Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Steps....

Welcome to Jordyn's section of the blog parade! I have a fondness for parades as I am a former marching band geek and I do say that with pride. Two of my most fond high school years were spent in the marching band. I played flute, then piccolo, then marching mellophone (which is the french horn.)

For those of you familiar with instruments-- you would know what a hard transition it was going from a wind instrument to a brass one-- and much heavier to march with too!

Today, I'm participating in the WordServe Water Cooler Blog parade. It's designed to help Cooler readers discover more about the authors who write there by sending them to their personal blogs. **Details on a chance to win Proof at the bottom of this post.**

So-- if you're visiting Redwood's Medical Edge for the first time-- this blog is designed to help authors write medically accurate fiction. Or-- as I like to say-- learn how to injure, main and kill your FICTIONAL characters the right way.

We will be getting back to the medical mayhem on Monday.

Today, I'm going to write on the topic of our parade: First steps I took in becoming an agented and/or published author.

1. Finished my novel! This might seem like the easiest steps but first steps are always the hardest. It's like an infant when they first start walking and they have that cute orangutan type maneuvering. Arms high in the air. Their little booty shaking as their knees high march-- just like in marching band. The first words to paper for a writer can be awkward. Just like walking takes lots of practice-- so does authoring a full-length novel. Many people can write a few great first chapters but can they finish a 60,000-100,000 (depending on the genre) novel? This is ultimately what an agent or publisher wants to know. They likely won't take you on until they know you can cross that finish line.

2. Attended a large writer's conference. I do recommend writers conferences for a number of reason. For networking. For finding fellow friends to share this journey with. After all, no one will understand why you seek the perfect poison to kill off a character then a fellow suspense novelist. Honestly, I'm surprised I haven't seen a police presence at writer's conferences for all the talk of murder and mayhem that goes on-- albeit from an unsuspecting, not-part-of-the-conference guest! More importantly, as part of your conference registration, you get an opportunity to meet with agents and editors. Even have a say in which ones (most of the time so register early!) Face to face contact (yes, even for introverts) is important because it puts a personality with the manuscript. Do you and the agent hit it off? Do you have similar goals? Do they like you? Do they LOVE your idea? They should because championing a novel to the finish line takes lots of cheering and faith.

3. Was Persistent. Pursuing publication is definitely not for the faint of heart. You WILL be rejected. You WILL get one star reviews. People will take your months-years of hard work and give it a good tongue lashing just because they can. In these dark moments of the writing life-- you'll need to have it in you to push yourself over these obstacles. To understand, to have it in you-- why it is you're putting yourself through all the torture. Is it to see/catch the moments of brilliance? When your own words make you cry? When a reader writes you to say just how much your story touched them and changed their perspective? Is it for the starred review from a well respected publication?

These were some of my first steps toward becoming an agented and published author? How about you? What steps are you taking?

As a reward for all those who are participating in the blog parade by perusing all these fine blogs, I'm offering a chance to win a free copy of Proof. Simply leave a comment with your e-mail address in the comments section of this post. Drawing will be Sunday night, August 26th, at midnight MST. Must live in USA. I will e-mail the winner and announce here Tuesday, August 28th, 2012.


  1. Persistence pays off, doesn't it, Jordyn? Some of the best were rejected a crazy number of times before publication. And we just keep going, don't we? Enjoyed your post!

  2. You have been a great mentor to me and others Jordyn. Thank you for the encouragement of persistence.

  3. Persistence is key, isn't it? A never-give-up attitude, a ferocious determination, a dream that doesn't wither because we have others who help to keep it alive. Good job on the post. I like it.

  4. Thanks for the reminder to persist. It can be difficult.

    And I totally agree about writers conferences. I met so many great people and have had several articles published through the face time provided at conferences.

    Great post, Jordyn!

  5. Thanks Cheryl, Sharon, BJ and Gillian for stopping by.

    Sharon-- those are very sweet words. Thank you.

    Keep moving forward.... keep writing;)!

  6. Wow, great blog and encouragement. I'm subscribing to future posts.

    HM at HVC dot RR dot COM

    Have a blessed day.

  7. Hey, well done.
    I remember the feeling when I got to the end of my first novel - or the first draft, anyway. I probably bored my housemates to death talking about it, but it just felt so awesome. I felt awesome.
    That was about three months ago, and now I'm on the final redrafting before I hire a professional editor. Then I have to publish or find a publisher.

  8. Great blog parade, Jordyn! You make some great point here--discipline, networking, and persistence. I'm working on all of the above. and that's great advice for aspiring or experienced writers. Btw, very nice blog!

  9. Jordyn, I agree with all your advice. Finishing a novel is the first prerequisite to selling one.