I attended my first BookCon this year. It gave me food for thought, in ways I’d not anticipated. It also dovetailed with some things I’d been mulling over for the last few months about writers and readers and how they connect. I had a good time, too, and even managed to gain my “sea legs” on the return ferry! Beautiful weather also helped.
After two years and a lot of time constraints, the novel’s rough draft was done (achievement unlocked!), and it was sent to a developmental editor. She said the story line and arc are complete and it was a d@#*ed good first draft. Yay! But there are also many things to revisit and rethink, which is how I’m spending a large chunk of my summer, along with the editing jobs I’ve taken on for the biz. Yet, whether it’s my own project or someone else’s, we all need to consider our reader.
Some writers do not consider their reader, and they are missing out on opportunity. At BookCon, a number of attendees were dressed up as their favorite characters. (My new life goal!) The writer had connected with their readers on such an emotional level that these people had externalized what they’d internalized about the book. The amount of time, effort, energy and thought which went into some of these costumes spoke volumes about that connection.
Talking with publishing professionals at BookCon was also educational. It reinforced a lot of my reading about publishing over the last few years. For example, there’s limited spots on any publisher’s production schedule, and money is on the line. I saw some of those dollars at work at BookCon. Booth space, banners advertising the books, and the ARCs all cost money, and it’s spent in order to increase sales.
Writing is indeed an art, but the books produced from those manuscripts are products. So the writer’s art must be top-notch. Realizing this doesn’t discourage me. Instead, it shows the necessity honing my craft as writer and editor, to keep growing and learning. This is why I read craft books, apply and attend writers’ workshops, and ferociously self-edit. You only have moments to make an impression on a would-be agent or editor. It doesn’t matter if it’s fantasy or literary fiction.
A professional knows within a page (or less!) if you’re at a level to be published or not. No matter what, I’m going to keep stretching, growing, and learning for the rest of my career. I want to be the best writer I can be.
If you want to be the best writer you can be, and need an editor, be sure to let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see if we can bring your story to life! I have a few spots left.