"Life's short - use it!"
Writing tip of the day - Getting Published:
Today I outline some issues put forward by publishers. Here are some major things they look for when you present your manuscript.
1. Good writing - quality of your sentences, lustre of your characters, good flow and rhythm. Don't try and impress publishers with big words or lengthy sentences.
2. Characters - are they interesting? Will they appeal to the reader, whether they are goodies or baddies? Will the reader care about them? Are they predictable?
3. Plot - what happens? Who, why, when and where? Is the plot predictable or a clanger? Have you kept the reader in suspense? - hope so. Have you alerted the reader to something before it happens? - hope not.
4. Depth of writing - will the reader smile when they have finished your book and say, 'Damn good read.' That should be your mission statement.
5. Emotional connection - will the reader become involved in your characters? Will they feel sad, happy, excited and shocked by your characters?
How do I do it?
A wonderful English teacher and great friend of mine, Jeff Burke, had a simple philosophy that I apply to each chapter and story, 'Great start, fantastic middle and a bloody good finish.' Yes, try to make each chapter a short story, with a lure at the end of each one to make the reader flip the page and continue.
a. Start with a hook to grab your reader. Seduce your reader to want to read more; something shocking, funny, mysterious or interesting.
b. Tell your story without waffling. Don't pad it out, have something to say and say it cleanly. Be a storyteller and get on with it. Your story will be competing with thousands of other writers so it has to be impressive.
c. Maybe finish your story with a clanger. Anyone who has read 'Pa Joe's Place' will tell you that the finish was totally unexpected - totally. Then, more is revealed in the last few pages that ties up many things that have been mentioned throughout the story. The same situation occurs in 'Gunnedah Hero'. In the last two pages the reader finds out what is in the mysterious envelope that has haunted Gunnie throughout the story.
Some writers become impatient after months of writing a manuscript. Don't! Treat the end of your story like a beautiful symphony and have a crescendo finish. It will be worth all the hard work. Your reader will be glad they have read your book and want to buy your next book.
d. Have fun and enjoy it. It's not meant to be a chore. Get involved in your characters and plots.
Guest author Nancy Allen from Hazard, Kentucky, USA, will appear on August 10th. Nancy is an award-winning author of numerous picture books, both fictional and nonfictional.
Also, a great illustrator from Turkey will soon be my guest - Emel Alp Sari.
Don't be shy ... leave a comment or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for listening.
I'm Clancy Tucker.