Sunday, October 20, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Last Wednesday, I turned in a book. Thursday I drove to New Jersey (5 hours) for the NJ RWA chapter conference. I ate too much. I drank too much. And, oddly, I may have learned too much. Damned social media. I swear potential Facebook posts are leaking out my ears. Anyway, this morning, when I got up, none of that mattered. I have a book due December 1. I'd done a proposal (with three chapters) so I kinda have a jump on things. There was one bit of the story the editors didn't like (read: desperately hated) so I'll be lobbing that off. But otherwise, I have a start. Except... Now that I've been to Madeline Hunter's workshop on conflict, I think I'll hold my idea up against her concepts of what makes a strong conflict. And maybe I'll give some thought to Eloisa James's idea of starting a book at the black moment...Because, well, honestly, the most dramatic, most interesting, most desperate stuff happens after the black moment...so just think how intense your story would be if you formulated (or in this case reformulated) the beginning to be an 'all is lost moment' and went from there? Hum. Maybe I can't forget about that conference after all? Except I do not think I'll find somewhere to use Stephanie Dray/Draven's Egyptian fun facts. Anyway, my point -- I always have one -- is that you can learn everything there is to learn at a conference (or workshop or online workshop) but if it doesn't pop into your head when you need it, it's worthless. So when you get done with a workshop, or return from a conference, review your notes. Decide to use (or at least experiment with) the information you received. And if you haven't been to a conference or workshop recently, get a tape. Get NJRWA's tapes. Get the tapes from Nationals. Or analyze the book you're reading or the last three books you read. It doesn't matter if a book is good or bad, you can learn something. Always be learning! Always be growing! Because that's the only way you (and your work) will get better. And it's only by getting better that you achieve your goals. ___ BTW, I'd love to hear what YOU'D like to read about in this blog. Comment with a suggestion for a Monday Morning Writer's Blog and be entered to win a copy of SINGLE DAD'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. Happy Reading, susan

2 comments:

Laney4 said...

I don't write books (although I DO write poetry for friends/family). Since I type for a living, I'm always interested in hearing information about the editing process. I know we've discussed about printing off the last draft so that changes are more easily caught and changed (rather than proofing on the screen). What about more info about grammar and spelling changes? What exactly do editors do? Do they get YOU to make those changes or do THEY do them? If you don't like their changes, can you change them back (or do you have to give a good reason before they'll cave)? I know when *I* edit my customers' reports, I write down my changes on their hard copy (or they see them on the Word program when they compare documents) so they see what I've done. Like a teacher, this helps them to learn and not make the same mistakes again (like having a one-page paragraph or putting info in para 4 when you'd already discussed it in para 1 so they should be combined, if possible, before moving on to the next thought).

Molly Herwood said...

It's always tough to face real life after a conference. Sounds like NJ was great this year. I told people who didn't think they could sit through Silver Linings Playbook that the movie started right before the black moment.
As far as what I'd like to see here? Well, you always seem to write about exactly what I need to read at that moment. Keep up the great work!