Saturday, September 04, 2010

New Author Mistakes

Today I received the current issue of our RWA National magazine and I was very disappointed to see that my picture and name were not listed on the Golden Heart Winner's ad. Guess I will have to increase my odds for next year by entering the contest.

As I was perusing the magazine and trying to overcome my disappointment, I came upon an article about the mistakes new authors make. To my dismay, I found myself checking off paragraph after paragraph. Yup, I do that. Guilty of this one. I've done that too.

It is clear that I need to reform. No more picking obscure subject matters that appeal to my twisted sense of logic. No more skipping around genres. I don't want to be guilty of the other transgressions this article details.

Okay blog mates and blogger audience, you are now viewing a reformed woman. I vow to pick a genre, get to know its "ins" and "outs" and master my craft.

Phew! I feel so much better. Now, if I can only decide what genre and what "ins" and "outs" I need to master; I might make it as a published author.

'Fess up. Are you guilty of these beginner's errors? What mistakes have you been making and what steps are you taking to overcome them?


Carla Swafford said...

I did the same thing with that article. But how can you decide on a genre if you're not sure what is a perfect fit for you? Especially if you like so many of them? *sigh*

The only solution I've found for me is to keep writing and sending out finished manuscripts to editors and agents. Surely one will be the right one and then I can concentrate on that genre and nothing else until I'm established. At least that's my theory.

Cari Hislop said...

Think of all the writers who had to break out of the 'it must fit a genre' mentality to create all the new genres! Twenty years ago there were very few romance genres. Now there are so many you practically need a genre romance guide book to figure out which one you want to read let alone write in (Has anyone written that guide book yet?).

I say, write the stories your inner writer wants to write and you'll eventually find or make a genre. Gorgette Heyer is a good example. She practically invented the regency romance genre. I can't imagine many if any were writing stories like hers in the early 20th century. She's still in print decades after her death.

M.V.Freeman said...

I'm always making mistakes, I think it goes along with writing.

It took me a bit to figure out which genre I want to write in--so I feel for you.

And you know, I sort of disagree with writing in one genre only. (That's why I think you are neat, Carla). Exploring other genres teaches you what you want or can write. :-)

Jeanie said...

Hmm, haven't gotten my copy yet so haven't read the article, but I make lots of mistakes. But that's how we get better: by doing. So I figure no writing, whatever the genre and however boo-boo riddled it may be, is a waste of time if I'm learning something from it. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Lynn said...

I'm guilty. I write cozy mystery and contemporary romance. And I want to try a paranomal. Oh, and did I mention I'm working on a young adult...

That was the old me. Now, I still think about the others but I focus my writing time on one maybe two, okay, three projects.

Sigh, I'm sunk....but I'm learning. And I don't think you know how to master your craft until you learn what you're doing right and wrong. That takes time.

I'm a better writer today than I was two years ago.

Great post.

Christine said...

I've only wanted to write contemporary romances, but I've fiddled with the single title vs. category battle for a while. I also have YA aspirations, but I went to a local chapter meeting and asked an author about switching around. She advised me to hone my writing voice in one genre, focus on it, and then when I had my career rolling to branch out.

So that's what I'm doing. But I don't think genre hopping is bad if you're still figuring out what you really want to write. It's all part of the process of learning your craft.