10 Things I Wish I Had Known
2.. That when you’ve typed the bulk of the manuscript in #1 on a word processor, not keeping a copy before sending it in without a SASE is not a good thing.
2.. A 180,000 word manuscript is a little hard to market as a non-published writer.
3.. How important it is to establish yourself in the writing field as a WRITER first, then aim for novelist.
4.. That literary agents who send you a contract that looks like it was made in MS Word. 3.1 with really bad clip art is PROBABLY not legit.
5.. Having a website and a blog doesn’t guarantee you’ll become the next Stephen King overnight.
6.. How important it is to keep copies of EVERYTHING you’ve written if it gets published – even if it’s for free, $10, for your college literary journal, or for a small-town newspaper. I lost several years worth of publication credits this way.
7.. That adverbs aren’t always the best way to go.
8.. Good dialog is learned by observing the way people speak, and talking lots with people – not watching movies: “Great Scott!”. “Caesar’s Ghost!” and “I’m a doctor – not a grammar mechanic, Jim!”
9.. To always back up everything, relentlessly and obsessively. Again – too many re-writes because of not doing this!
10.. That you need to simply push on and finish a rough draft, saving your editing for the second draft. Otherwise, you’ll spend two years continually re-writing the first half of your manuscript without finishing it!
Kevin Lucia writes for The Baptist Voice, The Country Courier, Infuze, and Title Trakk, and edits the official newsletter for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. He lives with his wife Abby and daughter Madison in Castle Creek, New York.