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1. Work on something else. I know, I know. You've been working on that story of yours for twelve whole years, and it's your baby. Sure, it may have been inspired by that Dungeons and Dragons session you had when you were thirteen, but you're going to make your fortune with it! It's the next Harry Potter! When my pals and I have gone to writing conferences, we've made note of an interesting phenomenon: when someone has written a first novel in the fantasy genre, it is invariably a sword-and-sorcery novel or a portal fantasy. I will bet money on it: show me a first novel and I will show you a sword-and-sorcery or portal fantasy. There's nothing wrong with sword-and-sorcery as a genre, don't get me wrong. It's just that in writing