The Art, Craft and Business of Writing Fiction

Here are some notes I took from a workshop I did by Linnea Sinclair when I went to Context a few weeks ago. I found them helpful and thought I would share. 


Are you a writer or author?
Writer= isn’t serious about being published
Author=  has published works
Writing is an art and craft, but it is also a BUSINESS!
 

All About the Art and Craft


  • You have to couple good writing with original thought.
  • Read as much as you can of what is available in the genre that you write and other genres as well.
  • Too many writers stop at the art, at the muse. Move past this and get into the craft of writing.
  • Craft is the only way to tame the muse.
  • Art lives in the emotions, but only craft can give your words life.
  • Craft allows you to refine your words.
  • Decent craft has good plot, logic, characterization and conflict.
  • It is the author’s job to manipulate the emotions of the reader.

All About the Business

  • Network! Meet and greet as many as people you can that will help you move forward as an author this includes other writers, editors, agents and publishers.
  • Do your homework! A subscription to Publisher’s Lunch is essential in this endeavor. It is a bible of information for finding agents and publishers. If you know what’s being published you can find how published it and what agents are looking for.
  • Build up your resume
  • Beware of the trend in New York. If you want to be picked up by big name publishers use New York as your source of information for what’s wanted on the market.
  • Have an elevator pitch ready to sell yourself. An elevator pitch is being able to pitch your story in the time it would take to ride an elevator.
  • Know your read-a-like.What current author do you write like? You should know this to give as a pitch to potential agents and publishers.
  • Analyze your own writing to discover where it fits and makes sure it’s in your query letter.
  • Be prepared to market your own work. In fact when submitting a novel manuscript, you should have a marketing plan already written up.

Sites to Check Out!

Must have books!

I also highly recommend her online classes as well. You can check them out at linneasinclair.com/news.html

 

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Context 24: Why Conventions are so Important

Denise Wyant, Me, Lesley Conner and Nora Azzi
Anyone who is serious about writing should be serious about attending conventions, especially writing conventions. I’ve gone to several and plan on expanding to more. This time around I went with three other writing friends of mine to Columbus, Ohio to attend Context 24, which is a convention for horror, science fiction, and fantasy writers. The best part is you don’t even have to be into the horror, science fiction or fantasy genres to get something out of this convention, because it’s main goal is to appeal to the writer.
I took several workshops one exploring the importance of details in a story and the other talking about the business side of writing. The rest of the time I spent going to panels with titles like Blogging for Beginners, Anthologies for Beginners, Balance in Writing and in Life, Writing for Different Mediums/Venues,  and Horror: Books and Movies.
Michael Knost and the Knosty girls!
When I wasn’t learning, I had a great meeting great writers including: Linnea Sinclair, Michael Knost, Lawrence Connolly, Tim Waggoner, Michael West, Shelby Rhodes, and many more! And even editors such as David Hartwell, and Jason Sizemore!
Conventions are fun, but they are also important for learning more about the craft of writing as well as meeting writers, editors and publishers. I enjoyed every second of my time in Columbus and look forward to doing even more in the future! The only downside was that it didn’t last longer.
Denise Wyant, Maurice Broaddus, Michael Knost, Jerry Gordon, Me, Nora Azzi, Lesley Conner, Shelby Rhodes