From Writing to Publishing

When Querying

Do yourself a favor and take off your political hat when querying an agent.

It’s important to realize their political views and your political views don’t need to line up for the initial query. Unless you’ve written a political themed publication, it’s an unnecessary fact which will only cause a stumbling block in your path. This is also true of religion unless you’re writing a religious themed publication.

All right, did that clear the air for you? For my part, I even went so far as to delete political posts from my social media platform (no one liked them anyway.) The goal for my social media is to create a platform for my books and connecting with readers, agents, and writing material. That’s it. Any personal posts I try to limit to soft, fluffy, and feel-good.

Now, I realize some people will have a very difficult time of this. I understand. Social media has become their crutch and soap box, and they honestly believe they have every right to post whatever they deem important. Thankfully, you’re not like that.

Have you noticed how much social media has changed? I remember in the beginning seeing APOLOGIES for rash comments or angry outbursts. You don’t see those anymore. In fact, quite the opposite as people defend their right to voice.

Let’s develop a better character for ourselves. Leave those high-strung vocalists to their own social doom. We can be peaceful and agreeable to all for the sake of a great sale.

Oh? You didn’t think this was a sales pitch post? Let me open your eyes – it very much is. You as a writer are going out into the wide world to sell your book AND yourself (don’t misconstrue that second part.) Get down from your soap box and put on your best suit. You’re going door to door to sell your product because your life and your family depends on it. Also, the world needs your story.

Go get them, tiger.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Books and Affiliated, From Writing to Publishing

I Did a Thing

I finished my book! I had to supplement a few pages near the end.

The urge is to dive right into the next project because I’m motivated and pumped with words. But this is actually a very good time to take a break. My mindset is in juvenile fiction, and my next project might be a vampire murder mystery. Those two don’t jive. It’s good to clear your head after a project.


This is a handmade leather journal from Poetic Earth. They usually frequent the Bristol Renaissance Faire I attend during the summer, but with Covid shutting everything down, they have closed the gates. I’m crushed, but I will go on. Writing in this journal gave me a sense of nostalgia for the musty, ancient dwelling of the book binders at Bristol. I am very excited to go back and purchase another journal.


This has been,

FanTC

Books and Affiliated, From Writing to Publishing

Rebellious Characters

She was meant to be a traitor.

Turns out, she had other plans.


Sometimes when you’re dreaming up a story, you create plots for the characters and begin casting players for the role. You’re pretty clever and rather pleased with yourself. You think you’ve got it all figured out. But then you begin writing the thing…

It’s interesting how a character will start to steer its own course. You realize you really have no control over the matter, and are resigned to figuring out the character’s purpose now that it has taken a complete about-face.

What we discovered during these moments is a truer spirit with the character we’ve created. They were never meant for the role we’ve assigned them, and they have taken it upon themselves to tell us so. Now we must take greater care discovering their new role so we don’t botch it up.

Perhaps the most extreme case of this I have experienced (because I’m a pretty good judge of character) is the Madam Raven. She was meant to be a traitor. She was quite vile and vicious. But just as I was leading up to the glorious moment, she paused on stage – mid sentence – and her red lips did that thing they do when she’s displeased.

“No,” she said quite plainly. “That’s not how it goes at all.”

And that, my friends, is the God’s-Honest-Truth.

This has been,

FanTC

Books and Affiliated, From Writing to Publishing

Editing

Do you know, I’ve been writing for 13 years and still struggle with passive voice? It’s a dilemma for many writers. You shouldn’t feel down and out of you get feedback on it.

This is where editing comes in to play. Editing really is a lot more fun than people give it credit. A writer can finally come back to her work and read it almost as if for the first time. She might have been a speed writing demon for months and forgot half of the punch lines she worked in. Suddenly stumbling on them again, she realizes they were pure magic.

Editing can be fun. I thoroughly enjoy the process of tweaking, fixing, and rearranging my books. At first, it used to hurt if I had to delete whole scenes – some I dearly treasured. But after a few years, you come to realize the story is too important to allow a few fun scenes drag it down.

Editing gives me a chance to really hone in on my characters. I want their actions to make sense, and I want their personalities to feel real. It gives me time to get to know them. I’m forced to stop and think and evaluate whether a word or a deed fits with the overarching makeup of the plot. It’s also fun just to spend time with them – some of whom I love, some I love to hate.

Editing provides the experience of viewing the book as a whole. When you’re writing, it tends to come in leaps and bounds, jumping from one scene to the next. With editing, you can smooth out those transitions to make them seamless. It really is a wonderful step in the creative process, and the better you can edit yourself, the less others will edit over you. That’s not a promise, but it’s a pretty good assumption.

Be an editor. It’s rewarding.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Books and Affiliated, From Writing to Publishing, Ponderings

“It’s Getting Harder to Wake Up.”

When you use your personal life experiences to develop a character’s struggle.


Don’t underestimate the connective power of your own story – your personal testimony. People connect to emotions. This is why teenagers (and certain moody writers) listen to sad music, angry music, heart-breaking music – because they desperately need to feel connection.

It’s no different with readers. If they’re going to pick up your story and thumb through the pages, they’re looking for a spark of connection. When they read the author section in the book aisle and inspect the summary, they’re weighing the odds of whether this will be a story worth their dime.

If you notice, the people who get the most attention and subsequently the most followers are those who exposed themselves to the world. They’re not ashamed of their struggles because they know the hardships make them strong. People gravitate toward honesty and strength.

What you must ask yourself is what do you have to offer the world? A really good story of success? Or a great testimony of survival?

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin