I've been over some of this before, but I figured a little refresher wouldn't hurt any. Whether you are a newbie or have been following Word Painters since the beginning...buckle your seat-belts and let's go!
This is going to be a random list, but we all like random. Right?
- First off, call your book a manuscript before it's published. It's more professional and more accurate.
- Are you published? If not, don't call yourself an author. Period. You're a writer until the day you sign that contract or push that publish button.
- Don't ever say "By" when you put your name beneath the title. It's a sign of an amateur. Simply put your name.
- Writing a book? Remember, it's your WIP - your Work-In-Progress.
- Know your genre. Be educated when you talk to others about your manuscript. Know your plot, always have a hook/elevator pitch ready. You should be able to tell people what genre you're writing and know how to describe it in two sentences or less.
- Kill cliches. Unless they're period accurate (for historical-fiction), never use a modern cliche. Your character is never as white as a ghost (or a sheet), his legs never turn to jelly or feel like lead, etc. You can make up your own descriptions anyway - it's much more powerful.
- Avoid the words "suddenly" and "miraculously". Professionals hate 'em.
That's all for now, but feel free to submit any additional tips and (pardon the cliche) tricks-of-the-trade in the comments!
Alicia A. Willis is a home-school graduate, published author, and avid historian. She is a firm believer in the principle that one can accomplish anything by substantial amounts of prayer and coffee. Visit her at her blog or Facebook to view her historical-fiction novels and all the goings-on between writing!