At a recent Author’s panel discussion, Jonathan Maberry, Mike McPhail, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jon Gibbs, Jennifer R. Hubbard, and Kristin Battestella discussed the biggest mistakes they believe writers make.
Mike McPhail commented that you CANNOT explain your novel to people.
Think about that.
What Mike said is that you are not going to be there to explain anything about your novel. It needs to stand on its own with no questions. If it can’t stand on its own, you are not going to find a publisher (and remember, he’s a publisher as well as a writer)
I recently read a review from a “self-published” author that said: “Just get through the first few chapters… you’ll be glad you did.”
I can’t help but wonder if they asked a friend to say that… This is probably why they self-published. Why would you start your novel out weak? Personally, if I’m not engaged in the first few pages, the book goes back on the shelf.
I wonder if this person ever had beta readers.
Note: I would never let a beta-read pass with a bad first page, let alone a bad first few chapters. That’s like literary suicide in my book.
Make sure your novel can stand on its own, and for goodness sake, if you feel like you have to apologize for your first few chapters CHANGE THEM!
Jonathan Maberry: www.Jonathanmaberry.com
Mike McPhail: www.mcp-concepts.com
Danielle Ackley-McPhail: www.sidhenadaire.com
Jon Gibbs: www.acatofninetales.com
Jennifer R. Hubbard: www.jenniferhubbard.com
Kristin Battestella: www.jsnouff.com/kristin
- Why Books Fail (cultofajracewood.wordpress.com)