This is sort of an unconventional topic for the blog chain this week, but since my head is in the whole writing anniversary mode I thought it would be fun to offer up a piece of advice to writers who are starting out like we all did at one time or another.
Whether you've been writing for five weeks or five years you can't deny you've learned something along the way. I'm hitting my one year mark this month and I'm blown away by how much I've already learned. Just think what I'll be saying three years from now! Now put yourself back to the first time you picked up a pen or pencil or started typing your first real story, what advice would you give yourself at that moment? It might be about inspiration, time management, querying, networking. Anything goes.
Me, I'd have this to say to myself last year at this time. Since the querying stage is fresh in my mind and one the areas I've learned the most I'm going in that direction.
1. Before you even think of looking for an agent find other aspiring writers to connect with. They can help you in ways you can't do for yourself with critiques and support so you can make sure your work is ready to submit.
2. Never ever call it a fiction novel. Apparently this raises a red flag immediately and marks you as a newbie hasn't done your research.
3. Send your queries in batches so you'll have a chance to head back in with a revision if needed before using up your list of top agents you'd like to work with.
4. Research each and every agent before you send a query so that you can find out if they have personal preferences. Some are even generous enough to spell it out for you with an exact query format so you can make it just the way they like it.
5. Don't give up. From what I've heard you should at least wait until you hit a 100 rejections before retiring a certain project.
Be sure to see what the other "blog chainers" have to say this week. Even if you're not a new writer I'm sure they will have some great tips.
From Elysium, Girl With a Notebook, Somwhere Nowhere In My Kingdom, Flames and Shadows