Saturday, February 9, 2008

I Want A Signed Copy

I'm a member of a writer's guild in my town, joined last July or so after I chanced to see a blip in the paper about a challenge to write everyday and keep track of the words. I sat down that first evening and started my first novel. 1200 words in one swoop. I printed a month calendar off my computer and faithfully recorded my words each day (even when one day was something like 15) Because I couldn't join the guild till their meeting near the end of the month my words never got recorded but you know what? I WON that challenge. The newspaper reported the winner's total and I was hundreds of words over that. If I'd kept up the pace, the novel would be finished by now. Of course I didn't keep it up. I come online and while away hours blogging.

Since then I've started a second novel that I'm finding a little easier to write. Of course, here I sit procrastinating.

Before Christmas I was working on a short piece for a "Writer's Digest" contest. The limit was 1500 words and I ducked under the wire at 1485. I made the mistake of going to read last year's contest winner and wussed out of sending mine. Bad choice. Now maybe it would have gone straight to their round file but...

My friend Marsha sent her entry and yesterday they called her with the good news that she has won 2nd place. I'm betting she can get a book deal from this besides a beautiful check.

Green with envy? Nahhh, she deserves this. OK maybe a little green. Marsha, I want a signed copy of your book when it publishes.


Marsha said...

Here I sit procrastinating with you. You're giving me a big head, but I think I look good with a big head.
Got your sub ready for group? I need to polish mine, so I'd better scoot.
Happy writing!

Wamblings said...

Yeah, sure, got it ready, (NOT!) I'm only about 2600 words short now. I think it is going to go a touch over the usual 10 pages, shouldn't be much over 10 extra pages though. Think anyone will notice? *big grin*

jennifer said...

I find this fascinating. I have pages and pages of story 'blurbs', but no idea what to do with them. No, I'm not a writer, but I would LOVE to write. I have 'stories', but not the right words. What do you do Wamblings? Do I go to school and "Learn to Write" or step out on faith with something I already have? I have no idea how to pursue being a writer and I'm not even sure if I should. Anyway, I like reading what you write and I may have to be content living vicariously through you! Jennifer

Wamblings said...

Jennifer, Start by writing for your own pleasure. No, I've not gone to school to learn to write but I do have a book bag full of books on writing mechanics. Mostly though, I've just read lots and lots of good writing. When I find an author I like, I'll read everything I can find by him/her.

I started writing first on a role play forum. There I learned how to create a character and make her real, how to show her feelings rather than just telling what she felt. My character was a musician so I started writing short ditties that she "sang", then a long, long poem of her family history. Next, things from my past started to surface as poetry and I wrote and wrote and wrote. My poetry file runs nearly 100 pages two columns, 9 pt. font. Somewhere along the way I started a blog over at yahoo 360 and then another at MySpace. Before I knew it my alter egos had their own blogs *grins*

To date there are three blogs on 360, three on MySpace, two on Live Journal, and the one here. I think I'll try to keep blogspot limited to one. There is way too much to keep up with well already.

So *returns to main point* write. Take your story blurbs and write them bigger. Take one character and bring him/her to life. Do little things and let us see. The positive feedback you get will go a long way to building your confidence and the criticisms will help you fine tune what you're doing. A friend who is professionally an editor told me this weekend that my story starter is too much tell and not enough show. She said that it completely fails as a hook. That I shouldn't start with giving background information. She is right. I don't know yet how to fix it but I know she's right. I'll print out what I've got (11 pages so far) and look at it in hard copy with a red pen. Try to figure out where I need the story to really start. Maybe I can fix it. Maybe it is fatally flawed. I don't know.

Last year I joined a writers guild in my area. I've learned so very much from them.

Write girl, write. I'll be expecting to see some of your blurbs in your blog.

jennifer said...

Thank you! I will 'ponder this in my heart' and see where it leads me. Glad I found you Wamblings! Jen

Marsha said...

Jennifer, I agree. The only way to start is to start. If you can find a writers' group in your area, try to join it. Otherwise, there are great on line critique groups you can join. One I especially like is, Critique Circle. Check them out and see what you think.

Happy writing!

Wamblings said...

Jennifer, *hugs* I'm glad too. Listen to Marsha. She is an incredibly good writer and a good friend.

Wamblings said...

Marsha, Thanks for chiming in. Looks like we may have another budding writer to nurture here. OK so "nurture" is not the word I was going for but my brain just went completely numb. Hope I'm not coming down with some brain stealing winter virus. gahhhhhhh, the word is flitting around inside my head dodging around file cabinets and riffling through piles of debris. "mentor" There it is. Did I spell it right? No red underlines so maybe it is ok.

Camphor said...

BTW, weebs, you do know about don't you? A novel* in a month?

*at least, a novella. 50,000 words. In November.

Wamblings said...

Camphor, Thanks for the heads up. I went and looked at the page. It is only about 45,000 more words than I think I've ever written in a single month, though really if I didn't throw so many words away uncounted my totals would be significantly higher.