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How to Overcome Discouragement as an Author

Today’s guest post is by Emma Eggleston.

Writing is your passion. You spend hours dreaming up the perfect characters and their marvelous adventures, months writing the first draft, and weeks rewriting, editing, and tweaking your work.

All your friends and family have read your manuscript, and they absolutely love it. You are at the point where you are satisfied with the story you have created. You research the top literary agents for your genre, craft a flawless query, cross your fingers, and bravely send out your submissions.

Then, you wait.

Slowly, the responses start trickling into your in-box. Your heart starts to race as you click that email notification and prepare yourself to read the message. Your eyes quickly scan the words, and your stomach drops when you realize it’s a no.

Time after time, you find yourself facing rejection. Your book is your baby; your characters are your best friends. You would be lying if you said the rejection didn’t hurt. Now, you are questioning whether or not your book is as good as you thought. Months of sacrifice and weekends spent agonizing over your manuscript only to receive disappointing responses leaves you feeling like throwing in the towel altogether. Continue Reading…

24 Lessons Learned from Writing My Novel

Today’s guest post is by author Noelle Sterne.

Mainly a nonfiction writer, for years I promised myself I’d write a novel. I finally plunged in, and of course it was daunting. Inching along, I learned many things—and scribbled them down instead of working on the next chapter.

Here I offer you twenty-four of these lessons. Whether you’re an aspiring novelist, in the throes of writing your first or thirty-fifth novel, or petrified at any stage, I hope these lessons help in your wars with your own works. Continue Reading…

Becoming a Sensitive, Responsible Fiction Writer

This is a post drawn from my upcoming workshop at Writing for Change Worldwide, an annual conference (this year online and weeklong) presented by SF Writers Conference. If you are interesting in writing for change, be sure to attend this conference! Here are the details.

If you’re a fiction writer, you create characters. Hopefully believable ones. Characters your readers love and hate. Characters that pop off the page and take readers on an exciting journey.

Regardless of whether you write lighthearted comedy, serious relational dramas, complicated romance, or adventurous fantasy, more than mere authenticity is needed—if you want to be a sensitive, responsible writer.

What is involved in being a sensitive, responsible writer? Sensitive how? Responsible how?

For writers who care about equity, racial justice, and e pluribus unum, it requires a self-check.

Not only are all of us ingrained with some measure of racial bias, we often don’t recognize it. This is particularly true when it comes to writing fiction. Our tendency is to default to what we’re familiar with, and that brings into play stereotypes, tropes, assumptions, and other (sometimes subtle) travesties that do a disservice—if not outright harm—to others. Continue Reading…