Sunday, February 27, 2011

Guest Post on Attending Writer's Conferences at Fractured Fiction

I've got a guest post up on the Fractured Fiction blog: Tips For Attending Your First Writer’s Conference.

Thanks to fellow writer Lady Lovelace for having me! She's got tons of great stuff to say about all things writing - craft, publicity and promotion, what to do after you've finally perfected your draft, and even some free fiction. Make sure to check her out!

Wow, I also just realized that I recently passed my three-year anniversary for blogging! True, I haven't always blogged on a regular basis, but it's pretty cool that I'm still here. In those three years, I've written more than 400,000 words, won NaNoWriMo two years in a row, finished the first drafts for three and a half novels, published a bunch of articles on online markets, and more. Life's not too shabby :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Working To Finish My February Goals - Writing and Other!

Well, the end of February is just around the corner! Here's a look at how my goals are coming:
  1. Finishing my editing assignment. Already mentioned this, but it's extra fun with the strikethrough!
  2. Finish starting my new book. The current plan is that I turn in the character sketches and an idea of what the book will be about by Saturday. I'm on schedule, but still a little nervous about whether my plan will work!
  3. Ten four articles for Weird Worm. I've written six so far, and started on the seventh. Really hope I can get around to finishing the one article and brainstorming two new ideas today, but I don't wanna! :p
  4. Approach one new market. Well, I approached a market, but it turned out to be not exactly what I'm looking for. Sigh. Why is finding new markets so hard? I'll keep my eyes open, but right now I don't know if looking for new markets will be as effective as maximizing the income from my current markets.
  5. Run three miles in 30 minutes. I managed 32 minutes today. I've been sick, so I don't know if I'll make the goal by the end of February. We'll see!
Still got a ways to go to get all of my goals done. Here's to coming in just at the deadline!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Finish-Up Friday: Articles, Market Research, and New Project

It's the end of the week, and time to finish up all the loose ends!

So far, I've written three of my ten articles for the month, and part of a fourth. If I can finish another article tonight and send in my next pitch, I'll be super happy!

I've gotten a bit stumped while looking for new markets to write for. I like writing for Weird Worm because I can pitch pretty much anything. Which means that I don't have to take a chance on writing an article that may or may not get accepted. I know I'm being a bit picky, but what can I say? Finding new markets is hard!

Luckily (?) I'll be starting a new fiction project soon, and that will take up enough of my time that I'll probably be happy not to have lots of article markets to write for!

And finally, here's a picture of flowers to make it seem like spring really isn't all that far off. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grand Editing Goal #1 of the Year: Complete!

I just finished editing my very first novel-length piece. Granted, it was just for practice, but it was very good practice.

It's funny, when you're right in the middle of it, going over word after word and page after page, it seems like it will never end. Editing a manuscript is not my favorite part of the novel writing process. It's time consuming, thankless, and it forces you to question everything that you know is fact. In fact, you might find yourself starting to question the fundamental truths about spelling and grammar. Time and again, you laugh at the silly notions you held that this would be the best thing you've ever done, and it's hard to keep going when you can't know whether or not it will amount to anything.

But the thing is, just making sure you keep going keeps you going. It turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once you've gotten into it, it becomes worse to stop than to go on. You don't want to waste your effort, after all.

So to all those who are struggling to edit a novel, I say this: don't give up! You can do it! And here are a couple of tips that might help:
  1. Give Yourself a Deadline. I'll admit, my deadline was set by my mentor, which gave me a little added responsibility; so you might want to share your deadline with a trusted friend or two who will keep you on your toes. I received two months to edit an 86,000 word rough draft. I won't say there aren't successful novels out there that have taken years to edit, but that kind of time span won't fly if you're writing fiction commercially.
  2. Break It Into Small Steps. My FlyLady timer is my best friend. When I simply feel like I can't force myself to work, I set it for fifteen minutes during which I can't do anything except work. You'd be amazed at how much you get done when you have no other option.
  3. Fill Your Life. This is one I still need to work on. I'm one of those people who 'quit her day job' to become a writer, which means I have plenty of time to stare at the computer screen. Too much time, in some cases. Writing is time consuming, but at least for me, it's not something you can do 10+ hours a day. You need to bring other things into your life or else you'll end up going crazy inside your own head.
Now I get a short break, and then it's back to writing a first draft!

Have thoughts or questions on editing manuscripts or writing in general? Share them here!