Writing Fiction For Dummies
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If you’ve finished writing a novel but aren’t published yet, you should have two goals: to make sure your novel is as good as it can be and to market yourself to agents and editors who can help you get published. Networking can help you with both of them.

Start by attending writers’ groups, writing conferences, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs, and other formal writer gatherings. They’re great for building a support network for any aspiring writer. Here are some good reasons to connect with the people who attend these gatherings:

  • You can get help with your writing (and help other writers). Thinking of other writers as your competition is a misconception. They’re not; you are your competition. Other writers can give you creative feedback and help make your novel even better. You’ll be able to help other writers, too. Giving and receiving feedback can be fun, and you may gain some valuable friends who can hook you up with agents and editors.

  • You get to hang out with other writers. The blunt truth is that novelists are some of the coolest people on the planet. Some of your most enthusiastic marketers may be the novelist friends you met at conferences. If your writing is up to snuff, your friends will be only too happy to make connections for you.

  • You’ll learn more about the publishing world. You’re bound to find out something totally unexpected that you didn’t even know that you didn’t know. The more you know about the publishing world, the more likely you are to break in.

  • You’ll likely meet editors and agents. Agents and editors are usually present at conferences. Agents can tell you things that editors can’t, and editors can tell you stuff the agents don’t know.

  • Once in a very great while, a deal is made. You may make a connection that leads to a deal — or make a connection that leads to a connection that leads to a deal. Deals come from relationships. Relationships come by serendipity. Serendipity is oozing all over the floor when you meet up with other writers, and it’ll seep right up through your shoes if you let it.

About This Article

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Randy Ingermanson is the award-winning author of six novels. He is known around the world as "the Snowflake Guy," thanks to his Web site article on the Snowflake method, which has been viewed more than a million times. Before venturing into fiction, Randy earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California at Berkeley. Randy has taught fiction at numerous writing conferences and sits on the advisory board of American Christian Fiction Writers. He also publishes the world’s largest e-zine on how to write fiction, The Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine. Randy’s first two novels won Christy awards, and his second novel Oxygen, coauthored with John B. Olson, earned a spot on the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age list. Visit Randy’s personal Web site at www.ingermanson.com and his Web site for fiction writers at www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.

Peter Economy of La Jolla, California, is a bestselling author with 11 For Dummies titles under his belt, including two second editions and one third edition. Peter is coauthor of Writing Children’s Books For Dummies, Home-Based Business For Dummies, Consulting For Dummies, Why Aren’t You Your Own Boss?, The Management Bible, and many more books. Peter also serves as Associate Editor of Leader to Leader, the Apex Award-winning journal of the Leader to Leader Institute. Check out Peter’s Web site at www.petereconomy.com.

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