Sunday, February 10, 2008

Last time, I said I wanted to share the four biggest secrets I knew about becoming a published author. Anyone remember the first one? The "secret" was that an aspiring author hoping to make a first sale needs to FINISH THE BOOK! Seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? But how many of us know a writer who starts one project after another, writes a few chapters, then gives up and starts something new? That's perfectly fine, if she simply enjoys the process of writing and doesn't care about making a sale. But first sales are rarely made with less than a complete manuscript, because editors know just how hard it is to finish. So...have you been writing this week? Did you finish a scene? A chapter? If so, good for you! Now, keep going!

Here's another "secret." #2. Read everything aloud! Perhaps that sounds a little sophomoric, but this is an amazing tool. You know your story. Know what you meant to say. If you silently read over your work, you might subconsciously "see" what's supposed to be there, and miss the parts that aren't. By reading aloud, you will catch missing or incorrect words, awkward phrasing, clunky or unbelievable or over-long dialogue, and a host of other problems. Take time to read *every* paragraph aloud. You'll be surprised at what you catch!

Best wishes until next week,
Roxanne Rustand

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