I was working on revisions last night and it wasn’t going well. In part, I’m not used to organizing my utterly unstructured scenes into something like the W plot. But eventually, I determined that it was also that I had A Capitol Fourth on the background. It was the wrong music. It was not the manuscript’s soundtrack. I couldn’t think my story to John Philip Sousa.
Do you use music for writing? Do you have a certain genre that inspires you? Do you have songs for certain characters or types of scenes?
For your listening pleasure, I’ve embedded the key songs that I associate with Together Is Enough after the break.
Continue reading “Soundtrack for Writing” →
I’m shocked and astonished and overwhelmed to share with you that my contemporary, Together is Enough, is a 2012 Golden Claddagh finalist! You can read about the entire thing here if you want.
I couldn’t have been more surprised to get the email. But I’ve discovered that this is where the real work begins. My first-round judges gave such generous, insightful, and constructive comments. They taught me so much about this manuscript and the writing process in general. I feel like a lifetime of reading fiction was surprisingly poor preparation for writing it. I have so much to learn that it’s humbling.
Now I’m deep in revisions to resubmit for the final round. I’m focusing on the three P’s: pacing, plot, and passive writing.
When we get bad feedback or when we’re rejected, we tell ourselves that it’s only one person’s opinion, that we learn from critique (whether the comments are warranted or not), and that at some level, we write not for accolades or appreciation but because there are things within us that just need to be expressed. If that commentary is true when we do poorly, it’s also true when we do well.
I couldn’t be more excited to have some positive feedback (tempered with much, much helpful criticism), but more than that, I know that I have a long way to go.
I recently finished my very first novel. Like most aspiring writers, I think, I was so relieved to have completed this project that had been a dream of mine since forever. So I ignored the standard “put it in a drawer” advice and started editing right away. And like all people who ignore good advice, I was disappointed in completely predictable ways.
Namely, my manuscript — my beautiful manuscript that took five months and hours without number to write — was riddled with errors. Errors big and errors small. Characters who changed names over the course of the book. Pacing problems. Plot holes. And typos — oh the typos.
The most notable problem, however, was my over-use of one little word: just.
As I worked on my revisions, I realized how many things “just” can mean: only, merely, right now, fair/right, actually. And that’s not even counting its use as a filler word or general intensifier. It’s a useful word, but not to use on every page.
Once I fixed my “just” problem, I did manage to put that first manuscript in a drawer. Oh, I sent it to some contests and beta readers too. I couldn’t resist. But now I’ve moved onto something that makes me even more excited. But also nervous, just a little bit.