My reading - and more especially writing about my reading - has had to take a back seat to my real writing. The LDStorymakers Conference is coming up at the end of April and I'm attending. I've never been to a writers conference before, but I'm actually really excited. I was even able to get into the class being taught by Orson Scott Card (I've only read one of his books, but I hope he won't hold it against me). Plus, I think my novel is almost ready and I even went out on a limb and signed up to pitch it to an agent at the conference. Thanks to some helpful criticism and comments from S. M. (Sarah) Anderson and Ashley Benning (and Jamie, Kate, and Poppy), I've revised a few things to make it flow better and am almost done with the latest rewrite.
Some things I've learned?
- Working from an outline - even if it's general and changes - can save a LOT of time. I wish I'd done that from the beginning, but I really didn't know what I was doing and had to figure it out the hard way.
- Go with what feels right. I rarely read "grown-up" fiction, so why did I think I could write it? No, I should have just written the story as YA from the beginning and saved myself a lot of time and effort.
- Just write, and revise later. I once read that the business of writing is all about RE-writing. But you can't RE-write if you don't have stuff to RE-write.
- Writing is hard work. Sure, you might think, you're just making stuff up - what's so hard about that? Yeah, I say, go ahead and try it!
- It's very hard to let someone else read what you've written. When you put your thoughts (and let's face it: thoughts are intimate) on paper and hand it to someone else, it feels like being naked - which is a very uncomfortable feeling (for most of us, anyway). But... am I not writing to be read? (This blog kinda started as an effort to get over that.)
- A writer's group is an invaluable asset. My family would love to read what I've written and help, but they struggle to provide feedback. Getting feedback from other writers is much more useful. They've faced the same challenges and can see your mistakes a lot easier. (And, going forward, I intend to try to find or make a group of my own.)
- And finally - don't quit. You'll never write a novel if you don't keep at it.