I’ve been talking magic with my critique group lately as a few of us work on paranormal projects with magical elements. And I think I’ve come up with one hum-dinger of a spell to make your writing (and mine) get published licky-split.
The Published Author Spell
(After completion of first book-first draft.)
- Rejoice – you’ve crossed a writing milestone!
- Now get a grip. Put draft through critique group.
- Recover from critique group gutting, pick up your heart, shove it back in your chest and start to edit your book.
- Repeat as many times as necessary.
If you follow this spell, you’re likely to get published WAY faster because when you actually are ready to send out submissions, you’ll be taken seriously and have greater results.
How to tell if you need the spell? You’ve finished your first draft, maybe had a few close friends read it and they tell you it’s wonderful. If you’re lucky, they’ll point out grammar issues, which you fix – and then you ask yourself….what am I waiting for? Let’s get this baby published.
Stop at this point, my friends. It is officially the cart before the horse. You’re spell-worthy.
The first draft of your first book is (for most of us) equivalent to a four-year-old’s crayon portrait of the family dog posted on the fridge. Sure, that kid might be a future Picasso, but for right now the dog appears to have seven legs and an elephant’s trunk for a nose.
And that’s how your book might read to an agent or editor - disjointed, incomplete, despite moments of brilliance.
Avoid the seductive, time-wasting trap of searching for agents and publishers (you could be writing/editing/revising instead!) until your book has gone through several revisions and a bevy of hard-hitting critiques by fellow authors. When you’ve polished your tale, and you think it’s done, put it away for a few weeks. Start another project. Then return to read your book from start to finish and see if it still wows.
Yes? Then, and only then, is it time to shop it around. And once you get requests for your manuscript – then the true magic happens.
Questions for Aprilynne Pike!
7 years ago