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Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Have the Most Fabulous Novel in the World! Now What?

Today's post is going to be more of a list than an actual post.  I've had several requests for help with various pieces, from short stories to novels, from poetry to children's books.  While I'm always happy to take a look at a fellow writer's work, my opinion is only my opinion.  Often something I like someone else doesn't and vis versa.  My suggestion?  Get widely read.

  • Join a writer's group in your area.  Check your library as many host such groups.  If all else fails, start one of your own.
  • Take a creative writing course through a local college.  Not only will your work get read and critiqued, but you'll be able to learn more about writing and have a chance to hone your skills.
  • Online critique groups are popping up all over the place.  The biggest ones are run by publishers.  The publishers use them as a slush pile to search for publishable work.  Meanwhile, authors can get feed back and improve on their novels.  Check them out as you'll find some helpful information there:
          - Authonomy: Run by HarperCollins UK.  Must be over 18 to use this site.
          - BookCountry: This is Penguin's critique site.  They want writers to invest                         more time helping each other out.  Before someone is eligible to put                      their work up, they have to critique other writer's work.
          - Inkpop: Another HarperCollins site.  This one is aimed at teenage writers                          and writers of YA.  (Although users are teenagers.)
          - Agent Query Connect: This site is run by writers and mainly used for                              polishing a query before submitting, but they do have forums                                 where you can swap reads.
         - #amwriting: Another writer run website.  This is a spin-off from a Twitter                           hashtag.
         - Alliance of Worldbuilders: Spin-off site from Authonomy.  Group is                                focused on helping each other make their worlds more believable.
         - Sirra Girl: Editor extraordinaire.  Her blog is full of great tips.
         - Novel Publicity: Is a great resource for writers.  From promoting writers to                       Karmic Liking Fridays, this site is well worth the look

  • Enter writing contests.  They'll give you practice for submitting your work and some will give you feedback on what was good and what could be improved.

What I don't suggest?  Giving it only to family/friends who gush about how fabulous your writing is and never have any constructive criticism.  No agent wants to hear how much your mom/dad/sister/BFF/spouse LOVED your work and thinks it should be published.  If you plan to grow as a writer, you have to learn to take the good with the bad.

Have something to add?  Another writer's site or a different way to get readers?  Let me know!

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