Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Are You a Triple-Crown Writer?

Photo from Google

Last weekend I went with my family to see the new movie Secretariat. I knew that this legendary horse was a triple-crown winner, but I didn't know the background story and how much his owner believed in his abilities.

This started me thinking about how writers need to believe in their own abilities, but they also need be the trainer and handler of their writing. So let's look at the trainer, handler and devoted owner of your writing.


Trainer:
Have you had the right training? Have you studied your craft and educated yourself not only on grammar, punctuation, plot lines and characterization, but have you studied the market? Do you know which publishers are buying your genre? Do you know the name of the acquiring editor? Are you certain your manuscript is formatted to the publisher's specifications? Is your novel too long or too short? Okay, enough with the questions already. Just make certain you've had the right training.


Handler:
To be a good handler you might need help. Are you in a critic group? Does your critique group give you constructive criticism that makes your manuscript stronger and publishable? Only you can decide. But I have found my critique group to be extremely valuable. Because I'm so close to my story I don't always see what others do. It is a tremendous help to have people you trust to help you fill in the holes. An agent can also help you handle your book. He/she can tell you what needs to be fixed in your story and has connections to the publishing world.


Devoted Owner:
Do you believe that you have what it takes to be a writer? If someone were to say that you can't write, would you fold? Or would you look him in the eye and say, yes I can? How do you handle rejection? Because even the best writers have had rejection letters and not only that, but they've had book reviewers rip their stories apart. Are you devoted enough to your craft that you can turn the other cheek and carry on? Can you go the distance?


If you can answered these questions, you might be a triple-crown writer and publish. I found this short trailer for Secretariat. It gave me motivation, and I thought you'd enjoy it as well. 


14 comments:

  1. The movie looks great! I love these kinds of books and movies when a person (or animal!) triumphs over everyone else's doubts!

    Love this post, Kathi! You posed some excellent questions here. :)

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  2. Some great questions here, Kathi. I think I can answer a solid TWO of them and one I'm wavering on. ;)

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  3. Laura,
    You'll love this movie. Even though I knew how it would end, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I'm glad you liked the post. =]

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  4. Laura,
    I know you'll be able to answer all of them with time. It took me a while. It will happen just wait and see. :)

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  5. I like the different roles you present using the movie. Right now, I'd say I'm the horse, running the race with my fingers on the keyboard. Gearing up to motivate myself for NaNoWriMo. :)

    Very thought-provoking! I haven't seen the movie, but it's on my list. Thanks, Kathi!

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  6. You can do it, Stacy!!!

    NaNoWriMo is great for honing your writing skills.

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  7. Great words. Thanks. We do need to prepare the best we can before we can really Own It and be proud to say, "Yes, I AM a writer."

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  8. Carol,
    I agree with you. With so much going on in the book market today (ebooks, publishers folding) it helps the chances of a book getting published if the writer comes to the table prepared. I'm sure I left out a lot, but at least this give us something to think about. :)

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  9. Kathi,
    Funny tidbit. When Seabiscut (The wonderful, fabulously written book - not the movie) went to the publishers it was passed over many times. Why? Because horse stories don't sell. The author, believed in her story, her characters, and her abilities and also triumphed in the end. Thanks for the encouraging words.

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  10. Christina,
    Wow, that's very interesting. Good proof that believing in your product can make you come out a winner. Loved that movie, too.

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  11. I love the way you related this to writing! I totally want to see that movie. I heard it was great.

    And I do believe I'm a triple crown writer!

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  12. Julie,
    I really think you'll enjoy the movie.

    If you believe you're a triple-crown writer, that's winning a great deal of the battle toward publication.

    Go get 'em!!! :)

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  13. Very interesting analogy! I'd like to add into devoted owner that in addition to the writer his- or herselve believing in their potential, it's a tremendous help to have someone else strongly beleive in you too. I wouldn't have considered publication a possibility worth dreaming of if my sister hadn't kept nudging me.

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  14. Nicki,
    It is very helpful to have someone else believe in your writing abilities. We all have down times and a helpful word from someone else can give us added strength to carry on just when we need it.

    Thanks for adding to the discussion.

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