Word Wizards

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W – People who write are always looking for a way to be heard. When did you begin longing for an audience? It took me about a year of pounding the keys before I realized I was on my own. For a while, I felt terrible. How would I know if my writing was any good? Why write if no one read my stuff? The old if a tree falls in the forest thing. I hadn’t started reading chapters to my husband at that point, so I was completely isolated.

Unlike painting, music, or dance, writing isn’t a social expression of art. For the most part, writers work alone. But, at some point, they need feedback. I always swore I would never join a writer’s group  but, out of the blue, through a series of coincidences, I found out about a newly forming group at a local independent bookstore. yes-would-you-like-to-buy-a-book_lAfter one meeting, I decided it wasn’t for me but, again, another coincidence brought me back to the fold. It was the best thing that could have happened for my writing.

One of the great things about a good writer’s group is everyone gets it. Each member has doubts, setbacks, and triumphs. And, as I got to know my fellow writers, I learned so much from reading and critiquing their work. I read genres I would never have touched a year before, I poured over non-fiction, and I even read poetry. Forming a kinship of compassion and honesty with other writers is priceless.

So, thankyou, my Word Wizards. Our group has accomplished so much. In the last year, four of us finished our books. One of us is selling her non-fiction book and increasing  sales every month. WIPs are still evolving. Memoirs are being refined.

Next time someone tells you about a writer’s group, consider joining up. It might be just the thing you and your writing need!

 

Photo credit: ALL CHROME / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: 0olong / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

PITCHED BATTLE WITH REVISION CONTINUES

What a week!

I  word counted my novel, and I have too many words! I never thought I’d end up with more than 120,000 of the little buggers. Uh-oh.

What should I cut? What are the parameters for cutting? (Back to HTRYN directions.) How long should a debut space opera novel be, anyway? Should I play the game in my query letter and follow the rules set by publishers? Could I divide my monster into two books? Is self-publishing an option?

Honestly, I did think about all this when I started the novel, I really did.  According to my plan, I estimated I’d barely make 100,000. Because my writing is so lean, I sold myself short. Keeping the balls in the air, chapter to chapter, page to page, and scene to scene obliterated all but the most immediate problems from my frazzled mind.

Panic overwhelmed me, but TX from the HTRYN forum  comforted me with an upbeat and encouraging discussion about agents, editors, and publishers. I’ve made my decision, and now I’m working revision again. Turns out it’s not as bad as I thought, and there’s something reassuring about writing tight and struggling to cut. I’m telling the story with grace and clarity. I am where I want to be as a rookie writer.

Sort of.

How about you, fellow Word Wizards? Are you over or under, or do you care?