Today’s guest blogger is Olivia. A book blogger I met on the now non-existent Bookblogs.ning.com. Which also became the shortly lived TheNovels.net. Sigh, lost a lot of blogger friends this way, ahem *authonomy.com*. Fortunately I was able to keep in touch with and following Olivia’s blog. And if you’re a bibliophile like me who loves to grow his/her TBR list, you must visit her book blog.
Now take it away, Olivia!
I’m Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe, a book blogger and an aspiring writer. As we’re coming to the end of November, it means we are reaching the end of Nanowrimo. Now, whether you are or aren’t going to meet your goal, the important thing is that you have been writing! To encourage everyone out there, I wanted to share my top ten writing and publishing tips that I felt could be shared here on Lidy’s blog!
1. Titles Matter
Whether you are writing poetry or prose, your title will ALWAYS matter. It centers the reader on the theme of your work or novel, and gives them a starting point when they think about your novel. Maybe the meaning of the title is going to be later revealed as they read further. That’s perfectly alright too! It’s all up to you.
2. Planning Matters
Some people are excessive planners, and some people are pansters. But even pansters have a vague outline and it can help to scribble that down when you have it. Planners need to be wary, because although planning does matter, it only does until a certain extent. Don’t let it consume too much of your time! And for all the poets out there – when I switched to planning my poems, writing down my ideas and the imagery I wanted to connect with it? They improved by 75% percent. (I don’t know why I chose that number but it seems accurate somehow.)
3. YOU are your characters
And if YOU aren’t in your characters, then it is likely that your characters are flat. No matter which character you are writing, and if they are the complete opposite of who you are, they should have some aspect of you in there too. You only live life from your perspective, so it makes sense for YOU to be in there too.
4. Your setting builds your story
Lots of writers see setting to be a distraction, or a requirement which is separate from their novel. As soon as that mindset changes and you realise how engaging the setting can truly be, you’re one step to a better novel.
5. Plot twists are for everyone
One day a writer was asking me for advice about a character driven novel. She was struggling with getting the plot right, and then I suggested she try to think of a plot twist. Her answer? “Plot twists are only for plot-based books.” You wouldn’t have believed my shock! If you’re struggling to find a plot twist for a character driven novel, I’d recommend you read Made You Up by Francesca Zappia or Aftermath by Clara Kensie. They ACE that.
6. One rejection is only the beginning
When trying to get published, each rejection stings. But you are SO CLOSE to the finish line at this point. One rejection is only the beginning. The next is a new beginning. Don’t even think about giving up until you have at least 70 under your belt.
7. Cater to an agents/publishers wants
When applying to an agent or publisher, research what type of novel they are looking for. Cater your query to suit their needs. It seems like advertising and promoting yourself, but that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.
8. Invest time, it’ll be worth it
If you’re gonna be getting 70 rejections at the least, that’s a lot of applying and altering to cater each publisher and author’s needs. You’ve put in so much time and gotten this far. Trust me, more time is worth it.
9. Bloggers are your best friends (no bias here!)
Well, maybe a little bias. But book bloggers read novel after novel. They are like a practice audience – they know what works and what doesn’t, and sometimes even how to fix it. So make book blogger friends. They’re gonna be some of your BEST beta readers.
10. Write like there’s no tomorrow!
I think this one speaks for itself 😉
And those are all my tips! I hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to seeing you all around!
Olivia’s Question: What’s the best writing/publishing tip you can share with me, so I can learn too?
Hi! I’m Olivia-Savannah, a British 17 year old currently living in the Netherlands. I’m book crazy, love basketball, writing and all things nail polish. 🙂 Add me on snapchat: ocatastrophe