Saturday, July 15, 2023

writing from the heart, publishable manuscripts, the uncertainty of publishing, crystal balls


How do we write a book from our hearts and make it marketable?  That's the millionaire dollar question.  

We writers usually write about things that move us and we want to share those feelings with others.  We don't know if our work can be sold.  Not even some well-published authors have figured it out.  At times, they are rejected, too.  

So, how can we write what we love and sell it?  Here are three ways that can help: 

  • Join a critique group 
  • Hire an editorial consultant
  • Work with a published writer who offers critique services 

I've done all three options.  I regularly receive creative and constructive criticism from my critique partners, who show me ways to improve my manuscripts.  And in 2016, I worked with editorial consultant Mary Kole, who helped me tweak a story that landed an agent.   

Recently, I had the opportunity to have a critique/Zoom session with Brian Gehrlein, an amazingly talented author.  He pointed out how to rev up the tension, how to develop the character arc, and how to improve formatting.  In addition, he showed me ways to beef up my query letter.  Overall, he helped me take my manuscript to the next level so it could be submitted to agents. 

Even still, doubt crept in.  

After Brian's critique, after suggestions from my critique partners, and after the revision of my manuscript, I wondered if an agent would like it.  Would my polished, well-crafted story resonate with her?  And, could she sell it to a publishing house?  It will take querying to find out.  

Brian tells me to showcase my voice and style, to experiment, to trust my gut, to be different, and to make the writing fun and authentic.  His optimism and advise gives me the courage and confidence to continue despite the doubts. 

He affirms what I feel:  write the stories that come from my heart.  To create a unique story, only a story that I can tell.  To get feedback.  To revise my manuscripts.  But the rub is, no one knows if the time or money I've spent will pay off.    

As you probably know, there are never any guarantees our work will be published.  We don't have a crystal ball to tell us yes, this is THE manuscript that will turn into a book.  Writers endure the pain of rejection while we hold on to the hope of success.  We keep going because writers must be patient and persevere.  Despite the uncertainties we must strive to write what we love and have faith that one day, an agent will love it, too.      

✌ and