Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Five Rules for Beginning Writers with Kate Bracy #WriteTip #AmWriting #WomensFic

at 8:30 AM
Five Rules for Beginning Writers

If you are serious about writing – or anything else – you will at some point be asked to meet ridiculously ambitious deadlines. Here are five helpful rules that can keep you sane, yet productive, in the face of intimidating time targets.

Be honest. Tell the truth to yourself and your editor about what you can and cannot do. This is a gift to everyone. Let’s say your agent asks for the last five chapters by the end of the summer, and you are getting married in August. Do your marriage a favor and say, “I’m planning a wedding. I can get them to you by the end of September, but not by Labor Day.” Presumably, your agent will then tell you why that date was so important, and you can decide whether to cancel the wedding or the chapters. But making promises that you know you can’t keep is never good, and you’ll get a reputation for standing people up – either at the presses or at the altar.

Next, anticipate.
Walk a project back and figure out exactly how much you have to write every day/week/etc. in order to meet the deadline. If you are writing a chapter for a medical text, and it is due in four months, figure out a writing schedule that gets you in well under the wire and then stick to it. I did this sort of math/planning for a book on Menopause that I wrote, and it saved my life. I was able to meet some pretty brutal deadlines writing only on my weekends. (I don’t recommend a demanding timeline that steals all your weekends, but it can be done.) Even if you’re the sort of person who thrives on the pressure of a deadline, let the little deadlines pressure you. That way, when you are in the home stretch, you will only procrastinate on the last few pages instead of the whole darn chapter – which results in much better writing and no ulcer.

Third, communicate.
Stay in touch with your editor, agent or whoever is requesting the work. It keeps you on track, and helps reassure them and set the expectations as things go along. Building your relationship with them and establishing your reliability is based on trust. Keep them in the loop.

Fourth, admit what is impossible.
If a writing assignment is too much for you, don’t take it. You will have many chances to write and to create work that you can be proud of. If something sounds like a big break, but you know it’s impossible, don’t put yourself – or your reputation – at risk by promising more than you can deliver. I quit a gig writing as a guide for I couldn’t meet their deadlines and do the writing I wanted, so I let it go – even though it paid pretty well. I hope someone else is rocking that assignment, but if I had kept doing that I wouldn’t have been able to write my novel. When you are in it for the long run, don’t make short-run crazy-making decisions.

Finally, quality matters most.
If you know you can improve a piece exponentially by having it another couple of days, talk to your editor. Even if you have to send the lesser version in, ask for an extension if you know you want it to be better and can do it. Your text and your byline will be “out there” and available for a long time. Others will be looking at it to judge your credibility and maybe to hire you/sign you for other things. Make sure it is your best work. Chances are, your editor wants that, too.

Once in a while, you may mis-guess how long a project will take. But some careful attention to deadlines – well in advance – will save your sanity and their bottom line. Don’t be too hard on yourself – you may overshoot now and then.

But mostly you won’t.


Winner of four independent publishing awards, including the IndieReader Discovery Award in Women's Fiction, this debut novel hits the mark for smart, discerning readers.

There's nothing about her life that doesn't need a little work, so Melanie Davis thinks of herself as a "fixer-upper." Her history with men leaves her gun shy; her teenaged daughter can't string two civil words together; her best friend Donna just found out she has a life-threatening illness. When Donna also reveals a decades-old secret that still haunts her, Melanie makes it her mission to solve the mystery and reunite Donna with a precious link to her past - before it's too late. 

Along the way Melanie discovers with startling clarity the pricelessness of love and friendship. With a finely-tuned emotional compass, Kate Bracy carries us through a trial-by-illness as funny as it is touching. Her narrator, Melanie, comes to realize the enduring power of love - between men and women, between mothers and daughters, between friends. Through her vivid, endearing characters Bracy creates a small-town world in northern New York where old loves rekindle, friendships prevail, and secret wounds are finally healed. This debut novel will leave you with an awakened heart and a strong urge to send postcards to all the people you love.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Women's Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kate Bracy through Facebook


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