Friday, November 1, 2019

Six losers and a cowboy

'Six losers and a cowboy' was the suggested alternative title of the panel  'How to rebook your career.'

It wasn't the most complimentary panel to be invited on.

Bouchercon Dallas 2019.

(I am keeping my 'Bouchercon hiatus' blog up my sleeve as a type of 'get out of jail free' card, as I actually have more time for blogging at Bouchercon than I do at any other time!)

So this panel was more about reimagining yourself and your career.
 how to drag your readers along on your murder mystery.

The Christian writer  said that she used to write romance books but after finishing her fortieth Christian romance, with only one way of kissing, she reckoned she had run out of steam.
That led the writer next to her to quickly scribble down the title of his next book.

'Six ways to kiss. Seven ways to die.'

You read it here first.   

Follow your passion but you have to be aware of the market.

                             Agents will try to stick you in a genre and try to keep you there.

                                                   Start writing, write then rewrite.

If at first you do succeed, then try to do better next time.

You have to be a marketeer and a performer.

Be aware of where the genre is going  and be flexible.

One panellist suggested that her contribution to the panel should be 'how to write 20 books and still not have a writing career.'  

Write magazine or online articles about the research you are doing for the next book- it keeps you writing and it will keep the money coming in!

Some writer reviews everything- she has 10 000 reviews to her name. 

Keep true to your own work, don't drift out of your novel because a publisher tells you to.. esp if they haven't paid for the book yet.

 Watch your contract details for when you might want to buy the rights to the book back.

And make sure you have an electronic copy of the script as it was finally published.

Check out your publisher on Writers Beware website.
or check your contract with the Society of Authors.

Remember it's your work, so do your research before you sign it away.

A good name is early in the alphabet, easy to find.
If you write different genres,  write under a different but similar name;
Ian Banks.
Ian M Banks.
so fans  know where to find you !

But it can be difficult to get traction on social media when using two names.

Then it was back to the writing, and the rewriting..... and the rewriting.

Pantsing and linear outlines are fine.
But if you are writing a series, you need a bible!

                          Don't call attention to the writing. The attention should be in the story.

Funny  goes in the dialogue, not out the mouth of the author.

Write simply and clean.

Keep all description lean and sharp

                                                Read good books. Read bad books.
                                                    Try to identify the difference.
                                                       Ask yourself why?

Every so often write something that you didn't think you would be able to write.
Put your bum on the seat, fingers on the keyboard.
Are you writing the right thing?

All panellists said they grounded themselves in the writing.

Caro Ramsay
Reporting from Bouchercon
                                                                      1st November 2019


  1. All good advice, Caro. Hope you're having a great time out there!

  2. It's good to get a reminder like this every so often. Missing you at the group (the writers' group, not the psychopathic osteopaths' group - because I'm not an osteopath).