Thursday, December 5, 2013

# Guest Blog # On Writing

5 Things Every New Writer Should Know

I'm pleased to welcome author Sara Furlong Burr, who agreed to stop by during the tour for her book Vendetta Nation to share some helpful insight on writing. Thanks, Sara!

Starting Out As a Writer – 5 Things You Should Know
by Sara Furlong Burr

You’ve done it. You’ve finally decided to put finger to keyboard and write down that story that has been running around in your head like an errant toddler. You spend weeks, months, possibly years perfecting your story, struggling through writer’s block and other pitfalls, until it’s finally complete. Triumphantly, you congratulate yourself as you stare in awe at your computer screen. After all, you’ve just accomplished something many people have talked about doing, but few have actually done. 

But what happens after you’ve written your masterpiece? Where do you go from here? And why aren’t you a millionaire yet?  After all, haven’t you already won the battle by writing your book?

Actually, writing the novel is only a mere fistfight in the overall battle. The real work comes after your book has been written, which is something I wish I would have realized when I began my writing journey. This brings me to the purpose of this post: What should every writer know before they decide to venture out on a journey of their own? The following are five of those things that I’ve personally come across; lessons I wished I would have known going into my own writing experience.

 If you’re going the traditional route, make sure your manuscript and query letter are as polished as they can be: Writing your first novel is exciting, thrilling, fantastic, euphoric and all sorts of other fun adjectives.  In fact, it’s so intoxicating it’s easy to forget that your amazing work of art isn’t as perfect as you may think it is. Edit, edit, edit. I cannot stress enough how important this is, and how important it is to use an experienced editor. And by experienced I don’t mean someone who took one English course in college.  Polish your manuscript. Make sure it truly is as perfect and error-free as it can be before sending it on to the literary agency of your dreams, even if it takes you another six months to perfect it. After all, if you don’t take your own work seriously, why should an agent?

If you’re self-publishing, or going the “indie” route, keep in mind you need to spend money to make money: One of the drawbacks about going indie is that it can potentially be very expensive. Between cover art, editing, formatting, and promotion through blog tours and paid advertising, getting your book out there isn’t cheap. However, in the long run it’s both worth it and necessary to make your book as publication-worthy as possible, especially if you want to build a loyal readership.

Be prepared for rejection: No matter which route you go, rejection is bound to find you at some point in time, either through a form letter from a literary agency or publishing company or via a negative review from someone who read your self-published e-book. Remember, writing is subjective. Not everyone is going to love your work.  The key is to not let those set-backs get you down and to keep pressing on.
Take your time:  Writing is not a marathon. You are not in a race.  Take your time and write the absolute best story you can.  Take time to research what you’re writing and check reference materials for any grammatical questions you may have. If you’re an indie writer, don’t rush the second book to try to gain more exposure and sales. True, having more books available may gain you more attention at first. But if the quality of those books is poor, you’ll end up losing more readers than you gain.

More likely than not, your first, second, or even third book is not going to be a bestseller: It takes most writers years to achieve success in sales. Although it’s easy to become disenchanted by the seemingly lack of interest, don’t give up. Who knows, maybe your next book will finally be the one that gets your name out there.

Vendetta Nation
Sara Furlong Burr
Buy on Amazon

What if you gave up everything you knew and loved for a lie? 
Nearly one year ago, Celaine Stevens made the choice to leave her life behind to join The Epicenter, an organization charged with bringing down The Man in Black - a terrorist and the one responsible for the murder of her entire family. Battling conflicting emotions and the pain her decision caused, Celaine tells herself that her sacrifices will all have been worth it when The Man in Black is finally apprehended. 
But, instead of hunting the elusive entity, Celaine and her partner Ian Grant find themselves preparing for a war looming on the horizon. Angered by President Brook’s ever-tightening restrictions, a rebellion has formed, leading the charge against the President and anyone who stands in their way. Caught in the middle, Celaine and Ian are forced to choose sides, having to decide whether to align themselves with the rebellion, whose motives they question, or obey the orders given to them by an organization they are steadily growing to distrust. 

A war is sparked by deceit, new alliances are formed, an unexpected love begins to blossom, and true identities are revealed in Vendetta Nation, the second installment of the Enigma Black trilogy.

About the Author
Sara "Furlong" Burr was born on February 1, 1982, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. At an early age, when it became apparent she wouldn't have the luxury of skating through life on her looks or athletic prowess, Sara found her true passion in writing. While in fifth grade, she wrote her first "novel"(whose name escapes her at the moment) about five friends who win a trip to Hawaii. At ninety-something pages, it was her crowning achievement during her childhood (you may now begin drawing your own conclusions on how sad a childhood Sara actually had).

After focusing much of her adult life on her family and career as a paralegal, Sara found the voices in her head becoming unrelenting and she returned to her true passion. Currently, she's working on the third book in the Enigma Black trilogy (due out in 2014). She's also tossing around ideas for a chick-lit book about two ill-fated lovers (Lord, help her).

When she's not writing, Sara enjoys reading (pretty much a given), attempting to garden, shopping (prerequisite to being a woman), and spending time with her family and friends who somehow manage to tolerate her numerous disappearances propagated by infrequent bouts of inspiration.

Twitter: @Sarafurlong


  1. Good advice, Sara. Thanks for being here today to share it!

  2. Thank you for featuring me on your blog!


  3. Great ideas Sara. I think this will help for the people who are interested to be a writer.


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