10 Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Novelist

Thinking about writing novels? Here are ten things you should know before getting started.

Brian Rowe
Feb 12, 2019 · 8 min read

I have written nineteen novels in the last nine years. I’ve tried different genres, and books for different age markets. I’ve tried self-publishing, and I’ve tried going the traditional route. I’ve succeeded a little bit, and failed often. I have a literary agent now, and a book on submission. I’ve learned a lot these last few years, and I thought I’d share with you some pieces of advice...

1. The first drafts of novels are always hard, no matter how many books you’ve written.

2. Your first novel will probably not be the first of your novels that gets published.

3. Revision needs to go beyond two or three drafts done all by yourself.

4. You’re going to be met with a lot of rejection, so be prepared.

5. Don’t self publish your novel because you’re afraid of rejection. Do it for the right reasons.

6. You might have to query more than one of your books before you sign with a literary agent.

7. After you’ve signed with your literary agent, be prepared to do more drafts of your novel.

8. When your literary agent submits your novel to editors, you might be waiting awhile.

9. It might take years and years, possibly a decade or longer, for your writing dreams to come true.

10. Always, always, always be working on the next project.

And then one day it will happen. Maybe not tomorrow, or next month, or next year even. But I’m telling you, if you keep it up, and you don’t ever give up, all your dreams as a novelist will come true.

Brian Rowe is an author, teacher, book devotee, and film fanatic. He received his MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his BA in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He writes young adult and middle grade suspense novels, and is represented by Kortney Price of the Corvisiero Agency.

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