And conference coordinators, please do me a favor and back off on all of those sessions I am telling the writers to quit taking.
In all honesty, I think so many writers are forgetting one big thing. They are ignoring the one and only thing that will get editors and agents to pay attention and readers to buy your books.
Learn how to write! Please!
Now that we have gotten through the first month of submissions for 2014, I have decided that I want to make my big push for the year working with writers about the basics of writing. I'm going back to the foundation here and, in truth, I think we need to! What we have today are writers who know everything about digital format, e-pubs, self-pubs, marketing techniques and all of those great gimmicks to sell books; however, the products we see going out are simply not there!
So what are those basics? Character, Setting, Theme, Plot, Dialogue, and yes, Grammar.
What are we seeing now?
- Characters in romance novels that would never go together in the real world.
- Characters that are simply 2-dimensional cartoon caricatures who do things and say things for no reason.
- Descriptions of settings and world building that give the reader absolutely nothing to work on.
- Stories with no point. There is no driving force for the story.
- Plots that ramble on and are repetitive because the writer has run out of things to say but wants to get to a single title word count.
- Dialogue that just has the characters talking. We don't learn anything new. We don't advance the plot. We just hear talking.
- And yes, we have writers that are forgetting that grammar is essential in basic written communication. I'm not talking about dangling participles here, but the basics of business letter format, fragments, run-on's, subject-verb agreement and those basics.