When I was a teenager I remember wanting to fit in. Look just like everyone else with trendy clothes and perfect hair. We went to ridiculous lengths just to fit in. If you don’t believe me, look at the following list of fashion wonders through the years:
Bell bottoms, bishop sleeve blouses, mohawks, corsets, turtlenecks, rolled neck sweaters, go-go boots, platform sneakers, high tops, shoulder pads, zubaz, parachute pants, spandex suits, plaid pants, balloon pants, bed head hairdo, Bon Jovi perm, beehive hairdo, poodle skirts, etc.
Really, we were all crazy trying to fit in! If you don’t believe me, just ask your kids or a friend’s kids what they think of your high school year book photo. U huh, crazy!
Think you’ve outgrown it? Ever heard of keeping up with the Jones’? We haven’t changed all that much.
You can bet that it will take some purposeful action on our parts.
*First, you learn the craft. The way the craft is accepted in today’s market is where you should start. Learn the rules of craft and your writing will avoid the awkwardness of a beehive hairdo in today’s market.
Some of my favorite writing retreats/conferences:
*Don’t try to stand out until you know what is a good way to stand out. It would seem strange if I showed up at the White House for a ball wearing a spandex suit and pink hair.
That is what many authors try to do. They try to stand out without the proper training to be strategic about their originality. They just come off as being uneducated.
*Develop your Voice. Voice is a signature of originality. There is no one else who writes exactly as you do. The combination of word choice, sentence length & structure as well as the types of perspective you bring to writing is your voice.
To develop your voice, spend time journaling and writing freely without concern for craft. Get a feel for this rhythm. That is your voice. Once you are confident in your voice, you can splash it on the page with well honed craft.
*Study your genre. Each genre has a unique flare. Certain things that are important to attract those readers.
*Write down how you are alike and different from other writers in your genre. If you aren’t sure, ask some friends who are experienced writer’s to identify what they think is unique in your writing. Anytime you pitch your novel, you should be prepared to tell what is unique about your writing.
*Develop Original Plots. It is all about the story in the bottom line. If you want to stand out, your story should be unique. Don’t be predictable.
*Network. Go to conferences, start a blog or website. Be active in Social Media like twitter and facebook.
*Be Professional. There is no substitute for professionalism. Not everything we do will be to promote ourselves. Be yourself. Encourage Others. Dress the part. Produce quality proposals, queries, one pages and communication with those in the business.
Other great tips for standing out in a crowd of writer’s I’ve discovered at:
Jim Rubart: http://www.jimrubart.com/
What do you do to help your writing stand out?