Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wannabe Writers #19

Wannabe Writers is a meme created by Sarah of Confessions of the Un-published!

One of my goals right now is to move my literary ambitions out of the box and onto the shelf, by which I mean that I no longer want to ignore  how   much I enjoy writing. I love the idea of this meme, and I'll quote from Sarah's post here:

I often find myself searching the web for information during my struggles as a new writer.   So I wanted to start a place where us future young-adult authors can come together to  ask those questions, share our stories, and get feedback.

I should be back on track as far as commenting is concerned this week. See y'all around!

Where I am in the writing process:  I didn't get to write as much last week as I wanted because I'm still moving in (which begs the question, how, in fiction, do the characters move into new houses in a matter of days?). BUT I wrote two paragraphs that completely changed the outcome of Novel #2. It isn't where I wanted (or, truthfully, want) to go, but I can't argue with the muse. 

Really, though, I should be grateful because part of the reason I was having trouble writing was that I didn't know where I was going with the novel, even though I thought I did. (I didn't realize this; I thought it was all a time/energy issue.) It turns out that I was on the right track, but I needed to change one thing and now everything's falling into place.

My current problems:  None, really, now that I've got this plotting thing figured out and my schedule is falling into place. 

Question(s) this week:  Critique partners?  Anyone have a story on where they found a good one?  And ways to keep the relationship going?

I don't have any critique partners (but I do have a beta reader). That's something I'm really going to need, but I'm so scared to show my WIPs to someone that I don't know REALLY well. It takes a long time for me to build enough trust to show someone my writing. It's so personal. I need one though. Doing this by myself may be possible, but critique partners would make me feel so much more confident when/if I query. Feedback during the writing process (and not just after) would also be welcome.

As far as beta readers go, I have the best. :-) She's a great editor as far as technical issues are concerned, and she's also got eagle eyes for picking out inconsistencies and clarity issues. Her criticism is always constructive, and even when it's something serious, she's great about phrasing it so that it's never a personal attack and always leaves the ball in my court as far as further editing is concerned. My skin's not too thick, and she knows how to be helpful without being hurtful. Thanks, Joan!


  1. I have the same problem, Erin. It's hard for me to put my "baby" into another's hands. I want to know I can trust them with it. I will be looking for beta readers here soon, so it's a fear I will need to overcome.

  2. Your writing is very personal. It's hard to put it out there. I am trying to get past this myself.

    What a great point you made about not writing b/c you don't know where the story is going. I had this problem a lot before I started outlining my book, or scenes.

    I would hit a wall in my writing and I'd step away from it for a minute. That minute would often turn into months and in some cases, years. I heard an interview with writer, Kimberla Lawson Roby (I think). She talked about how she outlines and what a difference it makes. That's when I started to use this technique. It helped me tremendously.

  3. I totally understand the way you feel about your writing. It's such solitary work that it naturally feels personal. :D

    I love having someone read as I go. It's incredibly encouraging. As I said in my post, when the first draft is in progress, it's important to be a READER. Later, it's time to step into the editor shoes!

    I wish you gazillions of gallons of luck with your writing! (P.S. Someday, I want to learn more of what your books are about!)

  4. I think your beta-reader sounds like an ideal editor! I'm not sure what else an editor would do. That's all I look for in mine!

    I love that a tweak helped you figure out what you were doing. Sometimes we derail trying to make our mss do what we thought it was supposed to do, and I get that same exhausted feeling before I realize I need ot go back and fix things. Sometimes it's as simple as a paragraph, sometimes a couple of chapters, but either way, it feels much better afterwards. :)