This column reminded me how I’m constantly surprised by some of the questions aspiring writers ask on self-help Facebook sites. Yesterday, is grammar important? Today, should an author get a web site? This column offers some advice I think everyone hoping to publish needs.
Me included. Realizing that writing is a business—never a comfortable home territory for me—but also that it really has to be something you just can’t help doing: These are the reminders I need.
I had old contracts that required me to give notice and then wait 90 days for the publisher to decide whether or not to re-activate the titles. While I was pretty sure the rights to at least one of the books had already been passed on and then returned to me by another publisher, I went through the steps as laid out in the contracts. The hard part was finding the right place to send my notice. The web site (of a major publisher) was no help. I found a “permissions” link and wrote asking that my request be forwarded to the right person. That eventually happened. and I eventually received written confirmation of the reversion.
The clauses you provide would have saved me a lot of trouble. I’m not sure they were standard when my books were originally published, but for future publications, I’ll be on the lookout! Thanks for some solid advice!
Found this terrific piece on cadence and beats at the sentence level on Writers in the Storm. I especially like the rhetorical devices guest blogger Margie Lawson provides. As a rhetorician, I’ve encountered many of these in my research, and I’ve used many, even if only intuitively, in my writing.
I’ve written about some of these in my Novel First Lines series, and in my post on the effects of commas on cadence. Meter and rhythm are powerful lures in the first lines of a book or story. For a wonderful discussion of rhythm and cadence as persuasive devices, check out Martha Kolln’s textbook (find used copies), Rhetorical Grammar.
See if you use any already—and what you can learn to use.
Couldn’t reblog this from Colleen M. Story on Writers in the Storm (no button), but I wish I could. It’s a great post that really resonated with me and might with you.
(Can anybody tell me why some WordPress sites have reblog buttons and others don’t? Is thiis a choice the blogger makes? I HATE seeing good posts I can’t share in their entirety.)
In any case, this could so be me! I’m just now trying to decide whether to self-publish my way-outside-the-conventional-genres novel or to go on submitting to agents. I haven’t gone the small press route because I found myself thinking that if I have to do all the marketing, why share the net? But this post makes me realize that I’m probably thinking too short-term. Having a new novel picked up by a press (I published five with big presses before going back to school) would be a gateway to new contacts and new opportunities.
Story’s thoughts on feedback also resonated. Having gone the beta-reader route as well as working with my writing group, I’ve decided not to tear up my work unless it’s for someone who has made a commitment to the book, for the very reasons Story states: six reviews, six different ideas as to what just has to be done. In my excellent writing group, I listen for consensus and a good argument that the advice is well-grounded. I often receive the kind of feedback Story praises, the kind that strikes me instinctively as valuable, sometimes pinpointing a problem I knew at heart needed attention but which I hadn’t quite identified.
Check out the post for her seven inspirational messages. They were a call to action for me, and might be for you.