One of things a publisher will want, I think, is commitment, and not serving the writer’s ambition first and foremost. This commitment, I think, must extend to a writer’s readers, so that even if a writer is posting blog pieces all the time and is not publishing the book, but shows a sincere commitment to their readers, is doing a better thing than someone who is not even making an effort with their readers, but has published the book. The book is always where the writer’s ambition lies, but the reader is the generous soul who makes an an effort to connect with the writer and should at least be acknowledged if not put on a pedestal.
Authors must face publishing reality. What ever that publishing reality is. Years ago, I ploughed headlong into my fiction thinking it would get published someday. But when I got rejection slips saying my fiction didn’t fit their publishing needs, I withered a bit, and learnt that I just can’t go in there and get my work published. If I want to get published with a certain publisher, it’s about knowing them very well, and catering the work to their publishing needs. This is the publishing reality I am talking about. It may even entail me reading what other authors have done with that publisher. It’s no easy path to getting the book deal. This may seem obvious, but to know it, rather than sense it, are two different things.
After being in the “attic”, “basement” for so long, in other words put away for a rainy day, one reopens the old magazine and finds a fresh revelation: It was actually pretty good.
When an article is merely interesting. If its my article, I deny it. Because I believe, rightly or wrongly, that articles need to be more than interesting. But there are two types of interesting which sort of makes up for it. A stimulating interesting in that one is always engaged in the article, that while it doesn’t jump off the page or screen, is always stimulating. And a dull interesting, in that the way it’s done isn’t that imaginative, but is always readable.
For me, when it comes to reading a piece, the best effect is when I’m intrigued and stimulated by the writing. From beginning to end, the piece falls into place nicely and sits well. The reader, that’s me, senses the piece is drawing one in, rather than away. How would one do that, as a writer? I think one must make it always interesting, with facts, color and imagination, descriptive prose, and good ideas, producing “the effect” on the reader.