Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Five Characteristics that get Published

Because I teach creative writing I get to meet and work with a lot of writers who would like to be published. Quite a few of them do get published and, while they are all very different as writers, I've noticed some characteristics they have in common.

1. They are persistent.
2. They network.
3. They listen to feedback, even if they don't like it and choose not to act on it.
4. They have a clear idea of which market or genre they are aiming at and what the requirements are for it.
5. They work hard.

The truth is, to go from unpublished to published your work has to be better than anything else that is out there. Above average isn't good enough, it has to be exceptional.


Johanna said...

How reassuring. Not sure i can write an exceptional novel, but I can do the five things on your list!
You mentioned rewriting in sunday's post - would love to know more. How you work, what you change...

Sarah Duncan said...

Always glad to be reassuring!

I'll do a post on re-writing soon - think I'm going to go into more detail re the 5 characteristics, so after that.

Minnie said...

This is great, and I really love the sense and succinctness of your series of posts on the '5 characteristics'. Only problem is, it's impossible to comment without seeming either ingratiating ("Gosh, you're just sooooo wonderful, Sarah, howdyedoooit?") or patronising ("Gosh, well done, Sarah - good effort!"); don't know which is worse ... Aaaargh.
A simple 'thank you', anyway ;-).

Sarah Duncan said...

Oh no, comments like Sarah you're just sooo wonderful are always welcome! Glad you're enjoying them!

Minnie said...

Hello again, Sarah - laughed out loud at your response.Many thanks, as ghastly day meant in dire need of laughter. Least I can do is ... OK, here goes:
Gosh, Sarah, you're maarrrvelous. Maaaaaaaaaaarrrrvel-oussssse, luvvie, mwah, mwah! How DO you do it?
Will that do?
Hm: needs work ...
Thanks again for the giggle - and all the food for thought, so generously shared.

Sarah Duncan said...

Gosh, gee, *blushes and twists hair coyly* So kind - and so unexpected.

Minnie said...

Love the humour! And the blogposts, also - great clarity and commonsense (both rare).