Terri Farley is the author of the beloved Phantom Stallion series and several Young Adult books. She has been traditionally published, so she has the experience and the know-how to give practical tips that work!
Tip #1: Write about what you know. What makes you, the author, different from everybody else? Why are you uniquely qualified to write this book? Terri would like us to think about our background, and what we know.
Tip #2: Write like an animal. Terri suggests we use our senses when we write. What does your character smell, or hear (weird things?). Use viewpoint, either first person or third person. All of our life experiences can be used as a writer. We store each memory in our brain cells.
My advice is to take them out of storage, clear away the moth balls and use them!
Tip #3: Create conflict. Make your characters earn their happily-ever-after. Conflict keeps your story from becoming boring. Remember you still want those readers you started out with on page one to still be reading by the time they reach THE END. It’s OK to torture your characters a little bit.
Tip #4: Find a critique partner. This is someone who will read your story and offer suggestions. This person should be carefully picked. Someone who likes the genre in which you write. Someone who will give you valid feedback. Someone not afraid to hurt your feelings. You, as the author, need to be willing and ready to listen to the advice and apply it where it fits.
Tip #5: Enter contests specifically designed for you. This cuts your competition. And if you placed in the contest, you will be building your platform, show that you are willing to work on your skills as a story-teller and have bragging rights. Contests are especially good if you don’t have a publishing history.
Tip #6 Discover publishers who accept your genre. Check out The Writers Market at the library. Look up agents and publishers who are interested in the kind of stories you write. Write down their contact information. Send a proposal. A little research can give a big payoff.
For more about Terri Farley, you can check out her website at terrifarley.com
I hope Terri’s tips helped you as much as they did me. What tips do you have for getting your book a first look by a publisher, or better yet, a readers eager hands? I loved to hear about it in the comments section below.