions.
One of the worst things an author can do is shop queries on the open market for material that hasn’t been substantially revised in light of feedback from competent beta readers.
Like it or not, although writing as an activity is inherently solitary, writing for publication is an astonishingly social cultural phenomenon that requires much networking and relationship building.
Even though it might be embarrassing, an occasional trip down memory lane is useful. And it’s worth remembering, too, that your first or second novel will almost surely end up in the back of your file cabinet. That’s OK. It’s healthy. Your goal shouldn’t be to write and then to publish, but rather to write until you’re ready to publish.
A self-directed writer’s retreat, even if lasts just one marathon day, can help you get your bearings for the year to come and to re-acquaint you with your portfolio.
A NaNo novel that “wins” by Nov. 30 probably isn’t ready for shopping until the spring, after rounds of self-editing, beta reading and professional editing.
You’ve done it: You’ve written a novel, pitched it to a publisher and earned a positive response. Congratulations! Now what happens? Let’s explore. Manuscript Review and Contracting. The process starts with a successful query. That query leads to a solicitation
No two writers have the same technique. Nor should they. What works for Author Bob isn’t going to necessarily work for Author Jane, because we’re all wired differently ‘twixt the earholes.
To crack an agent or editor for the first time, you have to come in with prose that’s pristine and elegant. When readers encounter poor-punctuation pandemics, homonym homicides, usage abusage or train-wreck transitions, they shut down.