Wednesday, December 12, 2007

lame excuses

This is really sad... I haven't written at all since Nanowrimo. My excuse is, okay, last December I was down in Denver either in the hospital awaiting the birth of my twins, or in the Ronald McDonald house, waiting and praying for my twins to be out of the hospital. I didn't get to go to any Christmas parties, put up any Christmas decorations, listen to my favorite songs... yadayada. So THIS year, I've already been to four Christmas parties (with another yet tonight, and another on Friday night, and another Sunday night), and three Christmas concerts, plus a Christmas tree auction.

But, my conscience nags me. And, I get writers' groups emails and newsletters in my inbox that nag me too. Like one newsletter with an interview with a recently published author. He had some good stuff to say, so I'm pasting it in here, so I can re-read it at leisure for inspiration.

Also, discovered several more writer's life blogs. When you're procrastinating at writing, a good thing is read about other writers who are also procrastinating! Or faithfully plugging along.

Excerpts from the interview:

What was the best advice you ever received that helped you reach that next level of success?
The best advice I've ever received as a writer was to be willing to accept criticism and change things. It's always a lot easier to see what's wrong with someone else's book than it is to see what's wrong with your own, which is why I think it's very important to find reviewers you can trust. They'll spot the flaws in your story a lot more easily than you will.

What's been the best part of your career so far?

The best part of my career so far? Walking into Barnes and Noble the day my first book came out and buying a copy right off the shelf. I get goosebumps just remembering that.
Do you have any suggestions for our readers on how to pitch to an agent?
When it comes to pitching an agent, I suggest pitching the characters rather than the story. There are only about a dozen stories out there, but there are millions of characters. Characters are what make books unique. So, rather, than highlighting the quest or the love affair that's central to your book, talk up the protagonists instead. I know quite a few writers who found agents, and subsequent sales, that way.

Any last words of wisdom?

Last words of wisdom requires having said something wise before this, so I'm not sure I qualify. But, just in case, I'd have to say that writers need to learn patience above anything else, especially novelists. It takes a year or so to write a good book, and then it takes a year or two to find an agent, and then it takes another year or two for the agent to sell the book, and then it takes another year or two for the publisher to put the book out. By which point you've probably written three or four more books. And even if you don't publish the first, or the second, or the third one, you have to keep trying. Reiffen's Choice came out 29 years after I wrote my first novel, and was the sixth novel I'd written (and the 9th I'd started). So be patient. And persevere.

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