Elessar wrote:I'm not a part of this class, so I'll keep this short. I just spent the last few hours reading through your super secrets, and I feel like I can apply a lot of that to my writing and bettering my submission this quarter. So thanks a lot for that, and I think it's really cool that you keep your advice public as well. I'll definitely be looking forward to your next post. Thanks!
You are most welcome, Elessar. I keep the Super Secrets public for this very reason--they are meant to help anyone that wants to help themselves. I just can't give personal attention to everyone, which is why I do an enrollment period and then close it at the start of each contest year. I try to give line-by-line critiques to everyone in the challenge, provided they continue to meet the challenge requirements throughout the year. Here is why, and this is from Larry Niven:
"We working writers, we're not really interested in reading your manuscripts. We can be talked into it, sometimes, via the plea of relatives, or sex appeal, or someone to vouch for you.
"Do you know how difficult it is to persuade, say Ray Bradbury to read one of your stories? [It's really difficult now. He has passed since Niven wrote this article.] Have you tried yet? You'd be a fool not to, if you've got the nerve. An hour of a successful author's time could be worth a lot to you. What he says will apply to most
of your stories.
"Ray turned me down twenty-two years ago. He said he didn't have the time, and he was right.
"But we can be persuaded. So here you are, a novice who's sold a few stories or none, and somehow you've talked an established writer into reading one of your stories. What do you do then? Give him your worst story, the one that most needs improving?
"A novice writer did that to me when I was also a novice. He told me so after I told him that if I could think of a way to make it saleable, I'd burn it.
"Give him your best
story! The best is the one most worthy of improvement. It's the one where your remaining flaws shine through without distractions, and you've picked the man who could spot them."
Like I've said, getting a pro writer to read your manuscript is going to be tough, but it's the best external thing you can do to see your flaws (what's holding you back from selling) and figuring out what to work on. But you can read the words of pro writers, and some of them actually have the gift of being able to condense their knowledge into packets that are easily understood by others. If you can understand it, you can apply it.
Thank you for your kind words, Elessar. And thank you for letting me use them to teach another lesson. : )
Please do sign up for my blog on my website at driftweave.com. And friend me on Facebook. I share a lot about what's going on in the industry there.
All the beast!