Thursday, December 29, 2011

11 Lessons Learned in 2011

2011 Taught me so much about writing, querying, rejection, recovering, revision, and perseverance, but the 11 lessons I take away from this year are:

  1. Follow your heart, or more your characters heart. Tell what their willing to share and let their heart be at the core of your story.

  2. It's not about what your character sees, but rather how their affected by it.

  3. It doesn't become a novel until revisions.

  4. A draft is meant to suck, that's why you're not supposed to share it with anyone.

  5. You can't write without reading. How else will you know what's out there?

  6. Take a break and step outside. You never know what will inspire you out there.

  7. Reward your accomplishments; no matter how small.

  8. Cherish your writer friends. They're the only ones who speak your language.

  9. Take beta reading seriously.

  10. Don't be afraid to experiment outside your comfort zone.

  11. And lastly Never, ever, ever GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I look forward to learning even more in the coming year and wish you all the best best for 2012.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I did it :o)

So I was on such a high from NaNoWriMo that I decided to write another novel in December, a Christmas Romance. Well, folks I'm proud to say that I met my deadline with 30 minutes to spare. This was my first Adult Romance and there were real challenges. I definitely have noticed the difference between YA and Adult, the older you are, the more you know better. It's as simple as that.

It was cool to sort of see an adult relationship and it's struggles. How two people still fall in love after everything they know about it, is very fascinating to me.

All in all it was a great experience and I'd definitely try it again.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's been too long

I'm back. Yes, I know it's been a while. There's been a lot of developments in my world over the past few months. I want to share all the events that have gone on, but that would be one amazingly long blog, so I've give you the cliff notes version

In July, I got the last of my query responses for UNDISTURBED. The results were a lot of rejections, and few very helpful notes, but ultimately no offers for representation. I do still have two requests for revisions so it wasn't a total loss.

Needless to say I was disappointed, but it was more from not knowing what was wrong, so that I could fix it. I know agents like to be positive and encouraging for those who are sensitive about the craft, but I'm more of a tough love type of person. I wanna know what sucks so I can grow as a writer. Of all the agents who requested full reads, two took the time to tell me what was good, what needed work, and what they would like to see in my revisions, and for that I will always be grateful.

My issue became "How do I fix the problems and what if they still don't like it?" This one question nearly killed my writing. Every page I typed was haunted by it. I got to the point where I'd delete it just seconds after I'd finished typing it, but there was no way any of it could be useful. No agent would want to read it, let alone represent it.

I'd stopped writing for myself and lost all confidence in my words. By August, I had stopped writing completely and the SCBWI conference I'd registered for was only a week away. After a lot of persuasion from my husband, I decided to go, hoping I would find some inspiration to keep going.

I found it on the 105 Freeway. I got the idea of a new story, but I wasn't even sure it would make it to the page, but it stuck. In fact, I spent most of the conference in the lobby developing it. I left the conference with a renewed spirit, but UNDISTURBED was still very much on the brain so in Sept. I went back to reading. ON WRITING & ELEMENTS OF STYLE. Two very good reads.

Oct. brought my regional SCBWI conference, where my first 10 pages of UNDISTURBED earned me a face to face with a dream agent. This meeting was probably the most beneficial advice I've ever gotten and my first look into the editing process. She gave me tons of notes and not only did she help direct my revision path, but she also requested to read it once it was done.

This entire journey has been sprinkled with moments that have shown me that I'm on the right path. It's far from an easy one and there's no guarantee when I'll succeed, but I have to believe that I'll get there as long as I don't give up.

Nov. was Nano month and I decided use the idea I had been developing since the conference in august and I actually finished. ASTRAY is a post-apocalyptic YA that I'll tell you more about after some major editing.

Nano was yet another moment for me. I never thought I could write a draft in a month, but I did. Now it's far from perfect, but I can already see parts that will make it to the end. The one thing I gained from the experience was writing for myself again.

I turned off my inner editor and just wrote. It was so much fun that I've decided to do it again for Dec. I'm writing my first Romance and having a blast with it.

So as you can see there has been a lot going on in my blossoming mind, but no worries I won’t disappear for so long again.