How to write fiction

How to write fiction scared and being stubborn

Out there…out there are a lot of writers, scriptwriters, comic drawers. You can’t count them. There are those who are successful, those about to, those who gave up due to economy, those ho study and write once a week. A mob to compete with.

So you have on your hands your first new born (written one). You’re so proud of it, you start showing it to anyone who can read. In your imagination, it has the right to be seen or read by editors, juries and movie directors to be loved, prized and make money, royalties… a universal change. You send it to any contest and wait. Keep waiting. There’s no answer. Might the juries be blind as umpires are? The next step you take is to self publish or print a few ones to sell them. Making the massive offer of titles to chose from even bigger. And so in the HBO-Netflix era means just another title more in an ocean filled with big tasty fish[1] against you, little fishy soya flavoured. Popular. With tale telling skills above yours. Lightyear further.

Is it now the time to hive up? Maybe… There’s still the titanic labour of promoting that might make you reconsider if you’re a sales man or a writer. A job normally done by an editorial instead of the author and the reason why authors look up to be devoured by the bigger fish. They have more resources.

Are you still there?

Let’s go back to the beginning. Your first born comic-script-novel-short piece is awesome for the single fact of being finished. Others have given up before that. Which doesn’t mean it deserves to be published. Are you as good as Monterroso, Stan Lee or Ingmar Bergman?

You know the answer. If you’re still comparing yourself to them, you don’t have idea what you can really do or will be able to do. But if you have stopped comparing yourself…you have become an arrogant bastard, specially if no one publishes you yet.  Such a depressing thing, enough to smash self steems. Am I good enough?

No…not yet. You’re in the way to be. About to break through. Are you going to give up now? Now? A home run from winning in the ninth in? Take a few more beats.

Are juries-editors shit?

They might, they might not. There is an author with a Saturday column in Milenio Diario. He sometimes can be amusing and sometimes a prickly snob. Well, he says there are editors who have come to hate reading for the single fact of despising their job. Why? Because they read so many horrible writing that they can’t take it anymore. The momento I read that I thought that there is no way to know what is good if you don’t read.

There are mangas I wouldn’t have given a cent to the first ten pages and afterwards became relishing. Of course there are some that taste honey and milk from the first line or drawing. And those which start like soda pop bubling and end up in nothing. The same some movies earn their right to be left unseen.

An editor finds not one, hundreds of manuscripts. They have their own filters to deal with the straw. Filters that begin with marketing issues, no matter how good the content is.

A publishing house or contest gets a bunch of manuscripts. Not all from people who REALLY WANT to learn the craft. Some copies of soap operas with a youtuber speckle of pepper. (I’ve read things as such (reading habit I had to get rid off due to mental health issues and time being limited). Editors HAVE TO read that pile. They can’t just throw the manuscript away must cause they didn’t like it…I mean, John Dos Pasos couldn’t get me hooked whilst some editor thought he was great.

So they create rules for themselves and those in the trade. To get rid of whatever that is not in format, is bad spelled, lacks acceptable conflict. You are not a victim. You are an author. LEARN. RESEARCH. You’re here since you have one talent: to persevere.

Fear is out there for everybody. After a number of contests, rejections and self-publishing without sales. Remember: Harry Potter was rejected 20 times and even then, that first edition went to libraries to be read…an editor wasn’t doing his job properly[2].

The match isn’t over till the bell rings. If you have made it here, you still have seconds in the panel.

[1] Just two names to erase your self-steem: Game of thrones and Magpie Murders

[2] Out of gender bias perhaps?

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