Monday, March 12, 2012

Today's inside tip on how to get published

Do you want to be a better writer? Do you want to be published?

Then READ.

The editors at Harlequin / Mills & Boon frequently suggest that aspiring writers read the books they publish. The cynical might believe this is so they can sell more books. But think about it.

Would you trust a tax lawyer to defend you in a criminal case? Would you want the world's top cardiac specialist operating on your foot? So why would anyone buy romance novels written by someone who doesn’t like to read romance? Will this writer understand the conventions, and know how to keep them interesting?

Only when you’ve read enough vampire/angel/witch stories will you understand what makes some merge together into obscurity, and makes others stand out. Only when you’ve read enough ‘secret baby’ stories will you be able to put your unique spin on it. When you know what has already been done, you know what hasn’t yet been done. And that is what you need to do: write the story that hasn’t yet been written.

And that’s today’s inside tip on how to get published:
Read, read, and read some more.

If you don't believe me, check out Scott Eagen's recent blog post on what you can learn from reading.

So what are you reading today?


Aimee Duffy said...

I absolutely agree Romy. When I first started writing, I'd read a handful of romances and didn't quite get it (I've got the form rs and horrific wips to prove it!) but now that I've read tones I understand how the writer does it, why conflict is so important, and as you mentioned I know whats already out there. Now all I have to do is apply what I know; its so much easier in theory ;o) x

Teresa Ashby said...

That is such good advice - it drives me mad when people say they want to write for a certain market before adding, "Of course I never read it myself."

Romy Sommer said...

Aimee - you can do it. I know you can!

Teresa - grrr. I agree!