Science Fiction & Fantasy Author and Illustrator
Advice for Writers:
1 - Read. Especially read the kind of writing you're trying to create. If you want to write children's books, then read lots of children's books. If you're writing poetry, read lots of contemporary poetry. If you're writing science fiction & fantasy, then you should be reading current speculative fiction.
2 - Write. Write every chance you get. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, just get your ideas down on paper. Practice really does improve your skill as a writer.
3 - Revise. Most of us dislike the revision process, but it's necessary if the manuscript is to become tight and polished. No editor wants to see a first draft. It's your responsibility as a writer to prepare the best manuscript possible before submitting it to a publisher.
4 - Submit your writing to publishers. The worse thing that can happen, is the magazine, e-zine, or book editor says, "No." Remember, they're rejecting this particular piece of writing -- not you. So shrug your shoulders, research a new market, and re-submit!
5 - Take a class or 2. Whether offered by your local college or online, learn more about your craft by taking a writing class. Talk to writer friends and find out which classes they've taken that were helpful.
6 - Attend writers' conferences or seminars that offer interesting speakers at reasonable prices. Often writers' conferences are where you can meet editors, agents, and other writers with common interests. If you're interested in writing speculative fiction & poetry, many conventions like Balticon offer an abundance of programming for writers. Also, the dealers' rooms at cons often have hard-to-find speculative magazines and anthologies. Sometimes, the editors of the publications are sitting on the other side of the table. So politely, ask them about submitting.
7 - Join a critique group. Organize or join a group of writers that are your peers. If other writers in your group are too advanced, you'll become discouraged. If other writers in your group are too far behind you in their craft, their comments and suggestions won't be as helpful. And remember, keep the critiques professional. Make it a rule that first you must say something positive about the manuscript, and then, you can make suggestions for improving some of the weaker areas.
My critique group from 2004 until 2014, known tongue-in-cheek as "The Writing Goddesses:" Michelle Sonnier, Me, Katie Hartlove.
And remember to have fun! (And take pictures -- like this photo of me and Michelle Sonnier at the Maryland Rennaisance Faire snapped by Katie Hartlove).
Welcome to my worlds of magic, mystery, and adventure!
I suggest writers visit my blog, Whimsical Words. Then, highlight the "Writer's Advice" category for interesting and helpful posts and links. Or you can just enjoy all the posts, and get to know me better.
I've written a few guest blogs that might prove of interest:
Jan. 30, 2013: "Writing Isn't for Ninnies" Guest Blog at Casting Shadows - Home of Young Adult and Children's Author K.B. Lever
Feb. 1, 2013: "Seeing Fairies" Fourth Wall Guest Post at Kriss Morton's Cabin Goddess.
Feb. 13, 2013: "Writing Adventures" Guest Blog at L. Jagi Lamplighter's Wright's Writing Corner.
March 20, 2013:"Speculative Romance" Guest Blog at Allison Merritt's Have Novel Will Edit.
April 17, 2013: "Where the Magic Begins" Jennifer Allis Provost's Blog.
May 7, 2013: "Location Matters in Fantasy" Guest Blog at Mike Squatrito's The Overlords.
June 13, 2013: Guest Blog at Anne E. Johnson's site.
Jan. 8, 2012: "Book Covers" Guest Blog at "Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog" - http://wp.me/p18Ztn-1Fa
Dec. 27, 2011: "Holiday Traditions & the Writer" Guest Blog at http://tinyurl.com/holiday-traditions-VWC-blog
Oct. 25 2011: "Illustrating" Guest Blog at "Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog" - http://wp.me/p18Ztn-17n
Sept. 25, 2011: "Writing Fantasy" Guest Blog at "Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog - http://wp.me/p18Ztn-Ro
www.ralan.com markets for the speculative writer and/or artist. There is also a section on writing hints, etc.
Bio & Promo Handouts:
Authors (& illustrators) need a bio with basic information available. It's also nice to have book marks, business cards, postcards, and informative handouts when you appear at schools, meetings, and conferences.