Dramaquill's All Things Writing

January 25, 2009

Writer’s Digest Market Books

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I’ve always been a fan of the Writer’s Digest market books.  Usually, I buy the big one with all genres, “The Writer’s Market” book and the CWIM (Children’s Writers and Illustrator’s Market” book). 

But for those of you who might not be familiar with the wide variety of market books published by Writer’s Digest books, I’d like to provide a list of them below and  a link to the website.  Books are available at major book retailers as well as online at amazon.com.

2009 Writer’s Market

2009 Writer’s Market DELUXE version

2009 Guide to Literary Agents

2009 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market

2009 Novel and Short Story Writers

2009 Poet’s Market

Writer’s Market Companion

2009 Songwriter’s Market

2009 Photographer’s Market

2009 Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market

2009 Screenwriter’s and Playwright’s Market
***contains my article “Getting Serious with Playwriting”.

Check them all out at:

http://www.fwbookstore.com/category/market-books

I’m obsessed with journal books

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It’s been a busy month and I’ve had a few projects on the go, including writing a futuristic play for our intermediate drama class and a play about chefs for our junior class. 

Last Monday, as I realized that I was trying to research and write on about three different projects at once, I stopped and took stock of my small but cozy writing office in my house.  I have an addiction and it’s time I admitted it.

I’m obsessed with hard cover  journal books!

From the serious, business type to the whimsical, bright colored ones with jems glued on them or fun fur trimming their edges, I have a huge collection of these books.  But what surprised me the most was the number of them that are filled with ideas and beginnings of writing projects.

There’s a chapter book in one, a few PBs, some new play ideas, several books in different genres and even a crack at a one woman play.  And as I spent a nostalgic couple of hours browsing through all of them (instead of working on one of the plays that I needed for Saturday), I realized that I will never own enough of these books to cover all the ideas I continue to generate.

I’ve always enjoyed writing on thin lined paper with a medium tip pen and it’s inside of these books that I’ve created so many characters and worlds.  The blinking curser has never inspired me to create, but these colorful, hardcover books with their neatly bound lined pages call to my creative muse and draw out all sorts of ideas.

On Monday evening I went in to work and took stock of at least a dozen more journal books there.  Again, almost every one had scribblings of new characters, worlds, plots or ideas for a book or play. 

Is there a support group for a journal junkee?

On Tuesday morning, for one brief moment, I got the notion to take stock of all my writing utensils.  But as I lifted the lid on the shiny green box that houses a great deal of my unique or fancy pens and pencils, I stopped myself.  Maybe one obsession is enough?

If you’re still reading, you’re probably wondering why I would choose to write a blog topic on my obsession with journal books.  What relevance or signifigance does it have for my readers?

Believe it or not, it’s given me a jumpstart to get cracking on some projects that had to take a back seat for one reason or another.  It’s reminded me that if I block on one project, there are others waiting in the wings.

So why not take stock of your old files, or notebooks, or folders on your computer’s desktop.  You never know what you might find that you’d completely forgotten about. 

Believe it or not, I even found one journal book that I actually had begun using as a personal journal. 

So whenever I lose my muse and need some inspiration, I’ve only got to shift my eyes to my bookshelf and scan the colorful piles of journal books beckoning for their chance.

I’m obsessed with journal books …and proud of it!

January 6, 2009

FINAL REVISIONS – When is enough, enough?

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I submitted my final chapters of my adult suspense novel to my online critique group on Monday and am now waiting for the critiques to come in.  I’m excited about the entire process because it pushes me one step closer to my finished, polished, manuscript.

What I submitted to them was my fifth revision.  I truly believe that my manuscript has grown and my writer’s voice has become stronger with each re-write.  I’ve especially noticed a difference in my characters, implementing “showing” instead of “telling” and in my ability to write POV.

We’ve all read comments from agents and editors regarding bad writing.  If we truly want a shot at getting our book published, we know that we have to submit our very best work. 

But at some point, the time must come when we set down our critical eye and stop revising and re-writing and start querying.  I believe I’m now at that point.

I do believe that some amateur writers  sub out manuscripts that are not ready.  I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback from others (and this doesn’t mean your friends and your family).  Join a critique group!

But I also know that it would be quite easy to continue to revise, re-write and tweak this manuscript forever and never consider it finished.

As writers, what we sub out should always be our best work.  But when is enough, enough?

When you’re positive this is your best work.  You’ve checked and double checked for typos, grammar, puctuation and proper formatting.  You’ve read and re-read the submission guidelines for your target agents and/or publishers.  You feel pumped about sending out this project that has consumed you for so long.

So I’m going out today to stock up on ink for my printer and packages of paper.  I will print out this final draft and begin the task of reading it backwards, to find any mistakes I may have missed.  I will give it to my critique partner for one last look.  I will begin drafting my query letter, which I will also sub to my critique group.

And finally, I will search through the agents and publishers I’ve been collecting throughout this entire project and begin with my first round of queries.

How are you doing with your revisions?  Do you know when enough is enough?

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