Monday, July 19, 2010

Don't forget to enter the title contest to win a Barnes & Noble gift card + a goodies basket from my local coffee shop, Village Coffee. Only one more week to enter. People! I've only received FIVE entries.

Also, please do not forget to check out Candyland. This contest has loads of great prizes, and FOUR ways to enter. Plus, you'll be giving to this incredible non profit that  provides micro-credit loans to the women of Ghana, West Africa.What can be cooler than that. Can you imagine their delight in making their own money? Come on peeps. Let's do our part. There is so much hurting in the world. So many needs. We can't do it all, I know. But we can do one or two. Give to this cause and in the process WIN a prize. What could be better? NUTTIN! So click on over to her house and check out the non-profit and the blog. You'll be glad you did. And you'll leave with a smile on your face and a feel good sensation in your tummy. I loves me a feel good sensation down deep in my tummy.

I have a question. When you first began to write, seriously write. What are the things that surprised you the most about writing, finding agents, the publishing world in general? What have you learned?

When I started writing and received my critiques back, I would get right to work. Changing everything to suit the critiquers. Say what? Yup. I thought I was supposed to do that. Yup, I was a dummy. 

 I have since learned that if I AGREE with a critiquer or beta reader, then I will make the change. But I NEVER make all the changes. NEVER. Because I know what is best for my story and there are parts that I want to keep. In the long run, I have to live with my story. It's my baby.

Beth is a fantastic help. My betas are fantastic help, and I value their advice more than I can say. But they are giving their opinions. So it's my job to figure out what to use and what to pitch.

What have you learned? Do tell?  Thanks for reading.  


  1. The biggest thing I learned is that writing a novel is rewriting/revising. The only way to make it good is to take the raw first draft and rework it. But, at first, I thought that meant I sucked. Now I realize it's a natural part of the process. And, you know what? Knowing that makes the revising easier. ;)

  2. I think the one thing I learned--or at least what comes to mind now--was how emotionally sophisticated everyone was. When I first started writing, I thought I had to explain all of my characters' emotions, but the more I write the more I realize that readers understand. They're not stupid.

  3. Hey Pat! WE DON'T SUCK! YAY I thought that too. I figured I was WAY outta my league. Now I know I can write. WOO-HOO =)

  4. Davin, I thought I had to explain EVERYTHING. Now I know that's not true. But I sure was a dumb dumb. ;)And you're right. The readers like to figure some things out for themselves.

    I mean, I thought I had to show every movement my characters made. YIKES I'm glad we figured it out aren't you? ;)

  5. I think the thing that surprised me most was how long it took to get from contract to book actually being in the book store.

  6. Like others, it is the TIME that has surprised me. How long everything takes. Years, really. For an impatient person like me, it is a challenge.

    and, I entered the title contest. I suck at titles, but threw some in the ring.

  7. Another shout out?THANK YOU!!!!
    One thing I've learned is definitely to trust my gut. It doesn't lie.

  8. Patti, TIME waits on no one. WAAAAHAAAA, I'd like to get my agent while I'm still young enough to enjoy. =)

  9. Hey Tess! Years is right. And I admit, when I started, I thought it would be months. Yup, I was so naive. It's funny now. And SAD. ;)

  10. Candy, of course you get a shout out. Every time I post until the end of the contest.

    Trusting my gut is something I had problems with. I have learned that I know more than I thought. And that I can write a great read. =)

  11. Great advice on the critique front. I just began attending a critique group this month and fortunately was given this same info by fellow critiquers. It's ok to listen to advice and not implement it! How freeing is that?! You're right, "In the long run, I have to live with my story. It's my baby." Have a great week and God bless!

  12. I also don't change everything based on critiques. I value the critiques and take what's usable and what's right for the story.

    I'm also surprised by how long everything takes.

  13. Found your blog from Shannon's post mentioning you. Love your horse show pictures! I used to do that as a kid and hope my daughters get interested in jumping, too!

    When I started writing seriously and looking at the road to publication, I was surprised by how the more you learn, the more you realize you have so much MORE to learn. Well, it's not so much the learning, it's the application. It's easy to read a good book about writing. Putting it into practice is hard!

  14. I learned that I might never write the "Great American Novel" takes too long to get it to the public and into book stores.

    I realize that I will be better off with short stories and poetry published by "yours truly". At my age, I just want to see the final product and hold it in my hand.

    Have a great week.

  15. Everything surprised me...except the fact that it's WORK WORK WORK and works only by God's grace!

    Sigh. Like Everything worthwhile!!!

    Blessings for a great post!!


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