Get Going: Now! Help from MDavis to you
Do you ever read Graham Greene, the English writer? One of his characters said, …”he makes women laugh. Watch him with ‘ her.
1. Clarke’s World guidelines tops the list because it’s made me laugh all day. I don’t write much sf, though I like to teach it. Odd how my Chinese uni students were gifted sci fi writers.
2. Pred-ed. This doesn’t make me laugh, but I always consult it before using an agent or publisher. It isn’t a very cheerful picture, editors as predators, but unless you have writers in your family to steer you from trouble, it’s best to consult these guys. If you’ve submitted your work to an agent or publisher you know how time-consuming it is. It isn’t just handing over the first 50 pages and a synopsis, either. Every house wants something different. I therefore decided to be cautious. I originally found Pred-Ed on the Romance Writers of America site. Last month I got all excited about an agent who didn’t demand more than a query. I checked on pred-ed and the agent had quite a bad rep. I found it was a lot easier to just pick another house than get involved in trouble. (Once was enough for me.) By the by, I decided to return to submitting to publishers directly.
3. Tor.com has good information I thought you could use. For one thing, they speak journalese, or publishing jargon, and you need to get used to reading those words. Again, it doesn’t matter so much that they’re guidelines. Read between the lines.
4. The NY Times story is mostly an entertaining and valuable list by writer Elmore Leonard. Two years ago I started a romance novel with weather, and was horrified to see this! But also glad. I’m a simple soul, and weather meant a lot to me as a kid in Southern Oklahoma. You come out of there being an expert on tornadoes. (No wonder I wrote about them for 30 pages.)
5. Funds for writers is a list of markets, much like you’d find in Writers Market. Don’t follow the links she provides, though. Type in the market’s name and let your server pull up the most recent information. And you’ll find other uses for this site.
6. sf writer is also filled with good writing tips and good cheer.
7. I frankly don’t understand about writing what you don’t know about, but I promised myself to share it with you. The writer’s an expert on this, although his tone rattles me. (Does he sound conceited to you?)
Here’s a photo from southern China, where I taught for awhile. The university track was filled every morning, starting at 4, with teachers and townies doing all kinds of exercise. This is one of the t’ai qi teachers. I’m negotiating with a uni now, perhaps to teach writing again in the far NE. We shall see what happens.
Keep them coming!
Martine (Mary Ann) Davis