Drawing on decades of experience as a mega-bestselling novelist, successful publisher, and executive producer of two TV shows, Zane offers practical advice on writing and publishing to aspiring writers across all media, including books, TV, and film. With her signature wit and straightforward style, Zane tells it like it is, emphasizing hard work, discipline, and commitment as the keys to a successful writing career.
Part One covers the writing and creative process, including how to define your writing style, how to outline a story, how to develop characters, typical mistakes to avoid, writing for your medium, and the revision process. Part Two covers the book publishing process, from finding a literary agent who best understands your work, to getting your work in the hands of publishers, to building an audience for your work. Zane also shares wisdom from her early years as a self-published author for those seeking an alternative to traditional publishing.
Infinite Words isn’t just a reference guide; it’s an essential companion for writers facing the unique challenges and opportunities of today’s ever-evolving world.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
After seventeen years in the publishing business, I decided that it was time to finally pen this book, a comprehensive guide to writing and publishing. While the novice writer can benefit from this book, I am especially writing this for those people who have a desire to establish long-lasting careers in the industry.
Writing one book is rather simplistic; the question of success or failure aside, you set out to accomplish that goal, complete it, and let the chips fall where they may. A lot of people only want to write one book, particularly those who want to pen a memoir or a self-help book based on their own experiences, or those who want to get one major point across—and there is nothing wrong with that. Others want to write a book to make some fast money. Everything is wrong with that. Does it mean that that concept can never, ever work? No. It means the odds of it happening are very rare.
I was having a conversation recently about the number of authors who disappear from the scene every single year. A lot of that is a consequence of their initial purpose for writing. If your motivation is money, you won’t likely succeed. What drives you to do the work of writing a book should be based in sincerity and passion, otherwise a lasting career is nearly impossible or, at best, unlikely.
My passion for books started at a very young age, probably around two or three, when I first started reading. Once I entered middle school, you would never catch me without a book either in my hands or nearby. I was born with a vivid imagination, and my mind never shuts down. I confirmed that recently when I participated in a sleep study and they showed me a printout of my dreams. I dream four times more than the average person throughout the night. Even when my physical body is exhausted, my brain is on overdrive. Becoming a writer as an adult was a natural progression from who I was as a child. All of my teachers prophesied it as I went through school, and it turns out that they were right. At this point, I cannot even imagine doing anything else as a career. I am blessed to never feel like I am actually working.
This book is for published and unpublished authors alike who want to achieve that same feeling. After all, the biggest room in anyone’s house is the room for improvement. Too many people reach a certain point and fail to realize that they can go even further beyond the sight line. A true writer always craves to become better and better. A true writer wants to be challenged, even if they create those challenges themselves. Writing is an amazing concept, whether it is done as a hobby, professionally, or simply to vent. Continual evolution is a part of life, whether we want to embrace it or reject it.
Not everyone who thinks they want to will be able to write a book or become a published author. Many will have to settle for finding other outlets for their emotions, like art or music. The process of writing does not fit every person’s temperament, and a creative spirit does not have to be confined to one medium. Writing professionally may not be your strong point, but do not give it up. Find other ways to express yourself, and continue to write for your own personal benefit. Writing is a process which can help you express yourself in other areas of your life and can be both healing and cleansing.
In this book I cover all of the elements needed to create what I call “the perfect storm” of creative writing. Stirring up this perfect storm requires learning what it takes to create, be compassionate, and transform and revolutionize lives all at the same time. That has always been my purpose in writing. Even now, with this book about the book industry, it is still my imperative to accomplish those three things.
Part 1 of the book is about writing, while Part 2 is concerned with the steps of publishing. I provide you with writing samples and exercises in Part 3.
There are keys to success and there are keys to failure. I delve into both within these pages. I tell you what to do to flourish and how to prevent withering away. So if you are ready to embark on this road together, let us begin.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Writing and the Creative Process 1
Chapter 1 Discipline 3
Chapter 2 Writing Style-Only You Can Define It 10
Chapter 3 Outlining Your Story 21
Chapter 4 Character Development 37
Chapter 5 Writing Erotic Fiction 51
Chapter 6 Avoiding Typical Mistakes 62
Chapter 7 Writing in Different Media 81
Chapter 8 The Editorial Process 108
Part 2 Publishing 117
Chapter 9 Writer vs. Author 119
Chapter 10 Literary Agents 129
Chapter 11 Publishers 143
Chapter 12 Increasing Your Readership Base 156
Chapter 13 Distribution Outlets 176
Chapter 14 Today's Publishing Climate 185
Part 3 Writing Exercises 189