G is for...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

G is for Genre -- Do you write sci-fi? Romance? Fantasy? Contemporary? This is a question you need to ask yourself, and it's one you have to be able to answer with some degree of certainty. If you don't know where your book fits, then you won't know what its competition is. If you know its competition, then that should give you an idea of where your book fits in the market. At some point, someone is going to ask you to answer this question, and it's not something you can shrug off and let someone else figure out.

G is for Galleys -- Think of them as last minute proof copies of your book. At this point, everything should be ready to go, but you want to look over things one more time to make sure there aren't any glaring errors. Glaring error, in this case, meaning your MC underwent gender reassignment without your permission or that Tokyo is now in China for some inexplicable reason. This is NOT the time to decide you want to rewrite "that scene" in chapter four.

G is for Green -- Which is more eco-friendly - paper books or e-books? You'd think e-books, right? Well, the answer is actually... "maybe". While e-readers don't require paper (beyond the packaging they come in...), they do create tech-waste, which isn't at all eco-friendly. And since, like most tech, they're designed with obsolesce in mind, you can bet that, at some point, that e-reader on your night stand is going to be landing in a landfill somewhere.

G is for Green -- the other kind. While money may not be your primary motivation behind seeking publication, I think most people would agree that it's not a bad goal. The commercial viability of your novel (or book, if you write non-fic) is something to consider when deciding on a publishing path.

G is for Google that sh-- STUFF! (I was gonna say stuff, Mom, honest!) -- Seriously, Google is a great first step for seeking information, and it's basic enough that it can keep you from slipping into some serious rookie faux pas. Google agents. Google publishers. Google the places you write about. Google famous people. Google is a verb now; use it accordingly.

G is for Goosebumps -- something you will get when an agent says they like your writing and then asks if they can call you. Don't panic; this is not a rash and it's highly unlikely that you are allergic to the agent in question. Back away from the Benadryl.

G is for good, giddy, giggles, and goals --

Good enough is not a four letter word, but it can be much worse. If you're on a first draft, then, yes, you can get away with "good enough" to just get the story out of your head. But, when you get to the point that you're editing, never let yourself fall into the "good enough" trap by comparing your work to that of others who you find inferior, despite their published status. Maybe your "good enough" really is better than their book, but settling that way should never be good enough for you, yourself. Give it your best, or you might as well delete your book right now.

When you get compliments on your writing, don't get too giddy. Getting giddy often leads to a flare up in the idea that something;s "good enough" when it can, in fact, be better. Compliments are nice, but success is better. Don't flatter yourself into complacency.

It's okay to laugh at yourself and your lousy writing. Celebrate the cheesy dialogue. Glory in the cliched set-up. Get the Giggles, then use the endorphin boost to power through and fix it all.

Goals are great. Words/day. Chapters/week. Etc...etc...etc.... However, they're only great so long as they help you. Once they become a burden rather than a tool, you might need to reevaluate your system. Just because something worked yesterday or for your last project doesn't mean it still applies today.

Next time, H is for Heroes, Heroines, and Homophones...

3 Chiming In:

Sarah said...

Wow, this post is great! I've totally fallen victim to good-enough laziness, but without fail I get feedback that I didn't fool anyone and I actually need to address the issues I thought I could sneak by the reader. It's great lesson every time.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Super fun G's! I'm looking forward to the editing of WIP #2--must remember to avoid the pit of "good enough!"

Kimberly said...

I love your alphabet posts, you've got a lot of awesomeness going on in them.

The goals one really hit me, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. This weekend turned out to be fantastic as far as my writing goals go. I'm really happy right now. :)

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