Now we’re getting into the professional stuff. By the time you start submitting, I’d say you’re mostly out of the Labyrinth. But it’s still looming behind you, and in front of you is a whole new wasteland… the marketplace.
The whole game changes when you start submitting your book to agents. It’s super scary and intimidating because this is probably the first time your book is going into the hands of a stranger who will judge it. That stranger isn’t just a potential hater – they hold your fragile writing career in their hands! If your dad doesn’t like your book, well, he’s never had great taste. But when a professional doesn’t like your book… that stings.
Before we get into this, I know what a lot of people are thinking so I’ll address it quickly. Do you need an agent? Honestly? Yes. I’m not even going to go through and explain why, because there are a thousand blogs written out there saying it better than I can. You do need an agent. Get an agent.
A new week, another step forward on our series about The Labryinth! This week we’re talking about what might me the most scary of the steps, editing.
Before you even start on the editing process, you need to give yourself time to celebrate. You just wrote a book. Not a 12-year-old scribbling in a notebook. Not a really long fanfiction. An honest to goodness book that you pulled up out of your brilliant mind and made into reality. Take a few days. Go out to dinner with friends and get the most expensive thing on the menu. Order too much moscato. Buy something you’ve been looking at longingly for weeks. Take a long bath with a book and bubbles and candles. And don’t feel bad about any of it. You 100% need this time, especially if you’re been in the labyrinth. Make yourself feel good because you deserve to feel good. You just did something amazing. Writing? Writing is easy. But finishing? You are a rock star, so you should treat yourself like one.
Today I’m going to be talking about editing. I think that this is probably the stage I was most afraid of going into it. I heard so many horror stories about authors who had to chop their beloved novel to pieces to make it fit through the tiny hole that is “publishability.” The narrative seems to be that we should be afraid of editing. It’s going to make our book into something dry and committee approved and getting there is going to be painful and full of sacrifices.
I’m here to tell a different story. Editing is never as scary as you make it out to be in your head! Don’t let it psyche you out and take it one step at a time.
I’ve been writing up a storm on the sequel to The Deathsniffer’s Assistant, my debut novel, in the last few weeks. Taking time to blog about the Labyrinth has seemed so hard when I’ve been just chewing through words! But the more I’ve written, the more I’ve thought about writing and how much I’ve learned. I really wanted to talk more about the process of writing before I moved on to editing.
Well, lucky for me! I went to check my schedule, and as it turns out, I was so excited to get to my advice and experiences in writing, I had skipped a way less glamorous but no less important phase! I knew it felt like I had more to say than space to say it in!
I had intended to write a whole article on starting to write a novel, which is every bit as important as advice on writing a novel. I did talk a bit about starting last time, but there were definitely some things I wanted to cover and I didn’t!
So! Today’s blog will be Writing Part 2. I just have more to say! I highly advise you check out Part 1 if you haven’t! You can also find all my articles in this series here! Here we go: more advice about the biggest, hardest, most rewarding part of the process: writing.
I’ve taken a short break from my Labyrinth series while I’ve been hard at work on my second book, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to blog about! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my map of influences. I think that we creative-types can trace our particular formula to a set of ingredients that, when mixed with our unique and stunning personalities, makes our creative footprint.
Different people at different times are influenced by different things. And I am very much a product of my time. I’m turning thirty this year and a lot of the points marked out on my influence map shouldn’t be much of a surprise to people who are also my age, especially if they come from the same area as me!