so, back when i was a young, naive, and optimistic writer, i used to think that simply writing a novel was enough to ensure that your name would soon be on the shelves of every Barnes and Nobles in the country (and maybe the rest of the world, too).
okay, so i'm still young and optimistic and pretty naive, but in the past year, i've learned a few things. (and please, correct me if i'm wrong because i'm basing everything on these surmisations.)
first, with a little research, i discovered something unbelievable: very few authors actually get published. (this shocked me. i was horrified. but eventually, i accepted the frightening truth and realised that high school writing projects just aren't gonna cut it.)
second, i discovered something even stranger: publishers don't look at an author who doesn't have an agent (although i think there are some exceptions).
This led me to the obvious question, just what is a literary agent? i did a little more research and came to my third conclusion: if i ever want to get published, i'm going to have to woo an agent instead of a publisher. (okay! great! so...how does one do that?)
(don't worry. this is all leading somewhere. i am not just ranting.)
my research ultimately led to two important conclusions: to get published, one must get an agent by writing a phenomenal book. AND agents like authors who have been published elsewhere already.
what?!? agents are supposed to help authors get published--how are authors supposed to get published somewhere else first??
and then, with even more frantic research, i discovered fantasy magazines.
but, i still had a couple of questions, and who better to ask than my amazingly brilliant, clever, omniscient writing friends?
so here goes:
how important do you think it is for an author to gain recognition before approaching an agent,
is writing short stories for magazines the best way to gain this recognition?
if you agree that short stories are the way to go (in addition to writing that instant best-seller), then what advice do you have for an aspiring fantasy author who is planning to write said stories? because, i have to admit, i often find short stories to be, in a word, baffling, and i'm not really sure how to go about writing one...
this is definitely one of those times when i want to know what you think.