Writing is a trying profession. The timid and the faint at heart need not apply. It takes persistence and perseverance to make it as a writer.
The payoff is great. The rewards are far reaching. Money forthcoming from book publishers and magazine and newspaper editors is at times hefty and enough to make your best friend envious.
But it does not begin that way.
There is not one bestselling author who is not familiar with rejection. Despite hours of editing a story or article until it shines, novice and experienced writers alike, have their work rejected. One of the most difficult lessons for a new writer to learn is that rejection is not personal.
The magazine editor who returned a writer her manuscript more than likely never saw the writer. The book publisher who pushed a writer’s novel inside a SASE had no idea whether the writer was friendly, outspoken, shy, a parent, young, elderly, Indian, African American, Caucasian or Jewish.
The earliest lesson each writer should learn is that rejection is not personal. In fact, it is a natural process of the write-edit-publish cycle.
What do you do after your work has been returned from an editor or publisher? You review the manuscript and check it for weak spots. Review the spelling and the grammar. Is the plot interesting? Are the characters believable?
A trick to creating believable characters is to flesh out the key players in your story. An excellent method to use to accomplish this is — outline.
For example, let us say that you’re writing a novel about a young woman who grows up in a loving home. The parents who raised have been retired since she was in grade school. She is an only child. After she becomes a woman herself, she discovers that she is adopted. The plot centers around the woman’s relationship with her adoptive parents and the woman’s search for her biological parents.
A sample outline for the woman would be:
I. Names she goes by
A. Birth Name – Louise Marie Johnson B. Nickname – Mae
C. Pet name called by best friends, parents and her husband – Doll
II. Birth History
A. Knoxville, Tennessee
B. Born July 12, 1963
C. Born on the hottest day in the city’s history
D. Natural mother given an emergency C-Section to give birth to her
E. Natural mother nearly died giving birth to her
F. Natural mother held her for less than five minutes before she signed away adoption papers
G. Natural father working on a business deal the day she was born
H. Natural parents wealthy
I. She was an unexpected pregnancy
III. Relationship to Adoptive Parents
A. Never told her she was adopted
B. Enrolled her in expensive private schools
C. Dressed her in the finest clothes
D. Attended each of her school events
E. Secluded her from other children
F. Constantly told her how pretty she was
G. Raised her to be submissive and passive
H. Locked inside her bedroom for an hour whenever she brought a grade below an A home from school
B. Likes to attend loud parties
C. Feels trapped by her adoptive parents to be someone she is not
D. Stubborn and strong willed
E. Has a loud robust laugh
F. Enjoys being the center of attention
G. Does not cry easily/is a fighter
H. Loves children
I. Constantly dreams of having her own family one day