ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

#IWSG day -- Sure I'm insecure, who isn't? AUGUST IS BIG, SO BIG FOR ME!

Hello friends!

I missed last month's IWSG as my favorite aunty took ill. Unfortunately, she passed away, so I was too busy to think about posting on my blog.


But I'm back for August's post. I love the August question: 

What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

I'd rather not get started on this one -- but really, I'm always against all the rules for emerging writers which the big guys break all the time. 

And these broken rules don't hurt the story. 

Lately, every book I've picked up has got a Prologue (you know what we get told, right? Wrong. I love prologues but I'd be afraid to write one.) And backstory--you know how we get told to just insert it like splinters of glass--hey ho, I agree. Several books I've read recently start with a lot of backstory, whoa, pages and pages, yawn, yawn. Yeah. Readers don't really want to be bombarded with lots of the old stuff that happened pre-story, they want to keep ploughing along in the moment. Except those who read best-sellers, apparently, LOL!

Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh and his team for keeping the IWSG on the road. This month he has the assistance of several luminaries:

Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner!

If you have time, do pay each a visit.

So, what am I insecure about this month?

Well, August is very important to me and my writing.

It actually starts today (July 27th when I was writing this post) with the IWSG pitch contest. Well, Australian time it's 10 pm tonight - 10am tomorrow. Insecurity to the max and black circles under eyes, anyone?

Hey, I totally suck at selling anything, but I'm giving it a shot. 


HAVE A GO!!!!!!!!! PITCH TO AGENTS!!!

It's all over by now. I know some of you got 'favorited' by editors/publishers. I got 'favorited' by a publisher who I later found out was a vanity publisher who wanted money up-front. I hope no one else got taken in by them. It disturbed me that they were allowed in the pit. Now, moving on...



The next scariest thing happens from August 11 - 13th. This is the Romance Writers of Australia's conference, luckily held in Brisbane -- just a short stroll across the river from where I live when I'm in town. It's going to be MASSIVE for me as I've just finished my Paris women's fiction. Well, as finished as it can be before 600 more rewrites. And my next trip to Paris in September to check my locations for my sequel...

So, I've written a Synopsis with the help of my critters, touched up my bio and air-brushed my photo (just kidding) and sent my manuscript to the Director of Avon Romance/William Morrow who's attending the conference. I've paid for a 15-minute session where she's going to assess my manuscript. Altogether terrifying and wonderful. This is what she's looking for in case any of you are sitting on a ms that might suit Avon. They do take unsolicited mss for their Avon Impulse digital first line. 

CARRIE FERON - AVON
Executive Editor, Senior Vice President
1. Which areas/imprints are you actively acquiring for?High concept historicals, historical romance, psychological suspense, women’s fiction
2. What subgenres are you currently seeking?Single Title, Contemporary and Historical
3. What kind of writing will especially pique your interest?I love writing with a very strong voice.
4. What are you not looking for, so we don’t waste your time and ours?Literary fiction, SF, YA
5. What would you love/hate to see pitched to you?Something with a great hook.
So, here's hoping my story is just what she's been searching the globe for. Now added to the session with Carrie Feron,

  • I have a 5-minute pitch to Tule Publishing
  • A session with a publisher with only 9 attendees
  • 15 minutes with Google
  • 15 minutes with Draft2Digital
and 3 days of fabulous workshops with fabulous people in between.

So, you get it? My August is going to be OUTTA THIS WORLD (even if Carrie says no thanks)!

And there's more:

JOIN WRITE...EDIT...PUBLISH FOR THE AUGUST CHALLENGE!


I haven't neglected my Write...Edit...Publish friends. (Well, maybe just a little...)

We have a new challenge which opened yesterday. If you'd like to try your hand at flash fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, artwork, join our REUNIONS challenge. An excerpt from a WIP is totally fine if it suits the prompt. I know we're going to get our heartstrings tugged here.

CLICK on the SUBMIT button in my right-hand sidebar or trot across to WEP and add you name to the list. There you'll find some extra help to participate in this awesome prompt, dreamed up by Nila Bose and the badge created by Olga Godim.

C'mon. Make my August and yours even better!




57 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh!! How brilliant re the conference!! Sending you heaps of good wishes your way. May you learn heaps, get a contract, then teach me what you learned ;)

    Re the vanity press in the Pit during the Twitter Pitch Party. We definitely did not invite that particular 'publisher'.

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    1. Let's meet up when it's all over...then I'll tell you all the things I didn't learn LOL!

      As you can see, been busy to the max!

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    2. I would love to meet up again!!

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    3. Great! I felt all my begging was falling on deaf ears! So the conference is next week. Maybe soon after that.

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  2. Good luck with the pitch session! That's great.
    Sorry some bad presses slipped into #IWSGPit. We could only control the ones we reached out to for participation. What Lynda said!
    I have a prologue in one of my books. It's the only one I wrote.
    Very sorry to hear about your aunt.

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    1. Thanks about my aunt. I'll miss her so much. And I do love prologues if they're not meant to be Chapter One. And strange how vanities could slip into the pit!

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  3. Good luck at the conference. Sounds like you are going to make some fantastic connections. Keep us posted. And my pet peeve is the same as yours about who gets to break the rules.

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    1. Yes, Natalie, there's going to be so much to learn. Really looking forward to it.

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  4. Those vanity publishers disguise themselves quite well.

    Good luck with your synopsis and at the conference. I really need to attend a writing conference soon. Maybe then I'll be able to successfully break the rules and get a publisher, lol.

    Have fun on your trips.

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    1. Thanks Donna. LOL to the breaking of rules.

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  5. Sorry to hear about the loss of your aunty.
    Sounds like you've been really busy! I'm looking forward to this month's WEP Challenge :)

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    1. Thanks Laura. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do for it!

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  6. Good idea, keeping busy when something so sad happens, Denise. I struggle with a disabled husband, good to be back to blogging.

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    1. Carole-Ann, great to see you. It is good to keep busy whatever the circumstances. I'm never bored with life, that's for sure.

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  7. Just keep cool during the pitch session. She's only human.

    So very sorry to hear you lost your aunt.

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    1. Thanks L Diane. I'm going to stay cool although it's a little daunting but yeah, she's only human and I know my story inside out so should be able to answer her questions...

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  8. Sorry about your Aunt.

    The conference sounds wonderful, soak it all up and then share with us!!!!

    Congrats on the pitch session, sorry it wasn't everything you wanted it to be, but the vanity presses are changing tactics. I'm still fighting with my former publisher for the royalties owed me, and yet they keep bringing in new writers all the time. It's a big business. Stand your ground,
    YOU ARE AN AMAZING WRITER!!!

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    1. Thanks, friend. I will certainly do that.

      I had NO expectations for the pitch session so I wasn't disappointed. Yeah. We need to talk. Open our own publishing company, LOL. Make more money that way, which is what these guys have figured out.

      Thanks for the writerly compliment. But editors don't want amazing writing, they want suffering characters, high stakes to keep readers chewing their fingernails. That's a lot to ask of peaceful little moi.

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  9. I'm a little late to cheer you on but I'm sure you did fine. First times are always the hardest. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  10. Yeah, soooo stupid how one can break the "rules" and another can't. Pffft go by your own rules I say. Blah to scammers after dough, they can get flushed like..you know. Sure have a ton going on, hopefully the conference goes grand.

    Sorry to hear about your aunt.

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    1. Thanks Pat. Nice of you. Yeah, just the word 'rules' has a bad effect on me, being such an Aussie anti-authoritian!!

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  11. Whew! Such awesome craziness! And while you're doing all that, I'll be going through baby clothes, preparing a nursery, doing doctor visits, and shopping for all those things I KNOW I'm going to forget before D-day.

    You're going to rock your sit down. I know it.

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    1. All the best for baby time, Crystal! Looking forward to hearing the good news!!

      Thanks. 'Rock your sit down.' Love it... I'll be smiling all the way through thinking of that!

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  12. So sorry about your Aunty, Denise!! Sending hugs

    All the best with Avon - I'll be sending good vibes for you!!!

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  13. Hi Denise....

    So sorry about your loss.....it is always sad when one of our loved ones departs.

    As for your August.... WOW!!! Stop the presses! How exciting! I LOVE those types of conferences and hope to be involved in them again next year. I have finally resolved a lot of my personal living crap and I am at full steam ahead with my writing again... I hope to have something or this month's prompt, BUT I am packing, ready for a move, so I am BUSY, BUSY, BUSY... but you just never know I may have something at the last minute.

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    1. Thanks Michael. So kind of you.

      I'll keep you updated, my friend. Something goods gotta happen this month, LOL!

      So glad you're stuck into your writing again. How did those queries go? Moving again? Whoa...moving and writing just isn't a good fit!

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    3. No it is NOT... but I need to find a new place because the rental I am in now is WAY TOO noisy and there are other issues, too.

      YES! I heard from one of the publishers for WYNDY and she LOVES the idea of the story. She has some family issues now and can't get to the chapters I sent until the end of the month. Which I was fine with because she ACTUALLY WROTE ME a personal letter explaining the time frame. Unlike leaving me hanging for months like every other agent/publisher.

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    4. Whoa, excellent Michael! Now you just have to be patient. Maybe it really is time for you...And a personal letter is just the cream on top.

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  14. Condolences, Denise. Sorry about your loss. When our good friends and best of kin leave we have such terrible holes in our lives.

    I kind of like prologues. If they're done well, they ease me into a story. I'm not sure where that rule of "no prologue" came from.

    I'm excited about jumping into the WEP this month. Last time I was so buried I couldn't do anything I wanted.

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    1. Thanks Lee. Glad you like prologues, too, done well is crucial. Editors put out the 'no prologues please' rules. Hmmmmm.

      Was so excited when I saw your name on the WEP sign up. Hope things are going better for you!

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  15. Hi Sweet Lady,
    I am so sorry to hear about your aunt passing. I know it hurt. Saying goodbye always knocks me out of my life rhythm.

    As for prologues, I love them also and guess what, my manuscript has a prologue. I don't pay much attention to the industry because they say one thing today and within a few hours they change and say something else.
    Take care of yourself and I'm looking forward to reunion.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia at Everything Must Change

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    1. Thanks sweet lady. She will be sadly missed.

      Glad your ms has a prologue. And you're right, the industry rules change on a whim.

      I'm looking forward to REUNIONS too!

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  16. I'm sorry to hear about your aunt. That's rough.

    Vanity publishers love to wiggle their way into things. We always have to be careful of them.

    Good luck with everything you have coming up! I hope your August is fantastic!

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    1. Thanks LG. I'm sure something good's going to happen!

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  17. I'm sorry to hear about your aunt. But it's great to hear you've got lots going on. Good luck with your session - I'm sure you'll rock it. And off to Paris for location scouting! Do you ever sit still? The IWSG pitch day was awesome, but sorry about that vanity publisher. I don't know how they got through.

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    1. Thanks Nick. It's good to have things to look forward to, even with dread. Paris is the most exciting thing on my agenda, but gotta get through some stuff first.

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  18. I'm so sorry for your loss. <<>>

    I prologues when done well--and yeah, they are not chapters. Have fun and good luck at the conference.

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  19. My condolences on the loss of your aunt, Denise.

    I think prologues help, although I'm afraid to put one in my memoir about attending college as a mother of five. As for backstory. The character [and thereby the writer] uses Backstory to help them make a decision in the present story action. The character remembers what happened before when they thought about the particular action/thought and how it affected her. Just like in life, we can only look at our past to help us make decisions in the present.

    Good luck with everything!

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    1. Hi Victoria Maria! Your take on backstory is just about right. Love it.

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  20. Good luck with the pitch! You have so much going on. Wow. My sympathies on your loss.

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    1. Thanks Christine. It's a lot of good stuff to look forward to.

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  21. I'm sorry your aunt passed away Denise. I like prologues as well but sadly it seems new writers are discouraged from writing them. Rules are made to be broken is a saying many people go after first chance. Including best selling authors. One day Denise, you just might be one of them. *wink*

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  22. Hi Denise – that’s great August is being beneficial to your writing. Those sessions you’ve signed up for – sound fascinating – it’ll be great to read your notes and report back – as such … it is going to be a great month for you …

    Sorry though about your Aunt and all the challenges it entails/entailed -
    you'll miss her - cheers Hilary

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    1. I hope your writing is going well, too Hilary. Thanks re my aunt!

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  23. I'm am do sorry for your loss! Sending hugs and prayers.

    That vanity publisher probably snuck in after seeing the trending hashtag. There's a list of participating publishers on the site that you can check next time when you get a like on a pitch. Don't give up!

    I like prologues, and some back story is okay just not a lot, as you said.

    Have fun at the conference!

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  24. I'm very sorry to hear about your aunt. Keeping you in my thoughts.

    All the best for the conference. Sounds like a great opportunity.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts on my aunt. And for the conference. Hope all goes well with you!

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  25. Hi Denise!
    I'm really sorry to hear about your aunty. ***BIG HUGS***

    The Romance Writers of Australia's conference? Sounds AWESOME!!! Enjoy the event! Soak up all the writerly goodness!
    Hoping to hear some good news about your Paris women's fiction. Your Paris story is THE ONE! (I'm biased...can you tell?)
    Your next trip to Paris in September to check locations? Wonderful! Please sneak me into your suitcase? LOL
    So many exciting things going on, Denise!
    I had a very disappointing July. Will fill you in...

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    1. Thanks for condolences, Michy. But sorry your July was disappointing. I was hoping to hear all kinds of writerly gorgeousness. Tell all and see what we can do to fix this!

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  26. Hugs Denise. So sorry about your aunt.

    And all the best for your pitch! Fingers crossed for you, my friend.

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    1. Thanks Nas. Wish you had made it across the pond to hold my hand!

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