Authors In Our Midst/Writers Chatting Chapter 13

Hey there! We have a new published author in our midst, so I thought it would be fun to combine our efforts this morning. Here’s our newest author, Laura Leigh Morris:

In the hills of north central West Virginia, there lives a cast of characters who face all manner of problems. From the people who are incarcerated in West Virginia’s prisons, to a woman who is learning how to lose her sight with grace, to another who sorely regrets selling her land to a fracking company, Jaws of Life portrays the diverse concerns the people of this region face every day—poverty, mental illness, drug abuse, the loss of coal mines, and the rise of new extractive industries that exert their own toll.

While these larger concerns exist on the edges of their realities, these characters must still deal with quotidian difficulties: how to coexist with ex-spouses, how to care for sick family members, and how to live with friends who always seem to have more.

Congratulations! And I believe she’s going to try and stop by if you have any questions or just wants to join our discussion.

Now how about the rest of you. Where are you at in your project? How is it going, what should we talk about today?

I just got my first edit back and am reviewing it. Talk about overwhelming, I wasn’t even sure where to begin. But I’m sifting through, deciding what is additive and what is not.

How do you manage the overwhelm – whether it be the first draft, the first edit, or hitting the publish button – what gets you through it and back into action? 

Okay, let’s chat. Remember, be kind and supportive.

 



Writers Chatting: Chapter 12

“Memories”  Illustration by Walter Beach Humphrey

Welcome back! I had a request for a writing thread to discuss goal setting and planning. It is actually a good timing for me. My finished novel has been sitting on a shelf for a year while I decided what to do next. Now all of sudden everything is in overdrive, so I have to manage all of that with continuing work on the second book in the trilogy.

I have spent so much  time in the bulk of the first book, I’m stumbling as I set up the second. Jumping back into the prep stage has been hit or miss.

How do you approach your writing? Do you outline everything first and then fill in from there? Do you just write and worry about structure later? Do you write specific chapters, out of order and decide where they go later? Do you write beginning to end – what do you do when you hit a roadblock? How do you manage your characters – do you keep a bible on hand, do you make index cards and hang them all over the room?

And can we talk a bit about social media? Who is doing it for their books and how is it going?

Okay, that should get us off to a good start. As always, it’s just a guideline, discuss what you need to in your process.

Final note: for you romance writers out there, the next RWA conference is in Denver in July. Info here.  If you go, let’s make sure  we schedule a meet-up near you, around that time.

There you go, have at it. And remember to be kind and supportive.



Writers Chatting: Chapter 11

Welcome to the final chapter for 2017.

Let’s start with some additional information from Andrew Durkin, see his original guest post here.  This part of his guest post answers many questions from the last chat. From Andrew:

The most surprising thing I’ve learned since becoming a professional editor is that not all authors believe in the benefit of professional editing. On the surface, that’s understandable, especially in self-publishing—why pay for something when you can get a friend to do it for free? Economic resistance is often compounded by a very human fear of criticism, as well as horror stories about bad editors who have corrupted an author’s artistic or intellectual vision.

But I’m going to start from the premise that professional editing is the sine qua non for anyone serious about being an author—regardless of genre, and regardless of the type of publishing (traditional or self). The real question is how do you get the most out of the process? In my experience, there are three rules of thumb, and they follow below. (Some of these will seem like common sense . . . but you’d be surprised!)

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Writers Chatting: Chapter 10

We have a thoughtful guest post this week and as a reminder, I’m open for more guest posts on your experiences with writing, publishing and marketing.

Today will be another perspective on self-publishing – finding an editor:

Hello everyone. My name is Andrew Durkin, and I am an editor for a Portland-based self-publisher, Inkwater Press. Like many people involved in publishing, I am also an author. My non-fiction book, Decomposition, was published by Pantheon Books in 2014. I am currently finishing my first novel, a middle-grade fantasy. (Although “currently finishing” is a phrase I have been using for the last five years.)

Balloon Juice has been a regular source of sanity for me since back in the Bush era, and I wanted to start by thanking you all for that. I was of course thrilled to see the emergence of a writer-focused sub-group over the last year or so. Every time I noticed the discussion turn to self-publishing and editing, I got the itch to speak up. Finally I contacted TaMara to let her know I’d be willing to write something for the group, if she thought that would be useful. She did, so I am. Thanks, TaMara, for the forum!

I realize the writers here come from a range of experiences and backgrounds, but I’ll try to make this valuable to everyone in some way. (As usual, I’m sure the really good stuff will emerge in the comments.)

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Writers Chatting: Chapter 9

Welcome back. I don’t have a guest today but I think there is lots to talk about. After the last writing post, I thought it would be a good time to continue to discuss self-publishing.

What are the best ways to go about finding and evaluating resources such as a good editor, a cover artist, beta readers and how best to market yourself.  Even if you’re not there yet, we’ll all need these resources eventually.

(For the posts on putting together query letters for traditional publishing, click here, looking for a literary agent, click here)

Let’s start today with a reminder of who you are and where you are at in your writing journey.

And also, a reminder, National Novel Writing month is next month. What would you like to do for it? I will be gone for two weeks in November, but I can set some open writing threads up to auto-publish if you guys have a plan.

Ok, take it way and keep it positive and fun….