Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What's Up Wednesday and Insecure Writers Support Group

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk for writers to connect with each other.

What I'm Reading

Dead After Ever by Charlaine Harris, the final Sookie Stackhouse book (which the TV show True Blood is based on). The reviews are nasty, people are unhappy with how the series ends. I've avoided spoilers but I have the feeling I will not be rage-mad. I could see where this series was heading for awhile. The last few books have been inconsistent, and feature a lot of characters just dropping in to say hi for no real reason, which is bizarre. The beginning of the series was so fast-paced that the filler in the later books is really noticeable.

The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin, which is a romance set in Tang Dynasty China. It's really good, even if you aren't typically into romance. With the courtesan culture it reminds me a lot of Memoirs of a Geisha, though this is obviously set in China and not Japan.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth, listening to the audio book version. The reader for Tris is one of my favorites (I've apparently listened to enough audio books to recognize the readers.)

What I'm Writing

I'd hoped to be finished with my current revisions but ... nope. I have several more weeks of work to do. I'm planning to write a synopsis of my changes to send to my agent, but I still have to assemble more of my patchwork re-org before that's ready. The manuscript is in a state of controlled chaos at the moment.

I just signed up for the YA Buccaneers' Spring Writing Bootcamp to continue on with writing goals. Check it out here!

What Influences Me Right Now

I finished Leila Sales' This Song Will Save Your Life in one day (strangely enough, I read her other book Past Perfect in one day also). Some of the internal reflection in the book inspired me to shape a few scenes in my WIP differently. You hear so much hate on backstory, but when you read a book where it's done well, that's inspiring. The trick seems to be to delay backstory details until further in (50 pages is a rule I've seen but I've seen authors violate this and I'm OK with it), and to add them in slowly and with purpose. I don't mind flashbacks but for me they need to happen after I'm already established with the current story.

What Else I've Been Up To

Beyond writing and work, I've been back to the gym more consistently (thanks to other Writer Recharge writers who added exercise into their monthly goal!).

All the TV shows came back this week after the Olympics ended. The Hubz and I watched our favorites (Supernatural, Justified, Community, Parks and Rec). We also watched season 3 of Game of Thrones on DVD. *sigh* I have a love/hate with that show. It requires another post.

And finally, Hannibal is back. Hannibal is an amazing show, I'm so glad a friend suggested we catch up with the first season. I can't recommend it for everyone because it's DARK. I pitched it to a friend as Dexter if produced like an indie film, minus any comic relief. So yeah, it's intense. But really, really good.


It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

Icanhazcheezburger.com
Patience, I do not have.

Well, if I do, it's forced. I'm antsy. I'm working as hard and as fast as I can given my full time job, keeping a marginally clean household, getting minimal exercise, and oh yeah, paying attention to the other person I've committed my life to (Hi, honey!)

I want to be further along in my revisions. This is a second full revision, and probably the 4th? draft of my current novel. I've worked in feedback from a few readers, and this is my second go-round with my agent. I'm not complaining about the work itself, itt's just this particular revision requires restructuring the whole story, moving parts around, expanding sections that were underdeveloped, shortening what I did focus on. This all takes time.

I want a book published. This is what drives me. I'm so close I can smell it! But it takes time. Even with a book deal, it will be another year and a half before the book is out.

Over and over, I hear publishing is a long game. Debut authors often struggle. Until you have 2, 3 or more books out, it's going to be a waiting game.

No wonder patience is a virtue.

How do you deal with impatience? Please leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Please visit the other IWSG blogs either tagged on twitter or from the link provided.


33 comments:

  1. Good luck with your revisions!
    I have a love/love relationship with Game of Thrones. I can't wait for it to come back!

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  2. I've probably been too patient, seeing as how I had my lifetime dream of being published on the back burner! I finally decided I had to do it my way, or not at all, since I don't want to wait to find an agent, get approved by a publishing house, get a publication date that could be two years in future, and then only be able to release one book a year, while I'm getting older.

    Radical revisions can be frustrating to tackle, but it's so rewarding in the end. The most important thing to consider is if they're making the story better and will be worth it.

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  3. I honestly liked the way the Sookie books ended. I hope you are too! :)

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  4. I read somewhere that patience is waiting, but not passively. Passive waiting is just another way of saying lazy. Patience means to keep going even when the journey is slow and difficult—a perfect description of the road to publication.

    VR Barkowski

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  5. Patience is a virtue. Working with children forced me to develop rather a lot of it ^^;

    Good luck with the rest of your revisions ^_^ Have a great week!

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  6. Good luck with revisions.

    I'm the most impatient person in the world - and my hubs vouches for that LOL Hang in there. When you have a bunch of books under your belt, you'll look back and think it was all worth it :D

    Have a great week!

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  7. I'm in the middle of edits on a book I've rewritten five times now (as in, a complete revision and re-structuring), and I totally feel your pain! Revisions are the most time-consuming and often frustrating process, but it's worth it to see your book shine. :) I completely understand the impatience, though, especially if it's a book you've been working on a long time! Good luck with your revisions!

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    1. I think my mistake was that my first and second drafts came together really fast. Like some sort of miracle! Except it wasn't. Still a lot of work.

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  8. Like you I totally struggle with patience. It's one of those things that I have to mentally remind myself about. "Julie, remain patient. Your children are watching you." That sort of thing.

    Good luck with those revisions!

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  9. Stephanie, I finished reading Allegiant awhile back. I'd be very curious to know what you thought of it when you're done with the audio book. You can just tweet me with your thoughts, if you like.

    I don't know if I could say I know how to deal with impatience. But often when I'm trying to push myself to speed something up, my sensible side (if there's such a thing) tells me to slow down so I don't skip any important steps while I'm rushing myself.

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    1. I hear a lot of people do not like the ending, and I know a bit of a spoiler but not the specifics. I'm not a die hard fan of the series so I'm sure I'll be OK with it.

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  10. Hi Stephanie! It was great to see your name show up on my blog. =) My life sounds a lot like yours: full time job, writing, family... lots of different hats. Sounds like you're doing a great job juggling everything. Restructuring a novel can be exhausting, but it's always worth it when the revisions are done.

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  11. The only way I've found to deal with impatience is to stay as crazy busy as possible. Probably not the best way to deal, though :)

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  12. Oh, I really needed to hear that right about now. Having patience is so hard sometimes. I signed up for the Spring Writing Boot Camp too. I really need the focus. Good luck with your revisions. Have a great weekend!

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  13. My husband and I are watching Season 3 of GoT again before Season 4 airs. I'm so not looking forward to episode 9 again. Eek. I've heard good things about Justified, so I might have to check that one out. I haven't read THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, but lots of people seem to really like it. Backstory is something I struggle with in my writing. It took me a long time to figure out how much was all right and where to place it in the story. I personally don't mind reading backstory in the books I read, so it makes it difficult for me to tell if I'm overdoing it, you know? I hear you on the several weeks of revisions thing. I'm in that same boat. At least it sounds like you have a good plan, or at least a plan to make a plan lol. Have a great week, Stephanie!

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    1. Justified is so good; if you can handle Game of Thrones you will be fine with it (violent and disturbing but only a fraction of what GoT is).

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  14. I'm the most impatient person I know. I'm especially impatient when I'm waiting on someone else. So, yeah, I totally get you.

    I have issues with backstory every single time I write. I tend to write too little backstory and end up having to add it in during later revisions. I personally like books were there's barely any backstory (think FEED) so I generally write that way, which can obviously be confusing to readers. I thought THESE BROKEN STARS did a great job with the backstory. There are no paragraphs explaining the world. It just seemed so organic. It's a great book, but it's also worth a read if you're looking for a good example of backstory.

    Good luck meeting your goals!

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    1. I've read excerpts of Feed for a writing course--fantastic writing. I'll have to try out the other book; I think it's already on my list to read.

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  15. Even after having over ten books published, I get frustrated at times. There's just not enough time to do everything.

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  16. It does take time. But that will work to your advantage. Once you turn this one into your agent, you'll be able to write another book and start planning for the first one's release.

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  17. I can be so impatient as well. I have to force myself to breathe and settle down when it gets really bad. Or, I take a break and get myself out of my headspace.

    Huge Supernatural and Justified fan here. I love al the great characters in the shows. And the writing. It's very inspiring.

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  18. Patience is a pain! That's what the saying should be.

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  19. Time is something that sure goes away fast, but we get done what we can get done. Supernatural and Justified are two good ones indeed

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  20. Believe it or not, I deal with impatience by trying to remember the Serenity prayer. For whatever reason it seems to put things in perspective for me. I'd only got past Divergent but hadn't continued the series. Best of luck with your revisions :)

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    1. That's a good method. Meditation and prayer is quite helpful!

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  21. Patience. I used to say I didn't have it, but lately, I felt it come more naturally as I relinquish my need for control in everything. I think we struggle most with being truly patient, with focusing on the task at hand rather than the thing we are waiting on happening, when we also are fighting for control. I am a control freak in most areas, so this is coming from some who has always fought that battle ineffectively.

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  22. How do I deal with patience? I have six kids, so I've acquired it of necessity! :) Seriously, though, I try to do other things to get my mind off of what I'm waiting for. Right now, I'm waiting on Beta feedback, which will fuel revisions, after which I will start querying. I really believe I have a good and sale-able story, so I'm anxious to query. But I don't want to rush my Betas (especially since they are volunteering time out of their busy schedules to help me out), so I need to be patient. This means I work on my short story, and my A-to-Z flash fiction, and catch up on non-writing projects, and read, and spend time with my family... and that seems to help. :)

    I hope you have a really productive week, Stephanie! May you enjoy these revision changes so much, you don't even notice how much work they are, and how much time they're taking. :D

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    1. I'm impressed you get writing done with all that on your plate :)

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  23. I grumble to myself or jump up and down, to answer your question honestly. It gets tiring when you enter the 2nd year, but after that, you can just keep going. Having other things to do helps too, including some non-writing things. Thanks for visiting my blog :-)

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  24. Controlled chaos is a pretty excellent way to describe all of my revisions, ever. Sometimes they're more chaotic than controlled, but what can I say? ;-) Best of luck pulling it all together, lady!

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  25. Bootcamp is the perfect time for you get those revisions done! I've never read any of Sookie Stackhouse books and have only watched the first season of True Blood, but I can see why it has such a huge following!

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