Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Fricassee

Ah. I love my blog readers. My extended "writing family," as it were.

Your comments on yesterday's post are amazing. Here's the crux of what was birthed from yesterday's comment box discussion: You are a group of dedicated writers who sees value in sticking to a 250 word limit, despite the inherent frustration, because of the value of the critique. I love the concept of editing an entire novel 250 words at a time. I love the analogy of the microscope. I love that so many of you are getting so much out of these group critiques -- and that it's making an impact on your writing.

I'm using the word "love" a lot.

And, you know, I was a tiny bit tempted by the suggestion of doing a whole chapter. I mean, I'm not completely heartless. (And I am drinking empathy soup, which makes me more...malleable.) But the evidence of what's going on as a result of our 250 word sessions is unmistakable -- resounding.

I'm not going to change a thing.

As for Big Things On The Horizon, here's your heads up for our next Secret Agent contest:

The call for submissions will be posted on Monday, November 10. I will post the submission guidelines early next week so you can get your ducklings in a row.

Thank you all for your willingness to be transparent and teachable. That's what it takes to become the best we can be, which means you're all on the right track.

What a stinkin' honor it is to "know" you all. (What a strange, 21st-century sort of thing it is to use the word "know" with quotes around it.)

In the spirit of transparency, share your dreams-of-where-I'll-go in the comment box. As in, where would you like to see your writing career ten years from now? Twenty? Posthumously?

I look forward to reading your responses. Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. It's wonderful to know you too!

    The whole chapter thing is tempting. What you could consider is to make a list of your current "writing family". Then, every week, one of us posts his/her first chapter (with maximum wordcount!), and the others comment. One or two weeks later, the recipient writes a blog post about what he/she got out of these critiques, which gives us a bit of insight in the reviewing process and the helpfulness of our crits).

    In that way:
    a) you (Authoress) don't get to process 50 chapters in one week, and go crazy;
    b) everyone gets his/her spot in the sunshine;
    c) you (Authoress) have two gratis blog posts per week (one chapter, one reaction to crits), by us "guest bloggers".

    I say win-win for everybody. :)

  2. luc2 - you're a genius.

    I agree with him *point up*

    Hmmm, where do I see my writing career in 10 years.

    I see myself as published, at least. If not, I'll keep writing anyway. I wish to have several polished, shining manuscripts I'm proud to let people read.

    My ultimate goal, I suppose, is to be respected as a great author, published or not. So, even if it's respect from fellow writers, family, and friends, I'm okay with that.

    Authoress, you're doing beautifully! Thank you for everything!

  3. I really like luc2's idea too, although I don't want us to hijack Authress's blog from her if she prefers to write most or all of the posts.

    In 10 years, I want to be a published author, respected in my field, and writing books that matter to people. On a more mercenary side, I'd like to be at the point where being an author is my full-time job--no need for a "day job"!

    In 20 years, I want to have some Judy Blume moments, where adults come up to me and tell me how much my books meant to them when they were young. That would be without a doubt the highpoint of my career!

  4. Ten years from now...

    I want three of my editing-wips to be published. If only because I'm already sick of editing them and can't imagine what ten years worth of editing them for naught will do to my sanity.

    Twenty years from now...

    I want to be one of those novelists who only has to write something once and hand it off to my publisher's editing staff to fix. And I want to be one of those novelists who can get any short story or ANYTHING published wherever she wants, just because I have A NAME and the CREDS.

    That said. I really don't want to give up my dayjob. I like working. It stirs the imagination. :)

  5. Ten years from now, I want to have someone have bought the Scott series -- probably two or three books published. I want to be able to walk into Barnes and Noble and find one of my books on the shelves. I want one of them to be someone's favorite book.

    Twenty years from now... I don't want to think about myself being that old yet. :S Let alone dead.

    oh, and in regards to the chapter thing, luc2's idea sounds really cool. :) I might not participate, but it would be fun to read.

  6. Oops, I forgot about the hijacking aspect. Sorry Authoress, that was never my intention. Feel free to shred my suggestion.

    I hope in ten years from now, my son will be trained enough to give me some time to write, I will have a house with a nice quiet study ALL FOR MYSELF, and I will be published in some sort of form. Most of all, I hope I will still be as excited about writing a nice bit of dialogue or an evocative description as I am now.

  7. I like luc2s idea too. If you don't pick it up, Authoress, I'd volunteer my blog for it.

    Maybe luc2 would volunteer his, too.

    Just a thought.

    Ten years? I'll still be writing for a living. It's gotten me this far.

  8. Do you think you'll ever have a Secret Editor contest? *sniff* Those of us already agented can't play in the Secret Agent contests. An SE contest would be awesome!

    Ten years from now I want to be writing full time with two published urban fantasy series, both of them the ones I'm working on now. I want to attend conventions and conferences and participate on author panels, and give workshops. I love giving writing workshops. I want my books translated into a variety of languages and distributed all over the world. I want to go on book tours where readers have to take a number to get their book signed. Hahahahah! I'm such a dreamer. 8^)

  9. Another Secret Agent? I'd love to play, but I took my novel back to revisions (yet again) and I think I'm going to sit out several rounds. Not to mention I still haven't finished the Drop the Needle crits! I thought I'd done half, but then realized I'd read some without leaving a note! :-O

    Where do I see myself in the future?

    -> I'd like to be published. I want to be well on my way to making a name for myself in the sci-fi genre . I don't care for critical acclaim, but I want the geeks, gamers, and sci-fi fanatics to love me.

    -> 20 years from now I still want my books dominating the sci-fi shelves. I want to hear about people who have grown up reading my work the way I did Tolkein and Douglas Adams.

    -> Posthumously... um, well I don't intend to die, that's kind of creepy. But, post-writing-life I'd like to be a name that gets remembered with Asimov, Pratchett, and Card, Bujold, Moon, and Campbell. It'll take time. There's a ton of talent out there. But I want to make a niche for myself and be a staple of the bookshelf fodder.

  10. Wow, ten years from now? Sometimes I can't even imagine next week (or tomorrow!). Okay, in ten years, I'd like to be writing full-time (obviously I'd have to be published), spending my days (& probably nights) doing what I really enjoy. I'd like to be a respected mystery author, one readers would recommend to each other.
    Another SA? That's exciting. Thanks so much for working to set all these up.
    Have a great weekend & Happy Halloween.

  11. Ten years from now I shall be living the life the pretentious can only dream of--long lunches on the French Riviera with fellow authors like Siebold and Albom, politely declining speaking invitations, and gracing the cover of the world's most popular magazines.

    I'm with jenita said. I want to walk into a book store and see my books on a shelf. I want to hear a child say, "I love these books and want to be a writer someday, too." And I want the chance to give back to the people who always encouraged me to follow my pen, and encourage other beginning writers to do the same.

  12. In ten years, I be happy if I were just a darn good writer, published or not! First and foremost I would like to be able to say to myself with confidence, "I'm pretty darn good at this writing stuff!"

    Everything else is gravy.(Mmmm...gravy.)

  13. Interesting idea, Luc.

    10 years from now I want to rule the world. Oh! You mean writing wise? O:)

    Hopefully have a novel published; more would be shiny, but yeah... so far I'm making a slight dent in short sales (er, well, you know, sold half a dozen this year) and by Feb I want to have my urban fantasy ready to go. ;) Um... I would also like to have at written at least drafts of at least 15 (new) novels. Yes, it's perfectly doable, and I'm setting a goal on the low end. :P

    My brain doesn't work 20 years ahead planning-dreaming wise. :P

    As always, enjoy your blog, Authoress and look forward to reading and maybe critting a few of the next SA entries! (Will not be participating due to NaNo.)


  14. Authoress, I loved the 250 word limit. I thought it was perfect. The posts were small enough for us to get through them and large enough to get some fantastic feedback. How wonderful.

    In ten years from now I hope to have my series of chapter books published. I love to hear children laugh when they read my stories. Some of them even cry. I’ve written ten chapter books with the same MC. To get them published would be bliss. I would love to sit in a book shop and sign books for children.

    Two years ago I couldn’t spell and I had no idea where to put commas. Then I bought a computer and the whole world of writing opened up for me. Other writers taught me how to write. It was like jumping of the moon in to the big wide world. I feel like I can fly around the world and go anywhere I want. Sit, chat and learn from other writers.

    Ten years from now, I’ll be happy whatever I’m doing because I’ve actually written a number of chapter books. I’d love to get published but I’ll still have them to pass on to my grandchildren. Maybe I‘ll be able to pass on the lessons I’ve learned to other beginner writers. All I know is I’m having the most wonderful time writing and I absolutely love this blog.

    Thank you so much, Authoress and all you wonderful writers.

  15. Yay, I LOVE this blog! I'm so glad you've started it, since I'm just a fresh upstart.

    For myself, I just like the 250 word bits right now instead of whole chapters- my WIP isn't even a WIP, because I start out writing it all as poetry and then keep growing it, until it gets to be novel-sized; then I "peel back" the poetry part and just leave the novel.

    In ten years, I hope to be known as more than just "some hot-shot teen who thought she could write". I don't want to be like Chris Paolini- someone who thinks writing in a quill pen is the equivalent of writing an epic.

    Getting published and having someone- somewhere- in the world who has a dog-eared, well-loved copy of it...well, those are the days worth writing for.

  16. I LOVE reading about your goals and dreams. This has been a fun comment box. :)

    And Luc, I am seriously thinking about your one-chapter idea, and am going to refine it and see what I come up with. It'll be good to have something different to throw into the pot when we're not having a contest or full, in-house session.

    Just so you know! I appreciate your ingenuity.

  17. I'm new to your blog but spot a few friends here--hello, Luc!

    What a brilliant idea this is. 250words at a go. It's far harder to make just 250 words work and tell a valid story than it is to do the job in 1200, and everyone who takes part should be rewarded. I'm off to browse now, and will be back if you don't lock me out.