Making the Decision, by Paul Karaffa


So you want to join the ranks of great writers, to make your mark by inducing tears, fascination, romance, and even the occasional scream of your readers?

Friends and neighbors are crawling out of the woodwork to yell “That’s great!” And the quiet reclusive writer is muttering “Oh, the horror.”

There is a reason writers are pessimistic about the publishing world. And they should be. It isn’t easy. Not even for the best writers. By now you may have already dealt with numerous rejection letters from agents, publishers, literary magazines; and maybe you have burned them in an effigy so the Gods of Comeuppance will hit the editor that rejected you with a mack truck filled with ten thousand copies of Twilight irony.

Believe me. It happens. As an editor of a literary magazine, I always look both ways before crossing the street.

But there must be some way to get published! So many people have done it before you (and so many more will do it after you have shriveled up and given up). So, how do you get published?

People have been asking this mysterious question for a long time, but seldom is the query ever answered. This could possibly be because the author doesn’t want to actually learn the grizzly truth. Sometimes the truth can hurt. Like the fact that good writing won’t make you famous. In fact, amazing writing won’t make you a dime. Not by itself at least. A few other ingredients are needed first.

Since you are reading this I will assume you have already completed your manuscript and are now trying to learn how to make it available to readers. I am also assuming that what you have written is publishable–meaning the manuscript has correct spelling and grammar, proper plot structure, realistic characters and dialogue, correct POV; and is in standard manuscript format (of course). Spelling, grammar, and punctuation standards can change over the years. Make sure you haven’t been left behind like all those authors that still add two spaces after each sentence (see Two spaces after a period: Why you should never, ever do it).

So, lets start with the first two ingredients: Motivation & Professionalism

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Posted in 2011, Author's Resource, Non-Fiction
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