Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rachelle Gardner (Advice for Novelists, Part 7)

Today I asked:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?" Rachelle Gardner. Here's her response:

The biggest mistake I see novelists making is trying to get published too soon. My Native American friend Russell Means used to tell me, "It takes the time it takes." He was always trying to get me to stop rushing. Now that mantra sticks in my mind when I find myself trying to force something before its time.

Becoming a novelist takes a serious investment in time as well as resources. Make sure you're ready. You must master the craft of writing if you want people to pay you for it. Attend writers' conferences and take writing workshops. Edit, rewrite and polish your book. Get critiques and feedback. Trade manuscripts with writing friends and get some good advice. Consider hiring a freelance editor. Read books about writing. Make sure you've done everything humanly possible to make your book the best it can be---take your time and get it right. THEN seek publication by pitching agents and editors. You'll find more success, and agents/editors will be less frustrated. A win-win all around!

--Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent, WordServe Literary (Be sure to check out her terrific blog here that's full of more insights like this!)


Katy McKenna said...

Hi, CJ! I am late seeing this post, but wanted to thank you for it. Rachelle has just this past week become my agent! She is terrific.

Katy McKenna

C.J. Darlington said...

What wonderful news, Katy! I'm so thrilled for you. Remember back when we used to post on the Crosswalk boards? I was Mountainview, in case you don't remember. We both entered the first Operation First Novel, I believe. And you made it into the Top 20, right? Very cool. Thanks for posting, and I look forward to hearing from you again sometime.