Well, haven’t things changed so much this year. It’s incredible how our lives have gone from living as social critters to sheltering from our fellow humans lest we get the plague.
It’s the same thing in the writing world. We are already solitary beings but enjoy those precious moments when we get to mingle with other authors at events. The Midwest Writers Workshop Agent Fest was canceled this spring and the summer workshop is in the stages of being converted to a virtual experience. Like MWW, International Thriller Writers and other organizations are scrambling to change their format this year as well, but what about next year? And the year after that? Have we been shoved into a new kind of reality where traveling, hotels, and face-to-face meetings will be the exception rather than the norm? How much will our world change after realizing how vulnerable we are?
This is a turning point in our history as we migrate to a virtual world. I imagine things will never quite be how they were before and one day they will talk about the great plague of 2020. What will your stories be? What changed in your life?
This year’s conference was awesome as usual. Met up with my friends, made new ones, and spent three days thinking of nothing but writing! Got some great tips from Jane Friedman on author platform. SHE. IS. AMAZING!
I’ve been away from my site because I have been working feverishly on the final, final, final draft of my novel. I think I had three final drafts before I was satisfied I couldn’t do anything more to it. I finished it a few weeks ago and it is with an agent. I’m not-so-patiently awaiting her feedback, but I should know something soon. (fingers crossed it’s good news!) I’m hoping to share some of the book on here soon!
Sorry I’ve been MIA. Working on the second draft of my novel. Isn’t that such a sweet, idyllic photo? Well, no…it’s not like that at all! I finished my first draft in October, short on sleep, pounding away at the computer, giving up my social life and cooked meals, to run proudly to the new world known as Second Draft. Holy Shit! Who turned out the lights? It’s not very friendly at all! Is this the promised land? I’m hating all my characters at the moment. They say this is “normal” but why didn’t anyone warn me that the road was far worse after the first draft is done?
Midwest Writers Workshop 2017 has come to an end all too soon but it was a very successful [and sold out] workshop. Faculty and writers come from all over the country to attend annually.
Three days of learning, networking, and eating. During downtime, the air is abuzz with laughter, pitch practices, advice, book signings, photo-taking, and excited writers talking about the new contacts they’ve made and the reviews they’ve received.
MWW has such amazing faculty each year that it’s difficult to pick which classes to attend. This year I left with a new mentor, a publisher who’s interested in my manuscript, and made a few new writer friends to boot! I always learn so much but here is a list of my top 10!
Enter the scene as late as you can and get out as soon as you can. –Matthew Clemens
Titles: It’s part of your sales pitch. Keep it short, three words or less. Keep it honest to content. Make it memorable. -Holly Miller
Evernote: A digital media tool. It organizes your projects, lists, notes, and syncs across all your devices. It has a chat/meeting feature as well. –Jane Friedman
Find your weakness in your writing and focus on it until it’s your strength. –Jessica Strawser
Turn off your spell check and grammar check in your first draft so you’re not distracted by those colored lines that make you want to edit. –Mike Mullin
Research: time yourself. Set a timer for 15 minutes so you get in and get out without being sucked down the rabbit hole of the internet! –Matthew Clemens
Every chapter should have a title. -Holly Miller
Before bed, you should work on or think about your next scene. Your subconscious will keep working on it while you sleep. –Mike Mullin
Publishers are looking for books with shelf life, movie potential, and series potential. They are looking for writers with platforms. -Holly Miller
Career vs Hobby. If you’re not writing every day, it’s a hobby. You have to decide what writing means to you. You must be able to produce a book a year. –Matthew Clemens