Posts Tagged ‘writing’


After-NaNo Blues

   Posted by: Faith    in Creating Coldcuts

Once again, I’ve dropped the ball on posting regularly… but it’s December, so I can blame it on the holidays, right?

Not so much. Rather, I’ve had a few weeks of recovery from NaNoWriMo, which I attribute to my Muse packing her bags and heading out for some place tropical. I wish she’d taken me with her.

This happens every year after NaNo, though this year was worse than most — probably because of how invested in it I was as an ML — and it didn’t help that I hated my novel. I mean hated, with vehemence. Nothing went as planned, the characters were flat and dull, and my Voice sounded like something out of a grade 2 reader from 1932. Seriously. So, it’s no wonder that I didn’t finish the novel within the month as planned, though I did make the 50k. But oh, it hurt.

The novel broke my heart, and sooner or later, I’m going to have to fix it. We’re talking serious re-writing, tearing the story limb from limb, and putting the pieces back together after they’ve been completely and utterly recreated.

I may need to start from scratch. But I believe in my idea, and so I can’t simply throw the manuscript out the window and be done with it. Though… some days I wish I could!

How about you? Have you ever had a novel break your heart? Or started to write something you’d been so incredibly excited about, only to find that it turned into nothing but a pile of meaningless dreck that you’d have to entirely destroy in order to build it back to the way you’d planned?

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Living Every Month Like Shark W… er, NaNoWriMo

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

This week, I have a lot on my plate. I wanted to hit 50k by Sunday night (didn’t do it, as I was sick for most of last week), and I want to outline/write/edit/submit two short stories by November 30th, both of which still need everything done on them.

Naturally, I started freaking out. “But I wanted to finish the novel this month, not just hit the word count!” I lamented. “I’m failing, I just can’t do both…”

Which in turn spurred the wise words of my husband, Mr. Practical (and also Mr. Calm-Down-You’re-Overreacting-Again-Faith): “Faith, every month is NaNoWriMo for you, so it doesn’t matter if you finish the novel or not. You’re going to keep writing at this pace regardless, because that’s how you’ll develop your career… so just do what you can and don’t stress yourself out.”

Ah, easier said than done. But he did make a good point: Writing a lot means accomplishing a lot, and if I don’t stop writing every day, the novel will get finished one way or another, regardless. And, I can switch over and write the short stories this month without worrying (apparently).

So, every month is National Novel Writing Month. Okay, maybe not 50,000 words on the same story, but if I write 50,000 words every month just in general… that’ll still be a lot of work accomplished.

Have you ever totalled up all the writing you do in a month?

I’m talking: blogging, writing-related social networking, newsletters or writing-related emails, edits (words that are added), outlining, notes you take on the various books you read, AND your WIP.

Try it for a month. I challenge you to open a Word document for December and copy/paste every piece of writing you do that somehow relates to writing (social networking on writing blogs counts!). I think at the end of the month, you’ll be shocked at how much writing you actually do, not to mention have a visual of where the majority of your time was spent.

I’d be willing to be that you’re living every month like NaNoWriMo too… just maybe not focusing all your energies on one specific novel. You’re constantly doing NaNoWriMo, just not under that particular name… maybe, NaWriMo (National Writing Month), over and over again.

I’d say that’s pretty darn encouraging.

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NaNo ’09

   Posted by: Faith    in NaNoWriMo

It’s almost that time of year again… time to hunker down at the computer for hours on end, typing away furiously, drinking too much coffee and eating far, far too many potato chips… ah yes, National Novel Writing Month. What could be better?

Not only will I be attempting it again this year (year three!), but I’m also the Municipal Liaison for my region. As a first-time ML, the learning curve is a bit steep, but so far we have more people signed up than we did last year, so that’s encouraging. I’ve also done quite a bit of promotion, and I think that may be helping as well — not to mention that several other Wrimos in the region are helping out with posters and promo, which is fantastic. Really, NaNo is a community event that works best when everyone helps out, so I’m extremely grateful for the help I’ve received so far.

If you’ve never tried NaNoWriMo, why not make this year your first? Afraid that pumping out 50,000 words in one month is too hard? Or you’ll end up with too much crap if you try to write that quickly?

As writers, we should be writing every day anyway (though I admit, that’s not always realistic). I know many writers try for 500-1000 words per day, which seems like a reasonable goal. If we’re going with the high end, that’s 30,000 words in one month. You can do that, yes? So why not just tack on an extra 667 words per day — that’s just a few paragraphs! — and make it to 50,000? Easy, right?

Well, it is if you know what you’re doing. Here are a few tips to help you make it through the 2009 NaNoWriMo season, if you’ve decided to join up for that wonderful journey. And if you’ve signed up, come friend me on the website! (dark_phoenix)

Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo 2009

1. Plan ahead.

This doesn’t mean just thinking about your novel… I’m talking actual planning. Whether it’s point form notes, a character interview, or plot cards, you’ll be more likely to keep momentum going if you have at least a bare bones idea of where your story is headed. You might also want to plan ahead in terms of your laundry, groceries, pet care, and babysitting. NaNoWriMo can get pretty consuming… just sayin’.

2. Decide to scrap the linear approach.

This is a real preparation step, because for some people, writing out of sequence is the most terrifying concept they’ve ever heard. However, if you get stuck at a scene because your Muse decided to take the afternoon off, how are you going to make your word count? You could pad it, sure… or do the cheap thing and fill your novel with song lyrics… or you could pluck a scene card out of the pile, and simply begin writing a different scene in the novel. Then, when you’re ready, come back to the one you left and finish it.

3. Prepare meals ahead of time.

If you live alone, or without parents, or with a signficant other, meals are going to cause a bit of concern. Making a decent dinner can take upwards of an hour, and with busy lives, how can you fit food AND writing together? Why not make some casseroles now and freeze them? Or, you could go the easy route and just eat boxed Kraft Dinner all month (I might…). Either way, prep and warn. Just make sure you actually eat… that’s pretty important.

4. Vaccum. Now.

No, seriously. You won’t be cleaning your house for the next month, so make it a goal to get the place spotless by Oct.31st. Besides, the neighbors will be bringing the kids over for trick-or-treat and will probably be nosy enough to glance inside your front door, so you might as well make the place look great ahead of time.

5. Buy snacks & coffee.

Instead of worrying about what you’ll eat when snack time rolls around, stock up on things like coffee/tea/hot chocolate & chips/popcorn/cookies/fruit bars/crackers… whatever brain food you need. Prep some veggies & fruit a few days before November hits, and you’ll be set for about a week and a half. Remember that while junk food makes you feel great for awhile, you’ll eventually crash and feel like crap afterward… I say, pick the chips when you’re having a late-night catch-up writing session, but go for the healthy stuff when you need longevity during the day. But that’s just me — pick snacks that’ll work for you and that won’t make you feel disgusting when Nov.30th arrives and you awaken from your writing stupor.

6. Clear your schedule.

Dinner party invite? Nope. Visit to the in-laws? Sorry! Coffee with friends? Well… okay, you’d better make sure you don’t decline everything. In fact, telling others what you’re doing will create a system of accountability that’ll keep you writing, even when the only thing keeping you going is guilt! “How’s that novel coming? You know, the one you missed my birthday party for?” See? Guilt is an excellent motivator. Create a managable schedule, then let everyone know about it.

7. Visit your regional forums & attend local events.

Stats say that people who do this are more likely to accomplish the 50,000 word goal… because you’ll have a support system, encouragement, and competition from others in the area. Are you seriously going to let that 12-year-old finish writing her novel ahead of you? Well, maybe, but you’ll give it a good run in the meantime.

…so, get plotting, cleaning, and cooking… and you’ll have a successful NaNoWriMo! What’s that? Who has time for all of that now, let alone at any other time of the year? *hrrumph* Well… don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to CostCo to buy a case of KD. Or two.

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Editor Empathy

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

I recently started working as a volunteer editor for the online flash fiction magazine Flash Me (don’t worry, it’s not as sketchy as it sounds!). I saw an ad for the positon on someone’s blog (my apologies to whoever posted it, I wish I could give you credit!), clicked over to the magazine site, and was pleased to see that it was an ezine I was already familiar with. I’d read their stories on several occasions, and thought it would be a good fit. What a great way to earn some editorial experience! Plus, it’s a paying market for the authors — and the zine has been in publication since 2003 — which, to me, screams “credibility!”

Good for the resume, good for the experience.

That said, what have I learned in my first 3 weeks as a slush reader?

  • There’s a lot of potential out there. There are a lot of stories that are almost good enough, and you can see the raw talent… often it just hasn’t been refined and polished yet. A little more experience, a little more practice, and you can sense when a writer has the potential to someday shine.
  • There are limitless ideas. I never know what I’m going to see when I open up a new submission, since the title often reveals very little about the piece. However, most ideas have been done before, and there is a real danger of writing obviously derivative work. Writers must be careful to give their own spin to an oft-used idea, or else the story will simply come off as sloppy.
  • Formatting is everything. When I open up a document that’s 1000 words of narrative without any dialogue, paragraph breaks, or scene changes, I groan inside. And that gives you 2 strikes already, in my book.
  • Authors need to read guidelines & know their markets. PLEASE. Please. I’m shocked when I read something that’s submitted and is obviously an experimental piece. When was the last time you saw an experimental piece in Flash Me? Read the entire guidelines before submitting. Check if you’re actually submitting to the right place for your work. PLEASE.
  • Authors need to PROOFREAD. I’m even more shocked when something comes in with spelling errors, formatting errors, grammatical errors, crude sentence structure… and so on… and so forth… I simply don’t understand how people can submit something that’s full of errors and expect their work to be taken seriously.
  • Authors need to do their research. Whether it’s location, a specific situation, a disease, a creature… I don’t care what, but please know what you’re talking about before you make that specific thing integral to your story. There are many, many resources today to make you an expert on your ‘thing’ if it isn’t something you already know about. It’s also important to know your stuff on specific topics because you can seriously offend someone through your own ignorance if you don’t do your research.
  • It’s a real joy — and I do mean real, no sarcasm here — to read something so good that it feels like a breath of fresh air. It makes all the time spent worth it. I mean that.

While it’s only been 3 weeks, I have to say that I’m beginning to empathize with editors in bigger magazine/book publishing houses. If a small market like ours has these ups & downs, how much more extreme must it be for them?

Needless to say, when I submit my work anywhere in the future, I’ll be reading the guidelines extra carefully, and researching the market even more closely. I think sometimes we as writers get so caught up in the creation part of our work that we skim over or rush the selling, perhaps without even realizing what we’re doing.

So, I’d like to thank Jennifer at Flash Me, the Editor-in-Chief, for allowing me to become a part of her fun & exciting publication. I encourage you to head over to the website and read some of the stories from the last issue (new issue published Oct.31!) — I particularly recommend ‘Survivalist’ and ‘Going Home’.

Question: When you submit, how carefully do you read the guidelines & research the market? Are there specific things you know you skim over because you don’t like doing them, or are you a stickler for detail?

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Where Am I Now?

   Posted by: Faith    in Everything Else

It’s mid-September, 2009. How did we get here so fast? Another summer zipped by, and another fall is well on its way… and what do I have to show for it?

Well, not much. Or at least I feel it’s not much, but here’s where I stand in terms of WIPs and so forth:

  • A Work in Progress (2007) – First Draft complete, currently under second read-through.
  • The Door in the Wall (2008) – First Draft complete (minus a few paragraphs at the end), currently under first read-through.

Yikes. That’s a lot of work… the 2008 manuscript needs a lot more work before it’s coherent in any way, and I feel the 2007 novel is much, much closer to being ready than it was a year ago. Lots of edits still to do, but progress is progress. The frustrating part is that I want to be able to devote myself to new stories, and I wish these ones would just be done & get out of the way for awhile. But, that’s not how we writers do things, is it? :) Baby steps, baby steps.

In the meantime, I’m trying to:

  • Plot my 2009 NaNoWriMo novel.
  • Think about which novel to write as part of a course I’m taking (more on that sometime soon).
  • Do the work for above mentioned course.
  • Finish my cat care ebook.
  • Finish edits on an inspirational booklet for a client.
  • Learn my way around in my new volunteer editor position for an online flash fiction magazine (more on that another time too!).
  • Find more work that I can actually be paid for!

This comes in the midst of teaching 2 dance classes a week, taking an additional 3 dance classes for myself (two of which are performance troupes), trying to read & review all the ARCs that keep showing up in my mailbox, maintaining this blog, editing the blog for Lifeline, keeping my friends (haha), caring for a cat/bird/husband & all associated things that come with a marriage and household. Ah, and I have an application in to be this year’s NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison for my region (which I should hear back about within the next week).

It’s a lot. I probably missed something in there, but that’s that, and now it’s documented… so people can bug me about getting my work done! I figured, it’s been awhile since I updated everyone on what I’m doing, so there you have it! Apologies if it came off as whiny… not my intention :)

And to all of you who have huge projects you’re dealing with, or many little ones you’re trying to juggle, I wish you all the best in the coming months. Autumn is a beautiful season (my favorite, actually), but is it ever busy… yet somehow, I look forward to it every year. Good luck with whatever you’re doing! And if you’re really excited about it, please go ahead and share it with us in the comment section!

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Taking Risks

   Posted by: Faith    in Creating Coldcuts

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to take more risks with my writing. I feel that I need to branch out, dive deep, and search the inner recesses of my psyche… I want to create stories that have purpose, writing that has meaning, ideas that comb the murky depths and make my readers gasp in horror, awe, delight, and disblief. I want readers to think, “how could she write something like that?” while being compelled to turn the next page.

We’ve all read books like that. Those are the stories that we read and wonder how an author could put those words on the page without crumbling into a million pieces, or without falling prey to the dark void. The plot twists are unimaginable, the villains are truly evil, and the situations, setting, and action are all reflective of a realistic, very human, very harsh, very scrutinous look at the world.

I am a pessimist by nature. For years, I looked out at the world with darkened eyes, seeing little that brought me true joy. This should have enabled me to create those riskier concepts that could have propelled my work forward, but at the time, I wasn’t ready to take my writing seriously. Many changes over the past few years, while not re-wiring my brain to negate the pessimistic outlook, have caused me to look at things differently. It takes work, but I try to see the good in people, places, situations, and circumstances.

Unfortunately, this has affected my creativity. How do I revert to that darker, riskier way of looking at the world? How can I make conflict real, how can I make my villains real, without it? I need to take more risks with my writing, but I don’t know how.

I found an article about risk-taking in writing by Judy Reeve, posted on her website, and I encourage you to head over there and read the whole thing (along with plenty more useful articles on the writing process!). For now, I want to share a few paragraphs that really spoke to what I’m trying to figure out for myself:

“If you’re not willing to take risks, chances are your writing will be bland, shallow and boring. Even to yourself.

So, what does it mean, taking risks in your writing?

This is where you move out of safe, familiar territory, into something that feels a little dangerous. Risk-taking differs from individual to individual, so it’s difficult to say exactly what “taking risks” means. One writer’s risk is another’s walk in the woods. And another writer’s walk in the woods feels damned risky to a third.

Following are some of the ways it might feel when you are taking risks in your writing: Maybe your hands tremble and your handwriting gets a little out of control. Maybe while you’re writing, your breathing becomes shallow. Or you stop breathing completely. Sometimes you can tell when you’re taking risks because this is where the censor will step in: “Hey, you can’t write that.” Or the critic: “That’s certainly not a nice thing to write.” Or the editor: “You might want to be a little less specific there, maybe use words that aren’t quite so… well, graphic.” Hearing these voices can almost guarantee you’re working in risky territory.

You may stop writing what you’re working on, or it may deviate off into some safer territory, meaningless details or worse, generalities. You may feel restless and want something – a cup of coffee, a cigarette (and you don’t even smoke), something to eat, anything to alter the direction of the writing and the way you feel.

Taking risks means telling the truth, whatever your truth is.”

How do you take risks in your daily writing? How do you find the strength to “tell the truth”, and how does it make you feel during the process?

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Write!Canada: Day 3 (Finally!)

   Posted by: Faith    in Write!Canada

Yes, I’ve been slacking at getting this up… here we are, nearly 3 weeks later and I still haven’t pushed past the daily summaries and delved into the pile of things I learned. Oh well. Not like this blog is going anywhere, so without further ado…

  • 9:30-10:30amContinuing Class (Part 5 of 6)

Good information, good discussion, and some great ideas. Memories of the continuing class still blur together, but I have everything typed out on my laptop. Which, I should add, was incredibly useful to have with me instead of trying to write it all down by hand.

  • 11:00amWorkshop C: Five Critical Things You Must Do With New Media

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this one, and I admit, I chose it because it sounded better than the other things on the list during this time slot. I figured it would probably end up as one of two things: outdated (or just wrong) information, or the pompous ramblings of some tech-savvy youngster. Mercifully, it was neither, and I came away pleasantly surprised. There really wasn’t much that I didn’t already know, but the people around me were learning quite a bit (judging by the facial expressions and questions asked). I suppose you could say I was affirmed in what I’m already doing, and encouraged to do even more with new media.

The woman leading this session was Denyse O’Leary, a Toronto-based journalist who has written extensively on evolution vs. intelligent design, neuroscience and faith, and other scientific topics. She wasn’t the best speaker in terms of grabbing one’s attention, but I gained an enormous amount of respect for this woman as she related to us all the things she’s done to build her own platform in the industry, and how she’s embraced changing technology quickly with each step. I thought, “my goodness, there are so few people of her generation that are as open and willing to changes in technology… she is such a leader in this area!” Not only that, but I plan to track down her books and subscribe to a few of her blogs. A female journalist covering scientific topics intelligently, who embraces new media? Here’s someone to look up to and respect.

  • 11:45amAppointment with Mags Storey

I had to leave the workshop a bit early to head to my second 15-minute appointment, but it turned out that Mags got tied up at the session she was in and arrived late to our meeting (and the one before). The girl ahead of me took my appointment time since she’d missed hers completely, and we decided that I’d track Mags down later for ours. No problem! I headed back to the end of the workshop and finished that off.

I came back around 12:20 or so, and Mags was still hanging around the appointment area, so I was able to sit down with her then. What can I say? Mags is dynamic, personable, and tells it like it is. She’ll talk to you straight (…or maybe just if she thinks you can handle it :) ?) and lays down what it means to call yourself “a writer”. I’d made the appointment with her because I was looking for some encouragement and direction (and a wonderful lady named Kim, who I met on the first day, suggested I talk to Mags for it), so she went through a summarized version of the talk she’d given the day before in her own workshop (which I certainly would have enjoyed more than the one I was in… sigh).

They started closing up the bookstore as we chatted, and that was when we realized that lunch had started and Mags hadn’t cleared out her room yet (which was supposed to be done before lunch). So, we continued our conversation while Mags packed up her stuff, and then I helped her cart it off to the car. Can’t say I started the weekend planning to be a valet, but I really didn’t mind. During our talk, Mags offered to read my manuscript when I’m ready to let it go… and after talking with her, I felt better about my first completed piece of work being a chick lit novel. That doesn’t mean I think it’s any good (and boy, does it need a lot of work), but the fact is that I wrote it, I finished it, and I now have something that I wrote to work with. How many people go through their lives saying “I’ve always wanted to write a book”, and yet never make time to actually do it? Well, I did. Hah. 80,000 words (approximately) worth of book, and guess what? That was me. I wrote it. It might be crap, but at least I wrote it.

And that was the essence of our discussion. I definitely respect Mags – she’s a very real kind of Christian, and I saw a lot of myself and how I approach being a Christian in her. Plus, she grew up in the Middle East. How awesome is that? *wistful sigh* I really do think I left a part of me (no, not in the organ harvesting way) on that side of the world. I can’t believe it’s only been 4 years since I was there… wow. A lot can happen in 4 years. BUT, I’m getting off track, so I’ll move on now…

  • 12:45pmLunch

Alright, so I didn’t actually get there until well after 1pm, but there was still some food left at the table I found with a vacant seat (full of mostly middle-aged men… the majority of which were professors from Tyndale and/or pastors… honest, I just grabbed the first open seat I found and then tried not to act surprised when I realized where I’d ended up… I wonder if it worked, I wish there was a hidden camera so you could have seen my face!… haha).

  • 2:00pmContinuing Class (Part 6 of 6)

Our final session with Valerie! We finished off the material she’d planned to teach, and left some time for people to stand and share what they’d been working on over the weekend. I was thinking about sharing… seriously considering it… and if there had been time for one more, I would have shot my hand up. Seriously! I’m not just saying that. I had the document open and was reading it through & making corrections as we talked about the last person’s work (but participating at the same time, I can multi-task, so please don’t be offended if it was you!). I was surprised and delighted by the quality of work that was presented, though it became very clear, very quickly, that most of the people there needed to work on their presentation skills.

When you’re writing for children, inevitably you’re going to be reading your story out loud. Not all kids reading picture books can actually read, and as an author, you’d better be scheduling story readings at libraries, book clubs, mom & tot groups, etc, and if you can’t present your story in a dynamic way to those kids, you’re going to lose them very quickly. Your voice needs to be vibrant, colorful, entertaining, and bring your story to life, just like the pictures that accompany it.

But, that was just my own observation. Maybe I’ll write something on authors as speakers sometime in the future…

  • 3:30pmPlenary Session with Ray Wiseman: “Adversity Sharpens Your Pencil”

Ray Wiseman was a great speaker… very entertaining, and refused to let us take notes so that we’d simply listen & absorb what we were hearing. Unfortunately, people absorb information differently, and I need to take notes while I listen to a speaker or else my brain will wander off (yes, even if I doodle instead), so I took some notes anyway. So there. But honestly, he was a great speaker and had some excellent things to share. Here’s the blurb about his talk in the registration package:

“Ray’s journey as a writer has followed a circuitous route. He will show how seemingly random events have coalesced to change him from a dyslexic dropout in the past, to a journalist and author in the present, his life attuned for future adventures. Sometimes our greatest strengths as writers come from life’s discord, hardships, and errors.”

After Ray finished speaking, people were able to share some of the good things that had happened to them this weekend and what the conference meant to them, which was followed by draws for door prizes… and I won $25 for Chapters/! Whoo-hoo! Talk about a great way to end the conference.

I wasn’t able to stick around and say goodbye to anyone (it seemed like most people were eager to get home anyway), as I had to perform in a show that evening and needed to rush to rehearsal, but all things considered, it was a good day.

And So…

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Was it exhausting? You bet. Would I go back next year? Without hesitation.

I met a lot of people. I learned a lot of new things. I was encouraged and affirmed in my calling. I made some great contacts, and let’s not forget, had some great food. There were a few disappointing spots, but in all, they didn’t tarnish the weekend’s shine.

Another bonus: 13/15 of my one sheets were picked up, as well as a number of business cards. Does that mean anything? Not really. Mostly, it means people thought my write-up was interesting enough to want to learn a bit more about me, but there are no guarantees that it will turn into additional work (unless you do need content for your website… in which case, contact me!). The simple truth is that my name is out there. In a miniscule, insignificant way at the moment, but it’s out there.

It may have also helped that I chose to wear clothing that stood out all weekend, so that I could be easily recognized as “that young girl from the one-sheets”. I have no idea if it worked, but hey, at least I got plenty of compliments on my outfits! LOL. I figure it’s just “part of my platform”.

And now, to make good use of the things I learned.

I have a long journey ahead of me… but at least I know where I’m going.

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Content vs. Craft

   Posted by: Faith    in Creating Coldcuts

It’s a busy day, so I don’t have a lot of time to write a long post… but I thought I would throw up an idea, courtesy of Writer’s Digest‘s ‘Tip of the Day’.

Today’s tip is: “Ultimately, content matters more than craft.

The brief article on the website mentions Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook as an example of a book where the writing would be passable in middle-school at best, but whose success was enormous simply because readers connected with the characters. It was a good story: the content mattered to the readers. I’d also argue in this case that the movie helped sell a crapload more books, but that’s neither here nor there. It hit #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list, and the writing was horrendous. Good example.

But I can think of an even better one… and I bet you’re all going to nod with me. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. Yes, indeed. Crap writing, but many people absolutely adore it. It’s quite the unsolved mystery, but evidently there are people who connect with the content, even while admitting that the writing isn’t very good.

Does that mean that we should crurn out halfhearted manuscripts if we think we’ve got a great idea? No, of course not. You always want to do justice to your great idea, but think of it this way: If you have a great story to tell, tell it. Don’t be afraid to “do it wrong”, just write it and get it out of you. Great ideas produce good stories, and you never know… someone might connect with your third draft and whip it off to the publishers. But don’t be so paranoid about “getting it right the first time” that you never let your Very Good Story see the light of day.

Let’s face it: How can you know if you have Great Content until you try?

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Wistful Website Wishes

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

This site is, in theory, supposed to serve a threefold purpose:

  • to chronicle my writing journey
  • to serve as a professional point of contact for new clients
  • to be a second place to post my book reviews (Librarything is place #1)

So far, I’m getting back into the swing of things on #1, failing miserably in #2, and sort-of getting #3 done. As I move into a more regular writing schedule (cross fingers), the chronicles of my writing journey will hopefully become more regular and, *gasp*, hopefully more useful to others. I wish my site hadn’t been hacked last year… I had some good posts on there, but they’re long gone. Oh well. That version of the blog was getting more personal than anything else, really.

In terms of posting the book reviews, you’ll notice I have a review scheduled for every 4 days. This is fine, except that I didn’t start doing this until last month… and since I’ve actually read 46 books this year so far, and reviews are only up to book #12, there’s quite a way to go. At this rate, I’ll be posting my books from 2009 well into 2010, and always run behind. This is something I’ll have to figure out myself in the near future, and it may involve back-dating a number of book reviews just so I can get them all in this year. So don’t be alarmed if there are suddenly a pile of new reviews you haven’t read, or if they start getting posted closer together. Never fear, I’ve got it under control… I hope.

As for my second point there… well, I’m failing miserably. Ideally, I’d like to use this site as a point of contact for business references and new clients, and I’d like to be able to hand out business cards (or the like) with this site’s address on it. Then, the potential client could come here, view some samples of my work, and contact me to discuss their project. Currently, the state of this site makes it impossible. In fact, all I have right now is a pretty amateur-looking blog. Ugh. Not good. Fortunately, my husband runs a website design company, so at least I have someone to turn to for help… though a personal project obviously falls under the ‘non-urgent’ list of things in their book, so I have to move at their schedule.

So, my point: hopefully over the next few months, you’ll begin to see some changes around here… for the better. I’d like to get the title up at the top of the site, maybe with a funky little book-sandwich graphic next to it. I have a number of widgets I’d like to install (including, but not limited to: a writing contest widget that scrolls through current contests, a Librarything widget that displays random covers in my library, a wordcount widget for my WIPs, etc), and I’d like the boxes on the right to be organized better. I want the navigation to stand out… and… and… and…

Yes, I have big plans. My hope is that they’ll pan out slowly… so again, don’t be alarmed if you show up and things look different. Better website = more productive writer… RIGHT??? Heh…

Anyway, if I’m doing professional work – and am married to a man who runs a website design company, for goodness sake – I really should have a professional-looking website, with this blog as just one of the areas of focus. All in due time…

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Almost, Almost…

   Posted by: Faith    in Fiction on Foccacia

…to 70,000 words on WIP #1. So close… and yet, so far to go even after I hit that target. All things considered, it’s not too bad – 70,000 words is still 70,000 words to work with, and with another 20k tacked onto that, I’ll have a full-fledged first draft to rip to shreds. It’ll be great. I already know several areas that are targeted for complete and entire rewrites, but I know that if I go back to them right now, I’ll spend too much time trying to polish and not enough time actually finishing the darn novel.

Finishing is step #1. Tearing into it like a ravenous squirrel is step #2.

That said, I’ve had a few “oh crap, only 500 words” days in a row, but at least it’s something.

Still not entirely sure what the final scene will be, or how I’ll wrap it up neatly, but that’s not really a concern for draft one. Or so I keep telling myself. Then again, I also keep telling myself I don’t need any more coffee, but has that ever stopped me?

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