Guest post by Laurence Kennedy, Director at Convergences
The other day, someone reminded me how Garcia Marquez would settle down in bed to talk with newly imagined characters, rejecting any he couldn’t get along with. For Elmore Leonard, changing a taciturn character’s name could make him into a chatterbox.
Most writers want to establish dialogue with other readers and writers and creativity itself is, in my view, a conversation with those multiple voices. That interior dialogue extends our own boundaries. The joy of discovering something we didn’t know before tells us we’ve made progress.
The 21st century already has its very own insistent noises and glaring contradictions: e-publishing grows exponentially, for example, yet written and other dialogue is rigidly policed by many governments and religions. Cyber surveillance, still in its infancy, is not going away.
Writers have always been a minority. We write first for ourselves, because we must, in the hope of creating a mediated dialogue with others. And I fully agree with Sarah, in her useful September 25 post, that we should never enter the world flippantly. But the voice of the market roars at the individual creative spirit, and these days large publishers like their authors branded.
We work hard, of course, to establish and nurture a recognisable voice — which some might call a brand — and Convergences can certainly help you reach your destination. There are no strings or catches, just professional editing, advice on publishing options and PR support if needed.
Looking for an agent? We can do more than point the way. Writing a book’s just the first stage; selling it quite another. Successful business identities evolve through wit, luck and tenacity.
We won’t suggest you water down your vision, or stick to one genre. Just keep mining genuine artefacts. Sci-fi and historical novels are interestingly related (and every novel is historical). Rewriting is what makes our local dialogues fit elsewhere. The waste paper basket is often your best friend and the world likes books that justify their length.
Readers are interested by your title. As valued neighbours, they may be hurtful at times, but we need a thick skin to learn what works, and what doesn’t. Keep treating them well. Straining your reader’s patience never pays. Yet don’t make it too easy.
Engage, surprise, delight. Let your enjoyment of words infect others. Never be precious, or purple. Easy to say, I know. And be a detective, a fly on the wall.
Psychology is always more engaging than guide book description. Let your characters be themselves, not the slaves of some pre-planned narrative. And, if you need experienced editorial and publishing support, you might like to see what others say about us at convergences.co.uk
Happy writing . . .
Dr Laurence Kennedy is a Director of Convergences. He writes novels, articles and advertising copy. If you’re searching for editorial, publishing or social media support, his beady eye may be just what you need. You may want to know that Laurence teaches advertising and creative writing. You may be less happy to hear that he’s also a Chelsea fan – nobody’s perfect.
Nothing said above should discourage you from taking a cheeky peek at Convergences.