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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Five Worst Mistakes An Author Can Make

From time to time all authors make mistakes, but here are five that we need to avoid like the Lamidian plague:

#1.   Sending out a ms before it's ready to be published. I know you're eager to publish---so was I. But it's a huge mistake to jump the gun. I advise authors to let their ms rest, "marinate", "simmer", whatever you want to call it. Then look at it with new eyes. You are much more likely to spot your mistakes. If there are gaping holes in your plot or weak spots, they should jump out at you. Then rewrite, revise, and edit as needed. You may need to repeat this process several times.

#2.   Depending on an editor or proofreader to "fix" your ms for you. You need a proper knowledge of grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, etc.  If you aren't willing to put in the required effort, chances are no one else is going to be bothered "fixing" your writing. Make your work the best it can be before other eyes see it.

#3.   Neglecting to research the publishing house or small press you submit your ms to. If a house specializes in publishing Romances, chances are good that they won't be interested in your Gothic mystery! Your chances of having an ms considered or accepted are a heck of a lot better if you've targeted your publisher intelligently.

#4.   Allowing rejection to discourage you from sending out your ms yet again. Rejection hurts! But you simply cannot allow rejection to stop you. Keep sending out that ms. Double your efforts; be determined to prove the rejectors wrong. Remember the old saying: Where there's a will, there's a way.

#5.   Stopping writing entirely---the biggest mistake of all! If you are born to be a writer, you'll never escape the urge to write. It will haunt you day and night until you do what you are meant to do. This doesn't mean any of us are born knowing HOW to write. Writing is a skill set that must be learned and honed to perfection. A true writer is willing to invest considerable time and energy into becoming the best they can be and then never gives up.

Here's to your ultimate success!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Love of Reading

Want to pass on a love of reading to your kids, grandkids, or other youngsters? Start reading aloud to them at a very young age. Choose age appropriate material. Make reading aloud fun, interesting, and exciting. If you sound bored, the kids will be bored. Make reading aloud a habit, whether it's at bedtime or whenever.

Bring kids with you to the library and to bookstores. Make those trips fun. Have a home library of favorite books. Give kids their own books and bookshelves or a special place on the bookshelf. Give books as gifts, but don't force kids to read what you like. Respect their preferences.

Avoid using phrases like: "What are you reading that for?" Discourage others from belittling reading in kids' hearing, ie: "Reading is a waste of time." "Wouldn't you rather be playing outside?"

Maybe best of all, let kids see you reading. Let them know how much you love books and which books you read and loved as a child. Encourage them to read on their own, or with help, on a regular basis. Help them improve their reading skills---and not just to aim for better grades.

If you bring kids to a movie or watch a DVD based on a book, afterward encourage them to try reading the actual book. Even if you don't have kids of your own, if you are a writer, your aim should be to nurture the next generation of readers---and many generations after that! The more kids there are who love to read, the more call there will be in the future for new books and new writers.

Keep on writing and promote love of reading!