Much acclaimed author Ken Kuhlken shares insights gained over thirty-some years as a novelist, university creative writing professor and founder of Perelandra College. By following the Write Smart process, writers will efficiently create, revise, and sell their stories.
Topics include conceiving the idea, developing the idea, thinking ahead to a book proposal, finding and applying a structure, creating the story in rough, revising in steps, seeking an agent and publisher or choosing to self-publish, and marketing or promoting the book.
I don’t go to many parties.
One reason is, somebody always tells somebody I’m a writer then I get asked if I make a lot of money and that rude question is commonly followed by, “When I retire, I’m going to write a bestseller. I have it all figured out.”
After hearing that boast a few dozen times, I decided to get ornery and began to reply, “And when I retire, I’m going to build a rocket ship and fly clean out of this galaxy.”
At a party hosted by my friend Sarah Vogan while we attended the University of Iowa graduate writing program, somebody asked a smart and experienced professor: How long after graduation does it usually take to become a publishing writer?
“About ten years,” the professor said. Which made none of us happy. The party broke up shortly thereafter.
I spent three years in graduate school and have taught writing at colleges, universities, conferences and in all kinds of workshops for longer than I care to add up. I have written nearly twenty novels, fifty short stories, and a hundred magazine features. I guess that makes me an expert.
My knowledge has been hard-earned and picked up bit by bit, here and there, often as the result of failure.
As time goes by I become evermore aware that time is precious, especially for writers. Most of us have to steal our creative minutes from other responsibilities or activities we would love to pursue. Most us will live, imagine, or discover more stories than we’ll survive long enough to tell.
Write Smart is simply a concise collection of wisdom that allows a new writer, or a veteran looking for a refresher, to focus on the essentials and proceed with confidence from an idea to a book and beyond.