Friday, February 25, 2011

Sarwat’s Guide to Getting Into Publishing

Guest Post by Sarwat Chadda, author of The Devil's Kiss Series

Okay, you’ve probably read the many, many, MANY books on getting into publishing and I won’t bore you with regurgitating all that stuff about Show Not Tell, POV, Inciting Incidents and Apparent Defeats and the Hero’s Journey. You read a lot and you write a lot, I’ll assume that much. Here’s what I know about getting into publishing.

1. Remember, when all is said and done, everything is Star Wars. For example, pick the most girly, New York style story: The Devil Wears Prada. It’s about a young idealistic girl who gets tempted with the promise of power by a dark and charismatic mentor, falling to the dark side before being redeemed at the last moment by love. For the Hathaway character read Anakin. For Meryl Streep read Palpatine. In fact, Prada condenses the entire six movie story arc into one! Glamorous and value for money. The Devil Wears Prada = Star Wars with sexy underwear.

Still not convinced? The Godfather, Part 1. Michael is a idealistic young man who wants gets tempted with the promise of power by a dark and charismatic mentor (in this case, his own father), but he does not get redeemed, but falls to the dark side and becomes more powerful than you can possible imagine, the head of the Corleone crime family. So, this is Anakin in the prequels, his journey from moppet kid to Darth Vader.

The Godfather, Part 1 = Star Wars with spaghetti.

2. It helps to be crap at your day job. It’s a badge of honour amongst authors to have been fired. In my 20 years as an engineer I had about 13 jobs. Twice was escorted off the premises and had my bags checked for any stolen stationary. A writer’s job requires an awful lot of daydreaming. There were many afternoons when I’d wander around a building site and think, ‘There’s no way Bruce Willis could have crawled through that duct in Die Hard, it would have just fallen from the ceiling!’ and thinking of better, more realistic ways of breaking into secure buildings (I have three, send me $10,000 in small bills and the secrets can be yours).

Obviously this is not ideal if you’re a surgeon, then perhaps it’s better to stay focused on the job in hand. Or else start writing for CSI.

3. Enjoy your own company. A lot. That’s not usually an issue because we authors tend to spend so much time inhabiting our own fantasy worlds filled with people we’ve created we forget they’re only made of brain clouds. If there comes a time you’re putting labels on family members just to remember who they are and what their names are, it probably means you’re in waaay too deep. But it’s also too late.

4. Those that write the most, have the most success. If you take anything for this, let it be that. It’s so ridiculously simple, so ridiculously OBVIOUS. Writing is like any other profession, the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Also, remember Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and checking your Amazon ranking is not writing. Keep all those to a minimum. I will admit, it’s a harder rule to follow than you think.


Sarwat Chadda  is the author of Devil's Kiss and Dark Goddess as pictured above.  Books can be purchased by clicking the titles below.  You can connect with Sarwat via his WEBSITE and Twitter.

Thank you to Sarwat for his wonderful guest post!

Enter the Giveaway for Dark Goddess!
Use the Form Below!  Ends 3/18/11


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