Dramaquill's All Things Writing

October 13, 2007

Confusing myself with revisions

My suspense novel is really taking shape and this last revision, #5 to be exact, has really cut the fat from the manuscript as well as tightened up plot and POV issues.

Thank goodness for critique groups, though.  It seems I cut chapter 3 featuring Louisa, a housekeeper, from the final revision, only to mention her in chapter 15.  With an abundance of emails saying:  “Who’s Louisa?”, I quickly realized that revision #5 still needs a little bit of fine tuning.

But what did I learn from this?

After I’ve read the manuscript for the umpteenth time, perhaps it would be a good idea to go through it and look for inconsistences.  With all the deleting of certain scenes and the addition of certain others, it’s time to make sure that I’m not relying on my original draft version anymore.

Had I not sent this manuscript through my critique group, things like this would get through to potential editors and agents.  I don’t need to sabotoge my writing by making silly mistakes like this.

So how do I feel about revising?

I used to hate it, but now I love it.  When I re-read a revised chapter and see how much better it is, how can I not get excited!

Along with the revisions, I’ve been skulking out prospective publishers and agents for this project.  I’m anxious to start subbing it out so I’d better get back to checking for inconsistencies.

If you find revising tedious, keep your eye on the prize:  the contract and a copy of your book in your hands.

Tell me your revision stories.

October 12, 2007

Muse online virtual writer’s conference

If you’re seriously trying to get your writing career off the ground or even if you’ve had some success with acceptances, you’ve heard it time and again:  Go to writer’s conferences. But for some, there isn’t enough time or money to attend these events.

Well thanks to organizer Lea Schizas, this free (yes you heard me…FREE) week long conference has live chats, workshops, forums and a ton of freebies and handouts. 

Check out their website and don’t be sad if you missed the conference.  They put everything together for you in an ebook:

I’ve been attending as much of the conference as I can this week (around work and life responsibilities) and cannot say enough what an amazing opportunity this is for writers of all genres.  Whether you’re writing for kids, aiming at magazines, looking to publish a novel, wanting to know about ebooks or seeking ways to promote your already published works, this conference offers you access to a plethora of industry professionals who are more than willing to give advice and answer questions.

I’m definitely going to click the optional “donate” button at the end of the week and send something to keep the conference alive for next year. 


October 7, 2007

Help! I’m being possessed.

Having written about 6 PB manuscripts and a couple dozen plays and musicals for kids, it was with great surprise that I found myself plotting out an adult suspense novel.  What prompted me to begin this new genre?

Her name is Eleanor and she’s the heroine of the book.  I don’t know where she came from but I do know that she wants her story heard.  The more I write the book, the more she overtakes my brain.  Some days I know it is she who is writing and not me – I’m just the channel through which everything continues to flow.

Am I anything like Eleanor?  Absolutely not!

Would I have a friend like Eleanor?  Probably not!

Do I feel a connection to Eleanor?  Yes, stronger than to many of the three-dimensional people who actually occupy the list of friends and family with whom I share close relationships.

Sorry folks but Dramaquill will have to write more later.  I need her to finish chapter sixteen right now.  Eleanor.

October 2, 2007

For me, a messy office is a productive office

Hard at work

As long as you know where everything is, not every writer feels peace with a clean desk.  I need to know where everything is and have it right where I can grab it.  Once I put it all away, the “out of sight – out of mind” principle takes over and I never seem to find it again.  I feel stifled by a clean desk, not energized and ready to go.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

How do you keep your office?  Are you productive? 

I say, try spreading out and surrounding yourself with everything you need tomorrow and see what happens. 

Free Online Writer’s workshop

Who would believe that there’s an awesome online conference for writers of all genres and it’s free. 

 It’s too late to register for this year’s conference but it’s worth checking out for next year.


I’m attending several workshops in this conference so I’ll update my blog with juicy tidbits of wisdom from the event.

October 1, 2007

My first Suspense/Thriller Novel

Novel revision #5

I’ve been working on an adult thriller novel now for about 2 years. First came the idea and the main character, who literally demanded that I tell her story. Next came the first draft and as a naive newbie to the genre of novel writing, I actually thought it was pretty good.  That draft made the rounds through a couple of friends and soon I had an abundance of material to start my first revision. 

Revisions #2 and #3 came close together as I tweaked and changed and re-arranged a plethora of ideas until I was certain I had a wonderfully revised manuscript.  But was it ready to send out there to agents and publishers? 

Just in case I really wan’t able to see my novel for what it was, I decided to hire a professional author who also does in-depth critiques of manuscripts.  I selected Marilyn Henderson, an American author of numerous books in my field – the suspense thriller.  Her feedback came quickly and although upon first read I felt discouraged, after sifting through the 12 pages of commentary from her, I realized that she knew the business and although she had good things to say about my book, it lacked saleability.

So then came revision #4.  It took a while to cut unnecessary characters, scenes and even full chapters and then re-invent parts of other chapters to keep the book flowing.  So now you’d think I would just send out the manuscript and wait for all the requests for the entire manuscript.  Nope! 

I have one more revision in the works and yes, this is the final one.  I’m sending it through my online critique group to tweak anything that jumps out at them.  Most of the chapters have rec’d rave reviews but minute details have popped up and been caught thanks to this group of writers.

Revision #5 will be the one that goes out there into the world.  I’ve also been researching agents and publishers so that I send to the most appropriate markets.

Wish me luck.

All things writing

Check out my new blogsite for all things writing.  You’ll find useful articles and tips about different genres as well as submitting, formatting, book recommendations and any other useful tidbits.

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