Sunday, September 27, 2009

My First Writers Conference

I went to my first writers conference today and LOVED it. Before I left this morning, I stuck my leather bound writing journal in my purse thinking that most people are probably going to have notepads and think my journal is overdoing it a little. Then I get there and the woman I sit by pulls out a decorative journal and sets it on the table. Later, they gave out writing journals with the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illistrators) logo on it. Ahhhh, these are my people!
Anyways, after a day full of classes that I found very helpful, I got to have an editor critique my first ten pages (for an additional cost). We sent in the submissions when we registered for the conference, so the editors had already read and made notes about our manuscripts. These were his comments about mine (his answers are in bold):
Manuscript (neat, professional, free of errors): Good!
Genre/Form (appropriate , best way to deliver the material): Yes
Story (compelling beginning, well-developed plot):Very Real Story
Characterization (skillfully developed, believable): Easy to identify with the characters right away
Dialogue (realistic, advances the plot):Well done
Point of View (clear):Good!
Writing (fresh, effective word shoice): Very Good Writing
Mood and/or tone (evokes proper response in reader): lots of emotion. Good!
Additional Comments: Good writing. Lots of promise.

Okay, can I just tell you I was so excited? Obviously, since I've been home ten minutes and already copied the whole critique onto my blog!
Alright, I've got to go help put the kids in bed. I just had to share my happy moment.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not a First Anymore

So there have been 39 times that this blog has been viewed. So far, it is still just me. But in my defense, I haven't actually checked my blog 39 times. Every time I switch from a new window, like right now as I am writing this post, it will be recorded as another time my blog has been viewed. Regardless, so far my writing hasn't had much of an impact on the world... at least this blog if for me anyway...
Some good news though. I found out two days ago that my book is going to be looked at by an editor at the writing conference. So there was a spot for me after all. Yipee! The only problem is that I have already changed my book since the version I sent in. Big changes. Like switching it from third to first person kind of changes. Oh well. I am confident his feedback will still be helpful, I just wish it was more updated. But there is never a time that I'm not working on my manuscript. It's always changing. Numerous times I have given a hard copy to somebody to edit or review for me, and by the time they actually get to it, it doesn't matter anymore because everything has changed.
I guess the secret to rewriting is to edit the story over and over again until you just can't stand to look at it any longer.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Writing On Sunday

One of the things I've been pondering is whether I should work on my manuscript on Sunday. It seems like a pretty peace-invoking thing to do, but it can also be pretty distracting. If writing is something I plan to do for a long time, then I should probably reserve Sundays as a time to focus on more Spiritual things.
Either way, tonight I am too tired to do much more than write this post, so goodnight.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Right now I am waiting to go to my FIRST writer's conference. I sent in my FIRST fifteen pages and paid extra to have an editor take a look at them and give me a critique. I got the confirmation that I'm going to the conference, unfortunately they said that there were a bunch of manuscript submissions, so they had to turn some away. They are notifying those whose manuscripts are accepted by email ("a notice will be sent shortly"-- two days ago, and I never got a notice) but the rejects (like me, probably) will find out when our sad little papers come limping home by return mail. My FIRST rejection.
This isn't really a big deal, but it's a FIRST, so I thought I'd record it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Why This Blog?

Basically, I am very selfish, and self-involved. One blog is simply not enough to contain the brilliance that is me. Also, and probably more to the point, my family and friends that follow my other blog would get totally bored of all the book talk I intend to do on this blog. So, I am simply writing it for the wide world to read, although I am fully aware that I may be the only one ever to see it...or be interested in it...or ever read this paragraph...
So I have written a book. It's a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. In other words, I have become a new resident of Stephanie Meyerville, just a short distance away from J.K.Rowling Town. And what have I discovered as a new resident? There are a TON of people here. I currently live in the unpublished part of town, where every house tries desperately to look different from its neighbors but ends up looking exactly the same and every yard is littered with discarded reject letters. I am proud to say I have yet to receive a reject letter, but that is only because I haven't sent my book out to agents yet.
Uptown are the published authors. They have the manicured lawns, the beautiful views, and every once and a while us downtowners drive by in hopes to glimpse their glory and stare enviously at their houses.
Okay, enough of the metaphor.
So I wrote a book. And now I have been studying exactly how you get it published. What I have learned so far is that it is a LONG journey. After slaving away for months and usually years to complete your novel, you then have to muster all the creative genius that you possess into writing a query letter that essentially condenses your book into one short paragraph. If this weren't difficult enough, it has to be brilliant enough to stand out in the ocean of query letters that the agents receive daily. On top of that, it somehow has to withstand the agent's bad days, deadlines, and all the other things that an agent deals with, and inspire said agent to stand up, shout for joy, and proclaim that they must have more!
Of course, it will still take a few months to find out if that was, indeed, their reaction because most agents use snail mail and request that writers do the same. Why do they do this? I'm not sure of all the reasons, but I can tell you that my manuscript somehow sounded completely different when read off a printed page as opposed to on my computer (reading it out loud was a whole other story all together).
But, I have discovered that I love writing. Love it. I would and will still do it even if I never get published. I have edited my manuscript to the point of exhaustion and I am ready to start the sequel.
Thanks to my husband, who has gathered the kids together the last few nights to tell stories, I even came up with another, more child-friendly story idea that will relocate me strait into J.K.Rowling Town. Hmmm, I sure hope the weather is nice there...