In Other News…

Two posts on the same day, whodathunkit? But I wanted to let you know that my local critique group has now got its own website!

It’s a face to face critique group, with the basic format of putting our work on a private online group, then critiquing and meeting in person to discuss, and also to work in one another’s company. We read and write fantasy, science fiction and any other type of fiction. And even if you just like to read and critique, you’re welcome to come! The rest of the information is on the website: http://www.denverfictionwriters.com

We aren’t all about the erotica, that’s for sure, but there are some who are willing to write and read it. So if you’re local to Denver and have been doing it in the closet (pun very much intended) give us a try if you need critiques and career support.

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Editing ‘Fear and Desire’

I really heart my publishers. Lyrical has instituted a pre-editing stage, when your work has been accepted, but before the editors get their claws–ahem, hands on it. During this stage, they give you a handbook and a checklist, and you do a LOT of work on the piece to correct errors that authors frequently make.

What a hugely valuable tool. Who would have thought it was helpful to do a search-and-destroy on words like ‘and’ or ‘the’? Yet it really, really is. And that’s only one example of this brilliant checklist.

I am humbled, shocked and mildly dismayed to find out how many ‘frequently made’ errors I am still making. I feel wrung out, and yet confident that my writing will be much improved.

In short, I’m learning how much I still have to learn. Yes, I’ve said that before, and I’ve learned it before. As a writer, as a woman, as a mother, as a human. I am still learning that I am still learning.

All I ask is the opportunity to go on learning that, for as long as I live.

Two Things…

There are two things you need to do FIRST.

Before you worry about how good you are, what genre you’re in, how marketable your work is, how to improve it, or whether it’s too derivative. While you’re still writing fan fiction. Before you get out of being too shy to show it. Before you take a single class, read a single how-to book, make a single revision note, before you even check your spelling.

Before you call yourself a writer at all, even within your secret heart.

First, be a reader. For pleasure, in your own time, for the joy of it.

Second, write things that you finish. FINISH. Short, long or otherwise, bring your stories to a conclusion at least three times (to show you consistently can) before you take any other steps along this career path.

If you do those two things, you are already halfway there. Already head and shoulders over most people who call themselves writers.

If you don’t do those two things, you aren’t anywhere.

Story or the Book?

Which is which? I have gotten a few storylines written down, or perhaps they’re synopses. They certainly aren’t outlines. They’re not the terrain, but they aren’t the map. Nevertheless, they guide me as I write–otherwise my book gets threequarteritis.

What’s that, you say? Something no book doctor can fix. (See what I did there?) Threequarteritis seems to strike my work a lot. It’s that point, almost always about three quarters of the way to the end, where I get stuck. REALLY stuck.

Having a storyline already written down to turn to, at that point, allows me to force myself through the yucky part. The part where I know the work is awful and the writing is ghastly.

If I successfully force my way through it, I can get the story to turn into a book.

You May Have Noticed…

That I’ve gone from daily posting to not-so-daily. When there is more news there will be more postings; I’m between projects right now, just editing, and I’m not sure the day-to-day thrills of word choice and description adding are very interesting. If you want more, speak up and I’ll post more.

You probably didn’t notice.

Word Count: 455

Revisions

I’m working on the revisions for Disform. I’m not sure why. I have not yet gotten back the response from half my test audience, and have not gotten back critiques from all the people even on the first bit, much less the whole piece. But the excellent feedback from my dad and from one of my test audience has apparently been enough to hit the ‘time to revise’ button in my head. And if I think about it, it will be about two months, at the current pace, before all the critiques come back.

So I guess I’m working on it now. 🙂

And once revised, I shall begin sending it out. Anyone know any good paranormal young adult agents who might also do fantasy series?

Critiques, Blurbs and Posting, O My!

Ah yes, doing serious critiques again. It’s always a pleasure to read new fiction, especially that of new voices. I enjoy it very much. But it’s hard to do critiques. Interestingly, my personal pendulum has swung from being too shy, feeling that my remarks will be less than helpful and that I know very little about the whole thing anyway… to being too arrogant, having to tone down my language from ‘as you know, this is more correct’ to ‘I felt this worked less well for me than it could have.’ Nevertheless, I’m proud to say I still give good critique.

I’m beginning to think I give good blurb as well. I’ve been on the publishing blurb team now for quite a while, and the process is streamlined now. Input is equal from all of us, and that’s good. I think it’s really sharpened my ability to think in marketing terms and to write those short, punchy blurbs. It’s been good for me in exactly the way I thought and hoped it would be.

It is, as a friend of mine observed, like Christmas. I’ve had the fun, now, of doing the giving (well, of doing the selecting and wrapping–the actual giving will be in the discussion at the meeting itself). Wonder what I’m gonna get?

Word Count approximately 3000, all in critiques, blurbs and posts

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