Being a writer is surprisingly complicated. I mean, we all get the writing part of it. But we don't necessarily see the rest of the process. And (whoo-boy!) let me tell you, it's quite a process!! Because just writing the story isn't enough. It's the first step, and perhaps the most critical, because all the other steps hang from it, but still, only the first step.
Next comes the finding of folk to help you polish your story, and the begging of knowledge from already published authors...I was fortunate to run into a whole slew of helpful folk over at ZA Maxfield and Ethan Day's Yahoo Group Loops. Some editors, some authors, some avid readers. They all helped where they could.
Oi! Now we start getting to the rough part. Letting someone critique the story. Ouch. If you're very lucky, as I was, you'll find one or two folk who will hold no punches, giving you the unvarnished truth and encouraging you to push through the pain of realizing your story/characters aren't born in fully fledged perfection.
So you get that. Then those slave drivers *rolls eyes* expect you to learn to critique your own writing! Jeez! Double ow!!
Right then. That bit's done, and you come to the place where I, shaking in my size 11's subbed my first story. And oh...the burning sting of that first rejection. And the second. And the encouragement to keep picking myself and my stories up, letting those blows strengthen us. Heh.
Glory and Snoopy Dances abound!! A publisher, a really good publisher says...eh, maybe. If you can fix such and such I'll give it another look. You have to listen hard here. Very hard. Because those revise and resub letters? Are things of beauty. They say, listen child, I see something of worth here. Let's polish this together. So if you hear that, and polish what your asked to polish...well I got a contract offer.
Still not the end though. Revise again, and get to work on your networking and promoting and hey, what's your penname...
Penname? Well, how about this one? Smack/pow...that one's too hard to remember even if it does make you giggle.
Okie dokie. Umm well, this one's short. C.N. Lee.
But...not sure I like it. *pouts*
Well, cripes kid, figure it out!!
And the emails to editors, and the...
...did you say I need to be my own advertisment agency?
Yep. Cause as good a the book is? And as better as it's gonna get with top-notch editing, and as awesome as the cover will be...
In the end, the product isn't the book. It's the author.
Being a writer is surprisingly complicated.