Tag Archive: Writers Resources

Jul 30

Repeat after Me: Your Book is NOT Your Baby

WHAT’S PLAYING: DuffyWarwick Avenue

 

A while ago, I resolved to put off having children until I was financially and emotionally stable. I’m well on my way to accomplishing the first task. As for the second…well, let’s just say that I’m not going to be on the cover of Sanity Fair anytime soon. In fact, I’m pretty sure that by the time I’ve worked through all the kinks and snarls in my mind, I’ll be so far past menopause that any eggs I have left will be hardboiled.

 

But while I’m more than happy to defer childbearing, lately when it comes to my writing, I’ve suddenly turned into some sort of crazy stage mom. Every word is precious, and any hint of criticism is a personal attack. This is a problem, especially now that I’m about to put my book into the hands of my beta readers.

The scenario will probably play out something like this:

WHAT THEY SAY: “I like the book, but I think this scene could use some tightening.”

WHAT I HEAR: “You’re ugly and stupid, and your mother dresses you funny. Oh, and your writing sucks.”

I guess this sort of reaction is natural. I’ve poured so much time and energy into this project that in some ways, it’s more “mine” than any child could be.

 

 

But, by investing so much of myself in this book, I’m not doing it, or my self-esteem, any favors. As a writer, I can’t afford to get so wrapped up in writing the book of my heart, that I lose sight of my true purpose: to tell a good story.

The truth is that this book is just a book. Yes, I’ve cried, sweated, and cursed over it into the wee hours of the night, but it’s still a creation, not an extension of my self-worth.

 

 

Still, if you happen to walk by and see me weeping hysterically while clutching papers to my chest and howling at an uncaring sky, just… look away.

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/07/repeat-after-me-your-book-is-not-your-baby/

Apr 09

Rolling the Dice — Lucky 7 Meme

WHAT’S PLAYING: Michael Jackson feat. Akon “Hold My Hand

The lovely and wonderful Mrs. Janice Heck (http://janiceheck.wordpress.com) nominated me for the Lucky 7 Meme.

I usually try to avoid these things, mostly because I have no idea what I’m doing. But the rules of the game seem simple enough:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP.

2. Go to line 7.

3. Copy the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.

4. If your WIP doesn’t have 77 pages, you can post 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs from page 7.

5. Tag 7 other writers and let them know.

In the interests of full disclosure, this novel is still in rough shape. Still, you asked for it….

 

I killed my son today.

Even now, sitting at the same table where I fed him porridge sweetened with honey and figs, where he lisped his way through his very first spell, it doesn’t seem real. His body lay on the floor at my feet, a thin ribbon of blood oozing from the wound in his neck. I made it as quick and painless as I could–he never even saw the blade. I knelt beside him, closed his eyes and tenderly kissed both lids the way I used to when he was just a boy. So few in this life die peacefully, without pain.

My last gift to him. 

 

Now to pick 7 other writers.

 

Subhakar Das

Melinda VanLone  

Jill Archer

S.Z. Williams

Myndi Shafer

M.J. Monaghan

Gretchen Rix

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/04/rolling-the-dice-lucky-7-meme/

Feb 06

My First Critique

WHAT’S PLAYING: LeAnn RimesHow Do I Live” (iPod stuck on country music today…the music of pain.)

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

I got the first round of notes back from my new mentor/editor last night, and they were BRUTAL. We’re talking “I must hide my face because I am not worthy to be seen by other people” brutal.

The worst part is that I deserved it. I was so excited about my story and working with her, that I neglected the actual writing part. I rushed through one draft and then sent it off without even bothering to check it over. And the result was a 9,000-word mess peppered with inconsistent characters, setting and details.

For example, I decided to set the story in Mississippi during the summer, August to be exact. And then I turned around and had my protagonist dressed in friggin’ sweater. In August. In Mississippi. The sweater was necessary to the story, but the location and time of year wasn’t. I just threw them in and forgot about it. When she pointed it out, I felt like a complete moron.

 

At least she thought the writing was good. I just need to pay more attention.  It was hard to hear, especially coming from her. I’ve wanted to work with this particular editor for over a year. And now – after she finally makes time for me in her busy schedule – I had to and blow it by making a series of rookie mistakes.

Ah well, the good news is that she’s still willing to work with me. Apparently, she still has high hopes for my work.

Now all I have to do is prove her right.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/02/my-first-critique/

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