Wednesday, March 7, 2018

There Is No Formula In Writing

I always get frustrated when I sit in on workshops where the presenter implies that their method of drafting stories, writing queries and so forth will promise success. As they present, they lay out a template to this success. While templates are a great starting point, we often forget that those templates are not fixed. These are "guidelines."

As someone who works extensively with publishers such as Harlequin, I find so many authors feeling that the "guidelines" that we see from the publisher are fixed and that all stories that fall under each of those categories had to be done exactly that way. That is wrong.

Again, these are guidelines...

I also find that many authors do the same thing with query letters and synopsis writing. I do a lot of query letter critique work with authors and one thing I stress over and over again is the subjectivity of the publishing world. There is simply no one perfect way to do anything. What you do for one query letter will always be different for each person you send that query to. What I remind authors is that those query letters are the same as cover letters for your resumes. When you apply to a job, you structure that letter specifically for that job. You highlight different things. You organize it differently.

And the same goes for your novels.

Each sub-genre of your writing has suggestions, but there are always different approaches to reaching those outcomes. Do not believe that there is only one approach.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this is so refreshing to read! Thank you. I'm going through the query process now with a cozy mystery.