Yes, all writers who are serious about publication need to build a platform, but it’s not something the be afraid of. A writer’s platform is really about building connections with others. There are many different ways to forge those connections and not all of them are on-line. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how those connections came to exist, just as long as you foster them and help them grow.
To shift a sentence from “tell” to “show”, sometimes all it takes is a shift in the sentence’s subject. For example: She saw the door fall off its hinges. There is no need to say who saw it. The point-of-view character saw it. The door fell off its hinges.
Opportunities to get your name out there can come from almost any direction. Some will come with financial rewards, but many others won’t. Consider each opportunity based on its own merits. Don’t shy away from them. Accept the ones that present you a challenge and will help you thrive. Turn down the ones that you honestly believe could leave a negative stain against your name. However, seriously consider the opportunities that seem to come out of nowhere but provide you with genuine opportunities that you would have never gotten otherwise.
Paragraphs are as long or as short as they need to be. Don’t be afraid to have a single-sentence paragraph; this often happens around dialogue. However, if your paragraph is approaching a page length, you might want to rethink that one. Typically, maximum length of a paragraph is 3 – 4 related thoughts.
If you have any say on a cover for your book, ensure that ALL words are readable. This means that you should be using reliable fonts and font sizes. You should also ensure that the font color contrasts against the background, i.e. no light words on a light background or dark words on a dark background. If all else fails, ask for the opinion of others.
Every writer has a set of words that they will frequently turn to when writing. During the editing phase, these words need to be replaced and/or deleted. There will be many common fillers, like so/well/that/look, but writers will have their own lists too. Build a list in an Excel spreadsheet or Word document that you can refer to in future as you edit not just the current, but all manuscripts. Don’t forget to include the various tense iterations on that list: ran/run/running/etc.
When you share links or other posts on Facebook, ensure that the posts are public. This is particularly the case when posting to either your private feed or to various groups. It can be incredibly frustrating to encounter some post on a feed that has some “I thought this was hilarious” comment, but the post itself says Attachment Unavailable. Unfortunately, you won’t necessarily know that this has happened until someone comments on it. General rule: if it is a post from a page, then it will likely be listed as public. If it’s from a closed group or private profile, it will be […]
When writing those early drafts, a writer will frequently forget to include those added details, or they’ll neglect to include a backstory element that is actually vital. As such, editing a manuscript often means more writing and will always involve some level of rewriting. This is all part of the developmental process. A writer should relish this period of editing, because this is the part of editing where you get to ensure that what is in your head gets transferred to others.
Not everyone is comfortable in reading their manuscripts aloud, but there is a solution available. Text-to-speech apps can read your story to you (assuming you can stop laughing long enough to listen). (See post for more details.)