Building a Platform

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How to Write, Edit, and Sell a Novel: Advice from the Forum

Wednesday, January 12, 2011, by Ginny Wiehardt

Writer Shelly Goodman Wright contributed an excellent piece in the forum on how she finished a novel and then “built a platform” for it before submitting to agents. Because she provides such a good example of how to go about this process, I wanted to share some of her advice here.

libraryTo start, she completed a full draft of her novel. Then she found a writers’ group in her area to help her revise it. Seven drafts later, she started her query letter: “I can feel the query letter begging to be finished as I tie up the second paragraph — the three sentence synopsis.

Not quite ready, but the wordplay is alive and keeping me up at nights — it’s almost there.  So I push on to the third paragraph.  You know the one, the one with your lists of publications, awards, and other marvelous credentials. That’s where I got stuck.  I’m a new novelist, I’ve got nothing.”

But instead of giving up, or sending out her query letter without any credits, she decided to build a platform for her novel. Since then, she’s had three shorter pieces accepted for publication. I suspect that the third paragraph is finished, and the letter’s out the door.

Do you have tips for getting your novel from the first draft to an agent’s hands? Please share below. And if you’ve recently finished a book, be sure to read the rest of her post, which includes more great advice.

Good luck, Shelly, and thanks for sharing!

One Response to "Building a Platform"

  1. Dana Goodman  March 11, 2011 at 19:32

    This is a very interesting article. I think the main reason people don’t respond is because of the distance you created by calling yourself swright011699…
    Most people can’t relate to that :)) (Samuel Wright?)

    Let us read more,
    Dana

    Reply

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