Here's some shit for you to take in if you're trying to get in to the writing world. If you're here for the stories, go to "My Written Work", or "User Submitted Work", or "Artwork." Anyway, I am not saying that if you follow everything I say here you are going to get accepted by a publication, agent, or any other crazy shit you can think up. But, I do promise that it will at least help. Even if you think my advice is bullshit, it'll still point you in the direction you DON'T want to go. See? I'll update this mess as I find out more. Oh, and alla this shit is from personal experience as an imerging and invisible writer. One last thing. I primarly work with horror, but I don't care what genre you have, if you have any! I will help anyone who is serious about their writing.
Ah, yes. Every Goddamn established "writer" I have come in contact with tells me, "you need an agent, you need an agent, you need an agent!" Well, I'll give them their due. They do help you find someone that wants yer shit. However, they aren't essential. If there are publishing houses that are taking UNSOLICITED (meaning without an agent) material, you can send that shit right to 'em. But be warned. they do help.
NEVER PAY AN AGENT TO READ YOU WORK. If an agent wants you to pay them for thier time to read your stuff, guess what? THEY'RE FILTHY FUCKING LIARS. Never EVER pay an agent to read your work. EVER. If they insist, find someone else.
Make sure your agent is someone you can trust. . Go to http://www.aar-online.org/mc/page.do to find a reputable agent.
Never contact an agent directly, like in person, or on the phone. You gotta check their personal requirements, and what they want from you before you submit to them. I'll get more into cover letters, plot synopsises, query letters, and shit like that later. S'don't worry. However, when you do git yer shit together, and have all the stuff they want, be presistant. Don't treat it like a first date or some shit. Be a tenacious little fuck that won't go away.
Don't burn bridges. If an agent doesn't like yer shit, don't tell them to fuck their mother, or die, or some shit like that. Nah, just coat your response in sugar, and force them to swallow it. Be nice. REALLY nice. It's worth it, trust me. Save the hatred for something else.
Submitting Your Work
Well, when you submit your work, you gotta make sure you follow the reciever of your work's precise guidelines. That's all I can tell you for that, but I can help you with other shit. If they ask for a Query Letter, that means...
A Query Letter is something that BRiEFLY addresses what your book is about. NOT GREAT DETAIL! That's what a Plot Synopsis is for. The Query Letter is just that- a letter asking if this/these person(s) wants to see your work. You should always mention the title of your book, or piece, whatever, along with a word count, and always put your address in the upper right of the page, along with any contact information you may want to include, and always put their address a few lines above the greeting of the letter (you know, Dear Mr. blah blah blah). NEVER give them a full manuscript if they don't ASK FOR IT! AND NEVER GIVE THEM YOUR ORIGINALS. More often than not, you won't get them back. It's called a copy machine. Make friends. When writing a Query Letter, remember: This is a sales pitch. You're selling your novel, or whatever work it is, and yourself, like a cheap, cheap, whore, but that's okay. It's a good kind of whore. Inform them of your acceptances, or whatever you think may better qualify you as a good writer (like pertinent work experience, previous publications, your complete body of work, previous acceptances, awards you've won, shit like that). Don't tell them that your story will make them millions. It's stupid, and you sound like a car salesman trying to persuade a prostitute for a discount. If you need help wth your query letter, I would be more than happy to help you. However. I will NOT write one for you. That's bullshit, man, and if you ask, I'll be offended.
They may also ask for a Plot Synopsis. This means...
A Plot Synopsis is a step by step accoutance of your ENTIRE story, from beginning, to the end. Cover every important plot point, but be careful not to tell your story over again. You're looking at no more than three pages of length, and that's pushing it. Be creative when you write it. Find ways to make the synopsis flow, like it in itself is an actual story.Once again, if you need help with a plot synopsis, I'd be more than happy to help you, BUT I WILL NOT WRITE IT FOR YOU!
Please note that these are the major things that they will ask for. Some may ask for proposals, or other crazy shit. Every place you want to submit to is going to be different, and you should always make sure you are following each unique set of guidlines for each place you submit to. If you don't, guess what? They won't even read it.
General Important Tips
Subscribe to CRWOPPS! They send you a assload of writing opportunities that you can afford to miss. In order to subscribe, send an email to: ( make sure you leave the subject header and body of email blank!) CRWROPPS-Bemail@example.com. Very useful service. Which brings me to my next tip.
Get your shit OUT THERE! Look everywhere for submission opportunities. Literary magazines, magazines, collections, anthologies, websites (be careful with these), newspapers, contests, ANYTHING to get your work exposed. ANYTHING. If you are having trouble finding this type of shit, guess what? See the above tip.
Another good resource is purchasing a Writer's Market Guide. These series of books are invaluable. They'l tell you who is looking for what, and how they want it. Check your local bookstore to find an edition suitble for your needs.
Also, if you are primarly a fiction writer with horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and stuff like that, try www.ralan.com. Great website with MANY, MANY resources. That's how I got started, and I still use it to this day.
Try looking at www.horrorfind.com if you want some creepy tales. Big website, with lots of dark and terrible things to inspire you. I put a banner on the MY WRITTEN WORK page at the top of this website.
Don't get discouraged! I have two acceptances out of, oh gee, I don't know, maybe 70 rejections NOT counting the ones that never even responded to me. The odds blow, but IT CAN BE DONE. DON'T LOSE HEART.
Don't be defensive. You gotta have a thick skin. So what if someone says your work sucks? Fix it! So what if you don't get accepted? It'll hurt, yeah, but fuck, you're still alive aren't you? Yes? Good! Submit again. And again. AND AGAIN. See a pattern?
You do NOT have to read an edition of whatever you are submitting to (i.e. a magazine, or a literary journal). It does help, true, true, to get you accepted, but guess what? The first (and only) two times I got accepted? Yeah, well, I never read a single copy. I was a one of five winners in a contest, and I never even HEARD of the place I sent my shit in to! Don't let people tell you what YOU need to do. Take it all in, and make a descision for yourself.
Proofread. All the time. Many times. It's awful, annoying, mind numbing, tedious, and time consuming, but you know what? It makes you a better writer.
Learn how to use grammar, and puncuation properly. You can purchase a pocket handbook of MLA guidelines that will answer EVERY question you have about grammar and puncuation that you will ever, or never ask. If your writng luks lke dis u not taken serusly, ya dig.
Believe in your story. Your work. If people don't like your work, believe in it enough to make it better. ANYONE can be a writer if they are dedicated enough. Are you dedicated enough? If not, that's okay. Find something else. You aren't a bad person, or worthless. Write for yourself, fuck everyone else.
Don't be afraid of cohering to a genre. Some writers like to claim, "Well, I'm a literary author. I don't cohere to a genre. That's a mark of an immature writer, blah blah FUCKING blah." Literary is a genre that has no genre. It's for people that can't think in one specific manner, like a writer, and because they can't, they mark everyone down for it. I've done literary writing. Iv'e done genre writing. A true writer should be able to take on any genre without any difficulty. Well, that's not me. And it sure as Hell ain't some stuck up asshole whole thinks thier genre is good becuase it's a genre without a genre exsisting in my ass. Write what you want to write, and then find a market for it. Fuck everyone else.
Suggestions? Questions? ... firstname.lastname@example.org