Tag Archives: Insecure Writers Support Group

IWSG 52 QUERYING REJECTION: FORM LETTERS

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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OUR HOSTS THIS MONTH:

Toi Thomas | T. Powell Coltrin | M.J. Fifield | Tara Tyler

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION:

What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Short answer: I’m going traditional but I’ve mostly submitted to indie publishers. Why for the experience and creds. Now, I’m looking at landing an agent. Form rejections galore so far, but my journey has just begun. Below is what I’ve been considering since my hunt has begun.

FORM LETTERS

What does it mean when an agent (reader) doesn’t connect?

I didn’t know so I searched the web for insightful advice.

Turns out that not connecting was a common rejection in a form letter. I didn’t know I was getting form letters until I checked Agent Comments in QueryTracker. Every letter was there.

One point I’d like to make is the majority of them were kind and encouraging. They didn’t have to write them like that and I know it.

I also revamped my query package and am trying again.

Any of you find an agent using the slush pile? Care to share how it went.

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IWSG 51 Avoid Yah-Ha vs Nah-Ha

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~


Co-Hosts:

Erika Beebe | Sandra Hoover | Susan Gourley , | Lee Lowery

IWSG Question: 

What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I remember being very excited about my writing adventure when I put my first effort together. I hadn’t read any books except Stephen King’s On Writing. It was more of an experiment than a sure-fire novella on its way to publication.

I offered it up for evaluation at Zoetrope. I was excited to find such a site and when I went hunting around for the site today, it still had me on file. Too funny.

What to avoid?

Make sure you have a story with both a protagonist and an antagonist. I swear I was writing a fairy tale (scifi — note the ship — this time too) with a happy group of aliens traipsing through space all chasing a long-lost treasure.

Feedback was kind but clear. The story needed a bad guy. NO CONFLICT; NO TENSION.

Avoid Yah-Ha vs Nah-Ha

I got confused and figured conflict resembled the is-so vs is-not kind of interaction. Well that gets old and repetitive after two rounds. Listen to a couple of kids stuck in the backseat during a road trip and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not any better in a story. Things spiral using that approach

Avoid thinking writing is a lonely business

I found Zoetrope first and then Scribophile & the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The writing community is huge and ranged from newbies to masters. Join a writing group, face-to-face or online. It doesn’t matter. That’s where the support is.

You might even feel like the odds aren’t against you anymore.

Avoid thinking all contests cost money

There are free ones out there. I am particularly fond of the Writes of the Future. First story was a bust but my second got an honorable mention. It spurred me on and didn’t cost a cent.

Last tip

Some contest have fees, but are still reputable. If you like to write horror and feel like trying your hand at a screen play, Zoetrope might be for you.

Francis Ford Coppola is the finalists judge. There is an entry fee for both the screenwriter’s contest and the short story contest (the fees are new) ranging from 30-50 depending where your work falls.

The deadline is coming up, so I’d plan for 2019 if you’re interested.

I’m off to read some posts. Thanks for dropping by. If you have comments on recommended contests or sites for writers be sure to include them in your comments. I’d love to read about both.

IWSG 50: WRITERS EVOLVE

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~

 


Co-Hosts: | Nicki Elson | Juneta Key | Tamara Narayan | Patricia Lynne

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

Writers evolve because over time not only do we get better at the craft we see all kinds of possibilities we ignored in the beginning. Most of us start off modest. Well, I did at any rate.

now i have a goal

My goal lately is to find an agent, but like many of you that’s not how it started. It started with entering a contest and receiving an honorable mention. After many more words and a few published shorts, it brought me to the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Like everyone else that enjoys membership I write because I can’t stop. It’s amazing how secure I feel when I know I’m not alone.

I get lost in storytelling

Sometimes I’m secure and brave enough to start brainstorming, or outlining.

I get moments when I’m lost in my imagination and can live there for months. I don’t mind the hard work of getting the story down. I’m happiest when I’m up to my elbows and don’t worry about where it will lead.

Too scary for me, so I won’t over think it.

When I incorporate feedback and think the work is polished enough, I live in moments of bravery or madness and submit. Sometimes it pays off. I try not to over think that either.

someone else liked my work

It turned out someone thought I was worth publishing. It was validation. I got it. I guess I want more of it.

Seeking Representation is evolution

So things have changed from contests and short to novels and seeking an agent. I could be mad, as in crazy as a loon, or maybe I’m brave. In the end it won’t matter. What matters is moving forward one word at a time.

Big plans or little. How’s it going for you?

IWSG 49: Using Word Association For Naming A Book

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~

 

Co-Hosts:

Beverly Stowe McClure | Tyrean Martinson

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor

IWSG Question: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

I have fun with choosing names for both.

Here’s what I do for book titles.

I go in thinking it is a working title and try not stress about it. Let’s face it if my publisher or agent suggested something better I’ll take it. I’m a writer not a marketer. I’m sure that’s obvious.

I use word association just like a therapist. I choose words that capture the essence of the overall project. Sometimes I’m thinking mystery which often leads to murder, suspects, sleuths, motive, unfinished business, and in one occasion ghosts.

And White Light was born. I chose it because many claim to see a white light when they are brought back from death. And the idea of a white room where a spirit was trapped seemed to grow out of that tiny idea.

With one of my dragon stories I played on the words  cat’s eye, moon, and a mother leaving her child too soon.

Dragon Eye  was based on a different kind of guardian angel.

And with my latest WIP Symbiotic Slip, I wanted my title to hint at two planets relying on each other’s resources and being knocked out of sync.  ‘Nough said there I think. 😉

Characters…

My process for picking character’s names is very simple. I use the name generator I found in Scrivener. But there are tons of generators out there…. Google it and you’ll see what I mean.

What did you do to title your latest WIP? Any hints for us?

IWSG 48: How To Set Up an Interview

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~


Co-Hosts:
JQ Rose | C. Lee McKenzie | Raimey Gallant | E.M.A Timar

No optional question today…

Because I’ve got something else on my mind—Interviews for research.

After being stuck in Small-Town-Heaven, I need to get out. Most of my research is done online. It makes sense mountain roads can be dangerous in winter, and I’m miles from almost everything.

But I do have another reason I’ve not reached out. More of an excuse really.

We all know the feeling of rejection.

One of my biggest fears when researching is being rejected before I can ask any questions. It happened when I reached out to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police a few years back. They have a contact webpage. It looked so inviting.

They responded almost immediately telling me that it would take some time to get back to me. The answers never came. My questions were sucked into the black hole of indifference and I’ve listened to crickets for years.

I’m definitely not a reporter—chasing leads, pushing to the front of the crowd, and ignoring any and all snubs.

I’m really sorry it was my first attempt at reaching out because it’s left me gunshy.

Unfortunately for me, most of Canada is policed by the RCMP. There are exceptions: Ontario and Quebec have their own force and so do some cities throughout the country.

I just discovered one place that has city police—Nelson BC. It’s not far from me. I’m excited and terrified. They may be too perfect for me.

I like writing about small towns and small-town cops. Nelson is not huge. An interview would be great. If I find the nerve to contact the Nelson Police Department and set something up.

I’m not sure if failure is imminent but it sure feels like it.

Help me, please.

If you’ve reached out successfully for an interview, how did you do it? And yes I mean step-by-step directions, or any advice that may help me do this right.