Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ten Ways to Write Like a Beginner by Guest Blogger Marsha Hubler


Let’s see, you’ve had this great idea for umpteen years, and now you’re going to start writing! Or maybe you’ve been writing for a while and you’d like to get your story or book published. Will you be labeled a beginner or an old pro when the agent or publisher looks at your work?

If you can say “yep” to any of the points below, all I can say is “uh oh.”
Go ahead; let’s see how you do:

1. Never read any books in the genre in which you write. You don’t want to steal another author’s ideas.
2. Write when you feel like it, even if the radio or TV is blasting.
3. For your first project, write the next 'Great American Novel' with plots, subplots, foreshadowing, & complicated characters.
4. Start your fiction manuscript with 5 pages of narration and description from 5 points of view. Have 600 pages in your book.
5. Develop a boring plot with no climax, characters with no depth, & dialogue that is flat & the same for all your characters.
6. Don’t get help from a critique group, “how-to-write” books, or writers’ conferences because God told you what to write & how to write it.
7. Send your manuscript everywhere without querying first. Buy the Writers’
Market Guide, start on page 1, and don’t stop until you get a sale!
8. Write query letters that are “you.” Smother them in chocolate or perfume smells and write: “Dear Editor, this is your lucky day. My family has read this, and they absolutely love it.”
9. Send your first draft to a different editor once every six months; then go into deep depression when it’s rejected.
10. Ignore all suggestions any editors or agents make. The manuscript just wouldn’t be “your” work anymore.

If a lot of these pertained to your writing style, perhaps you should take up basket weaving or bowling instead!

Thank you Marsha for this humorous look at the writing life. Please stop by and visit Marsha at the following links.


Raquel Byrnes said...

LOL! Make sure its 600 pages is my favorite bit of advice. Great post.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Daphne Michele Webb said...

Number 2 applies to me. I write when I feel like it, music or not; BUT, I also write when I don't feel like it. Usually it sounds stupid and I trash it later, but everyday I write...whether I want to or not. :o)

Ava Pennington said...

When I first heard editors and agents speak of #6, I thought they must be exaggerating - surely no one could be that foolish.
Then, two years ago, I sat next to someone at a writers conference who had come to pitch his first novel: 200,000 words. When I asked if it had been edited or critiqued, he told me it hadn't because God gave him this story and every word was critical.
The experience gave me a deeper appreciation for what editors and agents experience every day!

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Thanks for the great laugh Martha! I was like that about 100 years ago...LOL...but I kept the chocolate to myself.

You left off my all time favorite...following an agent to the bathroom and slipping the manuscript under their stall :-)

Anonymous said...

I know this list appears to be funny although sometimes the truth hurts more than makes us giggle when we admit we've pulled some of this stuff.
For my comments on all the points on the list, go to