Sunday, May 25, 2008

The ABCs of Writing Fiction Section F - I

Welcome to the continuation of our lesson: The ABCs of Writing Fiction
Section F-I
presented by The Writing Doctor.
Scroll down for A-E

F ― Find a Critique Group or Partner. The amount of help you need depends on your ability level. If you are confident you are ready to publish, then you may need only a reader to check for typos. If you are learning your craft, you’ll benefit from one or more members of a critique group who will read your material and give suggestions. I have had at least one critique partner since I started writing six years ago. Be sure to let your partners know what you want from them. For example, do you want feedback on anything that stands out, including grammar; or no grammar checking, only comments on inconsistencies and problems with goal/motivation/conflict, etc. Communication is vital. Don’t stay in a group that doesn’t meet your needs.

Where do you find a critique partner? I found mine through Romance Writers of America. I belong to two local chapters and the online chapter for mystery writers. Each group provides help finding critique partners. Join online Yahoo groups for writers and ask for assistance in finding your own partner.

Don’t forget that tough skin when you’re receiving feedback. Remember to listen/read their comments with an open mind, but only make changes if you believe it will make your story stronger.
Writing is subjective.

G ― Genre. Find yours. Read many genres to discover what it is you are writing. I’ve heard several writers say their writing gravitated out of romance into other areas. They were able to recognize when this occurred and switched their approach when trying to sell their stories. After reading books in both romantic suspense and straight mysteries, I’ve decided to target the mystery market with my current WIP. The market can be confusing. I also spoke to several editors and agents at our local conference before I made this decision. By reading ahead of time, I knew what questions to ask. Know what it is you are writing so you can find the right agent and editor for your work.

H ― Hope. Don’t lose it. Perseverance pays off. If you work on your craft and continue to grow as a writer, I am confident you can find a publisher as long as you SUBMIT your work.

I ― Internet. Friend and Foe. Internet Loops and blogs for writers can supply a great deal of information on craft/market/promo/editing as well as introduce you to new friends. You’ll find agent/editor interviews on this blog if you scroll down. Today I discovered Query Shark on the web and plan to read it extensively before I submit my manuscript. One query after another is disected for effetiveness. I belong to goal groups that help when I want to get a lot of writing done on my breaks from school. I post my goals and my progress. I also have Google Alerts for both my name and the title of my book so I'll know when someone has written a review or is promoting my work. I recommend it for everyone. (Go to Google, click on My Account at the top, Alert is on the right side of the page. It's easy to do.)
If you need help with your writing, you can find it on the web. Just make sure you don’t spend all of your writing time surfing the web. If you have to, put a kitchen timer beside your computer and only allow an hour of surfing a day.

Enough Internet time for the both of us. Let’s write that novel!


Anonymous said...

Hey Tina,
Great information there. I find I enjoy having music on as I write. I'm new to the art and it helps me to concentrate. I signed up for a 25,000 Word Novella in a Month Challenge and have just over 15,000words completed so far. I work full time (40 hours as a cashier in a convenience store aka gas station) and this challenge has been great for me. I have two stories unfinsihed and I am determine dto complete thsi one lol. I don't know though it seems as if I might run over the limit though. :-) Kathy

Lyn said...

Some great information here, Tina. I couldn't agree more about a Critique Partner. My first CP partner, for my first published novel, Starquest (out soon!) was a man - and a hunky Scot at that! He was the one who made me enlarge upon the attaction between my main characters and made me realise I waa writing Romance, not just Science fantasy.

Hope - well without it I don't suppose anything would ever get published - as for the internet, a timer is a really good idea. Never thought of that. I spend far too much time ont he net, updating my sites and reading emails and loops etc. (valuable though they are). The internet is fantastic for research though. It's a matter of organising time, isn't it.

Thanks for these great tips


Anonymous said...

Great information as always. Can't wait to read the next installment. Keep up the good work.