Tag Archives: Writing Conference

Franken-script

Franken-script was a poorly written manuscript forced on readers who in return gave kind advice and suggestions. This flawed yet loved manuscript was lightly revised to eliminate the ultra-yucky parts and considered to be a prize winning student.

It found an editor to love it and whip it into shape. And that’s where the fun begins!

The brutal editor claimed a skeleton lay underneath the ragged body of a manuscript but would take a whole lot of work to add muscle and skin. Deep sorrow followed. It wasn’t the prize winning student after all. It was in fact a poor-mans representation of what a manuscript should be. A body created with inferior parts.

Two days later while playing at a writers conference, the grotesque manuscript found its way onstage in front of an auditorium filled with other writers in a slush-pile exercise. Out of almost a hundred manuscripts submitted, it was chosen at random to be one of just 6–6!!! manuscripts read out loud for all to hear. A panel of New York agents, editors, and small publishers judged when they’d reject it and move on. Followed by commentary. A slaughter ensued.

Fortunately it was anonymous and no one is the wiser. To protect the innocent I will not reveal the name of the bloody manuscript.

On the hour drive home from the conference with the tattered remains of the manuscript oozing in my car, I had a revelation. Or something.

Patchwork repair was no good. Severe trauma isn’t fixed with duct tape. This required reconstructive surgery.

Not long after arriving home, the new plan was set in place. I could rebuild it. Make it stronger. I had the tools. It would take time but in the end the skeleton will hold up to the new body created for it.

A new manuscript began. A new direction was created. New life emerged from the once monstrous manuscript. No longer would it be known by it’s former shell. It lives! It lives!

So let the lesson be learned. Out of hubris do not force an ugly, rotten, disgusting manuscript on the masses. Rebuild it. Gut it. Strip it to the gleaming white bones and layer strand after strand of new vibrant muscle until it beats again with life.

And when you’re forced to see the awful truth under the bright light of scrutiny, don’t run and hide. Use your tools and make it beautiful.

Doubt doesn’t belong in the lab.

 

*Note: The brutal editor is in fact an excellent editor and held nothing back for which I am grateful. 

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Anniversary! (Sort of)

Today is a great day in literary history! And you get to share in the excitement and be part of it just by reading this. Sound exciting? Sweet!

OK, let me explain.

I started this blog in 2013 at Blogger. Earlier this year, I switched over to WordPress and couldn’t be happier with the decision.

In October of 2014, I made a commitment to myself and my readers to post at least 3 times a month: the 5th, 15th, and 25th. I reserved the 15th for releasing new flash fiction I’d written over the previous year and a half. The 5th and 25th were reserved for essays on anything that came to mind.

I’m proud to say I’ve made it an entire year sticking with my plan! (Check the archives button, it’s all there I promise!)

Sure I’d like to post more and I might in the future. Having a consistent schedule made me stop and write, if only for a brief moment each month.

I made a promise to myself and the payoff has been worth it. Each month I gain new readers and reach a larger audience. It’s pretty dang difficult going from obscurity to raising your voice loud enough to be heard in the ever growing world of writing and blogging. To those that have shared my posts and directed new readers my way, I cannot say thank you enough for your generous support and encouragement.

thankyou

I know writers that post weekly or daily or whenever the mood strikes them. I can’t do that. I need structure or I won’t be consistent. If nothing else, you the reader know to expect a new essay or story three times a month.

I’ve learned a lot about writing this past year. Having promised myself to write monthly, I kinda had to! I’ve written more this year than ever before and even had a story published! Dedicating myself to the blog helped keep me focused and constantly learning. Part of that involved thinking more about the act and process of writing and gaining new perspectives through attending a writing conference in June.

Lately I’ve toyed with the idea of serializing one of my unpublished novels and releasing two chapters a month. I’m still leaning that way and will update you when the decision is made. Better yet, follow this blog on WordPress or through email (see the button on the side…makes following by email easy. Come on, you can do it!)

Thanks again to everyone that’s commented or shared my posts. I appreciate everyone that’s stopped by and lurked without sharing but at least you made it here and my words found their way into your brains.

It’s been a tremendous twelve months since I first dedicated myself to writing on my blog. Where it goes from here, I have no idea.

Here’s to another successful year!

Sharpening My Sword

July was a weird month for me. It started off great with the All Write Now Conference. Then it took a turn.

I started the month giddy with myself, anticipating further progress with my writing. Going to my first ever writing conference seemed like a natural step to take. It was. I met many new people and attended several classes that either reinforced what I’d been doing or gave me greater insight into the craft. Off of that high, I still had a story pending with Daily Science Fiction.

I’d made it past their first round of review and was anxiously awaiting their final say. It didn’t go my way and they passed (rightly so) on my story. Then within a day of that I received a letter from a small publisher I met at the conference who’d asked for my manuscript after I had a pitch session with them. The letter was a rejection, but at least they did me a huge favor and offered a short critique. That has helped me more than they’ll ever know.

Within a day or two of that letter, I received another rejection of a different story I’d submitted. I tried sending the story to another place and had another rejection within a few days.

To be fair, the story probably needed rejection. It wasn’t ready. I’m reworking it now to make it stronger.

What all of this has taught me is that I need to hone my skills. Certainly I need to take time with my work and make sure it is the best possible representation of my writing. I don’t need to go storming prematurely at the gates of publishing expecting entrance when I haven’t prepared my sword yet!

The rejections hurt, they always do. I’ve got a nice growing list of stories that were rejected and by whom and when. It’s enlightening to see that but at the same time, I know maybe the stories weren’t ready or maybe I tried the wrong places.

I’m not ¬†giving up. I know I can do better. Rejection doesn’t mean the end of things. To me it’s like a nice way of saying “not yet, but soon.” It’s up to me to put the effort into it.

I’m sharpening my sword right now, staring at those gates, ready to make my way inside.