Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Newbie Advice

Over the past year a few friends and family members have asked to read my book. Most take a while to read it and I have to ask what they thought of it, but on Monday I got a great email from my niece. I sent the book to her on Thursday and she read it in three days. Gotta love that.

Here's what she said:

"Wow, I am surprised that it has not been published yet."

And then she went on to say a lot of other nice things, which I won't bore you with. But it was really nice to hear some positive feedback.

Then she told me she was writing a novel and asked for any advice. I told her to read some books on writing (which is something I wish I had done), visit some blogs (wish I'd known about this sooner), and have a sense of where you're going, plus a few grammar things (no adverbs, avoid passive).

If you knew then what you know now, what advice would you give to someone just starting out?

19 comments:

Elaine AM Smith said...

Hi Patti
Isn't it great to get positive feedback? Yes, I recommend making time to get around some Blogs and read. Have you found a Beat Reader to buddy up with? Give me a shout if you need another. :)

Katie Ganshert said...

Yay for positive feedback! Such an encouragement!

My advice would be very similar to yours. Get online and involved in the writing community and read craft books.

Janna Qualman said...

All of what you advised, and also to follow your internal voice, because it can't lead you wrong.

Laura Pauling said...

Probably not to query their first book. And to study the books they love because that's probably the kind they should be writing. To write and read every day. And find crit partners when that first draft is done! Okay that was more than thing! Sorry.

lotusgirl said...

read. read. read. ask yourself what you love about the books that really speak to you. then write. write. write.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Be prepared to wait. There's waiting at every stage of this publishing game.
~ Wendy

Anne Gallagher said...

My advice is the same as yours. Oh, and sit up straight when you type.

ali said...

Hmm, good question! I think I'd say to reach out to the writing community sooner. ITA with your advice!

And congratulations on positive feedback!

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Yours is all good advice.

Knowing what I know now, I'd probably also advise beginners to join a crit group right away...Not only is the networking and learning part of it good, but the sooner you start to build that thick skin the better.

Robyn Campbell said...

Congrats on the encouragement you are receiving. YAY! That means you've REALLY got something there.

Great advice too, Patti. Mine would be to have LOTS of patience. Things will move slower that you think. :)

Jessica Nelson said...

That's wonderful! Congrats on the sweet comments. We need those. :-)

My advice is usually to finish the book, and then find a crit group that reads what you write.

Terri Tiffany said...

Read the book GMC-- wish I had a year ago!

Holly Ruggiero said...

What great feedback from your niece.

Susan R. Mills said...

All those same things. Plus, don't rush the query process. Take your time, and make your writing the best it can be.

Carolyn V. said...

That is such great advice. I add going to conferences. That helped me so much!

Great post Patti! =D

Angela Ackerman said...

Read, read read. And get involved in a critique group. Even if a person isn't ready to get feedback on their work, they learn so much from critiquing others. :)

That's nice to get a note like that. I've had friends ask to see my writing, but I don't know--I just can't make myself show it to them.

It's funny. Here I am with an agent, subbing to publishers, getting and dealing with rejections as they come...and I am too nervous to show family or friends what I write. LOL

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Colene Murphy said...

Hey, that is a huge compliment to suck in a teen? (I'm assuming she's in her teens anyway for some reason) so quickly! I bet it is great. Good luck on your edits this month!

Marieke said...

That's a lovely compliment! :D

My advice would be - read read read and write write write. Learn from the best, find out what you like and why, but mostly just try. All those rules you can learn, but the actual writing comes first.

- Also, you may want to have a look at my latest blog post ;-)

Melissa Gill said...

Great to hear that you got a positive review from a reader.

My advice is like most: read, read, read, write, write, write. But also embrace rejection and be patient.

Every rejection gets you that much closer to your goal. And the only way you can really fail is if you don't write your story.