Tag Archives: Revision

What’s Up Wednesday

ButtonSmallNoBorder What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, which helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends to let them know what’s up. Join in by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget.

Crazy time again in the heartland. School is in session. My free time has whittled its way to nothing. And I met none of my long-term summer goals. The fact that I was sick the entire summer frustrates me, and I don’t let myself off the hook. Now, I enter my busiest time further behind than ever. Sigh.

Reading: I’m not going to address reading. First, I’ve left my Kindle at the university so I can’t tell you what I started reading. Second, who has time to read now?

Writing: The YA is still sitting in my tray. I am sooo close to completing these edits, but close simply doesn’t cut it. Argh! On top of school starting, we are also moving. We’ve been working on the house. We’ve been packing. Anyone get the sense that I’m overwhelmed? And as I speak lesson plans are screaming my name.

GOAL for August 22-27ready set write button

SURVIVE.

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What’s Up Wednesday

ButtonSmallNoBorderWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, which helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends to let them know what’s up. Join in by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget.

What I’m Writing: While battling weather and fences taken down by weather and prepping to begin the school year, I managed to revise five more chapters. I also spent time on the series bible which was fun and productive.

What I’m Reading: I’m reading Unseen by Karen Slaughter. Never disappointing but moving slow for me as my medication puts me to sleep before I get much read. Hopefully, healthier days are ahead. 🙂

Goals for Next Week:

ready set write buttonFor this week, August 15 – 21, I begin classes so I hope to manage to rework my writing schedule so that I am able to maintain revision as I also enter professor mode. Goal: ten chapters.

Good luck to all the writers setting goals for Ready. Set. WRITE! this week. Twitter hashtag #readysetwrite.

What are your writing goals this week? What do you do to motivate yourself?

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Critiques, Hummus, and Lattes

Youreawesome  I’ve talked to writers scarred by the critique process. I’ve heard horror stories. We all have. I’ve also heard from writers frustrated by feedback that is kind but not helpful. “This is wonderful. I like it.” The big issue is no one takes a class in how to critique. Honestly, I went through an MFA program and while I learned a lot about what NOT to do in terms of critiquing it was through watching not through classes teaching us. It’s a shame because while you cannot teach someone talent, you can teach them to critique. It’s not a difficult skill, but it is fraught with delicate lines. We need to know when and under what circumstances we can cross those lines.

1. Trust – never  work with writers you don’t trust. If you wouldn’t be caught on a sinking boat or in a burning building with these people, do not trust them with your life’s work. Period.

2. Honesty – brace yourself because this is one of those double-edged swords. Criticism does the writer NO good if it is not honest. Never tell the writer something that is NOT true. If the pacing in a scene is off, the writer has to know that. If you have an idea of why, share that. If you don’t, brainstorm it as a group. If you know of possible solutions, offer them with the understanding that the author does not have to use them and your idea may spark a better fix in their head.

3. Compassion – we are writers and as such sensitive. Never offer that honesty without an equal dose of compassion. Regardless of how many rules that writer broke, no matter how many issues of syntax got on your last nerve, you must remember this is their baby. Be kind.

4. Positivity – always start with what works in the manuscript. I don’t care if you have to resort to complimenting their formatting or the paper they used. Just never leap in with what isn’t working without first saying what is.

5. Consistency – as a group (or critique partners) pick a style guide to follow so that your edits are consistent across the group. It will save you all a lot of headaches and unnecessary markups. For people writing series, keep those bibles updated so the group is aware of odd spellings and unusual verbiage.

Of course, deliver all critiques with a dose of hummus and lattes, and did I mention chocolate?

What’s important to you in a critique partner?

Check out Natasha and Leatrice for their take on critique groups.

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What’s Up Wednesday…okay, Saturday.

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, which helps readers and writers ButtonSmallNoBordertouch base with blog friends to let them know what’s up. Join in by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget.

What I’ve been up to: For once procrastination didn’t keep me from the update. It wasn’t writer’s block either. This time it was a good old-fashioned medical crisis. I am – hopefully – on the mend now and trying to get back on schedule with everything I got behind on.

What I’m writing: Still making progress on the edits of the YA. However, I missed my self-imposed deadline due to my unscheduled/unpaid sick leave. Four more chapters is all that got in the bin this time around.

ready set write button My goals for July 31 – August 6: Edits of THE GAP PROJECT simply must be completed. NO more talking. Time to do.

That won’t happen without getting healthy so that’s on my agenda as well. 🙂

How was your week in writing?

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What’s Up Wednesday

ButtonSmallNoBorderWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, which helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends to let them know what’s up. Join in by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget.

What I’m Writing: The YA had my full attention this week and I made good but not great progress. This means six chapters revised successfully. I also spent time on the series bible which was fun and productive. I am on target to finish this thing by the goal date.

What I’m Reading: I finished The King by Steven James. As with all his books, I loved it. As for my desire to see the death of Richard Basque, it didn’t happen, exactly. He supposedly drowned but the body wasn’t found which we all know means he’ll return. Oh, well. I’m now reading The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle.

ready set write buttonStatus Update: My goal was 5 more chapters and I actually got six so it was a good week. It’s progress and I’ll take it. 🙂

For this week, July 24-31, I accept that life is beyond my control. I am hoping for 8-10 chapters but my goal is another 6.

Good luck to all the writers setting goals for Ready. Set. WRITE! this week. Twitter hashtag #readysetwrite.

What are your writing goals this week?

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What’s Up Wednesday?

ButtonSmallNoBorderWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, which helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends to let them know what’s up. Join in by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget.

What I’m Writing: I’m still deep in revisions of my YA and made good but not great progress this week. Unexpected interruptions prevented the forward momentum I hoped for. Still, I am on target to finish this thing by the goal date, barring a catastrophe.

What I’m Reading: Just about to finish The King by Steven James. As with all his books, I love it. Hoping to see the death of Richard Basque this time. He’s beginning to bore me. 🙂

ready set write button Status Update: My goal was 8-10 more chapters. I only made 5. Still, it’s progress and I’ll take it. 🙂

For this week, July 17 -23, I accept that life is beyond my control. I am hoping for those 8-10 chapters but my goal is another 5.

Good luck to all the writers setting goals for Ready. Set. WRITE! this week. Twitter hashtag #readysetwrite.

What are your writing goals this week?

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Inciting Your Muse Blog Chain

Where do you write? How long do you write at a time? How many days a week do you write? Do you use a computer or write long hand? Do you take breaks? Any food or drink involved? Is social media off-limits or do you troll Facebook and email? Do you use music or demand quiet? Non-writers are always curious about the process.

Set23_01My boring details would disappoint people. I sit (somewhere) for extended periods of time (hours, days, months) seeking higher inspiration to get my character out of some corner I’ve written him into. Lightning strikes and in a blur of creativity and a flash of fingers, words appear on the page moving the character forward in his universe and fixing the problem.

My fickle muse has stepped in.

I will sit (somewhere) for extended periods of time (hours, days, months) seeking answers as my plot completely unravels on page 189. Just as despair sets in, my muse returns, and the plot coalesces into the complete masterpiece I designed it to be. (cough, cough)

I sit (somewhere) for extended periods of time…I think we get the idea here.

There is no magic to this writing gig. It is full of mental and emotional angst, before, during, and after the creation of the book. It doesn’t matter if you write in a perfect office with a writerly desk or in a mountain cabin or in the basement next to the kid’s bicycles. It doesn’t matter if you are able to write all day during the week and take your weekends off or if you work a day job and squeeze your writing in at 4 a.m.

None of it matters.

Process isn’t really what matters. What matters, what makes a difference at the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of the month, is the words on the page. The only way they get there is through hard work and determination. No rabbit in a hat. No magical elixir. No short cuts.

Although, chocolate never hurts…

Check out Leatrice here and Natasha at her new page. If you want to join in, put your link in the comments so we can enjoy your take on the “process”.

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