So after yesterday’s Mathematical breakdown my head has been spinning. I tried to talk to my partner about the numbers; what is known by the Publisher and Editor but rarely by the Writer, and she hated it.
The thought was: books are Art not Products and referring to them as such makes her angry.
I’m the opposite though. Publishers, Editors and Agents know all this stuff. They know what sells! It’s only the writer which doesn’t. My partner argues that it’s not the job of the writer to worry about all that stuff; but I disagree. The chances of a writer being picked by an Agent etc. is astronomically small that to ignore information, which can help you succeed, is idiotic.
Unless, of course, the writer doesn’t want to be read, published (in the traditional sense) or earn an income to support themselves.
- The writers job is to create a fantastic idea and get it down on paper.
- The editors job is to help the writer shape it into a story.
- The publishers job is to get that idea into the hands of the people.
- The writer needs to know what the publisher is looking for, and what the editor needs.
- If the writer has the knowledge the others have, s/he stands a great chance of being picked.
This isn’t about restricting the Art. This is about knowing the rules of the industry they’re operating in. Without them we might as well be monkeys bashing at typewriters for eternity hoping for the best.
My head hurts again now.
I wrote some character sketches this morning and it was really productive. I’ve realised that if I know enough about my characters so they feel real to me, I can write much faster–like I’m writing non-fiction.
Hey ho. More tomorrow, maybe.
Mark Mapstone is a skateboarder, a writer, and author of the Ethan Wares Skateboard Series books.
Follow Mark on Instagram: @7plywood
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