How to be a Novelist


Being that we’re coming to the end of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I thought I’d bring this older blurb back up to the top. Over on my writers blog I’ve been quietly documenting the various steps required in order to become a novelist. The first three steps are ready for public consumption:

  1. Deciding to become a novelist.
  2. Starting and, most importantly, finishing a manuscript.
  3. Editing your manuscript, including getting others to critique it for you.

The bit I’ve been working on for over a year now is the part about how to get published. It’s taking so long because the publishing landscape is in total flux at the moment. Back when I started breaking in to the wonderful world of ‘being published’ it was a completely different era, albeit the very tail end of said era. You had two choices – convince a publisher to publish you, or do the shameful thing of publishing yourself (and face ridicule from the publishing industry). Now you have a plethora of choices and the act of self-publishing is no longer a shameful deed. Yet, it’s still a bit complicated, as the ‘old guard’ (so to speak) is fighting very hard to try and keep things the way they were, and there’s a passionate exchange that goes back and forth which is akin to PC / Mac flame wars.

Anyway, the good news is, no matter what, one way or another you can be published, it’s now guaranteed, and your book will be available in a market of some sort. Maybe not the one you dreamed of, but, a market nonetheless.

For those of you finishing up your NaNoWriMo novel, or anyone else who’s dreamed of writing that great big book of wonderful life stories — these bits of advise are meant for you, and I guarantee they’ll help in one way or another:

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