Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Need Advice

OK, since I'm good at putting my business out there, you all know that I'm writing a book. If you don't you can read about it first here.  I'll wait.

You're back?  Onward then...

Specifically, I am writing a Middle Grade Novel with female lead, Caley, who plays on an all boys baseball team.  Controversy ensues.  Also, Caley's BM (birth mom) arrives on the scene to complicate things.

Here's my issue (for today).  I keep reading about other author's journeys.  They are very helpful and encouraging.  But they have have some version of this statement: "My first book stunk and will never see the light of day."  How can I avoid this?  I really want to tell Caley's story.  I want other people to get to know Caley.  How can I help her avoid suckage?

Also, when should I start looking for a critique group?  I'll be honest, the thought of this scares the bejebeers out of me.  But I know that I need to do to make my work better.

Any other writing advice would be most appreciated.  So much appreciated that I'll choose a random comment next Monday,  March 1st and send that person a $10 Starbucks gift card.


liraelwiddershins said...

I don't need the Starbucks :-) But here's my thoughts...

One...your first book doesn't *have* to stink. Sucks to Be Me was the first book I completed. I had a number of half-completed projects that may or may not ever see the light of day, but STBM was my first. And it got published.

Two...your first *draft* will suck. But that's okay. That's why it's a draft. Some of those horrible first novels people talk about? Who knows, maybe they'll resurrect them someday and polish them off.

Three...depending on how you like to work, a critique group could be helpful immediately or it might be better to wait until you're working on revisions. It's hard to say; really, only you can decide. But it's good to start looking for one since it can take a while to find the right group for you. Not all groups are created equal and you won't be a good fit for all of them.

Four...take all advice (from everyone, including me) with a grain of salt because every writer's journey is different. :-)

Myra McEntire said...

I don't need the Starbucks either.

1. My first real, sit down, go for it attempt at a book hit 60,000 words before I figured out it had no plot.

2. About the time I figured this out, Emerson (my MC) walked into my head.

C. Yes, your first *draft* will suck. But just like Kimberly told me when I finished my book - YOU FINISHED A BOOK. People don't do that on a regular basis.

IX. Critique groups/partners can be tricky. If you connect with someone on Twitter/blog/local writing group, start slow. Exchange a chapter. Proceed slowly.

7. Yes, again, I agree with Kimberly. Every writer's journey is different.

Stephanie said...

I'm not a writer, but my husband is. One of the books that have really inspired him is On Writing, by Stephen King. Brian has two degrees in English, but this book, by a "pop" novelist has really impacted him, so check that out.

I look forward to reading more about your journey!