I got back from Comic Con yesterday. I had a great time. I sought out the panels with fantasy writers on them and went to three. Loved them. I talked to several of authors, just a passing sentence. I listened. I tried to take notes. But if I’m honest, while I was sitting in the audience listening to them, I imagined what it would be like to sit up there, next to them.
On one of the panels, someone asked how a person could become an author. The three panelists gave the same answer: Write. I wish they had said more. Writing is only a middle part, I think. First is the imagining, then the learning (because writing well doesn’t just happen), then the writing. After that, I know there is more, because I’ve done the imagining, the learning, and the writing, and I’m not there yet. But what comes next, that takes entirely new skills that I didn’t learn when I got my Creative Writing Degree, or my editing certificate.
I was in line for the Fantasy of the Realm (or some such) chatting, when one girl asked me what my novel was about. I couldn’t tell her. I don’t have an elevator pitch. I’ve written a novel that rivals Name of the Wind in length; I have no skill to boil my story down to a sentence or two. Yet here I am, faced with putting together a one page cover letter that has a paragraph description of my novel. I could just do it and send it off, but all my research says that if you blow the cover letter or synopsis or whatever introductory material is required, they may not even read you manuscript.
So I think I have more steps to learn than just, write.