Wendy's favorite quotes

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."— Dr. Seuss

Monday, March 29, 2010

Avoid the Ticking Clock Mentality

One of the biggest things I have learned through writing and editing my novel, Coyote Dreams, over the last two years is that a good story is worth the time it takes to polish it. Writing the first draft was an exhilarating adventure. I thrilled at each new twist that unfolded on my screen. Typing 'The End' was a big moment, worthy of the happy dance. However, I've since discovered that writing those two powerful words is somewhat of an oxymoron, since finishing a first draft is actually just the beginning of all the real work.

First, I read it over and made what edits/corrections I could see. Then I sent it out to several readers who sent it back full of enough red marks that I feared its wounds might be fatal. I made the needed edits again and sent it out for a second read. Thankfully I've been blessed with some readers who have a very good eye and were willing to teach me how to be a better writer. These are the edits I'm just now finishing. Huge thanks to Renee Miller and Rita & TJ Webb for this one. Don't know them? Well, you should:

Soon, I'll send it out for one last read with a new set of readers to get their input. Perfecting my synopsis and query letter will be the focus while I wait. When I get those last reads back, I'll fix whatever I missed (and ignore whatever suggestions I don't agree with).

My goal is to be done by the end of April and research which agent to send my work to. It would be a wasted stamp to send my YA novel to someone who specializes in, say, romance. There is a love triangle in my book, but it’s a first kiss, not the whole she-bang.

I hope to get my first letter back from agents by the end of June. I know most will probably be rejection letters because everyone gets them. I think the key to keeping up moral is to have a plan on what to do with them. I'm going to follow Steven King's lead and spear the things on a nail.

While I wait for someone to accept my manuscript, I'll resume work my next story, Firebug, work on the farm over the summer, and begin the whole process again.

If I had been impatient and thrown my story out there before taking the time to polish it, then rejections would have been guaranteed, and the time invested, wasted.

The time was well spent. When Coyote Dreams goes out, I'll know that it is a story worth reading.

Friday, March 5, 2010

My Lucky Day!

I've got some more awesome news to share. Remember how I told you that I was attending the LDS Writers Conference? Well I entered a drawing for a seat at the table with the guest authors and won! Oh. My. Gosh. I know!  Crazy awesome. THis is who I will be dining with the weekend of April 23rd...and can I just say, Jessica Day George is one of my favorite authors of all time. I can't hardly believe it!

 "Two--yes, two--lucky winners of the Show Your Love for the Storymakers Contest will receive a reserved seat at the 7th Annual LDStorymakers Writers Conference for Friday night dinner and entertainment at a special table with:

Shaun Barrowes
Musician for Friday night entertainment, and top 48 contestant on American Idol season 7.

James Dashner
Author of The Maze Runner and The 13th Reality Series.

Jessica Day George  [[[one of my favorite authors!!!]]]
Author of Dragon Slippers; Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow; Dragon Flight; Princess of the Midnight Ball; and Dragon Spear.

Krista Marino
Editor for Young Adult and Middle Grade books for Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books. Recent books she's edited include The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series by Michael Scott, Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

David Wolverton/Farland
Author of several books, including the Runelords series, and writing instructor of authors like Stephenie Meyer, Brandon Sanderson, and Brandon Mull.
http://www.davidfarland.net/   "

Anyone want to do the happy dance with me? I'm doin it, yeah!

I've also completed editing of three more chapters in my Coyote Dreams YA novel which brings the grand total up to...drum roll please... 25 of the 52 chapters are done. I am on target to get this done and ready for final readers by the end of March.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Horror short, Voodoo Hog, won!

I've got some fun news today, I wrote a horror short for a writing group competition and it won! That means that it will be included in an anthology at the end of the year. I'm really excited because for one, it's a nice suprise, and for two, I've never written anything horror before so it was really a challenge for me to write. This next part is cut and pasted out of the thread so you can see the announcement. Anyone want to do the happy dance with me? *doin it, oh yeah, doin the happy dance*

"The Winner of February's Aspiring Writers Short Story Competition

Before I begin, can I give a big thank you to both all the participants of the February competition and all the judges who gave their time in marking what was a really interesting and close fought fight for the genre of 'Horror', which for many of you took you way out of your comfort zone.

I trust that everyone had as much fun reading the stories, as I'm sure the writers had in writing them. The judges certainly weren't unanimous in their decision, which shows both the diversity and quality of the writing.

When collating all the scores, the lead kept changing all the time, which demonstrating how close it was at the top.

In 3rd place was 'Oh Dear' written by Candice Adams

In 2nd place was 'There's only room here for myself by Julia Tagliere

And the winner of February's Aspiring Writers Short Story Competition is..................

...Wendy Swore for 'Voodoo Hog'

So a BIG congratulations to Wendy for an excellent contribution and a worthy winner of our first monthly competition. Wendy's story will now go forward to our Grand Final at the end of the year"