Pep Talk: Writing Romance in YA – Stephanie Kate Strohm

I’ve never really understood the phrase “love at first sight.”  Sure, I understand the literal definition, and yes, I can kind of get the some enchanted evening appeal of spotting a stranger across a crowded room – preferably when set to a Rodgers & Hammerstein score – but it’s never really made sense to me.  No, I’m with Shakespeare’s Helena on this one.  “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”  Forget biceps, brains are sexy.  And yes, Helena needed enchanted flower juice from a fairy to land a man, so maybe she’s not the best source of dating advice, but in this, I totally agree with her. How is it possible to fall in love with someone you haven’t talked to?

I don’t necessarily subscribe to the theory that you have to write what you know – although in all honesty, I usually do – but I am a firm believer that you should write what you like.  And when it comes to a love story, I know exactly what I like: banter.  I want my hero and heroine to talk, talk some more, and then never stop talking.  Think Beatrice and Benedick.  Think Darcy and Elizabeth.  Think a Gilmore girl and, well, anyone.  Forget Cupid’s arrows.  The only things I want flying on my pages are quips.  For me, love is words.  So when I write young adult romance, for me, the most important thing is the dialogue.

I can tell when I’ve made a good match between characters because the dialogue flows easily.  If I’m writing so fast my fingers can barely keep up with my brain, then I know this relationship is meant to be.  And then I do the ultimate test – I read the pages out loud.  If anyone says something that I wouldn’t want to say on stage (I used to be an actor, before I started writing), then it’s out.  I imagine how an audience might react – would there be a laugh here?  Or crickets?  Would everyone in the room know that these two would never run out of things to say to each other?  If the answer is a resounding “YES!”, then I know I’m onto something.  (If everyone in the room is hoping they’d just shut up already?  Well, then, that’s a different issue altogether.)  I know “show don’t tell” is a classic piece of writing advice, but quite frankly, I’d rather hear two characters fall in love than see it happen.  When it comes to romance, tell me everything!

Dialogue is hands-down my favorite thing to write.  That being said, I don’t think that snappy dialogue is the only way to write romance in YA – far from it.  My advice to you is this: find your banter.  Find what you love about love. Maybe you are the some-enchanted-evening-love-at-first-sight type.  Or the hate-turns-to-love type.  Or any one of the millions-of-ways-people-fall-in-love types.   For me, love is words.  It’s easiest to write love when I write what I love.  And that sounds like happily ever after.


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Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pinkand the Confederates Don’t Wear Couture. She grew up on the Connecticut coast, where a steady diet of Little House on the Prairieturned her into a history nerd at an early age. She spent much of her childhood dressing up in bonnets. While attending Middlebury College in Vermont, she blossomed into a full-fledged Civil War buff and was voted Winter Carnival Queen. After graduating with a joint major in theater and history, she acted her way around the country, performing in more than 25 states, primarily in shows where she got to wear corsets.

Currently she lives in Chicago, where her closet is almost big enough to hold all of her shoes. When she’s not writing, she loves baking, shopping, cuddling her dog Lorelei, and dragging her boyfriend to chick flicks.

Find her online at – stephaniekatestrohm.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/StephKateStrohm

Pep Talk: Change It Up! – Janna Jennings

Who of us can forget the scenes that made us fall in love with literature? Those timeworn passages with the perfect balance of romance, horror, or tragedy that has our fingers groping to turn the page. Romeo’s love-lorn declarations from the orchard as Juliet appear on the balcony:

“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”

Or Scarlett O’Hara, singed, starved, and trembling with exhaustion as she makes her famous speech in the shadow of the blackened husk of the great plantation, Twelve Oaks:

“’As God is my witness, the Yankees aren’t going to lick me! I’m going to live through this, and when it’s over I’m never going to be hungry again!’”

What makes these scenes iconic? The writing certainly. Well paced dialog, strong characters, a plot that makes it hang all together.

Let’s leave the realm of books for a moment to consider film.

Casablanca is one of my favorite movies. Right up there with The Godfather for most memorable movie quotes, we can all spout off the classic, “Play it again, Sam.”

And who can forget Humphrey Bogart clasping Ingrid Bergman to him, reminding her “We’ll always have Paris,” as they stand in the mist on the tarmac, the shadowy shape of the waiting plane just visible in the background.

But what if they hadn’t been there? What if the screenwriter had set the scene in a swamp, ankle deep in mud, clutching at each other for balance? On a frozen mountain top? In the basement of a haunted hotel?

The mist, the runway, the plane—it all lends itself to a sense of mystery, urgency, the forbidden. You change the setting and that element of the scene goes away.

Of my last two writing projects, the third and forth books in my Grimm Tales series, I feel like I just flew through book three. For the most part, everything fit together seamlessly the first time.

Then I started book four.

I’d write, read it over, and promptly put myself to sleep. Honestly, my writing and a dose of melatonin and we’d cure the world’s insomnia problem. What was my difficulty? It was one of those points in the story where a lot of information was coming at the reader all at once. Background information, set up for plot reveals, things necessary to the narrative, but not your fast paced action scenes. It finally occurred to me to pluck my characters out of the snoozefest that surrounded them, and put them somewhere… a little more unconventional. The dialog didn’t change all that dramatically, but I invented a tradition, a holiday of sorts. Candlelight processions, midnight feasts in the graveyard, fantastical apple trees—and my humdrum scene shook itself out of its stupor, straightened up, and became my favorite moment in the manuscript so far.

There are a lot of low points, roadblocks, and frustrations during the writing process. The solution isn’t always as simple as taking Dorothy off the farm and plunking her down the merry old land of Oz, but give it a try. It might be just what your story needs.


jannaJanna is a Colorado based YA author who loves a good fairy tale.  She’s married to her own real life Prince Charming, and will usually admit to being mom of three, including her incorrigible middle child, Benny.  Besides wrangling her kids she can be found doing some therapeutic baking, dreaming of the ocean, and of course, curling up with a good book. She is the author of the Grimm series and other titles.

Pep Talk: Don’t Quit – Janice Gable Bashman

I’m often asked at conferences and other speaking engagements: “How do you keep on writing when it is such a difficult business?”

I usually tell the story about the Magic Pencil. It’s about how when I was young I’d look at a pencil and think it was magical. I imagined all the words the pencil could write, all the stories it could create. Then I thought of all the magic pencils out in the world and all the books they had written. I wanted a magic pencil of my own so I could create that magic. Of course, I realized the magic wasn’t in the pencil, but I never imagined I could possess that magic. I had always thought it belonged to others. Until one day I realized that magic was inside me.

In order to keep on writing when it’s such a difficult business, you have to hold onto the magic you feel when writing. It will lead to inspiration and a desire to continue creating stories.

But as we all know, there’s more to it than magic. You also need to:

  1. Remember Why You Are Writing—You write because you love to write, because you have something meaningful to say. Write the story you want to tell and the story you would want to read, the story that makes you feel excited. It takes a long time to write (and research) a novel and you need that excitement to sustain you. When writing PREDATOR, I had to research bog bodies (how they were preserved and how the people died—most were murdered) and the Benandanti mythology (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil). Then I had to figure out how to give the Benandanti mythology a new twist and combined it with a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics. Once I figured that out, I created a story that was fast-paced with lots of action, romance, and suspense, so that I could make the book a fun read, not only for myself but for my readers.
  1. Believe in Yourself—Believe that you can write what you set out to write and that you are good enough. Have faith that you can do it, even during those times when it seems like your goals are out of reach. They are not as far away as you think.
  1. Remember that Publishing is a Business—Try not to take rejection too personally. There are dozens of reasons why your book may be rejected. Don’t automatically assume it’s because you’re a horrible writer.
  1. Be Persistent— Push through the tough times. Your first novel may not get published; the second or third may not either. Look at it as a learning experience, time you have put into mastering your craft. Then buckle up for another great ride and write the next book.

As Andre Dubus said in the following quote, which I have taped to my computer monitor:

“Don’t quit. It’s very easy to quit during the first 10 years. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares on way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.”


janice bashmanJanice Gable Bashman is the Bram Stoker nominated author of Predator (Month9Books 2014) andWanted Undead or Alive, with New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry (Citadel Press 2010). She is publisher of The Big Thrill (International Thriller Writers’ magazine). Her short fiction has been published in various anthologies and magazines. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and the International Thriller Writers, where she serves on the board of directors as Vice President, Technology.

Pep Talk: Keep a Writing Journal – Kellie Sheridan

I’ve talked about writing journals before, even vlogged about them. But the reality is, I can’t get enough. The idea is to go out and get yourself a journal, any journal will do, but I think the prettier the better. And use that journal to write only about writing, specifically your writing. I try to write in it about every other day or so, just to quickly talk about how my writing is going, or why I haven’t been writing, or why I’m excited about what I’m currently working on. Anything goes. The point is to check in and hold yourself accountable.

Use your writing journal to get yourself motivated to do more with your writing time… I always want to have something positive to report to my writing journal, even if it’s just a fun new idea, or 500 words of progress on my current WIP. Then all you need to do is write down the date and start scribbling in an update about your writing, your ideas, your breakthroughts and challenges. It can lead to some really interesting breakthroughs, and also help to keep you thinking about writing even when you aren’t sitting down and working on your current project.

Writing Journal Entry Ideas…
– new story ideas
– brainstorming
– progress reports
– working through challenges
– check-ins
– goal setting

If you’re looking for more information on writing journals, check out this great post by Susan Dennard, or this vlog I did a few months ago! Trust me, this is an idea worth exploring, and all it will cost you is ten minutes a day, and $2 for a cheap dollar store notebook. And it’s fun!


kellieKellie Sheridan is the founder of Write All Year and co-founder of Patchwork Press. She writes both young adult fiction, and books for other writers. Really, it’s all books all the time. She also works as a Book Manager at Booktrope and vlogs for theYAWordNerds. You can find her atkelliesheridan.com or on Twitter at @Kellie_Sheridan

Pep Talk: Suck It Up – Bethany Crandell

Feeling blue about this whole ‘writer’ thing, eh?

Well, if you were hoping for a delicate, stroke-your-hair kind of pep-talk over a bottle of chardonnay and some scented candles, than I’ve got some bad news for you.  I’m not here to soothe your writerly woes*. In fact, the only reason I’m here is to tell you the truth about being a writer…and exactly why you can’t quit.

Here’s the skinny: Being a writer sucks.

It sucks to fall face first into a plot hole you can’t seem to climb out of.

It sucks when agents (finally!) respond to your toiled-over query with a generic, “It’s not right for me,” email.

It sucks when yesterday your manuscript was a brilliant, future best-seller and today it’s little more than a 12 point, double-spaced pile of horse sh*t.

It sucks when everyone you know is getting a new agent/deal/sale/option.

It sucks that no one in your real life understands why you’re so stressed/anxious/depressed all the time.

It sucks that SUBJECTIVE has become a four letter word.

See…it sucks.

Except for when it doesn’t.

Like that day when your characters finally kiss. The giggles that escape your blushing cheeks the very moment your fingers pause on the keyboard and their lips press against the other’s for the first time doesn’t suck at all. In fact, it’s pretty amazing.

And that feeling you get when someone not related/married/in-debt to you reads your book and tells you they loved it…that doesn’t suck either. Not at all.

And of course there’s that indescribable sense of accomplishment that comes when you type those glorious words, THE END, and it finally dawns on you that you’ve done something huge; something that is completely unique and born solely from your own imagination. Something that no one else in the world can claim as their own. That most definitely does not suck.

Of course there will be days when you think the struggle isn’t worth it anymore. You will scream to the heavens that it’s not fair, or that life would be so much easier if you didn’t want this so bad. Thing is…you do want it, bad, and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to shake that desire because being a storyteller is in your DNA. It’s literally part of the fabric that makes you who you are; it’s sandwiched right there between the color of your eyes and your disdain for Lionel Richie. And even if you abandon your notebook forever, you would still be crafting stories in your head and in your heart. So the way I see it, you might as well get them on paper because at least then there’s a chance you’ll get paid for them. (Seven-figure deals…obviously).

So, my fellow writers, do yourself a solid and suck it up. I promise it’s worth it.

 

*(And for the record, despite my above bluntness, I am not that friend who will tell you that your butt looks big in your jeans. Although…come on, we both know that just because you can get into the jeans doesn’t mean they actually fit.)


bethany crandellBethany and her husband Terry live in San Diego with their two daughters and a chocolate Labrador who has no consideration for personal space. She writes Young Adult novels because the feelings that come with life’s ‘first’ times are too good not to relive again and again. Bethany eats too much guacamole, thrives on tear-inducing laughter, and is still waiting for Jake Ryan to show up at her door

Pep Talk: Sharing Your Work – Matthew Phillion

Whenever someone asks me for advice on writing, I panic just a bit. Telling someone how to write is a bit like telling them how to paint—there are techniques you can share, but in the end, everyone will do it a bit differently, and the world tends to belong to those who break the rules.

But the one thing I do always tell new writers is: don’t be afraid to share your work in progress.

We have a tendency, as writers, to be perfectionists. We want to write the perfect book, the perfect paragraph, the perfect sentence. And the tough part is there is no perfect string of words. There is the best you can do at a given moment. Ask any writer, from a first-time novelist to a Pulitzer Prize winner, and you’ll find someone who wishes they could still go back and improve on a few things. The old saying that art is “never finished, only abandoned” is very, very true.

And yet writers—and not just new writers—have a tendency, either because we are self-conscious or because we are perfectionists or something in between, to avoid sharing our work until it’s “ready.”

And of course we know that words are never ready. I had an old editor who used to say “done is good,” meaning, if you have a beginning, middle and an end, send it over—we’ll see what we can do with it. Nothing is ever perfect.

Words don’t flourish much behind closed doors. They need fresh air. They need fresh eyes. And while we, as writers, might be afraid of criticism or embarrassment, we also don’t thrive in a vacuum. Words are meant to be read and heard.

And if you’re lucky? Test readers can be your best encouragement.

When I was working on Book 1 of the Indestructibles, I didn’t wait to even finish a draft before I invited people to read it. My main reason for doing this was to make sure the story itself made sense—I wanted a few readers to help me make sure the plot was consistent, to give me an idea if I was on the right track.  But as I wrote, those readers grew more interested and invested. Their questions made me think about plot points, and thinking about plot points got me writing more, and knowing there were readers waiting for the next chapter helped me sit down every single night to write. It was a bit like writing a serial. They were depending on me to get the next chapter to them.

But you don’t necessarily need the same beta readers. Everyone needs a different type of audience.

The other old saying, that you should write first to entertain yourself, also applies here. You should. If you entertain yourself, you’ll entertain your audience (or if not your intended audience, certainly a new one). And if you’re entertaining yourself, why keep it hidden away?

Don’t be afraid to let your story stretch its wings. Choose people who will offer both encouragement and help… but remember, you write because you love your story. Don’t lock it away. Let others share in that love, and it can only help carry you forward.


M J PMatthew Phillion is the author of the Indestructibles, a Young Adult superhero adventure series. He is a writer, actor, and film director based in Salem, Massachusetts.

He has appeared in feature films including the sci-fi romance Harvest Moon and the independent horror flick Livestock, and his screenwriting and directing debut, the romantic comedy Certainly Never, premiered in 2013 at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, where it was nominated for five awards including best screenplay and best New England film.

Pep Talk: 5 Tip Pep Talk – Mindee Arnett

Writing is hard. I know this is supposed to be a pep talk, and I’m promise we’ll get there, but let’s establish this truth first.

Writing.

Is.

Hard.

It’s a lonely job, where doubts and fears are your only water-cooler companions. It’s a daunting task, like trying to build a mansion from the ground up with nothing but a hammer, a box of nails, and your grit. I say all this mostly to let you know that the feeling is normal. Heck, it’s more than normal—that’s everyday life for a writer. Especially when you’re working on an early draft or revision.

But don’t despair. You can get through this, I promise. Here are some pointers to help you on your way.

  1. Focus on the trees instead of the forest. I know that sounds counterintuitive to the usual adage, but I mean it. Writing a book is like running a marathon. If you start out thinking about the entirely of that race—all 26.2 miles of it—you’re going to get intimidated or nervous or discouraged. So don’t. Don’t compare your small word count to what you anticipate it will be. Take things step by step. Focus on the ground before you and not the finish line. Now, I’m not saying don’t think about your story as a whole—you have to do that. You need and should be thinking about your ending and where the story is going. This is not encouragement to get lost. But don’t get hung up in thinking about the literal bigness of all your words. Make sense? When you’re running a long distance race, it’s better to focus on getting through one mile at a time. Each mile marker is a victory and makes the whole thing easier to swallow.
  2. Set reasonable goals. I know this is a no-brainer, but it’s still solid. Nothing will kill your forward momentum quicker than a constant sense of failure. When you’re done writing for the day you should be able to celebrate what you’ve accomplished that day, not despair over all you didn’t get done. But the only way to do that is to set a word count goal that’s reachable for you. It shouldn’t be too reachable—you do have to make forward progress—but it’s better to go a little easy than too hard. Trust me. Your emotional well-being will thank you for each small victory.
  3. Story progress must be greater than the sum of your daily words. What do I mean by that? It’s simple—don’t pad your story just to meet an arbitrary word count. This is sooooo easy to do. It’s the Pandora’s box of first-drafting. Don’t do it. Ever. Padding your word count is simply adding fat to your story—you’re going to have to cut it out later. Instead make sure your word contains the muscle, heart, and bone of your story. If you’re adding needless description or pointless dialogue to a scene just so you can give yourself a smiley sticker at the end of the day, stop it right now. It is better to fail to meet your word count then to fill your story with fluff. Repeat: it is better to fail to meet your word count than to fill your story with fluff.
  4. When in doubt, ask for directions. When you’re stuck, when you’re unsure of what happens next, ask your characters for directions. They will give it to you, I promise. (If they don’t then you have a character problem, but that’s a post for another day). So many plot issues or “blocks” can be solved simply be examining the motivation of your characters at any given time during your story. Particularly the villain. As the writer you need to understand why your characters are behaving the way they are. Their motivations hold all the answers.
  5. Change it up. Just like in diet and exercising, it’s easy to plateau in writing. If your approach isn’t working—if you’re struggling to meet word count goals, if you’re procrastinating all the time, if you’re padding—then try a new approach. It could be as simple as writing at a different time in the day. Or disconnecting your Internet access. Or it could be a stylistic change. Maybe you’re spending too much time revising. Maybe you’re not spending enough time revising. Remember that revising what you wrote the day before works best a warm-up for getting the words down today. If you’re spending all your time in the warm-up, you have a problem.

Happy Writing!

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mindeearnett_author_photoblwtMindee Arnett is the author of two young adult series:The Arkwell Academy Series, a contemporary fantasy from Tor Teen (Macmillan), and Avalon, a sci-fi thriller from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). She has a Master of Arts in English literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats.  She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.  Find her online atwww.mindeearrnet.com.

Pep Talk: Goals vs. Resolutions – Erin Latimer

With new years past and January upon us, it’s popular to make one or more resolutions, and if you’re anything like me, it only takes about a month and a half to start breaking them. This year my resolution was no resolutions. Instead, I’ll be replacing resolutions with small, attainable goals. Goals for the day, and goals for the week. Some of those will be books written per month, some will be words written per day.

That’s where Write All Year is going to come in handy.

When you are able to create attainable goals and reach them, it is an incredible motivation to continue. During something like Nanowrimo, it’s easy to create obtainable goals and see them fulfilled as you log your daily word count, and pitting yourself against yourself, or other writers during words sprints, can make things exciting.

Instead of pie-in-the-sky goals that you have limited control over, make daily word count goals, and pat yourself on the back when you achieve them. Then you not only obtain a short-term goal like “write one thousand words today” but you also work towards achieving other, bigger goals, such as “finish my novel by the end of March”.

And while your fellow writers can’t help with resolutions like “get in shape this year” they can certainly keep you accountable for your word count, especially if they have similar goals. Things like hashtags on twitter can help you check in, or give you the satisfaction of bragging a little bit (remember, reward yourself) and make you feel more determined to push towards your daily goal.

So if you’re like me, and you’re not sure about the whole “resolution” thing, try trading in your resolutions for small, attainable goals, something that works towards a larger goal in the end. Reward yourself when you reach those goals, and don’t beat yourself up if you swing and miss occasionally.

Oh, and don’t forget to have an awesome 2015.

Sincerely,

Erin Latimer

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elatimer

Erin Latimer was born and raised in Victoria, BC and recently moved to Vancouver. She writes books on Wattpad, makes silly vlogs about writing, and reads excessively.
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Pep Talk: Don’t Compare, Learn to Share – Eric Smith

Thanks to the joys of social media and the Internet, if you’re trying to make a go of it as a writer, whether you’re writing blogs, essays, or books, it is incredibly easy to discourage yourself almost instantly. The fact that so many writers are easily accessible via social media, can lead you down two simple paths.

One path, takes you along the route of jealousy. You’ll look at their Twitter feed, check out their awesome news and announcements on their blog, maybe scour their published titles on Goodreads… and you’ll make that hnnggghhhhhhh noise, wringing your wrists with frustration. You’ll yell at the sky “WHY NOT ME?” and then get kicked out of the coffee shop you’re sitting in.

That is not the path you want to explore, you guys.

The second path, is the route that teaches you something. You connect with these writers, follow them on Twitter, fan them on Facebook, start reading their blog, and foster a genuine connection. You share their success, and bask in it, because a victory for a writer you admire should feel like a victory for you.

You aren’t some hipster kid, raging at the fact that a band you used to like is suddenly getting popular, when really, you’re just upset that your band hasn’t made it yet. Don’t be that kid.

Instead of letting yourself grow jealous as you see friends, peers, and writers you admire hitting successful landmarks, do two things. One, celebrate their success, and two, see what you can learn from it.

Did a writer sign with an agent? Take that news and do something with it. Who is the agent? Check out the agency. Would they be right for you? Rather than lash out because someone has a book deal and you don’t, maybe check out their publisher, the acquiring editors. How can you send in a manuscript? Is it the right place for you and your book?

It’s an opportunity to learn about the industry a bit, and make yourself savvy.

Through watching the success of other writers, I’ve learned so much, met so many people, and made some truly awesome friends. Don’t let yourself get jealous. There’s no productivity in that. Instead, celebrate your peers, share their success, and see how you can learn from each one.

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eric smithEric Smith is an author, blogger, and publishing geek living and writing in Philadelphia. His debut Young Adult novel, INKED, is due out January 20th with Bloomsbury Spark. His first published humor book, The Geek’s Guide to Dating (Quirk Books), has sold into six languages and was an Amazon Book of the Year in Humor. You can follow him on Twitter via@ericsmithrocks. Say hi! Also, be sure to visit his website! http://ericsmithrocks.com/

Pep Talk: Productivity is Key – Beth Revis

As many of you know, it took me ten manuscripts before I landed my first book deal. Ten whole books written over ten years, and each and every one of them didn’t get picked by an agent, didn’t get picked by a publisher, and is currently residing in my hard drive, collecting dust.

Ten failed books. More than a thousand agents rejections.

It was definitely enough to wear a person down. And I’ve had many people ask me: why didn’t you quit? Why did you keep trying to get published?

Because I’m stubborn.

But no—it was more than that. Because I believed each book was “the one.” I wrote each one thinking it was the best idea I ever had. I edited each book thinking it would become the diamond I saw in the rough. And I submitted each one of those ten books utterly believing that it would change my life, change the face of publishing, and be a huge hit.

And, while it was disheartening to see the rejections piling up, at the end of each submission process, I got another idea. A better idea.

An idea that would surely be the one.

This business is depressing, cripplingly so. But if I could only say one thing about it, I’d say: Treat every book like The One. Treat every manuscript as if it’s the one that will make all the difference. Of course, it may not be. Odds are, it won’t be. Nearly every writer I know has a huge collection of trunked novels. But the point isn’t publication, not really.

If you treat every book as if it’s the one that will make a difference, then you care about it. You write it with that care, and you edit it with that care. You slave over the words, and then you slave again over making them better (or cutting them). You tackle each submission with hope.

And that will make you a better writer. I can look back on those ten manuscripts now and see them as lessons, not failures. Each of those books had a fundamental flaw I couldn’t see. Some of it was the wrong premise. Some of it was just a clichéd idea, or something that didn’t fit well with the market, or not original enough, or too original. But because I loved and believed in each one, I learned about how to be a better writer. I learned how to edit. I learned how to handle rejections. I learned how to write.

Don’t give up. Treat every book like The One. Because one day, it will be.

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Beth Revis is the NY Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series. The complete trilogy is now available in more than 20 languages. A native of North Carolina, Beth recently released a new science fiction novel for teens, The Body Electric

Follow Beth Revis on Twitter

Bonus: Beth Revis moderates an amazing subreddit for YA writers.Check it out here!