Lessons from My Reading

M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Things a Writer Needs to Do for the New Year

It's the New Year ... at least in the Europoean calendar.  Time for all good writers to organize for a more productive year. Me? So far, I've organized my day into three parts -- AM: drafting new MG novel, Afternoon: goofing off, errands, and social media, and Evenings: revising The Pig Wars, the sequel to Troublesome Neighbors. -- This is all well and good ... but there are all the other loose marbles rolling around in your mind while you try to write.

The pattern above is a refinement on what I tried to do last year. After one week, it's sort of working. Do have a new chapter of Hag Stone Magic drafted ... as well as doing tons of research on comics and something else I can't remember at the moment.

Am using an on-line Thesaurus I like a lot. I put it up as soon as I connect to my manuscript and character files. Try the link and see what you think. I find it helpful in finding strong verbs at the beginning rather than when I do print edits... plus I think just looking at the possibilities helps me become aware of better alternative words than what usually pops into my mind.

Then, there's all that other nitty-gritty a writer needs to know why building their craft skills. Perhaps the most heart-wrenching for many is accepting rejection. I feel for those who are paralyzed by the fact someone else might think they aren't any good. Anyway, was lucky enough to fall over a couple blogs on the subject.

Kevin Hanrahan blogged about his soaring enthusiam  after a writer's conference ... and the let down when the agents ended up rejecting him: What Do You Do When Rejected by Literary Agents? Most writers suffer from agent rejection. Yeah, you need a plan for what you do when you slapped up the side of the head.

Over at Chiseled in Rock,  Janet Fogg discusses how she handles rejection angst and how you might feel better using her ten coping skills. Fogg sets a great example on grieving for ten minutes and then carrying on. It's a sensible, but gentle pep talk worth the time to click.

Then, there's me. I expected to get rejected and wonder what's taking the agents so long in sending me the dreaded "it's not quite for me" letter. I consider agents salespeople. Knowledgeable salespeople, but salespeople, not the less. They earn their keep by selling so they have to meet the market's needs. In publishing, this is further constricted by their contacts in the publishing houses. 

When I look at that daunting hurtle in the concentrated publishing world, I just know I'm not going to fit in. I've never fit in. I can't see why I should suddenly fit in at this stage of my life. But I'll continue writing because it amuses me. Every once in awhile, I get the impulse to share ... which is why I self-publish.

You say I'm all wet. I don't understand the fear of rejection you feel. Writing buddy Margo Berendson has a blog on overcoming stumbling blocks ... of all kinds. Best of all, she all for dumping useless resolutions. Go on. Take a look.

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Got a whole two chapters done on Hag Stone Magic. For a snail writer [no 1,000 word days for me], that means I'm meeting my target: a chapter a week. Since I'm writing middle grade at the moment, that means about 1500 words plus light revision.

The Pig Wars continues to be revised ........s l o w l y. Seems I'm tired after dinner ... even if I sleep through the news. [So, the gerrymandered GOP is unresonable. What's new?]  --  Hey, I'm going to need a couple beta readers soon.  But, I'm not quite going to pat myself on the back yet.
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