Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Why or How Come?"

I just finished reading a book. It is a mystery. No, No, not the story, well it kind of is a mystery but that isn’t the mystery. I am not a writer so here is the mystery. The mystery is; why are there goodles and gobs of books at places like Barnes and Noble that wouldn’t make good fire starting material and this manuscript, that I just finished, is still on a desktop at the author’s home. This is not the first “baby” of someone’s that I have read. The others were the same way too. Good, Real good. Ok, maybe a “he said, she said” that was not totally captivating, or the genre is a little new to me, and remember I don’t understand the rules of writing, but this is an “amazing” phenomenon to me- It is a mystery to me, that this book has not been picked up.

I received my new issue of Writer’s Digest last night and was scanning through to see what articles were in it. One article had a list of things that should be in a book. I haven’t read the article yet and this is not meant to be a critique of this particular book, but I associated each point the magazine was making to specific situations that I had read in the book. They were all there, so somebody had done their “homework”, even though the main character didn’t really get all wrapped up in school. The characters are real people and will continue to be so, especially when you ask yourself, “What would “…….“ do?”

Being new to writing, I have not latched onto the idea of trying to get my works published. This is a hard business. I guess I am trying to make too many points here, but the main one is DO NOT GIVE UP – EVER… This book, along with others, needs to be read. If a manuscript has been turned down, join a local group and set up critique groups that can input a range of ideas that might be adapted so that the “market” can smile more favorably. Make a short story out of parts of it and submit to different outlets. (not in this particular case perhaps, but a general idea). I have had the opportunity to try new ideas, in marketing in my industry and it is hard to come up with a ‘better mousetrap”, but sometimes the least little tweak can make a difference.

I find this new, to me, medium, is fun thought, provoking and definitely “amazing”.


  1. It's truly a puzzle. Self marketing is not always a skill possessed by people with the sensitivity to be good writers. Your advice here is generous and hopefully will get some good writing out into the universe.

    PS Glad to have you back. Miss your stories.

  2. Do not overlook self-publishing as an option.

  3. The fun part of writing for me is the exchange...the small group audience, not the mass market. No advertisement. Just find and be found. Some of the best stuff I have ever read is in blogs. No formula, not even a recognizable language at times.

  4. I enjoy writing and I share a lot of it on my forum -- it's definitely more fun that way -- though, like a lot of writers, I would love to be published. However, I just haven't had the fire under me, I guess, to really pursue it.

    But, I'm with you, Glenn, I've thumbed through a lot of books at bookstores and I often think, how and why did a publisher choose this one -- instead of that one? It is, indeed, a mystery.

  5. Argh. It's a crap shoot. Honestly, I've worked my hole out in the past trying to get something published. Nothing. Last year I put tongue in cheek and sent out what I believed was a piece of crap. I actually wrote it with the belief that I'd be tossed first round. Kinda hoped. When I made it through three rounds I was speechless. Now it's in a book. I don't mean to belittle the other people I'm in the book with but...I've not read it. Who knows, it might be good!

    I mostly give up.


  6. Nice, encouraging post Glenn. When I think of editors, I imagine my old world as a hiring manager, where I literally received stacks of resumes I had to work my way through each week. Did I miss people I could have hired? I'm sure of it. But with so many to read, I could only take the best. That said, in the case of strong, qualified candidates, persistance worked. If I ever get to a point when I'm trying to publish something, I'm going to try to remember that.

  7. Glenn, I appreciate your enthusiasm for the craft of writing. You're right to say that we should keep sharing our writing in a variety of ways. I hear that the publishing process is grueling. It does seem important to be persistent. So many great authors were rejected countless times. It just takes that one lucky moment when a publisher "gets you."