ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

#IWSG--Where I see myself and my writing in five years' time, God willing.

Hello visitors!

I didn't think I'd get to post for the IWSG this month, but, cliche alert, where there's a will, there's a way. So I'm flying down to Sydney and the Hunter Valley tomorrow (Monday) and in between throwing a few clothes and toiletries in my bag, I'm penning my post. Usually I come up with my own ideas, but in the interests of time, I'm going with the official question--
In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

So, people, let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Let's post away and tweet on @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

Alex's awesome co-hosts for the December 7 posting of the IWSG are Jennifer Hawes,Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford, Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield!

So, that half-full luggage bag is waiting while I  ponder the question.

Five years? 

That's a long  projection. Who knows if I'll even be alive by then? Hopefully I will dodge the Grim Reaper and I'll reach my publishing goals. I've turned a corner from 'dabbling' in writing, to being deadly serious. I've hardly ever submitted anything except to the lucrative magazine market, so I don't know much about rejection except from all the agonising posts I read. (I'll probably become quite well acquainted in the next five years!) I did have one from Harlequin awhile ago which hurt. They praised my pretty writing, but from what I've learned since then, publishers would rather a badly-written piece with a great storyline, lots of conflict, stressed-out characters, over pretty writing any day. Okay, I hear you squeal--no, no, you're wrong, but really, they do. I know enough editors (who actually edit) who say they can fix bad grammar, punctuation and clunky phraseology, but they're not into fixing a story which lacks conflict and page-turning-quality, exactly my weakness.

Now, my turn-around point was when I was pointed ('scuse the wordplay) to two critique partners who shared a Margie Lawson writing retreat with me. All three of us are 'romantic' writers, not so much 'romance' writers, (although one does lean in that direction) in that we have romantic elements, rather than the whole story revolving around the hero and heroine. Well, think Gone With the Wind (romantic elements with a lot happening other than the romance) compared to a Danielle Steele or a Barbara Cartland novel. Not that I'm dissing romance writers, just saying we're not that writer, at least on our current novels.

So, my two critique partners are relentless in helping me with my conflict, my plot...so many suggestions for making my story better. In five years' time, I hope I have several novels accepted by a publisher, who'll like my conflicts, my character motivations and my story AND my pretty writing.
My crit partners Tania and Sheila (a crazy American!) are such fun, even though they're relentless in pursuit of plot and structure.
Currently, I'm working on Carpe Diem, Art and Love in Paris. It will be my first published novel, I know it. I already have most of the second novel written. It's on a Paris cookery school. Yum.

So, aren't I an optimistic little writer? Why not? Otherwise, why bother? And my plan to get there--write every minute I can and listen to my critters and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. (Margaret Mitchell rewrote her Chapter One of GWTW 60+ times, so the story goes...I'm sure I can outdo her~on that point, at least).

Now, instead of opening up my WIP, wondering which chapter I'll fiddle with each day, I'm powering on, rewriting and editing Carpe Diem. It's delicious.

Click HERE for more IWSG posts. 

GOOD NEWS!  I met one of the IWSG admin team in person two days' ago. The venerable Lynda Young has moved to Brisbane (as if you didn't know) and we finally managed a meet up at one of my fave Brisbane eateries, French Martini. What a lovely lunch. Here we are finishing our wine and about to sink our teeth into creme brulee. Afterwards, I gave Lynda a walking tour of more of my fave eateries on the South Bank and showed her my hallowed teaching room at the State Library. Finishing off with a boutique-brewed apple cider at The Charming Squire, it was a perfect day, if exceedingly hot. WELCOME to Brisbane, Lynda. 




.Thanks for coming by? I'll be interested to hear where you see yourself and your writing career in five years' time
  • Meanwhile, I'm enjoying seeing the sights of Sydney and sampling the wines and great food in the Hunter Valley. I hope you're having fun, too. I'll come by and comment when I'm sober, LOL!

And in case you missed it, Write...Edit...Publish is rocking and rolling again. Final challenge for the year--Utopian Dreams. Please, if you have a moment or two, please join us. Not a bad sign up so far considering the time of year. Some new writers have joined us. I hope you'll come along and have some fun!

Thanks to Olga Godim for creating the WEP badges. 



56 comments:

  1. It was so great to meet you, Denise. And yes, if we are going to succeed, we need that passion and belief that we WILL get published. I love your enthusiasm. It's infectious!!

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    1. Heh heh, Lyn. I hope I've infected you! Looking forward to meeting up again when I get back from Sydney and the Hunter!

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  2. I saw that you met up with Lynda! So awesome.
    Sounds like you have the perfect critique partners.

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    1. It was great to meet Lyn. And my crit partners have made all the difference!

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  3. What a blast that you met one of the IWSG crew in person! As for your 5-year plan, you sound well aware of the specific things you want to work on and achieve. Also, your critique team sounds both helpful and fun! :) ~Tui Snider, via @TuiSnider on Twitter & TuiSnider.com

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    1. My critique team rocks! Thanks for visiting. I'll try to find you!

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  4. I am so happy to hear you met Lynda. That is a joy to have one of the IWSG members in your city. Also all the best for your writing goals. I know you can do it, so keep at it and don't give up.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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    1. Thank you so much, Pat. I love meeting fellow bloggers!

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  5. Yes, you WILL be published in five years :-) Best wishes for your writing.

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  6. Have a great time!

    I believe that, as long as you keep learning and improving your craft as a writer, it's just a matter of time before publishing. Best of luck!

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    1. That matter of time can take ages, but it's there if we persevere. Thanks, Misha.

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  7. Great post. So glad you and Lynda met up! It's so fab to meet a fellow writing blogger :) Best of luck with your novels Denise. You will be a published novelist very soon!!! Great work.

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    1. Thank you, Nicola. It was so great meeting Lynda.

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  8. That's so awesome you and Lynda met. That's great you are serious about your writing. It's so important to reaching your goals.

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    1. We enjoyed our meet-up so much. We'll be doing it again when I get back from Sydney.

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  9. The opposite of optimistic is no fun anyway.

    It's it grand to meet blogger buddies?

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    1. We can never meet enough blogger buddies. We need to have a bloggers' convention in the future!

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  10. Hi Denise
    I'm excited for you. Perseverance pays off. We are considering moving when we are retired. Nicole MacDonald wants us to move to New Zealand. Canada is so cold. My guess is that we will stay right here since we have children and grandchildren.
    Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy! New Zealand is a cold hole, too. I suggest Australia. You'll never be cold again!! I'd love to have you, but I know that you'll want to keep close to your family. Difficult decision!

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  11. Plot, conflict, and structure. A recipe for success! Gook luck with your goals.

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  12. Hi Denise!

    Awesome that you met Lynda and showed her all your favorite places! I know you girls must have enjoyed so much!

    All the best with your goals :)

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    1. Yes, Nasreen, and I'm sure there's many more meet-ups to go. And no doubt you'll be over in August for the RWA conference. Look forward to having a few more of my girls here!

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    2. RWA in August is definitely on the cards this year :)

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  13. Actually, I'm inclined to agree that publishers would prefer bad writing/great story (whatever that means) over something well written but less . . . enthusiastic in tone?

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  14. I think your goals are definitely going to come out golden! I think you have the right recipe for success - too - yes, I got that from Jennifer, but I agree. :)
    WEP looks so awesome and I'm always somewhere behind the 8 ball.

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Tyrean. It would be good if you could join us for WEP sometime!

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  15. How fun that you got to meet Lynda. I didn't know that Margaret Mitchell rewrote GWTW so many times. I find that very reassuring when I look back at all of my rewrites.

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    1. I love that she took the effort. Inspirational. Rewriting is a fact of life.

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  16. Here it is again...the importance of good crit partners. I'm working on it, I'm working on it.

    I love your optimistic outlook, and why not? Go big or go home. I also like your take of writing romance vs. romance.

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    1. Yes so important as we can't always see our mistakes. Fresh suggestions are crucial too. Thanks.

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  17. Love you plan, Denise, very realistic. Go for it! I'm sure with the help of your critic partners, you will succeed.

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    1. Thanks Olga. It makes all the difference.

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  18. You have to be optimistic. That's essential. Crazy Americans are the best. Glad you have one in your critique group. :0

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    1. Yes Sheila is awesome for sure. Such a generous person too.

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  19. Lynda is awesome. Glad you two got to meet up. Hope I can meet her face to face as well one day. You too.

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    1. She is indeed! I hope you get to meet us one day too.

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  20. How spectacular you and Lynda had the opportunity to meet!

    I just said this somewhere else, but I’ll repeat myself. The biggest disservice we do to nascent authors is to tell them it’s all about the writing. True it's the only aspect of publishing the writer controls, but there are so many other variables to consider, starting with genre conventions.

    I predict great things for you over the next five years, Denise!

    VR Barkowski

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  21. Your Paris book sounds great. The time you and Lynda had together sounded lovely. I'm glad you two got to meet. :)

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  22. Alive, optimistic, and published! Those are goals I can agree with! :)

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  23. Story and character are more important than the writing. If you ask someone about their favorite book, they'll always reply about story or character, never "I loved it because it had pretty writing." As a matter of fact, there's a school of thought that says the writing should be invisible, which I mostly subscribe to. So I'm with the Harlequin editors and I think it's awesome you now have enthusiastic CPs to help you. My books would be piles of crap without my fab CPs. Good luck with Carpe Diem!

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  24. Good luck, Denise! I don't think pretty writing hurts :) Wishing you loads of success!

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    1. Apparently it does hurt, Nila. Thanks for the good wishes!

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  25. All the best with your five year goals!

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  26. Here's hoping we'll all be around in five years! Best of luck with your goals, and that's cool you met Lynda!

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    1. Yes who really knows what five years will bring.

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  27. Never know what the next day will bring let alone what five years will be. I'm hoping to have my women's fic trilogy be the next best seller that instantly puts me over the top to millionaire status. Lol, gotta dream big :)

    Good on you to focus on achieveable goals, and to know how to get there. Keep it up.

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