Monday, November 26, 2012


I know. I know. It's not even January 1st yet and I'm telling you it's time to set goals!


Because really good goals, the ones you actually achieve aren't set on impulse. They are thought-through. They take your real life into consideration...all your roles. They have a deadline and they also require a plan.

But they also have to be something over which you have control. You cannot say...I will SELL a book this year because you have no control over that. Well, maybe not 'no' control. You CAN write the book. You CAN polish the book so it's the best it can be when it goes to an editor. You CAN investigate publishers and editors who would want the book. You can set a deadline for when you will SUBMIT the book...


Wouldn't those actually be better goals than saying you will SELL a book?

Actually, yes, they would be. The only thing missing in each of those steps is a date by which you would accomplish them.

You need a deadline for each of those goals because a goal without a deadline is only a wish. And if you're just wishing, then you're not serious. And if you're not serious, you're probably not going to succeed.

So if you're seriously considering taking the REAL plunge and writing and submitting a book this year...take a look at those four items above...Write book, polish the book, investigate publishers and editors, and submit the book. Give them dates/deadlines and you've got four good, achievable goals.

For those of you able to write more than one book a year...don't space the dates out so far. Know yourself. If you can write your book in four weeks, then give yourself four weeks to write a book. Give yourself a few weeks to polish, a few weeks to investigate editors and a deadline to submit...for more than one book. And you'll have your goals too.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Late today!

Some of you may have noticed that my Monday morning posts are getting later and later. I have no excuse except that I used to write these on Sunday night and lately my Sundays have been busier. Good for me since I like a little social interaction, especially if there's cake. Not so good for my blogging.

Anyway, today, I looked at my manuscript and had one of those "hummmm..." moments. It's due next Monday. I've got about 2/3 of the book written. Not a big deal since I can write the other third in seven days. (And I don't have an event next Sunday. :O) But that doesn't leave a lot of time for polishing...or even reading the whole thing through.

But I've been writing for such a long time that I realize you don't have to dilly dally. In fact, I can probably get three read-throughs done on this book this week.


Yes. I'll read (skim read) the first time through to make sure my STORY is intact.

The second time, I'll skim read again, but not quite so quickly because I'll be looking at my SCENES. Making sure they are good choices to illustrate journey steps, making sure there's conflict and making sure there are beginning and ending hooks.

The last read through will be slow as I look at word choices.

If you try to read your ms looking for ALL your errors in one shot, without having a goal of what you're looking for, it won't just take you forever to read your book...esp if you stop to fix and repair could also potentially make a mess of things.

Set your story. Then fix your scenes. Then go back and dabble with words and you won't worry that you'll change something at the beginning of the book that totally screws up something at the end.

So make your final read through three final reads-through. LOL Know your story before you start messing with scenes. Set your scenes before you screw with your words. And you'll be much happier with your final result!

Happy Monday!


Monday, November 5, 2012

What are you working on?

Many, many years ago, I realized (the hard way, long story that I can't go into now! LOL) that I was supposed to be growing as a writer, but I wasn't! Before we're published, we all have a tendency to long for that day when we get the call because then, we believe, we will have made it. The hard work will be over!

Sorta true, but not true.

Selling a manuscript IS a huge deal. It is a milestone. But it is not the end.

Readers (and editors) aren't looking for huge changes in your writing but they do expect your stories  and your writing of those stories to get better. So the day that I realized my writing hadn't gotten better and I knew I'd have to be doing some studying, I actually broke my writing into categories. Story, scene and words.

Sometimes I'm studying grammar. Sometimes I'm looking at the intricacies of a great story. And sometimes, when I read, I'm studying how a beloved author put together her story. The order of scenes. The way she constructed the scene.

I know. I know. You all know this stuff. But...

Couldn't you be a little better at it?


Right now, I have a big note above the manuscript I just started, reminding me of a criticism I got from a reviewer on my last book. I want to get rid of that writing tic.

I want to be better. Some day I'd like to be considered one of the best...which is kind of funny since there are thousands of incredibly talented romance writers out there. And lots of different tastes in books. And lots of different interpretations of what's "great."

But it doesn't hurt to have that drives me to think harder about my stories, to work more diligently on getting my scenes in order for maximum drama, and to delete, delete, delete poor phrasing and bad word choices.

As we rumble toward the year 2013 check yourself. Is there an area of your work you could improve?

Could you set it as a goal for 2013?

Happy Monday!

susan meier