Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tired and Disillusioned

It's time for the May segment of the ISWG.  For more information regarding this wonderful group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh click on his name.

Hello all,

I certainly hope you're having a good month. As for me, well, I received two rejections and it's only six days in.  The first came from the agent who suggested I make changes to my chapters. Although she liked my MC and the premise of the story, she felt it needed to be streamlined. Also, she said the pacing might be too fast now. I can't win. She did invite me to send my pages to her again once I completed the revisions.  

The second  rejection came from a small publishing house. The editor added a  personal note, stating that he was close on my novel.  He felt that some stories should be told and mine was one of them. I must say that was one of the best rejections I've ever received, still a rejection, but a nice one.

A copy editor has my novel right now. I hope she can help me get it in tip top shape. Then, I'll submit to publishers who accept unsolicited MS. If they don't like the story, I'll self publish. At this point, I'm just tired. I'm also insecure that if I don't move on from my current WIP, I'll be writing and rewriting it for the rest of my days, with nothing more than a "Maybe" waiting down the road..  

 I've already begun the research for my next story, a YA time travel piece.  I love to write and well, sometimes that has to be enough. I can't help but feel if I continue to write stories, someday I'll be published. Don't get me wrong, I don't write because I want to be published. Quite the opposite, I want to be published because I write. Nothing would give me greater joy than to make a living doing the one thing I love. Hope runs eternal... Until next time, happy writing. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Don't Fear Change, Embrace It: Life's a Journey of Lessons and Experiences

Hello All,
It's time for another Insecure Wrtier's Support Group. If you're interested in learning more about the monthly blog hop, click here: Alex J. Cavanaugh

As many of you know, a literary agent recently critiqued the first ten pages of my novel. Although, the premise was intriguing, she found ch.2  slow and  thought it introduced too many characters. She provided suggestions on ways to improve the chapter and pacing.

Anyone that knows me well, will tell you I'm averse to change.  I felt overwhelmed by the amount of time it would take to revise my chapter.  And that didn't include the ripple effects on the rest of the novel.

At one point, I even considered tossing the project out the window and beginning anew. Then, my husband, the voice of reason, talked me into following through with the changes. Needless to say, I'm glad he did. The changes taught me so much about the importance of pacing in fiction.

After almost two months of writing, rewriting and writing again, I'm almost done with the revisions. The novel is far richer and the characters have more dimension and texture than before. There's a moral to  this story. Essentially, don't fear change, embrace it. Life's a journey of lessons and experiences. If we hide from them, then we'll never grow as writers or as people.  

 I plan to submit the first fifty pages to the agent at the end of next week, after my writer's group meets. For the first time in years, I really feel good about my novel. I think it's FINALLY where it needs to be. Let's just hope the agent agrees as well. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. Until next time my friends, happy writing.    

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Drop in an Endless Sea of Writers


Hello all,

It's time for the February segment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.   

As many of you may know, I had partials out to two agents last month. Well, I finally received responses from them. The first one said she loved the fast paced opening, but thought the second chapter was too slow.  The next agent hated the fast paced opening.  With two conflicting expert opinions before me, I wasn't sure how to proceed next.

Luckily,  I happened upon an Agent One-On-One Boot Camp hosted by Writers Digest. I won't bore you with too many details, but basically the participants were required to attend an online workshop hosted by three literary agents. Afterward, the author submitted their queries and the first ten pages of their manuscripts for critique to an assigned agent.

Overall, I was very pleased with the feedback I received. The agent agreed that the second chapter was too slow and offered suggestions about how to fix it.  She also invited me to send her the first 50 pages if I took her advice.  Well, I'd be crazy If I didn't, LOL.

Although this is positive news, and I now know what areas in my story need improvement,  I often feel like a drop in an endless sea of writers.  The process is so nerve racking and daunting.  How do you all deal with it? I'd welcome any and all advice on how to weather the choppy waters until my book finds a home.  Guess I'll close for now.  Until next time, happy writing my friends.  



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

First ISWG Post of the New Year


It's time for the January segment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Instead of discussing my insecurities this month, I've decided to begin the New Year on a positive note. In an effort to encourage reading in my household, and discourage my son's use of the "Idiot box," our family has set aside a reading  time from 9:30 -10:00 each weeknight. So far, knock on wood, it's really taken off. My son is half way through the Hobbit, and he's looking forward to beginning The Lord of the Rings.

As for me,  I have a job interview scheduled on Friday, and last but not least, an agent requested the first five pages of my MS. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Overall, I'm quite pleased with the way 2015 has begun. Now I'll head over to Alex's blog and check out how the other members are faring. Until next time my friends, happy writing.   

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blogger Dummie needs help---PLEASE!!!!

Seasons greetings everyone,

I have an idea that will help a lot of self published and unpublished authors get ahead. However, I can't move forward with it until I figure out how to create a navigation bar with a link. I'd like the "idea" to show on the face of the Nav bar. Then when the reader clicks on it, they'll be transported to the sign up link. 

 I considered switching to Word Press, but wow!!! I think it's safe to say I won't be Forrest Gumping my way through that one. I tried finding the answer on youtube, but the instructors on the two links I chose, either smoked a whole bunch of crack before they began teaching the class, or they OD'd on their ADHD meds that day. Needless to say, I didn't take away much from their instruction. Any and all help/advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Sorry that my technology skills date back to Jurassic Park. I'm trying to at least get to the Dark Ages, LOL. 



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Good Tidings-Insecure Writer's Support Group


Hello Everyone, it's time for the December installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Aside from eating too much, mine was great. For those of you who  participated in NANOWRIMO, I also hope you accomplished your goals last month. I might try my hand at the mini challenge in April, when I begin writing my new novel.

I'm almost finished polishing my present work-in-progress. It's been a long journey, but it's finally time to move on. However, before doing so, I wanted to share some good news. After 26 rejections from agents, two recently requested partials. One in particular found my first chapter interesting and engaging. Since both of them had my query for nearly four months, it might be a while before I hear back. Still, regardless of the outcome, it's nice to know that my work caught the eye of two pros.

Enough on the writing front. Since I consider the holidays a time for reflection and gratefulness,  I wanted to thank each and everyone of you for your support over the past five years.  I couldn't have finished my novel without you. In closing, I'd like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ISWG-Lessons From A Humbled Writer




Hello all,
It's time for the October ISWG hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. This month members are required to choose from the topics of writing, publishing or marketing and post about one. Alex will then incorporate our essays into an anthology he's working on.

I've decided to post on the topic of writing. After I completed the first draft of my novel, I was so proud of my story that I wanted to share it with the world. I posted it on an online writer's site, expecting accolades. Instead, the reviewers shredded the piece. I soon learned that my plot had more holes than you'd find in a warehouse filled with Swiss Cheese. The characters were one-dimensional at best, and there were enough point-of-view shifts to give a reader whiplash.

Defeated and sad, I slinked away from the critiques vowing never to write again. A couple of months later, I saw new characters lurking behind every stranger's eyes. During that time, it occurred to me that I missed the craft. I was as lost as a ship at sea, without writing to keep my creative compass straight. Before diving in to the second draft of my novel, I purchased several "how to books," and read them from cover to cover. I attended workshops and practiced. About six months later, I began the revisions on my story.  The reviews I received on the second draft were light years from the first. I've since written about twenty drafts and am in the final polishing stages (thank goodness). A couple of publishers have expressed interest in the book, and I'm presently waiting to hear back from them.

There are two things I've learned from my experience as a writer. First, never give up on yourself or the craft. Writing is a marathon not a sprint. It takes years to hone style and voice. Practice is key. Second, don't write for the sole reason of publishing. It's a competitive business. You're but a drop in a sea of writers. Even if you do get published, it will be difficult to eke out a living from the royalties. Essentially, the life of a true author is a calling, not a career. Write because you love it. Write because your will go crazy if you don't. If publication comes, great. If not, write-on. Until next time my friends, Happy writing.