Writing can be a lonely profession plagued by blind stumbles, writer's block, and despairbut it doesn't have to be. Written by members of the popular Writer Unboxed website, Author in Progress is filled with practical, candid essays to help you reach the next rung on the publishing ladder. By tracking your creative journey from first draft to completion and beyond, you can improve your craft, find your community, and overcome the mental barriers that stand in the way of success.
Author in Progress is the perfect no-nonsense guide for excelling at every step of the novel-writing process, from setting goals, researching, and drafting to giving and receiving critiques, polishing prose, and seeking publication.
You'll love Author in Progress if...
• You're an aspiring novelist working on your first book.
• You're an experienced veteran looking for ways to enhance your career and connect with your writing community.
• You've finished your first draft and want to know the next steps.
• You're seeking clear, effective advice about publication-from professionals who are "down in the trenches" every day.
Author in Progress features:
• More than 50 essays from best-selling authors, editors, and industry leaders on a variety of writing and publishing topics.
• Advice on writing first drafts, conducting research, building and fostering community, seeking critique, revising, and getting published.
• An encouraging approach to the writing and publishing process, from authors who've walked this path.
Related collections and offers
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
THERESE WALSH is a cofounder of the blog WriterUnboxed.com. She lives in upstate New York, with her husband, two children, a cat, and a bouncy Jack Russell named Kismet. The Last Will of Moira Leahy is her first novel.
Read an Excerpt
Introduction by Therese Walsh
After I got my publishing deal, the question I received most often from not-yet-published authors was this: How did you do it?
The pithy answer? You put your butt in a chair and write.
Don't you want to punch that answer in the face? It's like hearing someone with great hair say that she simply rolls out of bed in the morning and fluffs it a little. You know she has a cabinet filled with gels and sprays and various antifrizz products, but she doesn't want to share her secrets or admit to the mirror time required. She just wants you to admire the final product.
Well, butt in chair is only part of the story, and the least fantastical part at that. So let's try again.
How did you do it?
I spent several years writing and editing a version of the manuscript that would become my debut novel, but it wouldn't become my debut until after I gutted all of that polished prose. I tore the story to the ground and then built it back up with a new (more innovative) structure, new (shades-of-gray) characters, new (layered) storylines, and a new (stronger) voice. I finished the manuscript for a second time, and that version is what finally sold. The "formula," in broad strokes, was this:
2. Receive feedback with an open mind.
3. Improve myself to improve my story.
These steps contained fine brushstrokes, of course, as well as dozens of questions: What do you write? How often should you write? Do you need to take classes, read books, get an MFA? What barriers might you face, and how do you 4 Author In Progress overcome them? How do you receive feedback, and where do you find it? How do you process it all? Which changes do you-and don't you-make? What if you want to quit? How long must you go on? When is enough enough?
The purpose of Author in Progress is to answer those questions. This book offers guidance for the evolution of your manuscript and for yourself as a writer. We'll walk you through the stages every novelist must face, whether you want to obtain a traditional publishing deal or self-publish, and we'll introduce you to the stumbling blocks you might encounter before writing, while writing, when asking for feedback or seeking instruction, through rewriting, and beyond.