I'm now in the UK for a few weeks, so I have some special treats for you--more fabulous guest posts! Today's guest is romance author Beth Fred. Take it away, Beth....
I bet that's a piece of writing advice you've never heard before, and I mean it. What is your biggest weakness? You need to know because it could be the one thing holding you back. I really really loved one of my first manuscripts, and the feedback was so positive. My CPs and betas swore they loved it too, and while I got rejection after overwhelming rejection they usually complimented the voice and the concept. Close. But no cigar. I knew something had to change, but I didn't know what. So when I started really listening to hidden criticism in the praise it came down to this: I had a convoluted plot. That made sense because I wasn't a plotter. But somehow there was still a story there, so I didn't understand how it could have a beginning, middle, and end, and still somehow not have a strong enough plot.
I knew this though. I want to be a bestseller. And I'll do what it takes to get there. More than that, I want to be a good writer, so if I find a chance to improve I'm going to jump on it. In the past, plotting for me hadn't worked. The words felt forced. I'm the kind of person that has a hard time deviating from something set in writing. And if it had a beginning, middle, and end anyhow, what was the point? Not knowing what else to do, I started breaking books into the seven points of the three-act structure. After a few weeks of doing this, I wrote The Fate of A Marlowe Girl. Two full requests of two queries, and it was on a second-round revise and resubmit when I self published it.
The next full-length project I wrote was A Missing Peace which will be published by Escape, an imprint of Harlequin, wordwide on 9/1. I wrote out my plot points for this one before I ever started. And I managed to write most of this book (all but 19 pages) in the six weeks after my baby and I came home from the hospital. I'm not telling you this for you to learn the three-act structure (although, I recommend it). But because I was the girl who couldn't plot. I LEARNED!!! And while I wish I was one of those talented writers who just knew how to arrange the book and the words to tell it in, the thing I love about this is that I can constantly improve. When I'm bad at something, it can change. And you can too!
About the Author
Meet Beth Fred! That's me! I'm a full time ELF keeper and part time writer/blogger/writing instructor. I'm represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. I like my tea hot, my romance sweet, and my guys chivalrous. Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma'am, make promises they keep, and aren't afraid to profess their undying love. It's not breakfast if there aren't carbs (at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of my favorite things. Bet you can't guess
where I'm from ;) Wanna know more about me? You can find that here:
Email me: bethfred08(at)gmail.com
Tweet me: bethfred08
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/bethfred08
Are you actively seeking to know your weaknesses? What helped you identify them? How are you working to overcome them?