Before you begin writing, here are 10 things you may want to consider:
- Your novel is not a personal journal. Consider the reader.
- Writing is a business. You enter into an agreement with a reader. You agree to entertain in exchange for their money. You agree to inform them for their time.
- Readers don’t like charmless heroes. Just because your protagonist happens to be an anti-hero does not mean you are free to make him or her 100% unlikable.
- Only experienced novelists who have successfully completed two published books should attempt to use an anti-hero as a protagonist.
- Antagonists should be people, not things.
- If you aren’t willing to listen to advice, if you aren’t able to learn from your mistakes, and if you aren’t prepared to let go of stories nobody wants to read, you will probably not succeed.
- You have to read a lot to be able to write.
- Using examples of famous authors who were published more than 30 years ago to justify long passages of description in your boring manuscript is not a good idea. Publishing has changed. Readers have changed.
- Self-publishing does not mean you don’t need to pay somebody to proofread and edit your book. Readers are insulted when they find mistakes in books. It’s like serving guests dinner on dirty plates.
- Always delete the first three chapters of the first draft of your first three novels. It will always be filled with backstory you don’t need.
© Amanda Patterson
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