Monday 27 August 2012

Celebrate the Small Things? & LINKS TO GOODNESS

I have some links to some AWESOME CONTESTS AND FUN at the bottom of the post but first, a question:

On Friday I did a wee post where I asked what you love about what you wrote this week. I loved reading through the comments, celebrating the working out of a difficult plot point or the start of a query. I love to hear the 'big' achievements, the book deals and the getting an agent. The finishing a draft news. 

But how often do you celebrate the 'smaller' achievements? The working through a knotty plot point or figuring out a character name that's *just so*. I think we should do it more often! (Was my post any help? Should I do another sometime? Do you already celebrate the steps along the way?)


Pitch Madness is taking place - go here for the details - across various blogs including Erica Chapman's which I linked to. The chance to pitch to agents!

Another agent related goodie - Gearing Up to Get an Agent over at Deana Barnhart's blog (in the linky) which is a month of pitch contest fun and opportunities to meet others in the pitching stage!

There's an opportunity to get a critique or phonecall with an agent in the awesome sounding Kiss/KissOffContest running at Bria Quinlan (Team Kiss) and Valerie Cole (Team Kiss Off's) blog. Enter your kiss or kiss off scene, but the rules for each team are different so check them out!

If you are in need of some motivation I highly recommend joining in 
#writemotivation for September - sign up link here at the lovely KT Hanna's blog. Lovely, encouraging bunch of people.

Don't forget WriteClub continues at DL Hammons blog with great pieces every week which astound me with their aceness!

The awesome Alex J Cavanaugh has a genre favourites blogfest coming up Sep 17 - check it out here

There's a Fact or Fiction: What I did Last Summer blogfest which looks lots of fun and has books as prizes, early Sep.

I won't have time to join in all of these but I will some. What links did I miss to fun contests and blogfests?  Link us in the comments!

Let me know if you are joining in any of these and remember my question, do you celebrate your steps along the way or would you like to? How should we do that? :)

Friday 24 August 2012

What Do You Love About What You Wrote This Week?

This is an experiment. It's quite simple.

Tell me what you love about what you wrote this week.

Share a sentence or two. Tell me that you solved a tricky plot point. That you reached 20k words. That your main character's voice is falling into place.

Share an achievement about your writing this week and let's celebrate that!

Partly inspired by the Love Lists I saw floating around after YA Highway's Road Trip Wed which themselves were inspired by Stephanie Perkins, but also I thought: let's celebrate those small steps as we go along. Let's celebrate getting that scene right or just getting the words out.

Please do join in, blow your own trumpet (or hey, someone else's if you like) in the comments. Please tweet/blog so a few people join in if you can.

I'll kick us off in the comments.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

First Drafts: Permission to suck?

After a long time working on my completed MS, I am back to a first draft. I have been having trouble getting going, discarding one idea after another and rewriting the same part of one of the ideas I DO want to go with over and over.

I have realised why this is. I had become too used to working on a finished, polished, shiny draft that the first draft, in all its awkward rusty glory was unwieldy. It didn't move smoothly under my hand. The ordinary descriptions and stilted dialogue leapt off the page like sore nails.

I wanted to stop and polish, to make that first sentence, that first paragraph perfect. I wanted it to be the final draft.

But it isn't. It's the first draft, and the joy of the first draft to me is getting it out, letting the words fly out, not *worrying* about them, just letting them be.

If I stop to polish, I will never get anywhere. I know some people work this way, polishing each chapter before moving onto the next, so that when they get to the end it needs little revision.

I can't work like that. I do work to a plan, in the hope that by the end massive rewriting won't be needed. But I have realised in my first draft I need to Get The Thing Out. Just write it. Warts and all! I need to give myself permission to suck. Nobody need see it (save the poor CPs who may offer and even then, I can revise before I share it.). I need to get the words out, on the page, so that I have tools to work with.

So that's what I am going to do.

How about you? Have any trouble with first drafts? Do you stop to polish or do you Get The Thing Out? Let me know!

Thursday 16 August 2012

Write ON + Magic 8 Ball: Pls Help - Which Way?

Like most people I have been busy with Write On Con this week, and very interesting and useful it has been too. I have a longer post about online critiquing for another time, but suffice to say I found it helpful. I had a Ninja Agent visit and give advice, which was very exciting!

Another year I would probably go there with a finished piece rather than WIP, as next to all the beautiful polished pieces my WIP felt very rusty, but I have to say getting feedback on the WIP was v. useful.

 In the meantime: I have been tagged (or handed!) the Magic Eight Ball by the lovely Suzanne Furness!

The Rules

1. Post button + link to

2. Share excerpt of WIP or something you are struggling with and can't get right

3. Ask a Question about your excerpt

4. Tag 8 people

I am going to be slightly different. I have 2/3 ideas I have planned, thought about, and now am writing they Just. Aren't.Working (two are the same as I took to Write On Con). So here, dear blogger friends, are a brief description of the ideas and a very brief sample of each. I guess my question is please: What GRABS you, or doesn't, about any of these?

Hoping someone's comment will spark off... something in my brain to get me back into them. Or one of them. So I can Write On, you see!

And I TAG: EVERYONE. Or ANYONE who wants to do it. Seriously. And please link ME so I can see it and feedback.

1) YA Contemp:
When 'Anon' sets up a website dedicated to hating her, Cara determines to find out who it is and get her own back. When the mean comments turn to threats, is Cara going to have to fight for her life, not just revenge?

Whoever said 'words will never hurt you' never had a website dedicated to just that. Hurting me. The words were bullets, shooting off the page and through my skin, which wasn't as thick as I thought. They tore into my heart, making a hole in my soul, tearing it into pieces. The site made me hate myself, for whatever I'd done to cause this. Why won't they stop? Why can't I make them stop?

I clicked the link. The headline on the website had changed to: Cara Stone Deserves It. And in Two Weeks She'll Get It.

Deserves what? What was going to happen in two weeks?

2) YA Sci Fi/Psychological Thriller - Cracked Counterfeit  (Genre problem? confusion?)
Suffering memory loss, Emma is convinced she's not who she's told, and cannot figure out why the doctors, including her apparent father, want to convince her she is. Once home, she discovers she's already been through this and left herself clues. When the clues point towards Emma being a clone, she has to ask if she is actually just losing her mind.

I examine the photo. I tap to enlarge my chin and a half-inch white scar is visible below the curve of my bottom lip. In the mirror, I don’t have a scar on my chin. I don’t have any marks on my face. I remember thinking how lucky I was to escape the accident without a scratch.

Fear prickles like small needles across my back. Where’s the scar gone? If this girl isn’t me, who is she?

3) YA: Sci Fi (does it sound dystopian? write what you love and all but should one avoid this?) UNTITLED
In a world where your online comments and status updates dictate your role in life, Lara can never say the right thing. The job profiling tests on her statuses reveal her to be good at precisely nothing except being lippy. Using this to her advantage, she builds up a large following who love it when she tears down the system. Until a large corporation offer her money to advertise its products, wanting to cash in on her anti system 'image'. This is money Lara's family desperately need. Will she be a sell out and take the job?
Further, why does Mr Perfect Profile (in every way) the President's son insist on hanging about? Why does everyone, including Lara, want him when he's such a do gooder?

"You think I don't want to be seen with you? I'll prove it."

He took out his InfoPad and typed his status, right in front of me, his long, delicate fingers entering: Hanging out with Lara, she's not as angry as she looks.
He ended it with a smiley face. A smiley face. People who used emoticons should be strung up by their fingers, however cute they were and however much I wondered what else those fingers were good at. Emoticons were so two decades ago. He flashed me a wide smile, his even white teeth gleaming, and my stomach squirmed. Why did everyone want him? Why did I want him?

That's all folks! Thanking anyone who comments and apologising if this went on a bit long. Please do link me to any of yours.

Monday 13 August 2012

Giveaway Winner

Last week I ran a 100 follower giveaway and the winner is...KIMBERLY GABRIEL!

Please mail me at viklitblog AT gmail DOT com with your address, and I will arrange your prize!

Thursday 9 August 2012

Write on Con? Write Club? + Camp Nano Fail!

There is so much awesome going on at the moment!

So first things first: who is going to be joining in the fun of WriteOnCon? It looks a great way of maybe getting the attention of agents, and also meeting other great writers. I am already going wow at the talent there is out there!

Is this just US based, does anyone know? I can’t see many of the faculty/agents as being UK based, though I suppose that doesn’t stop a UK person joining in, of course, but.. I wondered. 

I may use this as the opportunity to stalk some people’s awesome work and offer some beta reads, LOL. Also I have two ideas in WIP which I’m struggling with so I might put the first 250 words of each up and see what feedback I get, I see people putting WIPs up so I hope that's okay too?

Secondly, who is following the awesome WRITE CLUB at DL Hammons blog? Again am amazed at the variety and talent out there. I also LOVE just looking at the writing and thinking how I like it, without any... thought about who has written it. It’s neat! Love it!

Third: I think I have failed Camp Nano already. I just had a busy time going to the Olympics (and being twenty feet from Usain Bolt, OMG!) and work is busy so I am leaving late and... I am chugging away at the writing, but that combined with the fact my all planned out WIP is not playing ball means I likely will fail.

Still my aim in doing it was to end up with an idea I could work on, and I think I am starting to see my way clear (not with my WIP, a different idea, LOL) so if I achieve that much and not the word count, I won’t mind too much.

LASTLY Please enter my giveaway. I am giving away awesome books y’know: GO HERE

Monday 6 August 2012

100 Follower Giveaway!


As promised, as I have hit 100 followers I have a giveaway! First off the prize, three books I have read recently and which are AWESOME:

1 x copy of Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris - action packed sci fi thriller!
1 x copy of Dads, Geeks and Blue Haired Freaks by Ellie Phillips - a unique, fun voice!
1 x copy of Slated by Terri Terry - a taut, tense dystopian!

I am going to be old fashioned about this and add up the entries myself, so:

CLOSES: Sunday 12th August, midnight UK Time. So you have about a week to enter.
I'll put up winner a week today with how to contact me and it will be up to winner to drop me an email with their info.
OPEN: Wherever the Book Depository will post which is pretty much everywhere.

To enter:

1) You have to be a follower, sorry, but this is a giveaway to celebrate my awesome followers. Also, you have to let me know you want to enter so drop a comment saying 'me, I follow!' and I will confirm your smiley face is among my followers list. THIS IS ONE ENTRY.
2) In your comment if you answer this question, you get an extra entry: "If you have to live on an island with only one food source would you pick CHOCOLATE OR CHEESE? (or some other mad choice)". THIS IS ONE MORE ENTRY.
3) Advertise this giveaway and drop a link to the facebook/tweet/your blog and let me know you have: THIS IS ONE ENTRY PER AD.

So if you say in a comment: ME I FOLLOW! AND CHEESE! That's two entries.

I will add these up and put you in a hat and pull one out. I am being old school about this, though I may investigate rafflecopter for the future! For now I thought this would be a fun way to dip my toe in the giveaway pond.

Let me know if anything doesn't make sense.

(and for the record: CHEESE!)

Wednesday 1 August 2012

IWSG: Putting yourself out there

Writing is about losing yourself in characters, becoming part of their lives. It is building the world of your story (their story) in the bricks and mortar of words and phrases, of full stops and commas. It is about building that world in order to communicate it.

It’s Insecure Writers Support Group time and I have been thinking about the gap which exists between burying oneself in a story on the one hand, lost in one’s writing cave, and sharing that story with the world.

It’s hard, I think, to go from the story being in your head to on the page to with other people. There are critique partner notes, which are tempered with love (we hope) so this part is easier to take. Even when stories evidently did not work quite how you thought they had. There’s worry about how much of yourself you have put into the story, about how much you are exposing.

In these days of social media, there are added worries about putting ‘yourself’ or however your online profile=yourself, out there. The posts which garner few comments, the tweets you wonder if anyone heard. Do you worry about number of followers or not?

Then there’s the putting the story out there to agents and to publishers. To Be Judged, because that is how it feels. I am hopefully soon going to send off, and I’ll admit, part of me doesn’t want to. It’s easier to hide in the cave and not share. To not have to steel myself for rejection.

Then I think, for every fear about posting, tweeting, blogging, sharing my work with CPs - what I have got back has been immeasurable. I have to hope sending my work out there will be the same.

Even if I might have to start a #sendityouwuss before I do ;)

Anyone else have any thoughts about ‘putting yourself out there’ in writing, or online?