I know for myself it was hard getting to know the lingo and I'm still working it out, but here are the basics. When I first started Twitter it was in 2007, and I signed up for the purpose of communicating with my fellow classmates in Web 2.0. I've always been a private person and didn't feel comfortable putting personal information out there. However, I started to use it again last year when I decided I needed to know more about the publishing industry and I saw a lit agent that listed her Twitter handle on her website.
Unsure of what was appropriate I tried to keep my tweets professional and didn't use it to make friends or let my silliness shine through. If you follow me now, you know I abandoned that a while ago. However, I have made mistakes along the way. The worst being when I inadvertently angered an editor with an e-publisher. My point being that you really need to watch how you phrase your questions. Remember that no matter how you think you sound in your head, your words could be interpreted in a completely different light by someone else. This being said I'm going to share the basic abbreviations I've learned for any newbie writers out there.
WIP-Work In Progress. Your novel is a WIP until you have edited it and revised it no less than 3 times. You then need to find a CP to have them look over your work.
CP-Critique Partner (also may be called beta-readers depending on who you're talking to). Your CP can be invaluable as they will be able to look at your WIP with fresh eyes, catching mistakes that you may have overlooked. Looking at your work for so long can gloss over very simple mistakes or even big gaping holes. Don't abuse your CP. If they're good they'll tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear. If you surround yourself with yes-men that ooh and aah over your crappy novel, you'll never know what's wrong with it. I'm not saying your novel is crappy, but without proper revising and critiquing, it very likely is a hot mess.
MS-Manuscript. Once your work gets to the stage you can send it out to readers, you've reworked and revised and feel it's finally up to snuff to start querying. DON'T QUERY YET. Get at least one more pair of fresh eyes on it to verify that it is indeed awesome and mistake free. Once you get it back, then you may query.
I'm working on the various genres right now so I will post that when I have a better handle on it, but I hope this helps some other fledgling writers that may not have known the basic abbreviations. Continue writing! Even if you do all of the above and never hook an agent you keep writing! This might not be the time for your MS. Publishing works in cycles, it might be 10-20 years before your genre is hot again-stop crying. Write. Revise. Write some more. If this is truly what you want to do with your life you need to commit to it. You can do it if you put the time in. Unless you're a bubble headed quasi-celebrity your book contract won't be handed to you on a silver platter. It's going to take hard work, dedication, and possibly a blood oath-I'm still not clear on that one. Good luck. I know you can do it, maybe...
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, so my apologies to my two faithful followers;-) I’ve been wrapped up in many exciting things and meeting many wonderful new people. Another part of it is that there are so many topics that can and should be written about, I just haven’t been able to decide.
I think the best way to start is to tell you I thought I knew a lot about the road to getting a lit agent and then to being published. I never professed to know everything, but I had researched and thought I had a pretty good idea about what was required of me. Let me tell you now, I didn’t know shit. The best move I ever made was to start using Twitter to follow lit agents and publishers to learn what they were looking for. Ginger Clark was the first agent I followed and is the one that inspired me to embrace my inner Twit. She posted links and discussed various conventions and publishing info and through those links and her conversations with others in the literary world I discovered even more wonderful people. They were happy to give advice to aspiring authors and it’s been a valuable source. I made mistakes along the way, forgetting the core of my communications knowledge base. I asked questions of some people that were misinterpreted and insulted them (Holy Mother of God, they were editors-EEP). But you live and you learn, or in my case remember what I was taught. Through my mistakes I actually found some very supportive, very successful writers (ahem-Jeffe Kennedy) who answered my panicked questions and gave me reassurances the world wasn’t going to end.
I began to build a network of authors, both published and unpublished, and started sharing tips and insights into what we were doing right and wrong. Through this network an incredible group was formed and I was luckily asked to join and get in at the ground floor. This group is called the TwitWits since we discovered each other through Twitter, and of course we’re witty as hell. Amiright? In a short amount of time I have been blessed with critique partners (CPs), beta-readers (the difference between the two is still up for discussion), and an awesome group of misfit toys, uh authors. It’s hard enough out there trying to do it on your own, so I know what I have with this wonderful group off oddly beautiful people is something special. I hope you all find your own special group of #TwitWits and in them the strength to keep pushing forward!