Sometimes advice that’s worth sharing simply because it’s so direct and accessible comes my way. I just read a brief interview with Eddie Schneider, Vice President and active agent at the JABberwocky Literary Agency, “the world’s leading agency for fantasy and science fiction.” Here’s Eddie’s advice on what it takes to write and publish successfully as featured in an interview with WritingRaw.com. When asked what makes a writer successful, he cited four factors writers should strive to develop:
Cultivate creativity: “The first and most foundational of these [factors],even before the ability to articulate oneself, is creativity. Interesting ideas, scenarios, and details are the primordial soup that attracts people to any artistic endeavor. Next, of course, comes the ability to communicate these ideas, which is where I’d place writing skills.”
Write wisely: “The best thing a writer can do to further his or her career is to make time every day to write, and to spend that time wisely. To spend it wisely means to continually try to improve. It’s very similar to trying to become a concert pianist or an Olympic athlete, in that the writer must go all out in each day’s writing. The more time a writer is able to dedicate each day, the fewer number of years it will take to develop.”
Nurture narrative: “Once these two criteria have been met, the next important factor is the ability to put all these ideas in a discrete narrative. Having a story with a beginning, middle, and end, in which tension rises, events happen, and there is some sort of resolution, is essential to a really successful story.”
Go big: “The last item, and the one that’s rarest in making a piece of fiction successful is taking that well-articulated, well-plotted story and having it engage with larger issues, be they philosophical, psychological, or otherwise. The real trick here is to do it without falling into the Ayn Rand trap and expounding upon the virtues of a single ideology. Polemics should be polemics, and not novels.”
As Eddie Schneider notes, you can have some of these attributes and be successful, “but the best books have all of these and leave the reader in awe.” What a wonderful summary of the attributes of an inspired and inspiring author: Bravo, Eddie! Write on!