Hey all of Bri's awesome follows! I first want to thank my wonderfully awesome adopted baby twitter sister, Brielle for doing this meet up. It is a fantastic idea and I have met a lot of cool people while doing it.
Now, when I was asked to do this guest post, I had no idea what I should write about. After asking Bri for what she thought and getting a list of great ideas, I came up with the top six things all writer's need to know. So, here they are and I hope you all enjoy!
1. Word Count:
This is usually the number one question that most new authors ask. What is the standard word count for my novel's genre? It's safe to say that most novels start at 50,000 words and go longer. Depending on genre, it can go up to 60,000 or 130,000. This is a great post by Cassandra Marshall on word counts that will help.
This is a place that I believe where it's easy to get confused and make a mistake. For example, I once called my novel a YA (Young Adult) Fantasy Romance. After one of my awesome CP's (Critique Partner) pointed out that I should actually call it a YA Paranormal Romance because it made it a lot neater, I realized that wikipedia should be an authors best friend. Any time I think about writing a new genre, I look it up to make sure it isn't listed under a different genre that would sum it up better. So, make wiki a part of your life. It'll help tons. I swear!
3. Know Your Audience:
If you're writing a young adult novel, then get to know the young adult audience. Don't write something and not have at least one teen read it. If only adults read something that you intend on teens reading, then you will never know what your audience will think of it until it's too late. Honestly, my teen readers are very important to me and I value their opinions more than they actually know. If they don't like it, then I know something needs changing. All of this goes for MG and Adult novelists too.
4. Critique Partners and Betas:
To me, these two things are very important as an author. Not only do I have CP's, but I also have some pretty awesome betas. If you don't know what the difference is between a CP or beta, then you should check out this awesome post. My CP's have helped me to take my ms from okay to WOW! I actually love this! Betas have let me know that something's off and that is very important for an author to know before trying to query an agent. If you don't know, then you can't fix it. So my advice is to have at least a CP or use betas. They will save you tons of headaches!
5. Research is a must:
You would never stay in a place (town, hotel, country) that you didn't research first. Well, you should never write about a subject that you have no knowledge of until you research it first. Get to know your subject like you do your favorite T.V. show. If you find during research that it doesn't interest you, then it's better you know before you begin writing then finding out later after you've put so much blood, sweat, and tears into something that you just want to toss in the end. Do yourself a favor, always research before you write anything. It'll save you time later. I promise.
6. Don't be afraid to go through the looking glass:
I know. This sounds crazy. But it's the best piece of advice that I can give. To me, the looking glass in Through The Looking Glass is the doorway to your imagination. If you're afraid to dive into the darkest corners of your mind, then you'll miss out on all of the awesomeness that is the Cheshire cat! Don't be afraid to lay fingers to keyboard, hand to pencil that meets paper. Don't even be afraid to write crap cause we all do it. In fact, we all say the first draft is the worst! So, have fun with writing like you do with reading. Go through the looking glass and meet the handsome Hatter from Syfy's Alice. Who knows, you might find what you've been missing when you do!
I hope my top six things a writer needs to know helps answer any questions you have and also gives you a laugh. Just remember, all authors go through the crazy moments of, “This book is horrible!” It doesn't make it true though. The most important thing you should take away from this is, writing should be fun. If you're not having fun then maybe you need to take a trip down the rabbit hole and have an adventure of your own. Happy writing/reading everybody!
Come back on Wednesday to check out Jessie's guest post!