Questions for Aspiring Authors…

I’m very interested to know where everyone is at in their writing careers. Are you published? Do you have an agent? How many manuscripts have you written? Are you struggling through your first novel? Are you considering writing a novel but have no idea where to begin? Are you struggling with writers block?

I’m endlessly curious to know where everyone is at so I have put together a list of questions that I’d love for you all to answer. Let’s get some discussion going.

1. What genre do you write in?
2. How many novels have you written?
3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
5. What is your advice to fellow writers?

My answers:

1. What genre do you write in? — I write young adult fiction. Usually fantasy and sci-fi.

2. How many novels have you written? — I am currently writing my third novel but I have also dabbled in fanfiction in the past. Draco and Hermione forever!

3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? — No, but it is my goal to have an agent and be published traditionally.

4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement? — I’ve learnt through beta readers and critique groups that my writing can be quite repetitive with plenty of redundant words thrown into the mix. I need to trust my readers with the information I give them.

5. What is your advice to fellow writers? — My advice would be, don’t just focus on writing one book. Write one, put it aside and write another and another until you have something you’re happy with.

Feel free the answer the questions Β and say hello to people who’s journey looks a little like your own.

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
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120 Responses to Questions for Aspiring Authors…

  1. melodyspen says:

    This is a great discussion, Jodie. I’m going to make sure to read through all of the comments – why pass up an opportunity for good advice? πŸ™‚

    1. What genre do you write in?
    Fiction/Fantasy Erotica, Science Fiction Erotica, Sword & Sorcery Erotica and Contemporary Romance

    2. How many novels have you written?
    Completed, I have 5. A 6th one is 97% done and I currently flip back and forth between roughly a dozen or more books that are at least 1/2 way finished.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    I don’t have an agent, because it’s not required in order to submit to an e-publisher, which is who I’m contracted with right now. My first book is due to be released in November of this year with Red Sage Publishing.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    Vocabulary! I want to refine my sentence structuring. Editing is usually where I swap words using my handy thesaurus – but I dream of a day when I won’t need it as frequently. I think this could be considered information dumping or redundancies, as well. A little of all 3, I think.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Oh, boy. I’m not a prepper. I simply get an idea, sit down and start writing – without bios or outlines, until the juice runs out. Try not to over think things, just let your creativity flow like a painter. Let your characters lead the way, then you can go back and fill in the plot holes. If you find yourself confronting a hurdle, bypass it. The first book I ever finished didn’t get it’s ‘sex-scenes’ until after I finished the rest of the story. It caused me pause, so I went around it, knowing I could always come back later. The only thing I do recommend is researching beforehand if you’re writing about things that exist (and it’s the main theme of your storyline), even legends or what have you. Not only is it better to have the correct information, but for me, the research often times inspires a whole slew of possible ideas for my plot development or character backgrounds.
    (Also, if you’re not good at writing short stories, you probably shouldn’t comment on other people’s blogs. Ha!)

    Like

    • Leonie says:

      I’ve been reading all the replies as they’ve popped into my inbox. So interesting to hear what people write, and what kind of advice they provide. We’re a nicely diverse bunch πŸ™‚

      Like

    • Jesse says:

      Hi Jodie, thanks for liking my diary post. I’m only writing it for myself to either get me in the mood to write properly or to avoid it that day altogether, depending on my mood that day. I’ll answer your questions below.

      1. What genre do you write in?
      Fiction. I’ve written a lot of short stories spanning from crime to fantasy to comedy, and am only now tackling my first full-length novel. I suppose if I had to stick a label on it my novel would be a petty crime novel, although everything happens from the point of the criminals. I’ve also written Newspaper articles in the past, although I don’t think I will be again any time soon.

      2. How many novels have you written?
      I’m about a third through my first one now, after writing many short stories and articles.

      3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
      I’ve been printed in Newspapers and Magazines, but I have never had any of my fiction work published. I’m going to wait until I finish the book i’m currently working on (and am happy with it) before I start tackling that aspect.

      4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
      Grammar. Sometimes when i’m feeling really fluid with my writing my fingers just skate over the keys and I don’t track back regularly enough. Also i’m not very good at paragraph spacing.

      5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
      Starting is the hardest thing in the world. Obviously starting from the very start is hardest of all, but even sitting down at the start of each day and willing yourself to begin is difficult. Once I do begin I can’t stop, but the next day I feel like i’m back to square one. All I can say is keep at it, and keep writing. Everyone gets better the more they do it, even if you never use 90% of what you write.

      I will continue to say my opinion means nothing. There’s a lot of people who have posted here who seem much more qualified than me to answer these questions, I just had ten minutes to kill!
      Cheers,

      Jesse x

      Like

  2. Hi Jodie! Your blog is great!
    So I’m a wannabe writer too and here are my answers!
    1. What genre do you write in?
    High fantasy and I’m starting to try urban fantasy too, although I’d love to have a great idea for a dystopic novel. Everything I write is aimed YA!
    2. How many novels have you written?
    I think I have at least four ms in my computer waiting to be finished and polished! And many novel just started or under form of files full of ideas!
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    I aim as well to a traditional way of publishing, I cannot see another way to know if I’m worth it or not! But I’m not published and I cannot see it in a near future!
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    Of course, as you can see from just a comment, my English. I have to improve. I’m Italian but I’m writing in English and my level isn’t enough yet!
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    I’m not a professional writer so I don’t know if I’m entitled to give advice but still maybe follow your passion and keep trying no matter what!

    Like

    • ebthompson93 says:

      Your English is actually pretty good. There are only a few places here and there were the flow is off, and those can be easily fixed. I’d have a native English speaker go through your novels and point those places out. Not only will it help you with editing, but it will help you improve your English skills.

      Like

  3. sandradan1 says:

    Hi Jodie,
    For what they are worth, here are my answers:-
    Genre – not sure I fall into one genre, literature/women’s fiction [though I do hate labels!];
    How many novels have I written – 1 completed [‘Ignoring Gravity’, being serialised on my blog]; the sequel to ‘IG’ is 75% written; 1 30% written, abandoned three years ago as I was trying to do too much at the time. I will probably go back to it at some time, it’s very different from ‘IG’. You didn’t ask about ideas for novels – I’m fleshing out outlines/researching for another 3 novels.
    Do I have an agent/are you published – I do not have an agent, currently looking for one to handle ‘IG’ and its sequel ‘Connectedness’. My stories have been published in magazines, online and in two anthologies [one traditional, one self-published]. I am also a journalist.
    Improvement to my writing needed – at the moment my main issue is time, I’m spending a lot of time blogging which takes me away from writing. So, time management.
    Advice to writers – enter competitions. Learn your craft by writing short stories and enter competitions, submit them to magazines. If you’re shortlisted, it’s give a real kick to your writing esteem!
    SD

    Like

  4. Vy Chazen says:

    Hi Jodie,

    Thanks for the follow. πŸ™‚ I’m always curious about other writers’ habits and news too! Here’s mine:

    1. What genre do you write in?
    Fiction for fun. Professional content for work.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    One. I’m rewriting it right now!

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    No agent. I’m not there yet.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    More like my writing discipline. I juggle a lot of things and sometimes don’t put creative writing ahead.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    If you’re serious about writing than take it seriously. Don’t tell yourself it’s just a hobby if you want it to be more. Give it importance. The best advice given to me is to study poetry to help with writing creative sentences.

    Cheers!

    Like

  5. Laura Hogan says:

    Hi Jodie. Really great prompts and it’s so interesting reading everyone’s answers. Wrapped in Darkness sounds like a great novel by the way.

    1. What genre do you write in?
    Literary fiction with heaps of psychological suspense.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    One novel which I’m in the process of editing based on beta reader feedback.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    No and no. I can’t decide yet which publishing path to take when my MS is done and dusted.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    Three areas – I struggle with dialogue, cutting down descriptive paragraphs, and working out how to fit in the back story.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Read and write as often as you can.

    Like

  6. I have one poems book not ebook on amazon.com Jackie Paulson author. Thanks for letting me share it here.

    Like

  7. I’ve been really curious about this, too! Thanks for asking the question.

    1. Genre: Urban fantasy and fantasy
    2. Number of novels: I have two fully drafted, one urban fantasy one traditional fantasy, and two others in the early stages of development.
    3. Agent? Published? Nope, not yet. I plan to self-publish when I have a manuscript “done.”
    4. Needs improvement: I know I tend to over-explain everything which makes editing a monster task. My biggest problem is that every time I go to edit a draft, I find myself wanting to rewrite the entire story to incorporate new ideas. I need to find a focus and stick with it.
    5. Advice? Read, read, read. And network with other authors and bloggers if for no other reason than for the emotional support it gives to know other writers are struggling through the exact same obstacles.

    Like

  8. Alex Hurst says:

    Hi Jodie, thanks for the like on my blog.

    To answer your questions:

    1. What genre do you write in? I write fantasy, spec-fic, and sci-fi, sometimes with an LGBT leaning.
    2. How many novels have you written? 0! I hope 2014 will change that.
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally) I do not have an agent, but I want one, once I complete my project. I hope to go the traditional route, though I have three self-published stories available right now.
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement? Consistency in voice and habits.
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers? Don’t settle for less than your dreams.

    Like

  9. Luis C.C.S says:

    1. What genre do you write in?
    — Science-Fiction
    2. How many novels have you written?
    — I’m working on my first one.
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    — Self-published (to be)
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    — Connection between ideas and more bombastic words (I learned during the past year)
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    — Review your content, make a big diagram of the plot before writing, make the reader care about your characters, don’t fall in trends, think big and risk it!

    Like

  10. brainofivane says:

    Hmm… Let’s have a go at this, shall we?
    1. What genre do you write in?
    – Mostly YA Fiction. Fantasy. Fairy tales.
    – I’ve also dabbled in the paranormal, mystery and thriller genres. (Mostly through my ghostwriting.)
    2. How many novels have you written?
    – In my own (pen) name? I’ve started three – none of which are completed just yet.
    – As a ghostwriter, I’ve written more than seven. I’ve lost count. O_O
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    – I have an agent waiting for the manuscript. Hopefully she likes it. If she does, then I’m one step closer to getting traditionally published. πŸ™‚
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    – Describing settings have always been a challenge for me. I tend to be an emotional person – and thus, it’s easy for me to get into the character’s emotions and spark that tension, but when it comes to describing everything around the character… not so easy. I’ve had friends comment that sometimes, they feel like the character is somehow standing on limbo. I do get to write decent setting descriptions when I put effort into it, but it doesn’t come naturally I guess.
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    – As much as we want to keep writing and writing and writing, we really do need to know the marketing side of our profession too (if we want to earn a living out of writing that is). We need to mix what ignites our passion for writing, what’s current and what sells. Of course, you probably already know that. So I guess I’ll let you know something else you also already know: Enjoy it. Let your love and passion for writing show in your words. Lol.

    Like

  11. Vince says:

    Hi, Jodie – hope you’re well. Here are my answers to the questions you asked:

    1. What genre do you write in?
    Contemporary fiction (no specific genre, I go where the muse takes me), song and verse.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    8 to date, and 4 screenplays. I have 4 published (along with a poetry collection) – all available at Amazon.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    I’m happily self-published – it gives me freedom to make the art I want to make (I’m also lucky to be the son of a master type-setter – so I grew up proof-reading, copy-editing and putting together galleys!)

    I did try to seek representation for my first couple of novels (which are buried deep in my cupboard), but the advent of self-publishing allowed me to get my stories to readers without having to persuade a ‘taste-maker’ of how I would make them money in the process.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    None specifically, other than to continue to develop my craft – I note you mentioned word repetition and that’s been a continuous thread of my 25+ year writing career – writing only enough to spur the reader’s own imagination – that’s a matter of craft (and hard work). I’m always amazed by how people describe my characters and scenes back to me – almost like they’ve read a different book (a big WIN for my craft).

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Write, write, write and then write some more. Get people to read what you write, and listen to their reactions. At the same time, keep your own muse in mind, heart and soul – there are a million critics who believe they know better than you how you should write (and who have never written a thing themselves). Let the story speak to you, and THROUGH you, practice your craft in bringing it to life, and ENJOY the telling!

    There are two other pieces of advice I generally give: 1) read, and try the exercises, in Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write – it’s a great book! 2) if you’re still blocked, consider making use of http://WritersUnblocked.co – it’s part of my ‘other life’ where I use my coaching skill-set to help writers and artists get focused and moving forward.

    Like

  12. 1. What genre do you write in?
    Speculative fiction. But I don’t tend to do just “science fiction” or “fantasy” but usually a blending thereof. For example, urban fantasy that has some near-future technology in it, or space opera with some fantasy elements in it, a la Star Wars.
    2. How many novels have you written?
    Not one. I’ve written some short stories, though my only credits are having some poetry published in paying webzines. But that’s more a matter of my having not really devoted myself to trying to writer thing until now. Before it’s always been a distant dream… now it’s something I’m actively working toward.
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    No, and no (though see above re: poetry). I’m not opposed to self-publishing, though I think the primary way to do that would be to write short stories and push them to magazines, and whatever short stories and novels I feel are good but don’t get published after a while, I’ll throw on Amazon or something and self e-publish until I’m good enough that I can land a traditional agent and book deal.
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    The DOING of it. I’ve heard good things about my writing from many of my friends, who happen to be very analytical critics. I’m sure I’m not perfect and I have no doubt I’ll face years of rejection before I get published, but my FIRST and BIGGEST problem is actually stringing the words together to MAKE SOMETHING.
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Keep writing, no matter what. Despite schedule conflicts, time constraints, the demands of your personal life, or the discouragement of rejection, JUST. KEEP. WRITING.

    Like

  13. Matty J says:

    Thanks for the like on my first ambitious post for 2014. As for your questions (and they are great questions!)

    1. What genre do you write in?
    I writing in High Fantasy, Epic High Fantasy, Poetry, Detective/Crime, Social Commentary & Alt. History. Or just a mishmash blend of whatever fits the story I’m trying to tell.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    No Novels published, yet! Although I have self-published a book of poetry. I currently have a Epic High Fantasy draft, a social commentary MS, and currently working on an Alt. History story.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    No and Yes, I self published a book of poetry last year. not looking at this time to traditionally publish as I love the freedom and the challenge that self publishing provides.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    Dialogue and scene description.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    write, write, write, but don’t throw any of it out. I have written stuff twenty years ago that I am now recycling into my current project.

    Like

  14. penegrinshaw says:

    1. What genre do you write in? -Science Fiction, Horror – both laced with dark humour
    2. How many novels have you written? I’ve written one which I have left in a drawer and I’m writing one now called Earthlight which I’m passionate about.
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally) I am published without an agent for short stories and self published on a shared world novel/collaboration.
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement? Planning! I am trying to discipline myself to do things in the way that is completely against my nature.
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers? Make time to write and do it, even if it is crap and needs ten reworks.

    Like

  15. maggiedot says:

    Ooo, these are great questions!

    1. What genre do you write in?—
    Mostly speculative fiction, leaning more towards dark fantasy and dark SF, and the occasionally ghost story here and there.

    2. How many novels have you written? —
    Not many. I completed a ridiculously long, 250k fan-fiction novel this past September which I’d been playing with off and on for fun for nearly ten years, but I’m only about 10k shy of finishing my first original draft of a novel (which is my current writing goal).

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)—
    I’ve had six short stories published, traditionally, in small press print anthologies and print magazines (and one e-zine), though all of them over two years ago. Need to get back on the submitting wagon! No agent as of yet, but that hasn’t been necessary for short fiction, and I haven’t had any longer works ready to shop before, so who knows? Maybe in the next decade, if I’m really lucky. πŸ™‚

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?—
    Editing. Hands down. I can bang out new words like nobody’s business, but when it comes to sitting back down to edit a rough draft, I find myself up against a motivational wall. And I know it works, because for the few stories I’ve had published the editing process came rather naturally, even when it came to major rewrites and thematic restructuring. I *know* I can do it, but I just…don’t. So I need to start devoting time to improving my editing on a regular basis.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?—
    If you ever, ever, ever get the chance to work (aka volunteer–most I know of are for-the-love positions) as a submissions editor for a small press (or any press), DO IT! I worked as a submissions editor for Apex Magazine for a number of years, and hands-down nothing has improved my writing as drastically as that. When you read hundreds of even very polished submitted manuscripts on a daily basis, the common errors and flaws become so much more obvious. You realize what works and what doesn’t, and more importantly, *why*. You start to see why something gets a bump up to the editor-in-chief, and why another story with the same themes might fail. You get a taste for style, for flow, for development, not just from the successful stories by pro-level authors, but from beginning authors who just nailed a POV perfectly, to the dozens and dozens of stories that just don’t measure up. In fact, you might learn more from the failures than the successes–I know I saw a ton of my own errors in some of the stories I rejected (it’s the “Ooooo, I’ve done that…” wince), and it helped me to weed out those issues from my own work. ((It subsequently also drilled in the importance, for me, of reading the markets I’m submitting to–you can certainly sell a story to a magazine you’ve never read before if you follow the guidelines, but it puts you on a whole other submission level if you *know* the kind of thing the magazine publishes. If anything, it’ll help you waste less time submitting to markets that just don’t quite fit. :))

    Like

  16. winterbayne says:

    1. What genre do you write in?
    I enjoy writing anything that is not a modern, normal setting. I gravitate towards paranormal, horror, sci-fi, and fantasy fiction with romantic elements. Sometimes romance is the main story line, but with a splash of a non-normal elements.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    I’ve written only a few that I actually finished the rough draft. I have written countless articles and poems though.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    My poems and articles have been published, but no short stories or novels. I’m working on it.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    I would say everything.
    My beta-readers may say….repetition of words and perhaps flow of the story or sequence.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Keep writing.

    Like

  17. Shauna says:

    1. I generally write fantasy, but have dabbled in science fiction. I guess speculative fiction is the best term.

    2. I’ve written two novels, both for NaNoWriMo. I have every intention of editing at least one of them into something I can at least share with people, but right now they are both scary editing nightmares.

    I’m going to add that I’m also a game writer. I’ve written for one video game which has yet to be “published” and one game book which arrived this December.

    3. In books, I am not published and do not have an agent. In games I have the one published credit, but again no agent. (I don’t really think there are agents for game writers).

    4. Finishing projects. Last year I started several projects which were never finished. As I’ve mentioned, I also have two novels which I’ve deemed “nightmares;” I would really like to fix at least one of them so I can share it with beta readers. That being said, I have finished some projects, I just want to finish more of them!

    5. Don’t be an “aspiring” anything. You either are a (writer/narrative designer/insert whatever here) or you aren’t. Saying you’re an aspiring (insert whatever here) shortchanges yourself, especially when talking to others. That’s what I’ve been told by my friends and I really do believe it – saying you ARE a(n) (insert whatever here) boosts your confidence when speaking with others and helps carry you through the long haul on a project! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • I think that is the best advice ever! I find that lots of times when people label themselves as ‘aspiring’ they let themselves slide too much, put things off too often, and just generally let things go that they shouldn’t. Having the confidence to take away that label gives new meaning to the whole experience.

      Like

  18. You forgot a couple of questions Jodie πŸ™‚ Find them here.
    http://ernsangia.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/got-cats/

    Like

  19. sarahlearichards says:

    I’ve written three manuscripts–one a Southern Gothic horror (think V.C. Andrews meets Mormonism) and the other two, romances I tailored for the Harlequin company. Right now, though, I’m focusing on getting shorter pieces published, build up my portfolio. Since I haven’t had any luck finding an agent, I’m going to go the self-publishing route, but not until I have a professional look at my book. The area of my writing that needs the most improvement is setting a word count goal. Stephen King, I believe, writes at least 2000 words a day. My advice to fellow writers is be persistent. Sad to say, but it trumps talent.

    Like

  20. inkhearted says:

    1. Young adult fantasy, almost exclusively! I have dabbled in YA historical fantasy as well.

    2. I’ve “finished” one, though after a year of not finding an agent/publisher I’m in the process of heavily editing it. I have another two or three other projects I’d consider “done enough” to count, though they are also in need of major editing.

    3. I don’t have an agent and I’m not published (well, no novels published–the website I write for recently released a book with five of my articles featured, so that’s pretty cool!). At the moment, I don’t think that self-publishing is right for me and I’d prefer to go the traditional route, preferably with an agent.

    4. The plot. My plots tend to wander off and taper out without much meaning at all. I tend to have pretty solid beginnings and middles, but the last third or quarter usually raises huge question marks.

    5. Write every day. You can’t publish a novel you don’t have, can you?

    Like

  21. This is a great idea, I love it!

    1. What genre do you write in?
    I have in the past mainly stuck with fantasy or horror but with the two new pieces I’m working on they are action/thriller.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    Three so far.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    I do not have an agent. I self published my first two novels and as soon as I’m done editing the third, I will be self publishing it as well.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    It would probably be a tie between character background building and repetition. With the characters I typically throw them right into the middle of stuff and at times, don’t give enough background on them to let the reader fully understand them. On repetition, I have a tendency to pick a description of something or a catchphrase and overuse it.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Don’t give up. The task of writing a book seems daunting at times but everyone has a story to tell. There are groups online that can help you with just about everything, surround yourself with people who are trying to accomplish the same goals too. It really does help.

    Like

  22. 1. What genre do you write in?
    I write kids books, short stories and fairy tales.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    I haven’t written a big novel, but I have written 3 and a half kids books. =)

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    I am self published through Createspace, I will probably do the same for my next book =)

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    Punctuation. Apostrophe’s are a pain but I am only young so I have time to improve. When my dad does a read through of my writing, he usually points these things out to me so I can change them.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Always remember to backup your work, in case you lose it (experience).

    Like

  23. Hi Jodie,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think this is an interesting discussion. As an aspiring published novelist (I’ve claimed the fact that I am a writer!) I’m interested in what others are doing as well. Here are my answers:
    1. What genre do you write in? I like historicals, but I’ve written some contemporary flash fiction with a slight Christian angle. I’ll actually have my first published this March (yay!)

    2. How many novels have you written? I’ve written one novel (manuscript) and a few flash fiction pieces. I am currently working on a new novel.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally) No agent (collecting the rejection letters as I write) but I want to be published traditionally. I’ve gone to conferences where some attendees have gone the e-pub route. I don’t think I could handle all the marketing type stuff. I hated selling Girl Scout Cookies and fundraising for Band when I was a kid, so I can’t imagine doing it all on my own.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement? Not quite sure how to answer this one. Since I’m new at this, I’m trying to learn as much as I can. I guess I’d like to improve the descriptive portion of my writing. I read “Southern Cross the Dog” by Bill Chen and thought his prose was beautiful, kind of like Toni Morrison. I’d love to be able to use words like that.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers? Never stop learning the craft. I’m a conference junkie (when I can afford it) and enjoy learning something new or some method of plotting, planning, dialogue or whatever. I guess that’s the teacher in me.

    Like

  24. RANDY says:

    Greetings. I have found great tips πŸ™‚ Keep writing!

    Like

  25. embrystical says:

    1. What genre do you write in?
    Epic/High Fantasy and Post-Apoc YA SF
    2. How many novels have you written?
    Two, and working on the third, all in a series. Am speculating starting a YA.
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    Nope, and nope. I’m still doing my best to perfect da magik query lettah.
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    Editing. I’ll get started, finish the story, then realise I’ve missed out major plot hints leading to the finale (i.e., hinting at love interests, family connections, et cetera). And also the procrastination. Like doing this. When I should be writing.
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Get people to read for you. Listen to what they say. But don’t just ask a close friend, because, trust me, they won’t give you true criticism that you need to break into editing. Trust me on that. I have something like ten, twelve people trudging their way through Vols I and II, and only ONE of them gives me any feedback.

    Like

  26. Let’s see…

    1. What genre do you write in? Urban Fantasy, I think, or Paranormal Romance. They’re both pretty young genres, but seem to fit what I do the best.

    2. How many novels have you written? Complete ones? 0. More than 50% complete? 2 or 3. An idea, and a few dozen pages – I can’t even begin to count.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally) Nope and nope, but I’m looking to turn The Asylum into a web serial once I’ve finished it (which I am VERY close to doing!).

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement? I have no idea. I’ve yet to actually have anyone beta read anything, so my feedback pool is zilch.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers? All I can say is: WRITE WRITE WRITE

    Like

  27. tyronetornabene says:

    Hi Jodie, thanks for the like on my post :).

    1. What genre do you write in? – I write in high fantasy and urban fantasy. I have an idea for a science fiction story but that is at the bottom of my huge pile of story ideas I need to get through.
    2. How many novels have you written? – I have almost completed one in high fantasy, more aimed for LATE young adult or early adult fiction. Though I have sort of started another that is purely YA urban fantasy. I’m going to finish my first one before continuing the other though.
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally) – Nope and no. I do hope to write a query letter after this book is finished and edited to my heart’s desire.
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement? – What area doesn’t need improvement is the better question. Although dialogue is probably the part I worry about the most. Is it realistic to the character? Why would they say that? What tone would they use? I also worry about multiple character point of views cause I worry they will all end up sounding like the same person :(.
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers? – Don’t stop writing. Keep a note pad by your bed cause your best ideas might come just before sleep and you have to jot them down IMMEDIATELY so you don’t forget them. Oh and have fun :).

    Like

  28. pauljgies says:

    1. What genre? Fantasy and sci fi. But the revolution came when my fantasy wizard time traveler became a lovelorn noiriste as well.
    2. How many novels? Somewhere around ten. Some of them suck.
    3. I don’t have an agent. I submitted one novel on my own to DAW and got past the first reader. Since then, writing has been a way to avoid publishing.
    4. What area needs improvement? I don’t know. I feel good about much of what I write. I don’t mean to sound conceited. I just need to keep writing and keep trying to publish. So I’ll say: the PUBLISHING AREA. That needs improvement the most.
    5. Advice? “The art of writing consists in applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” Also, make your main character someone I’ll care a lot about; and do not spend any more time than absolutely necessary telling me what characters think, especially the villain. We hate him! We don’t want to be in his head! Oh, and Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules: google it.

    Like

  29. I’m Winfield Strock, Cold War submariner, brain tumor survivor, and passionate writer. Since finding my fondness for writing, I encourage others to explore their talents and desires, discover where they meet, and dive in.
    1. What genre do you write in? Science fiction is my first love, though I’ve begun a horror novel that’s got me thrilled
    2. How many novels have you written? Two, one’s the sequel to the other. I’ve more planned in the series, but other projects have drawn my attention.
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally) No, yes, and it’s complicated. I’m published with a very small company called Rebel Ink Press.
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement? I get in a hurry sometimes and forget to fill in readers on what I already know about the characters. Thankfully, I have a writer’s group that keeps me on track.
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers? Write a thing from start to finish before considering edits. Also, if you’re just beginning; consider short stories first. That way you can fiddle with the whole process without investing a year or so.

    Like

  30. martinowton says:

    Hi Jodie, thanks for liking my post

    I write contemporary and secondary world fantasy
    I have 2 complete novels currently on submission, part-finished of sequels to both, and the opening of another.
    I’m represented by Ian Drury of Shiel Land Associates.
    I’m currently unpublished at novel length. I’ve had ~25 short stories published, some for copies a few for decent money.
    I constantly need to improve my characterisation. I’m fairly good at plotting but getting the main characters write is what takes the time and rewrites for me.
    Advice to fellow writers: fix it in the rewrite.

    Like

  31. Daniel says:

    1. What genre do you write in?
    At the moment, post-apocalyptic urban fantasy and superhero.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    I wrote two but felt it was better to merge them into one. I was right. This reworking was the best thing that ever happened to either book.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    Not yet, and not yet, I’ve only just finished the current draft.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    I need to take care with description, make it more succinct, say more in less. And probably some areas such as relationships and maybe how dialogue works. Those areas could use a bit more work. And writing about conflict other than action-variety.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Marry someone who thinks being a writer is awesome.

    Like

  32. Charli Mills says:

    Great discussion!
    1. What genre do you write in? Literary fiction (although a recent analysis of my second manuscript claimed it was a sci-fi thriller…something for me to ponder)

    2. How many novels have you written? Two. My goal is to write one NaNoWriMo project a year and craft each one into a polished manuscript to sell. There’s different parts to the process and I’ve got the writing nailed, thus I’ll write new material annually. Revision, beta-readers, agent queries–that all takes time and when one is with readers, I can revert to revising another.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    Ha! Verbatim, your answer is my answer.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    Revision. It’s a skill I’m learning and I’d like to know from other writers how they approach the task.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Write. Every day. Write. Think of singers–many sing the same songs, but the ones who hit the charts are the ones with voice. Writers have unique voices, too so find it and hit those notes as only you can do!

    Like

  33. yearoftheinsect says:

    Eh why not. I love to babble. πŸ™‚

    1. What genre do you write in?
    I wouldn’t even pigeonhole myself yet, but if I really had to stick in a genre, I’d venture to say that it’s Science Fiction/Dystopian, HOWEVER, most would just call it “that one weird story or some shit”.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    A tonne, a literal tonne.
    I think a more important question for me is if I ever finished one.

    No, only in the barest of formats, then I get the itch to do something else, my Muse takes a breather and leaves me hanging or I cock up the story so bad I never want to pick it up again.

    However, not this time around. I’m knifing this project in the gut and digging in.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    Not yet. I really aim to go with traditional if I get the choice. If nobody will take my project (which is certain to happen) then I suppose I’ll resort to self-publishing. I really have high hopes for traditional, though. I keep thinking “Worse shit has been published,….so I might have a chance.”

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    Me /finishing my shit/.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    Keep at it.
    Even when everything in your head is screaming to stop stop STOP. Smack that idiot headmouth-demon and move on. Keep the fuck at it.

    Like

  34. Tom Mays says:

    Hi, Jodie! I’m just really starting out with this as well, but here you go:
    1. What genre do you write in? Science fiction mostly. My stories are usually military SF or hard SF, but I’ve actually had more success with my sociological, lighter sci-fi. I’m dabbling now with an apocalyptic blog and a YA urban fantasy.
    2. How many novels have you written? Three, but only one worth a damn or on display. It launches this Friday: A Sword Into Darkness, a hard, military SF space opera.
    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? No agent, and no traditional publisher, though I tried for two and a half years with my current novel. I’ve had two short stories pro-published in magazines, and my novel bounced between the second and third look piles of one publishers slush for two years before failing to make the cut with the editor-in-chief. I’m now going the self/indie publishing route through a fellow author’s imprint Stealth Books. Again, LAUNCHING on 31JAN!
    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement? I also tend to use five words where two would suffice, and I’m always fighting against passive voice and shifts in POV.
    5. What is your advice to fellow writers? Keep writing, but more importantly, workshop your stuff somewhere and reciprocate as much as you can. Putting your stuff out there piecemeal and taking harsh criticism does wonders for your writing (if not your ego). But the better portion of that is critiquing the works of others. You might not be able to recognize your own faults at first, because it all makes sense to you in your head, but once you see those mistakes in someone else’s words, you’ll better be able to see and fix them in your own. Plus, you’re paying it forward!

    Like

  35. penspen says:

    1. What genre do you write in? Thus far, the novels I have written are in the fantasy/sci fi genre. However, I do not wish to limit myself to one specific genre. I have ideas for several other novels which do not fit into that category.

    2. How many novels have you written? 7 novels and 7 nonfiction

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally) I am self-published; that is the direction the publishing industry is going in.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement? Description.

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers? Write, write, write, then read, read, read. Unlimit your imagination.

    Thanks! This was a great exercise!

    Like

  36. Fascinating! Really good to see everyone elses responses as well!
    Here are mine:
    1. What genre do you write in?
    Thrillers, Action, and I have written a YA/NA Urban-Fantasy trilogy, although I have no idea if it will ever see the light of day.

    2. How many novels have you written?
    I have actually lost count – I think I’m up to about ten odd novels – maybe 12? I have a few more planned as well! Most of them are gathering dust in my literary trunk.

    3. Do you have an agent? Are you published? (Self published or traditionally)
    I will be self-publishing this year – two novels at this stage. But I would like to be traditionally published as well – so really – I want to be a Hybrid Author. In the next couple of years I will seek out and agent.

    4. What area of your writing needs the most improvement?
    Showing – not telling. I trip up on this stuff in every single first draft – and then when it comes to revisions and edits – I have to rewrite a lot and correct myself. However, the first draft of anything is absolute rubbish… right? (That’s what they tell me anyway!)

    5. What is your advice to fellow writers?
    ‘Just keep writing, just keep writing’ in the Blue Nemo Fish sing-song voice. Also, realise that when something is actually finished, it’s finished. Your MS will never ever be perfect, as you will always be learning and to be a better writer. Know when to stop and let it go.

    Like

  37. jodiellewellyn says:

    Like

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