Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Fricassee

I feel a song coming on.

Tra-la! It's May! The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when everyone goes
Blissfully astray!

It's here, it's here! That shocking time of year,
When tons of wicked little thoughts
Merrily appear!

(Name the musical and the character who sings the song, and you get a gold star.)

First, to alleviate confusion about Monday's Drop the Needle:

The submission process is exactly the same as it's always been, except that I will be using a lottery system instead of initiating a mad rush to the collective mouse (ur, mice?). So your submission will look like this:



...and you will email it to me as usual. The full guidelines will be posted on Monday morning when submissions open, so everything will be covered in full.

And no, participating in Drop the Needle (or any other in-house crit) does not exclude you from entered the next Secret Agent contest.

Still have a question? Don't hesitate to ask.

For today's comment box chatter: It's "blog demographics" day! I would love to know the following about you:

  • How long have you been writing seriously?
  • How far along are you in the submissions process? (i.e., Still writing that first draft? Been submitting to agents for twelve years? Already published?)
  • What's your main reason for adoring this blog? (heh)
  • What's your biggest frustration, regardless of which point you're at in the journey?
This ought to make for some juicy reading! And will help me, as always, to keep tweaking the blog.

Have a glorious first-weekend-of -May!


  1. I have only been writing for about a year now and I realize how green that likely makes me in this crowd.

    [I have been writing music for many years, though. Does that count? :) ]

    I have finished my first draft of a YA novel and am working on editing. That leads me to what I like most about this blog. It has been enormously helpful to read other's WIPs and then to read the crits of that work. I have seen several weaknesses in my own writing from this. I really appreciate all the time that this community collectively gives to this blog. Not only does it help improve our writing, it can help us achieve that blissful balance that comes from understanding that we won't be able to please everyone with anything we write. Opinions very greatly which is a wonderful thing. Knowing that can help us to focus on writing a story we love in the most effective way we know how and then let it rest.

    At his point in my journey the thing I struggle with the most is time constraints. Shocking, I know. I am the type who loves to sit at the computer and write for hours on end allowing myself to get completely lost in the process of giving a voice to my characters and their story. (Is there a writer who's not like that?) Those blocks of time are not in rich supply, so I must content myself with squeezing in a few minutes her, an hour there, you know the drill.

    Thanks to all who make this such a positive and educational place to hang out.

  2. I know, I know -- Camelot. Think Julie Andrews.

    Happy May Day.

    1. five years
    2. Polishing
    3. You, your energy, you draw writers who are serious and interesting writers, Secret Agent and drop the needle.
    4. Wishing I was ready to query, but knowing my MS still needs work. At least I know what it needs.LOL

    I find that giving critique on this site has helped me be able to see weaknesses in my own work. This site is one of my favs.

  3. Gold Star time: It's Guenevere in Camelot.

    Blog Demographics:
    I've been writing full time 2 years or so--before that catch as catch can around a 9-5 job.

    My first novel is in its 3rd version and I am still tightening/tweaking/sharpening the conflict---2 other novels in 1st draft. I am submitting the first one to agents--so far a nibble but no bites. I have poems, essays and text book chapters published.

    I follow your blog because it is practical. Thank you.

    I am most frustrated with myself. I see the gap between my great ideas and their written versons. I always think I can do better--so of course I can.

  4. Camelot sung by Guinevere (my BA is in Theater & FIlm Studies with a concentration in set design and construction for musical theater. Makes me very good at Jeopardy)

    The first time I remember writing was in elementary school. My best friend and I wanted to form a 'band' so we wrote songs. It turned out he was copying his lyrics from the liner notes of LPs. I was actually writing lyrics from my head. So, I'd say I've been writing for over 30 years. I'd say I've been writing seriously for less than 10. Had you asked me 10 years ago, I'd have also said 10 years but, looking back, it's apparent to me that what I thought was 'serious' really wasn't. I've learned a GREAT deal in the past decade about both the art and business of writing which I dearly wish I had known 20+ years ago.

    I've been submitting to agents for 15 years with one manuscript getting tantalizingly close to publication. Killed me to finally give up on that one and put it aside. BIG learning experience though. You can't imagine how I felt listening to an editor tell me on the phone that the manuscript SHOULD be published...but he wasn't gonna be the one to do so. Repeat after me: ARGH! :)

    Main reason for adoring this blog: feedback/support/education (see, I put those little '/' things in to make that ONE reason. Smart, no? :)

    Biggest frustration is the waiting. Isn't that always the case?

  5. Writing my whole life, but trying to make a living at it only since August.

    Started submitting my manuscript in January, got an agent in March. Hoping with all my being to be published soon.

    Love this blog for the community, the no cruel, snarky comments rules, the fabulous activities and critiques, and, of course, Authoress's gracious thoughts in the lonely and often unforgiving world of writing/publishing.

    Biggest frustration: my own impatience and fears of failure.

    Hooray for May.

  6. I've been writing seriously (ie. pursuing publication) since early 2008, so a little over a year. Though I've been writing all my life, I only started doing it on a daily basis in the summer of 2003.

    I haven't started querying yet, though I hope to start this summer. I've got two novels I need to finish editing, first.

    I read the blog because I enjoy the contests/critique sessions (though I haven't participated in any yet).

    As for my biggest frustration: editing. I love writing first drafts and getting the idea out on paper, but when it comes down to actually analysing all the finer points and implementing subtle fixes and rewriting entire chapters... not a fan.

    Another reason I prefer first drafts over editing is that you're making tangible progress: you see your word count steadily climbing, you can squee over your plot progress, all that good stuff. Since, like many others, I can't write full-time due to work (I have three jobs, plus portrait commissions), that progress helps me stay motivated. With editing, it's harder to measure your progress, so I tend to feel like I'm not making any and get caught up with other things that are more immediately rewarding.

  7. I've been writing seriously for about 3 years now. A couple of abandoned novels, two complete, and a folder full of shorts and poetry.

    I started submitting the first novel at the end of 2008. Then it hit me that I didn't really want to write another one like for a while. So, I shelved it and decided to focus on my YA, which I'm much more passionate about.

    You're funny ;-) You also have good information and are very helpful. I like that in a blog :P

    Rejections suck, but not knowing for sure the WHY of the rejection is worse for me. I'd prefer to know what to work on (even if I have difficulty doing it sometimes) than not having a clue. But I understand why agents don't do that often. So deep down I'm okay with it.

  8. I've been telling stories since I could talk, writing since I was in middle school, and seriously writing (as far as considering myself ready to start working towards publication) since I started work on my first manuscript in 2002.

    I have one published short story (self plug here, where it was published a second time:

    I'm in my final draft(s) stage for HOUND, my current WIP, which I hired a freelance editor for. Once I'm done working through the editors suggestions, I'll be querying, hopefully in the next month or so.

    I love this blog because of the support it gives writers, and the crit sessions of all shapes and sizes. If you're really a writer, you need to learn how to hear things you don't want to hear about your fiction. Authoress, you give a great, safe place for newer authors to experience this and feel comfortable about it.

    My biggest frustration is editing. And typos. Even after a professional editor, there are still typo. ARHBARHAGH!!!!

  9. I've been seriously writing for 3.5 years. Though I have the classic notebooks filled with doodles and stories dating back all the way to high school.

    I'm close to submitting my first short, and at least a year from a serious novel submission.

    I enjoy MSFV for the great writing that I see here, the creative energy, and the contests, which really help me keep up my writing spirits.

    My biggest frustration now is my inability to execute a plot successfully. The writing, action, and voice are there. The story arc is usually there.

    But the conflict always seems to fall apart before the end. Yarr.

  10. I've been writing stories since I was first able to write (about 24 years), and I usually thought I was serious about it. I've gotten articles into some nationally circulated nonfic magazines, but no luck with stories.

    I've done one complete rewrite and a lot of tinkering on my YA fantasy novel, which I've been sending to agents and publishers at intervals for 2 years; now I'm trying some short stories.

    I love the chance to read other people's writing and listen in on critiques, and enjoy the fantasy of hooking an agent through the SA contest; and I appreciate the clear, light and specific tone of this blog. Thanks, Authoress!

    3 biggest frustrations: The publisher who has had the first 50 of my novel for 6 months and says whenever I ask that they will definitely let me know one way or another when they decide, which they hope to do in 'a few weeks"; my tendency to get lost in the details and clutter the plot up unduly; and the apparent difficulty of selling a fantasy novel driven by internal rather than external conflict.

  11. * How long have you been writing seriously? 7 Years
    * How far along are you in the submissions process? Still Drafting with aspirations of grandeur
    * What's your main reason for adoring this blog? Great Information, Great Voice, Great Community of Writers
    * What's your biggest frustration, regardless of which point you're at in the journey? Finding Time to write, the energy to polish and the confidence to take a big leap and send a query out.

  12. 1. 5 years.

    2. I'm querying an upper middle-grade dystopian/speculative thingy. 14 queries sent, 2 partial requests. Keeping fingers crossed for a month has given me cramps.

    3. Oh, let me count the ways. I came for the Secret Agent, and stayed for the great community here. I've learned so much.

    4. I get frustrated with myself as I bounce between thinking something I've written is kinda good, to thinking it's total crap. I wish I had more discipline.

  13. I have been writing seriously for about 8 years. That's when I decided to write my first novel. Prior to that, I would write short stories occasionally, when the mood struck.

    I've had three novels published and just finished a fourth under contract with my publisher three days ago(whoo-hoo!).

    I really enjoy reading this blog because it's always helpful to read and critique other people's work. I learn a lot about my own writing that way. Especially helpful is reading the critiques/reactions from others because a) it reminds me that what one reader loves, another doesn't like/understand/appreciate (i.e. you can't please everyone), and b) it helps expose common pitfalls writers should avoid.

    My biggest frustration is balancing family time, full-time job, and writing. It was easier when I started, but now I've got a four-year-old son and that definitely introduces a challenge as far as grabbing time for myself. :)

  14. *I've been seriously writing for 2 years now; before that was years of just-for-fun (and school reports and such...*groans*)

    *My first novel is just making it to the query stage for the second time. (The first - I totally jumped the gun and shot out some queries way before it was ready *blushes*)

    * I adore this blog mainly because it reminds me I'm not alone. Whether it's the writing process, the numerous rejections, the nerves, or whatever… there is always someone posting somewhere on here that is in the same boat as me, which is a very comforting thought.

    * My biggest frustration has got to be, no matter how many times I edit my work, there is always more to be done. There is never a definitive line where you can say "This manuscript is complete, and it is perfect." But in the same respect, it is also one of the most exhilarating parts of writing. With each pass I make, the deep the storyline seems to delve - more fantastic nuisances pop out that I never would have flushed out if I didn't keep revising. So it’s a double edged sword, I guess.

  15. How long? 2 1/2 years full-time.

    How far? 1st draft completed in one year. Polishing is never ending.

    What I love in this blog? A sense of community. Helpful advice. And crits are short and doable. They don't eat up hours of valuable writing time to participate.

    Greatest frustration? Finding sample queries for character-driven novels with internal conflict. Miss Snark and other sites are focused on plot-driven queries. I have yet to see a query of my kind out there.


  16. I've been writing seriously for 2 years now. I started my current novel on 06/14/07 and was finished a week before Thanksgivings that year. From there, the story went from adult fantasy to YA and then countless edits and cuts.

    I'm currently in the query process. I have a couple of requests for fulls and a few partials out. So I'm in the waiting stage now. And that's what I think is the hardest part. Also, I work during the day and that when my muse is always on my shoulder so I totally need to be able to quit my job and write full time!!!

  17. I was reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini out loud to my kids at the same time my youngest was entering kindergarten. I suddenly had more free time and I said to myself if a 17 year old can write a book like this, why can't I?

    My youngest is now in 4th grade. I have written a book, a really big book (the manuscript has recently been split into a trilogy upon the advice of David Coe at Magical Words.) I had had similar advice before from an editor I met at a conference.

    But I had also had requests for partials, so I didn't heed the advice then. Not really. I edited a little but I have finally recognized my common novice mistake- just don't need that much back story. I couldn't let it go before, but now, I'm ready. It actually felt good to let it go.

    I've only been to one conference so far (the Surrey Int. Conf). It was FANTASTIC experience. There, I met the wonderfully kind Denise Jaden who I've kept in touch with and it was she who directed me here.

    I had actually read of this site in Writer's Digest, but had gotten distracted by an agent's rec of another site which ended up not that helpful, for me. Its more for those already published.

    My biggest problem is convincing husband, kids, elderly parents, puppy, the school asking for volunteers, etc that this "work" for which I recieve no pay is really important. They all say, "How neat that you've written a book," but they think its done. They don't get the time involved in having to polish and sell it.

  18. I decided I wanted to give writing a chance and devote my resources to it six years ago. A year later, I decided to get a laptop. It was a huge psychological commitment.

    I have just finished the first draft, but I'm a pantser, so I have a lot of rewriting to go before I give the whole thing to my betas.

    I love this blog because it makes the solitary endeavor of writing feel less solitary.

    My biggest frustration is figuring out exactly where I want to begin my story. It is also my friends' biggest frustration because they are sick of reading different versions of the first chapter.

  19. Been writing fiction seriously for 23 years. Still not fiction published. Have taken many fiction-writing courses, read many books in many genres, been in maybe 10 or more critique groups over time, had a short story published and won several fiction prizes.

    Have had 22 nonfiction books published, been editor of a journal and editor-in-chief of an encyclopedia, and have been writing fiction since 1986.

    Still not published in fiction.

    That's my biggest frustration. Got about 15 completed novels, maybe more. When my computer crashed, I lost several and never made paper copies of them.

    I query constantly about several novels to the point two agents told me to stop querying them.
    That hurt worse than a rejection of one query.

    Love your blog because it's informative and supportive.

    Greatest frustration: I'm 68 and wonder if I'll be like Grandma Moses or maybe die before I see my name on a work of fiction.

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  21. Just wanted to chime in here because really, who doesn’t like to talk about themselves? ;)

    I have been writing “seriously” since July of last year. I have written since I was about ten years old. Poems, short stories, things like that. I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was twenty-eight years old. Which was unfortunate for me because I never went to college. Taking some classes now though.

    As far as the submission process, I have been edited, agented, de-agented, and am now querying all over again. I recently (last night) changed a lot about my story so fingers crossed.

    I love, love this blog because it’s like having a best friend that understand exactly what I am gong through. I don’t know any writers so I don’t have anyone to talk to about this crazy world, until I come here. It makes me happy.

    My biggest frustration is MYSELF!

    Thanks for listening.

  22. How long: 3 years

    Submission process:
    Rewriting first novel from YA fantasy to YA paranormal.

    Second book: 2 rejections on full, one on partial. Major rewrites based on feedback. Now waiting to hear back on 2 partials and one full.

    Reasons for adoring this blog: The supportive community of writers. The crits. And the Aurthoress's insightful comments that lead to other insightful remarks from her readers.

    Biggest frustration: My kids interrupting just as the story or dialogue is flowing. Form rejections on partial or full (okay, I've only had one so I can't really complain here).

  23. I've been writing seriously (i.e for pay) since I was 12...about 8 years now.

    I've had three nonfiction books as well as some poetry published, but I'm still revising and reworking my current YA novel.

    I love this blog because it's awesomely supportive and I enjoy the critique-fests, both for the chance to give and the chance to get.

    My biggest frustration would have to be all the distractions that give me an excuse to put off revisions.

  24. I'll play.

    *Writing for 20+ years, seriously... maybe only last five years or so. :)

    *Mixed bag. Have completed novel, got feedback from very nice agents earlier this year when I queried, need to take their advice and fix novel before sending out again. It will be a while. Also other things are in different drafts. Am focusing on revising last year's NANO while I give completed-waiting-for-rehaul-novel a break.

    *Love this place, because it's a comfortable writing community, is much bloggy goodness, offers enjoyable reading material, and how could not give kudos to the really kind, informative, and wonderful blog host<: :[

    *Editing. I hates it. Yet at the same time, I wouldn't trust anyone else to go through my work and make sure my voice stays consistant, etc. Some nights I read my work and think it's utter cwap compared to what it SHOULD be.

    The other frustration is really just the market. I wish being a writer were as glamorous as I thought it'd be when I was a kiddo. Writing in my robe, sending novel off, getting money, spending money, writing in robe, sending novel off, getting more money, spending money, writing in robe... sighs.


  25. Oooo, fun!

    I've been writing since I was eight, but I started writing seriously January of this year. It was not a New Year's Resolution or anything. Actually, I kind of dived in with no real intention of finishing the novel, and the book ended up writing itself.

    I recently finished the first draft of my novel, and I'm in the editing process. Nobody has laid eyes on the manuscript except me, so I need to get some impartial editors soon. I've also started my second novel.

    What is there NOT to love about this blog? :-) I love the community of writers here, and I love, love, love the fabulous Authoress for hosting all of these awesome critique sessions. It's really cool and helpful to read other people's work.

    My biggest frustration is always wanting to be at a different spot in the process. When I'm writing, I want to be editing. When I'm editing, I want to be submitting. And I have to keep reminding myself to just love the moment and live it!

  26. I was singing it with gusto last night. "…that naughty month of May." And Happy May Day all!

    35 years writing, 3 years seriously. These past 12 months, I took my 3rd class, a college linguistics class (I didn't want to look like an idiot), Univ. of IA weekend workshop with Brett Johnston Anthony who is at Harvard, Week long writer's workshop at Arizona State-small group leader Michael A Stackpole, and located a wonderful editor, who is a graduate from the IA Writer's Program who resides in PA.

    I counted my first novel drafts just for you. 19 in varied genres with solid, concrete storylines with super characters.

    Only the last two have been read by others. Imagine almost 40 years under an upside down bushel basket? To improve my craft, I had to step out into the light and confess that yes I write seriously. In my family, that created a tantamount need to get me to an AA meeting--family intervention at a minumum.

    I’m goal oriented: Year 1: improved my craft, Year 2 collected rejection letters from my three favorite authors’ agents—done. I’m in sales, I’m used to no. WHO they came from was important to me. Year 3: get someone to ask for 50 pages. Sent query & sample to four, two rejections, and the others are still waiting replies.

    Why the goddess? Why not? It’s good advice, great crits, social contact with writers, and the site is free. Thank you all and especially you Authoress.

    Greatest frustration: Time,I consciously dictate my after normal work time with an iron fist, splitting between reading, editing, writing, and learning.

    Next frustration: I lack craft-tech vocabulary; therefore I waste words to say what a single term could express in crits. Year 4 goal.

    I write because it is the air I breathe. I just want to be the best writer that I can be. I’ll be writing from heaven, I fear.

  27. * How long have you been writing seriously?
    Writing fiction, since I was 8. Actually at the point where I felt other people might want to read it? Feb of this year.

    * How far along are you in the submissions process? (i.e., Still writing that first draft? Been submitting to agents for twelve years? Already published?)
    I just started submitting in Feb 2009. I have 10 rejections for short stories so far. I'm still working on two novels, neither of which are ready for submission yet. Half of my rejection letters are personal notes though, so I take it that I'm somewhere in the middle or towards the top of the rejected pile in terms of quality.

    * What's your main reason for adoring this blog? (heh)
    I love snark? *grin*

    * What's your biggest frustration, regardless of which point you're at in the journey?
    The really nice comments combined with "send us something else, this didn't work" but no word as to WHY! I know this is an old as time writer frustration, but still. The other thing I still find frustrating is the whole never being sure that what I'm doing is ever any good. I just can't tell. It irks me.

  28. I've been writing seriously for just over a year and a half. I knew I wanted to about a year before that, but university didn't leave a lot of time to do more than dabble. I'm fairly green to the publishing world, and probably pretty green in my writing, too, but I'm learning by doing and by paying close attention to an editor-writer-relative.

    I'm on the second draft of my first novel right now, and have at least two more passes to get through before I'd even consider sending the MS out. I don't get a lot of good writing time around my day-job, unfortunately, so all this is taking a while. I have ideas for sequels to the current novel, and ideas for two more stand-alones, one of which I plan to start on before the third pass through my novel.

    I like this blog for the contests and the crit sessions, because it gives me a chance to get crit, practice a different set of skills by critiquing others, and maybe, possibly, someday hooking an agent…. I was internet-less for a couple months recently and have a lot of backlogged posts to get through unfortunately.

    My biggest frustration is fairly minor at the moment. My first draft was written in third person alternating narrators, and had a lot of POV wobbles. I decided it would be a cleaner story, and more involving, if it was actually in first person, with alternating narrators, so that's what I'm working on now. However (and here's the frustration), this means a lot of additional writing to get thoughts and opinions in, which has made the whole process longer.

  29. How long have you been writing seriously?About six years. But spent about five years prior to that teaching myself *how* to write.

    How far along are you in the submissions process? (i.e., Still writing that first draft? Been submitting to agents for twelve years? Already published?)I have 2 completed novels. One on submission at Avon (it was actually passed to them from another house...weird, eh?) Both novels are also on sub with two agents. (I'm between agents at the moment).
    I have a novella titled Her Will His Way published online with Cobblestone Press and it's gotten some awesome reviews!

    What's your main reason for adoring this blog? (heh)Connecting with other writers (I LOVE chatting with people but I know I can commiserate with writers here without judgement.)'s a great blog and easy distraction. ;-)

    What's your biggest frustration, regardless of which point you're at in the journey?
    Knowing I have two KICKASS novels and no one to publish them. ;-P

  30. I've been writing seriously for about 25 years.

    I've been submitting book length manuscripts for about 3 years. Not published yet but I've gotten some nice "positive" rejections.

    I just came upon your blog a week or so ago! It was the WD's award that led me to you.

    My biggest frustration is revising and waiting from editors/agents who never respond. I would perfer a simple, "No," to nothing at all.

  31. * How long, seriously?
    Maybe three years, depending how you define seriously. I've barely broken a half-mil (got curious this week and checked. It's on my blog).
    * How far?
    Finished my fifth draft and have it out to a half-dozen + test-readers not related to me
    * What's your reason? (heh)
    I've just started following, but I appreciate how you acknowledge Christ in your self-introduction and still speak plainly. I'm one of that combination, too, and it's something of a relief to find others like myself who are considered useful. (Hope that doesn't come across as insulting.)
    * What's your frustration?
    My basic lack of discipline. I get things done b/c I pick at them so long, not because I'm efficient with the time I spend. But you probably can't help with that.

    (We share the same b-day, btw. So happy day a little late. I didn't want to interrupt the story.)

  32. I started writing about three years ago, at which point I realized I had no idea how to write. I stepped back, took over a year to get educated, and rewrote my manuscript. Just started sending out queries - two interestings and on intriguing, but no requests. My biggest frustration would be not knowing why. Is my letter off? Is the story not right for today's market? Does my writing stink? Of course, not having time (full time job and teaching one class at the local college on Saturdays) is a major frustration but sleep is overrated.

    This is the best blog I've run across for people wanting (needing?) feedback. Well run, supportive, excellent "programs," great co-bloggers. Thanks to Authoress and all who participate.

  33. - about a year and a half
    - hopefully in my final revision - not querying yet
    - really helpful and fun
    - time, time and more time - there's never even close to enough!

  34. I'd say 3 1/2 years. That's how long it's been since I've really understood what it would take to get published, anyway.

    I've got one ms in query land, and one that's about halfway done.

    I adore your blog b/c I love reading crits!

    Writing takes longer than I want it to. I get a whole story in my head and can't get it down fast enough!

  35. ooh, I'll play...but not Drop the Needle, because I didn't fully understand the content end of it, but, then I do have jet lag, so it's probably me...but....

    * How long have you been writing seriously? Corporate copy, over 20 years (cringe); fiction around four years.
    * How far along are you in the submissions process? Several short stories published; had an agent for YA fiction who then stopped agenting, so I'll be querying again soon, sigh.
    * What's your main reason for adoring this blog? (heh) Your wit and charm, naturally. Oh, and the intelligent critiques from your guests.
    * What's your biggest frustration, regardless of which point you're at in the journey? Time pressure. Always the time pressure.

  36. *I've been writing seriously since December 23rd, 2007. I remember the date because it was during my Christmas holidays and I decided to sit down and finally start working on the idea that I had in my head.

    *I wrote the first draft of a YA fantasy manuscript. Then I stopped writing for a little while. I'm now halfway through the first draft of another manuscript. Once it's done I'll go back and edit them alternately.

    *I don't know any other novel writers, so it's very interesting to hear about other people's experiences. The crits are fantastic, you learn so much by critting, even without submitting anything yourself.

    *I can imagine having a whole new set of frustrations once I start querying, but until then, the biggest is time. I'd love to be able to write full-time, but it's not really possible at the moment. This is true for so many people that I really shouldn't complain though.

  37. I been writing since high school.I wanted to become an author after reading S.E.Hinton's Outsiders.

    I was first published 7 years ago and since then I haven't stopped.

    I have four books published. 2x self published novels. 1 x self published short story collection and my latest release was published by YouWriteOn.
    I have over 30 publications including, non fiction, reviews and poetry.

    I have two unfinished novels, but I'm on hiatus at the moment as I'm 5 months pregnant.

    I joined this blog to take part in contests, get critique for my WIP, and to network with other writers.

    My biggest frustration is not being able to find an agent to take a chance on a new genre of fiction.

  38. * 4.5 years
    * Signed with an agent a month ago, first round of submissions went out yesterday.
    * The SA contests, sense of community.
    * Trying to find writing time during the day, when I'm fresh.

  39. Even though I'm not going to get a gold star, I'm coming out of lurk-mode.

    1) I've been writing since I was very little (in first grade I volunteered in the school library because I thought that would help :)), but decided to get serious about fourteen years ago.

    2) I had two short stories published about ten years ago, but then life put me on hiatus for a while. In the past five years I've had short stories published in a few print & online journals, and queried two novels to agents (#2 attracted some attention, but no offer). In the next week or so I'll find out if #3 is ready to query.

    3) I haven't participated in any crits or contests yet, but now that the rules have changed (& I have a chance) I hope to. They seem like a fun way to get a little better at this and maybe meet a few writers. Plus, I just like your style.

    4) My biggest frustration is the disparity between the stories in my head and what sits on the page. (When I'm actively querying, the subjectivity of this business would be my answer to this one.)

  40. Camelot! I love that movie. Although I thought it was Vanessa Redgrave who played Guenevere.


    1) Since October 2008
    2) Editing the first draft
    3) Great information and comments and I like the contests it;s interesting to see examples of other people's work.
    4) All the horrible mistakes in the first draft! There's a long way to go.

  41. * How long have you been writing seriously?Since about 2005, so four years or so.

    * How far along are you in the submissions process? (i.e., Still writing that first draft? Been submitting to agents for twelve years? Already published?)I've had a few stories published, a few more accepted, and am happily ignoring novel drafts and edits. :P

    * What's your main reason for adoring this blog? (heh)Always inspiring and helpful and the community here is awesome. ;)

    * What's your biggest frustration, regardless of which point you're at in the journey?I can only pick one? :| Eh, knowing how I WANT something to turn out and not being able to execute it properly... if that makes any sense? I have a vision or idea in mind but I can't quite get it out how I want, or when I finish a draft I don't know how to FIX it. :| *sigh* Very, VERY frustrating.

    Lovely post, Authoress, I'm enjoying reading the responses. :D


  42. 1) Far, far too long . . . at least 20 (OMG!) years.
    2) I'm querying one project and working on editing a second project.
    3) Life is about learning all you can learn. I learn tons from your blog.
    4) The frustration, the angst, the doubt, the agony . . . : )

    Thanks for the post and everything you do.

  43. 1) I've been writing professionally (one sort or another) for over 30 years. I primarily wrote for the soaps on TV. I published my first novel in 2000 (St. Martin's Press)

    2) I'm about to send out the Dreaded Query Letter on my completed new novel. This will be its sixth time out there, each time resulting in a major rewrite. For the first time, I actually happy with it. From top to bottom. Never been able to say that before.

    3) I like your sense of humor and I pick up useful tips.

    4) My biggest frustration is AGENTS! In Hollywood, I had a theatrical agent for 20 years. This guy really worked for me during my whole time with him. With my first book (with a co-author), we sent out over 100queries to agents. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Figuring we had nothing to lose, we sent it out to mainstream publishers. Yes, yes, we knew that was a no-no. But the thing is we sold it. I'd love to go with an agent this go-round, but so far have been utterly unsuccessful. So I think I'll try a mailing to publishers and see if it works this time around.

  44. It's been about eight years since I started littering the internet with essays, short stories, poems and reviews. A year or two later, I began placing my stuff in small press print mags. I spent some time editing and did a political humor column along the way. I've accumulated enough supernatural mysteries shorts to put together a collection to be called Hard-Boiled Horrors: Tales of the Paranoirmal, coming one of these first fine years from Daverana Enterprises, and I'm currently appearing regularly in Main Enterprises' Dark Corridor magazine.

    My first paranoirmal novel, Smarter Than the Average Werewolf, is out in query limbo. A couple of agencies have asked for partials, but nothing solid has popped yet. The first sequel, Dead Women in Love, is about halfway done, and several other sequels are in various stages of development.

    I've only just discovered this blog, but like very much what I've seen so far.

    My biggest frustration is connecting with an agent who handles the kind of stuff I do, which is an amalgamation of several genres, blended together in what I think is a new way while remaining as true as I can keep it to each of those traditions.

  45. I wrote poetry seriously from 15-25.

    The poetry started turning into stories, so I switched to fiction. I've been writing fiction seriously for 10 years.

    I just sent out first "requested pages" packet for novel #2, drafted almost 3 years ago. Published poetry, short-short fiction, and murder mystery party games.

    Adore Secret Agent first pages, which helped me get the request for pages.

    Frustration: Learning new things = rewrite. Could be worse things to be frustrated over.

  46. * How long have you been writing seriously?
    Since always.
    * How far along are you in the submissions process? (i.e., Still writing that first draft? Been submitting to agents for twelve years? Already published?)
    Already published. But never stop learning. In fact I thought I'd only write contemporary but two of my best efforts are historicals. One is a paranormal. With faeries. And the next one is something that was so much fun, with a hero so adorable I fell in love with him. He's a Regency. And I loved writing it - I'm a huge Austen fan - so I intend doing another one. So many ideas in my head and so many characters fighting with each other for their turn.

    * What's your main reason for adoring this blog? (heh)
    The old blog with the killer canine. I've only just discovered this one. "She's baaaaaaaaaaaack!" But I tort I taw a puddytat!
    * What's your biggest frustration, regardless of which point you're at in the journey?
    FAQ - Fear of Agent Query.


  47. "And I suppose the autumn leaves fall into neat little piles"


  48. Welcome to the blog, Pennyoz! But I'm not Miss Snark. I'm her first victim. =)

  49. 1: I have been writing for just over two years.

    2: I’ve already submitted a couple of full manuscripts to publishers, and I’ve had some helpful rejections. I usually re-write the whole thing, then send them back out again.

    3: I love this blog because of the honest and helpful feedback I receive. It always improves my writing in some way. And I love that we all understand what being published means to us.

    4: My biggest frustration is having internet connection problems. Power outages when your waiting to post something on this blog, especially when you’ve been sitting with your finger on the send button for ages and just as your about to hit send, the power goes off.

    I also hate it when I get a great idea and someone wants to talk or interrupts my train of thought.