Monday, November 15, 2010

What I like about you...

Or should I say, what they like about me.

I am new to the process of letting others read my work. For years ( and I mean YEARS) I was a closet writer. I used to tell my parents I was writing a letter to a friend or working on a school assignment when I was really filling spiral notebook after notebook with stories.

One of my goals for  this year was to enter a contest and receive feedback. I picked one at random from the RWA contest loop.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I wasn't prepared for the feedback. Even though it was administer in the most professional way possible. It still stung.

I am over the shock now. This weekend I went the through the judges' comments and made myself a word document with all the positive statements.

Here is what they liked about me:
    • This has the potential to be a very interesting and exciting read.
    • You did a lovely job with description .
    • First let me start out by saying that your premise is inspired.
    • I think you have a great premise, and with tweaking and getting it all together, you have a terrific shot at getting in front of an agent and/or editor and achieving your dreams. 
    These are what I am holding onto as I revise and rewrite for the Great Expectations Contest

    I am reminding myself this is a process and  if I am going to be successful, I must be willing to learn.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    10,000 words

    I changed my story for NaNoWriMo three times this year.  I couldn't get past a few hundred words. I couldn't name any of the characters. I had no direction for the plot.Nothing was working for me.

    Then, I received the contest critiques.  I considered not writing at all last weekend. I was busy pouting and consuming chocolate. Fortunately, for my NaNo and for my pant size, that only last about an hour. Then, an old story, one  I have toyed with for years, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Hey, you could write about me."

    I put aside everything else in my mind and just wrote. I wrote like I did before I started thinking about publication. I didn't think about who was going to read it or if I used too many "ly" words or the word "he" twelve times in a ten sentence paragraph. I just focused on putting the story playing in my mind into words.

    In five days, my little smidge of an idea became over 10,000 words.
    The really exciting part is I have plenty of more words floating around head if I could just find some time to put it on paper.

    So, for today, I am doing the happy dance in celebration of me!

    Feel free to join the conga line!

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Well, that was brutal...

    I received my first critiques from a writing contest today. Really, my first critiques ever.

    Wow, evidently I suck at this and no has bothered to tell me.

    First, let me say Thank You to the judges who took the time to leave specific comments and feedback. I appreciate it and I am sure when I am done wallowing in self-pity, I will put those comments to good use.

    I understand constructive criticism and all of the comments, even the negative ones, were delivered as professionally and gently as possible. I am still pouting.

    This has been a rough week. I felt terrible most of the week. I can't get past the first 1000 words of my NaNo and my husband is gone until Sunday. So, I don't have anyone to point out "They said you had a good premise." or "This one said you had a nice voice."

    There were positive comments.

    But what I see is  I don't know how to use punctuation. I have a weak hook and don't write natural dialogue.
    If my manuscript would have been an English assignment and the score sheet a rubric, I would have received a 59 at worst or 74 at best. Being a teacher, that says something to me.

    I am not giving up. I will use the comments, make the changes and submit to the Great Expectations Contest. But for tonight, I am going to cry and drown my disappointment in chocolate ice cream.

    and possibly admit NaNoWriMo defeat.