Give Your Manuscript A Fighting Chance!

Considering requesting a writing critique? Not sure what a professional critique could do for you or that labour of love? A professional critique can quite simply make the difference between publication and rejection and it makes sense to invest in having an impartial eye to view any manuscript before it is sent to the publishers.

This is not editing or proofreading, it is a critique on the very core aspects of your manuscript and will determine its credibility, style and writing technique but will provide elaborate feedback to help you to polish your manuscript, improve areas of weakness and to make your manuscript, a gripping read.

Featured Articles Coming Soon

We always try to provide inspiring articles in our Write to be Published newsletters, so here is a sneak preview at just some of the topics coming your way soon:

Writing for the Dating Market

Writing a Winning Book Blurb

Online Writing Opportunities

Coping with Rejection

Travel Writing Insider Information

Short Story Success

Hooking that Reader

If this has whetted your appetite for more, then take a look at the full membership package and see how much you stand to gain:

From Wannabe to Writer

By Allie Anders

The first step to becoming a writer is to want to write something. I don’t mean to want to be a writer. How many people look out into the garden and say, Oh, I want to be a gardener. I want to put on those big gloves and boots and get out into that mud and transform it?

Those who do are real gardeners. But many others imagine the garden already all tidy and beautiful, with borders full of flowers and never any weeding to be done. They envisage the completed garden. It’s the same with some people who want to be writers – they imagine the completed book and none of the toil that goes into it. But you have to want to actually write – to long to do it – before you can become a writer. Let no one tell you anything different, because it simply isn’t true.

To want to write something you will have it running through your mind so that it’s already turning into sentences and paragraphs as you think about it. It really is like a baby bursting to come out. When this happens you won’t be worrying about finding a pretty pen to write with or where to place your desk or table so the sunshine falls on it during the afternoon. You will be grabbing the first biro that comes to hand and falling on the first piece of paper you find – an old envelope or whatever – and the words will be spilling out without your worrying about their shape or form. This is how you sow your literary garden. The tidying up (trimming and strimming) can come later.

So, to start writing you need to begin thinking of something – anything – that evokes passion in you, that you want to tell the world about. It doesn’t have to be to do with a particular issue or even a hobby. It can be an actual incident in your past. Have you ever had a big row with someone – your mother or mother-in-law, your boss or a co-worker? Think back over what it felt like till you feel your blood begin to boil all over again. Now you’re getting there.

Now, take up your pen and notebook, or sit down at the computer. Start putting down words without paying too much attention to them. Don’t worry about describing what anything looked like, unless it’s really vivid in your memory – for example, the colour of the lampshade someone hit you with. All that can be added later. Just try to
capture the emotion, the thoughts that were running through your head, whatever will add colour to the experience itself rather than to the things surrounding it. It is emotion that brings a piece of writing to life, pouring out like blood from a wound.

Because you do have to allow yourself to be wounded if you are to write down the things you feel churning around inside you. Even if you are writing a genre story, you need to find the vein to open in yourself to let the blood (emotion) flow out in a way that will make readers gasp, whether with pleasure or shock or horror.

Once you have started writing – broken the ground, so to speak – it is important that you write every day. It doesn’t matter what you write, just that you do, and that you allow your emotion to flow while you’re doing it. You might not be able to sit down for a formal writing session. Most of us have commitments to work, family, other projects. It is still writing if you just pick up the nearest scrap of paper and jot down something. But do it.

Eventually, though, you will have to start gathering these jottings together if they are to be of use to you, so it might be better to just use a notebook or the computer in the first place. A diary is a wonderful repository. If you get one of the great big A4 page-a-day ones and write just one page each night of anything – a memory, something that happened during the day, or your deepest feelings about something – this time next year you will have 365 pages, a very respectable size for a book.

As a novel, it probably won’t be in the right order, unless you had a plan clearly outlined in your head when you started. But it will be there in a form which you can sort into something coherent and, hopefully, good enough to be published once you’ve edited it (weeded your garden, that is).

So, back to the writing itself: when we’re recalling an event emotionally, we don’t think, Okay, so I woke up yesterday and had my breakfast, and then went to buy my newspaper… No, what we think is, The cheek of that bitch coming at me like that just because Joe and I were having a good time together. What did she mean, I was trying to steal her boyfriend? We can be friends, can’t we, without wanting to jump into bed together?

You start with the emotion of the situation and then, when you’re a bit calmer, you begin to rationalise it to yourself, remembering how the day started or where you first met someone, almost like providing yourself with backstory. But it’s the emotion that gets you thinking about what happened, and it’s the same with your readers.
Starting with someone staring out the rain-spotted window evokes no corresponding emotion in them. Plunging them right into the moment something important is happening will.

Another thing – from now on you should be sure to always have somewhere handy to jot down ideas. Once again, it can be the back of an envelope, but it’s a lot easier to have your thoughts in one place than than to have to gather all the envelopes and scraps of paper from the four corners of your life when you need them. Apart from the danger of throwing them away by mistake, of course.

The thing about ideas is that, like dreams, you are always sure when you first have them that you will remember them but, sadly, most vanish into the ether never to appear again. Even those you do manage to hold onto, you may not recall in exactly the same emotion-filled way they first arrived.

So when jotting down the idea, also put down any keywords that came with it, or even a sentence as it ran through your mind. It is in this form that you will be able to open up to the original idea in all its brilliance (because they always are brilliant, to you at least, or you wouldn’t have been riveted by them in the first place).

Finally, a brief word about writing properly. Way back in some mythical time in the past there were apparently people called editors who combed through writers’ error-strewn work to find the gold nuggets which would eventually be published.

Whether or not this ever actually happened, now you have to take responsibility for your work yourself. Don’t think it doesn’t matter if your spelling, grammar or punctuation aren’t right, or that no one will notice. It does matter and many people will notice and be annoyed at your lack of professionalism, which will spoil your story for them, no matter how wonderful it might be.

The draft of your novel is a bit like your house when there’s just you living there. You might be comfortable with all kinds of little flaws and quirks in it. But when you want to sell the house you simply have to tidy it up and redecorate if necessary to make it look its best for potential purchasers. That’s just common sense.
So if your own decorating or housekeeping skills aren’t up to it, you need to get someone with these to run an honest eye over your work. Only allow this to be your mother, son or favourite aunt if you can be sure they really will be honest. Responses such as, ‘Oh, that’s lovely,’ are no use whatsoever to you unless your relative is also a publisher or agent prepared to take you on as a writer.

This article is by Allie Anders, author of The Fairytale Quest, a children’s fantasy. In this story Toni is tricked into swapping her baby brother for a unicorn and has to go to Fairyland to try to get him back before her parents find out. The book is out on Kindle now, and the website http://thefairytalequest.com will tell you all about it.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?From-Wannabe-to-Writer&id=6973431] From Wannabe to Writer

 

4 Tips to Stop Procrastinating So You Can Finish Your Book

By Carmen Berry

The craft of writing can be complex and life-changing. But sometimes there are simple things you can do to get your book written that aren’t all that complicated or deeply insightful. Here are four obvious and practical ways you can help yourself get to writing and stop procrastinating.

1. Get rid of interruptions

Turn off the television and your phone! Sooooo many interruptions break into our times of concentrated thought. Writing requires a period of time when our creativity is allowed to come out and play. Your creative process isn’t going to be any happier than a child who wants attention while you talk on the phone. Put away all distractions. Protect your writing time.

2. Get rid of distractions

In this over-stimulating world we live in, we’re being taught to dash from one thought to another, from one online video to another, from one TV show to another…Whew.

I think it’s even harder for writers to avoid distractions because there are so many handy ones calling for your attention right on your computer. It’s easy to be swept away by articles on the latest political sex scandal, watch a cute video of cats playing the piano, find out what the Kardashians are up to and…oh, that irresistible computer game… No! No! No! Get into your Word document and focus on writing.

3. Inspire creativity

If you get stuck, stop writing and start reading. One way to get the creative juices flowing is to read the writings of other authors.

But this is also a way to keep you from writing your own material. If you need to prime the well, then read for a short while. But you won’t finish your book by reading, only by writing. So, my next advice is to stop reading and start writing.

4. Create artificial rewards

We both know that no one will stand up and applaud when you finish a chapter in your book, or successfully outline a new section. No. Instead you’ll probably get up from the computer with people impatient for you to finish and give them attention. Not exactly a motivating situation.

So set up rewards for yourself when you meet your writing goals. I often compare creativity with young children-and I suspect your inner muse is no different. So be playful as you create your rewards. Do something fun. Eat something delicious. Give yourself stickers. Whatever brings a smile to your face and gives you sense of reward after a job well done.

For a FREE copy of my newest workboook, Make Your Hook Sizzle and Sell, a $17 value go to http://www.carmenberry.com/Carmen-Berry-Free-Download.html

Are you having trouble finishing your book? Carmen Berry, MSW can help! She is a New York Times bestselling author who authored, co-authored and ghost written over 20 books with top publishers including Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Penguin. Her clients can avoid making common-sense blunders that many first-time authors make. She works with aspiring writers who love helping people such as mental health professionals, educators, medical professionals, pastors, fitness experts and craft enthusiasts.

What could this same kind of success mean to your career?

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?4-Tips-to-Stop-Procrastinating-So-You-Can-Finish-Your-Book&id=6552761] 4 Tips to Stop Procrastinating So You Can Finish Your Book

Summer Ghost Story Writing Competition

1st Prize: £300

2nd Prize: £200

3rd Prize: £100

4th Prize: £50

5th Prize: Critique of story of choice.

6th Prize: Premier 1 Membership (3 months) providing unlimited entry into any Creative Competitor writing competition and the free Write to be Published newsletter.

Closing Date: 18th August 2011

Entry Fee: £5.00 or £6.00 (if you wish to receive individual feedback).

Ghost stories often depict cold wintry scenes and creepy old houses, but your ghost story is set to take place in the summer months. The rest of the theme is entirely open to interpretation, but your story must be original and previously unpublished.

Maximum word count is 1500 so please ensure your entry adheres to this rule. LIne spacing 1.5 or 2 x and font style Ariel orTimes New Roman is preferred if submitting by post. Please also spell check prior to submitting.

When you are happy with your entry, email it to info@creative-competitor.co.uk and type Summer Ghost Competition in the subject field.

Or use the PAYPAL Button below to pay for the competition entry plus personal feedback on your submission. (Please note that his is not a full critique but relates to the competition and individual entry only).

Getting Started as a Travel Writer: Basic Tips on What You Need and Don’t Need to Begin Your Journey

By Thomas Schueneman

What does it take to effectively start your path toward becoming a freelance travel writer? What skills, experience, tools, education, and temperament are best suited for success as a travel writer?

The requirements to begin your career in freelance travel writing are pretty basic.

Most of us have heard the slogan from the popular athletic shoe maker – “Just Do It”. That’s applicable here. You’ve just got to start writing. If you aren’t interested in writing, if you can’t discipline yourself to write regularly, then you shouldn’t try to be a travel writer. Yep, that’s the hard truth of travel writing – you do have to write. But you don’t have to write a novel, you just need to take notes, observe, and write regularly.

You need to have an opinion, a voice. As you regularly write about your travels, or just your daily experiences, your voice will begin to develop in the words you put on paper. By nurturing and developing that voice, the articles that you submit will stand out and be more interesting. Editors will be more likely to take notice and publish your work. Tell the reader what you really think! (Well, within reason)

Working hand in hand with the emergence of your written voice are your powers of observation. When you walk down the street near you home, try looking at it like you’re a visitor and have never seen it before. What things do you notice that has escaped your attention in the past? Learn to exercise your powers of observation every chance you get. Watch people, notice the subtle changes in the afternoon light as summer turns toward autumn, take nothing for granted.

You now have gotten into the habit of writing regularly, you’re developing a unique writing style and voice, and expressing that voice with your thoughts and observations of the world around you. You’ve got a good start on becoming a successful freelance travel writer. There are a few more things you’ll need to complete the picture of an aspiring travel writer.

You need to be able to do some research. These days, most of your pre-trip research can be done online in the comfort of you own home. But you don’t necessarily need a computer, you can always go down to your local library to do your research. But research is a must. For instance, if you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, you’ll want to find out the basics like climate and weather, population and culture, main tourist attractions, principal industries, government, and any additional information that may be pertinent to what you plan on writing about. You want to get a feel for the country or region and its people before you leave home. After you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll want to seek out the unique and interesting aspects of the area and its people. Try to find things that the average tourist would find interesting and unique – dig a little deeper. Seek out and talk with the locals, read local newspapers, arrange to interview people that can help bring your articles to life – business people, historians, tour operators –  Or perhaps just the person on the street to get some of the local color. The more research like this you can put together the more saleable and unique your articles will be.

The last thing is a willingness and desire to learn. Read books and take a course on travel writing. Many good books are available on the subject. There are college level courses available as well as some excellent home study travel writing courses.
 
You’ll want to get your hands on as much travel writing as you can. Subscribe to one or two travel magazines, read the travel section in your local newspaper, buy travel books. Find out what editors are looking for in a travel article. See if you can spot the basic structure of a well written travel article. In particular, pay attention to an article’s lead; how does it draw you in? How well does it state its theme? After a few sentences, are you motivated to read any further? After the lead and theme are established, how well does the article prove that theme and paint a picture. Do you have a sense of place as you read the body of the article? Again, is the writer drawing you through the article in an interesting and compelling way? If so, how is he doing it? If not, what is lacking? Finally, how well does the writer bring the article to a close? Does he effectively reflect on the lead and restate the theme? Does he leave you with an urgent feeling inside of you to visit a destination or try an activity or find out more?

The elements described above comprise the basic structure of what most editors are looking for in a travel article. Learn to spot what works and what doesn’t. You’ll find that once you start looking at travel articles with a critical eye, you’ll start thinking like a travel writer. Before you know it, you’ll get your first byline and editors will start thinking of you as a travel writer as well! Your journey has begun!
What You Don’t Need…

You don’t need a degree in journalism or even a college degree at all (though both those things certainly don’t hurt either!). Editors aren’t going to ask to see your diploma. What they want to see are well written articles appropriate for their publication and submitted within the stated submission guidelines. You can learn how to do that without stepping inside a college classroom. (But remember, taking a home study or other type of course on travel writing can be a big help).

You don’t have to spend a lot of money. All businesses require some investment in both time and money to get off the ground, including freelance writing. But you don’t need to spend a fortune. Invest in some books, a travel writing course, and investigate some other resources available to travel writers like publisher databases, websites, etc. (find out more about these resources at   rel=nofollow http://www.TouristTravel.com/travel_writers_wanted.htm), but save your money so you can eventually travel to exotic locals rich in fodder for your travel writing.

But remember, you don’t really even need to travel; everyplace has a story to tell. Many are lucky enough to live in or near a popular tourist destination. Local excursions and your own personal knowledge and experience can easily form the basis or your travel writing career.

So there you have it, some of the ins and outs, needs and don’t-needs that will get you started on your own exciting path toward freelance writing success!

Happy Trails!

Tom is a freelance travel writer, copy writer, and web publisher. His popular website TouristTravel ( http://www.touristtravel.com) features a section of resources for both beginning and seasoned travel writers.
Tom lives and works in San Francisco and is a member of the Bay Area Travel Writers Association

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Getting-Started-as-a-Travel-Writer:-Basic-Tips-on-What-You-Need-and-Dont-Need-to-Begin-Your-Journey&id=15934] Getting Started as a Travel Writer: Basic Tips on What You Need and Don’t Need to Begin Your

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Proofreading Your Own Work: 10 Practical Tips for Authors

By Harriet Hodgson

After I have finished a book I check the spelling one last time and proofread it. It’s hard for me to proofread my own work because I get diverted. Instead of looking for specific errors, I get caught up in the content. I remember the easy parts and the troublesome parts. As usual, I ask myself, “Did I reach my goal?”

I just proofread my latest book. My publisher wanted me to look it over before forwarding it to the printer. Two months had passed since I last proofread the book and I was surprised at the number of errors I found. Some words were singular when they should have been plural. Two Internet addresses were incorrect. Words had been lost due to text editing.

Why did I miss these errors? The biggest problem with authors proofreading their own work is that we know what is coming. We know each and every paragraph, each and every sentence, each and every word. If words are missing, our minds fill in the blanks automatically. That’s why publishers have editors and proofreaders.

Still, you may be asked to proofread your book. How can you do it efficiently?

The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill has posted an article, “Editing and Proofreading,” on its website. The first tip, distancing yourself from the text, applied to me. I picked up new errors because two months had passed. “Clear your head of what you’ve written so you can take a fresh look at the paper and see what is really on the page,” the article advises. Proofread in short blocks of time is another helpful tip. I didn’t do this before, but do it now.

LR Communication Systems, Inc., has posted proofreading tips on its website. According to the first tip, you should read your work aloud. I do this all the time and find it helpful. But I couldn’t possibly do the second tip, reading sentences backwards to catch spelling errors. However, I do follow some proofreading tips and here are the 10 best ones.

* Proofread early in the morning when your mind is fresh.

* Print out the manuscript. Though some authors can proof electronic copy successfully, it is harder on your eyes.

* Use spellcheck, but don’t rely on it. Spellcheck often misses medical and technical words or flags jargon.

* Each time you proofread, do it with a specific purpose in mind: content, topic sentences, word flow, punctuation, spelling, tense, proper names, etc. Doing this makes it easier to spot errors.

* Pay attention to the little words, the, to, at, me, my, because they may be missing a letter.

* Check headings separately. “Headings are prone to error because copy editors often don’t focus on them,” according to LR Communication Systems, Inc.

* If your book includes a bibliography, make sure the resources are listed in the proper format and Internet addresses are correct.

* Consider the overall layout. Look for missing spaces, extra spaces, tight copy, indenting inconsistencies, numbering and bullet errors. If you have included charts, graphs or photos with captions, look them over carefully.

* Check page numbers to ensure they are in the right place and sequential.

* Look for consistencies, such as printing book titles in italics and bold.

Though I was embarrassed by the number of errors I found in my manuscript, I didn’t berate myself for them. I had kept the promise I made to readers in the Preface. “This book is going to help lots of people,” my contact person said. That was all I needed to know.

Copyright 2011 by Harriet Hodgson http://www.harriethodgson.com

Harriet Hodgson had been an independent journalist for 30+ years. Her 24th book, Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from Amazon.

Centering Corporation published her 26th book, Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life and a companion journal. The company also published The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Refresh and Sustain Your Soul and her latest book, Happy Again!

She has two other new books, 101 Affirmations to Ease Your Grief Journey, available from Amazon, and Real Meals on 18 Wheels: A Guide for Healthy Living on the Highway, Kathryn Clements, RD, co-author, and available from Amazon soon. Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Proofreading-Your-Own-Work:-10-Practical-Tips-for-Authors&id=6395812] Proofreading Your Own Work: 10 Practical Tips for Authors

Need your manuscript edited or proofread? Check out the Creative Competitor service for authors and let us help you.

Is the fear of rejection holding you back?

Is the fear of rejection stopping you from progressing with your writing and taking that crucial step from amateur to professional?

Having doubts about your own creative skill set is natural; it is what makes you strive to improve your writing technique and to be able to write to a level where you are satisfied with your work. But even when you reach that plateau of achievement, many writers fall short of taking that next step. Why?
I remember getting my first rejection letter and sobbing profusely for a while, blatantly taking the whole standard rejection thing as a personal attack. Once I had finally come to my senses, I realised that it wasn’t the end of my writing at all, far from it; it was the start because at least I had taken that first step to sending work out and now had a benchmark to follow.

Rejection is never a pleasure of course but it is an important part of writing. No one can possibly write without receiving a standard rejection slip and if everyone got published immediately, what would that say about the standard? If you can change your perception of a rejection letter, you can make it work for you and not against you, try viewing the letter as a challenge instead and determine that you will get your work published with that publication specifically and sharpen your focus.  Dig deep into your stubborn reserves and rise to the challenge.

Your writing could be just what the publishers are looking for but if you never submit any work, how will they ever discover you? Change your negative response to a positive one and increase your chances of publication through grim determination.

Never let the fear of rejection prevent you from fulfilling your potential!

Going on Holiday? Write Travel Blogs

 
It’s human nature for people to share in the experiences of others and that’s why travel blogs are so popular.  Not everyone can afford to travel to exotic locations certainly on a regular basis so why not marvel at the experiences of those who do travel across the globe and who are willing to put pen to paper and share their adventures. I’m probably not the most well-travelled person although I hope to change that, so getting a feel for an area through the simple perspective  of another is quite frankly appealing. I have stayed in hotels and locations that are  in direct contradiction to the glossy travel agency publications and so to hear a firsthand account of a particular area is much more interesting as it denotes the human angle and not a sales one.
 
For example, I had a chance encounter with an old friend the other day and he regaled numerous stories and anecdotes about areas that I had often thought about going to, his truthful and yet enthusiastic approach to travel made me wish that I had travelled more and witnessed the same scenes as he for myself.
 
If you are going on holiday and enjoy writing, then seriously consider putting your skills to good use and sharing your stories with the rest of the world. Not only is writing a blog strangely therapeutic (dear diary syndrome) but it captures your thoughts and feelings and memories of your trip forever.  Writing a blog post is not difficult and if you haven’t already established a web presence as a writer, it really is time to do so.
 
When planning your holiday, research the area thoroughly because planning in advance will help you to see beyond the main tourist areas (unless of course that’s exactly what you want from your holiday) if you are prepared to be a little adventurous, going off the beaten track and mixing with the locals, will afford you a much greater opportunity to see the location from a more human and realistic perspective. Whilst you are enjoying yourself, allow one part of your brain to stay analytical and remember to make  notes and take photos too. Whatever your thoughts and feelings of the place, be honest when writing your travel blogs,allow your personality to shine through and connect with the reader, that’s what makes writing  travel blogs so much fun because it’s a universal connection as we all go on holidays and sharing the experience will allow you to reach out and connect with others on a worldwide scale.

Writing A Crime Novel? Plan The Death Scene Carefully

 If you are writing a crime novel, then planning the death scene is of the utmost importance. Not only should it be written creatively but with careful attention to detail. As a writer, you should not be short on imagination and should be able to picture those crucial final moments quite vividly in your mind’s eye. This visualisation process is important because in order to hook your reader and to be able to write convincingly, you need to be able to describe the scene in detail. Planning your crime story initially is important too because this will help you to be able to build the tension leading up to the murder and draw the reader along with you. Writing with a sense of confidence and purpose will also have the reader believing in the plot and help them to become absorbed in the storyline as it unfolds.

 

When writing a crime novel, consider how many death scenes you are planning to have and whether your antagonist has a certain macabre style or whose murderous acts might be designed with a meticulous edge. Either will create tension and add all -important dimensions to the plot but consistency is useful so that the reader feels a sense of credibility with your character. Knowing why the antagonist kills will help you to plan the perfect murder scene, for example:

 

  • The antagonist has a fear of women and finds himself in a situation where a woman is aggressive in her behaviour towards him and he reacts violently from panicking.
  • The female antagonist was previously raped and is out for revenge against all men.
  • The antagonist feels invisible and unimportant so murder is a way of achieving notoriety and fame. 

It will help too if you know your character’s foibles  when writing these scenes.. There would be no point creating a blood bath at the scene of crime if your character is squeamish and would be ill at the sight of so much blood. This immediately would make the plot seem unrealistic to the reader and you do not want to give the reader any opportunity of putting your book down. If you want to get your book published, it is crucial that you consider these aspects fully and through careful consideration and your connection  to the character will grow much stronger.

 

Other points to consider are:

  •  Will there be any witnesses?
  • How did the murderer leave the scene of crime and was any evidence left behind?
  • What is the murder weapon and where is it now?
  • Was death instantaneous?
  • Did the murderer enjoy the act and has a serial killer been born?

 

All of these questions are ones that you need to be aware of and to be able to answer prior to planning your crime scene. When writing a crime novel, you need to live and breathe the plot and any complex twist and turns if you wish your book to be successful.

You Can Make Money Writing

Websiteby Annette Young

Through my work as a writing tutor, I am aware just how many talented writers there are out there and whilst all are in various stages of development, many could make money writing articles or by selling their short stories but I have noticed that many people have a real lack of self-confidence regarding their creative abilities.  

I do remember how difficult it can be to make that jump from amateur to professional status and it is a scary leap of faith in your own abilities but if you don’t do it and trust in yourself, how will you ever succeed in your writing?

First of all, it’s important to consider what you want to achieve with your writing and hand on heart, be honest  if you want to make money writing or whether  you are happy to just enjoy the creative process.

If you  do really want to make money from writing then you need to put yourself and your writing on the line.

I would suggest in the first instance that you earn a few published writing credits whether paid or unpaid as this will give you invaluable experience. Try free  article writing for directories or by offering your services to any website like the Creative Competitor. This will provide a good stepping stone in terms of motivation and self-belief, provide a few published writing credits and then once you are sure that you can write with conviction and confidence, then you are ready to start generating query letters.

Just remember that writing professionally means putting in the practice first, don’t skimp on this aspect as the more you do, the better you will become. Writing should be second nature and an important part of your life. I have to admit I am addicted to writing,it’s a passion, a way of life and if you feel the same, are ready to commit to your goals, then you really can make money writing!

Manuscript Critique- Why You Should Invest In Your Writing

You have sweated blood and tears and poured every emotion into writing thousands of words and have finally finished  and yet requesting  a manuscript critique may be the last thing on your mind..why?

Whilst there is no hard and fast rule that writers have to have their manuscript appraised, it does make sense to have someone check your manuscript over in a professional capacity prior to sending it to an agent or publisher.  I see hundreds of manuscripts each year and there are very few that don’t need a fair bit of editing or rewriting and this is not detrimental to those writers, it’s simply the way it is. Even those writers who have gone to considerable lengths to edit as they progress throughout the novel will still have a fair bit of work to do at the end.

I have the utmost admiration for those writers who complete their novels. Writing a novel is a tremendous commitment and as so many people these days are overly stretched in terms of time and personal commitments, it is astounding that so many novels are actually completed at all. I have run several novel writing courses at college in the UK and one term, some students were completing upwards of 70,000 words within a ten week period, that’s a lot of words  pouring out on to paper and with this much time and dedication, it makes sense to give your novel a fighting chance.

Requesting a manuscript critique shows a determination to address any issues that might be apparentand therefore reduces the chances of receiving unwanted rejection slips.  I personally think that many writers are concerned  about hearing ‘bad news’ when the critique comes through but I’m a writer myself and  I know how difficult it can be to hear any type of criticism. Just remember that a professional manuscript critique is not there to slate your manuscript, it’s a positive tool that supports your goals and ultimately raises your potential to be published.