Wednesday, April 17, 2013

5 Writing Rules I Broke and Got an Agent, Publication, and Film Representation

Let me start by sharing that I don’t want to brag. Those who know me well have certainly been privy to my spot light grabbing (it’s actually kind of a necessity due to my insecurities, but that’s another story). This posting, however, is not about me show-boating. It’s about giving back. Believe me, humility comes pretty easily nowadays for me. I wake up each morning, thankful for the entourage of professionals who believe in my manuscript.

One will find if they search all of my old articles that I rarely, if ever, offered specific instruction on writing. That’s because Gusto Dave hadn’t had a publication. Who was I to tell you how to write? However, when we look at signs of success in this biz—especially when it’s so hard to make a living doing it—my team is sort of a credential that I might actually know enough about writing to be dangerous, ergo I’d like to pass on some of my crimes against the conventions that had been harped to me.

  1. Show don’t tell: I might as well have stuck up an obscene gesture to that rule.  Sure, I showed a lot, but had no remorse about telling anything that needed to be spelled out. Heck, there are full pages with zero dialogue and no action.
  2. A perfect query letter synopsis: This is by far the most revealing and heart-warming instance of my journey. Whereas I love writing queries and synopses, I’ve learned that what I truly believed were the basic needs of a short synopsis are out the window.
  3. Your novel has to be grammatically flawless: The best way to respond to that is no one is perfect.
  4. Know the market: From the beginning, I wrote my novel, believing that a large demographic would identify with it, but I do NOT stay on top of what’s selling.
  5. Watch adverbs: Despite the several sets of expert eyes that have perused my manuscript during the editing process, very few of the adverbs I chose were scrubbed out. And I used a LOT of them.
What it all comes down to is: it amazes me how much erroneous information there is convoluting the race to get published.

My aim is to slip you some time savers. In the next few months, I’ll be more specific about how I broke all these rules and offer my two cents as to why I got away with it.  



Julie Luek said...

Dave, thanks for sharing all this. You are confirming what my heart often suspects: be aware of the rules but don't be driven by them. This is a great testimony that writing is still about expressing our hearts, whatever form that takes! Kudos and congratulations to you.

Chiseled in Rock said...

You got it. :)


Anonymous said...

Bravo, Gusto! Looking forward to more of your comments!