In my opinion, no amount of Web surfing can replace one-on-one meetings with real live human beings. I may be showing my age here, but I do not believe I’ll be successful as a fiction author unless I cultivate relationships with other writers and professionals in the world of publishing. And not just by “liking” their stuff online and posting comments to Internet forums. No, I’m getting out there and buying them coffee! Or tea. Or smoothies. You get the idea.
Last week, I met with a novelist who has also worked for large traditional publishers for many years as an editor. I also met with an editor who worked for a smaller regional publishing company for more than a decade. Both of them had great tips, insights, and advice for me. I’m already following some of it.
For example, I’ve been struggling with the sheer size of my manuscript. My novel has two narratives: one historical and the other contemporary. I sent the two documents out individually to beta readers and they are all filtering back with various amounts of margin scribbles and editing suggestions. Dealing with all this, plus major revisions, is frustrating. The novelist I met with last week recommended the software Scrivener as a way to corral all of this craziness and organize it. I downloaded the software right away and, after plowing through the long tutorial so that I can truly harness all of its features, I’ve realized that it is going to save my a$$. Yeah!