Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Countdown Is On

I know what you are probably thinking, the countdown is on to the December holidays. And you're right, but in my case the countdown is on to the release of my Chanukah novella. After much debate over the last few months and several drafts of my story, I decided to take the plunge and self-publish my story. I did not make the decision lightly. I have studied the market, considered the pros and cons of going at it alone (and yes there are both) and debated if this novella is a good first step into publishing. I know that some people decry self-publishing as the place where authors who can't find a publisher go. Likewise there are some who are so pro self- publishing they can't see that there are reasons an author might want to be published with a big New York house or even a smaller, well-established e-press. I may address both of these ideas in a later blog, but for now it is enough to say that for this project I saw the value in trying to release it on my own.
However, that doesn't mean I just slapped a story together for the holidays. This story has been in the works for a while in different forms. It has been read by several established authors and editors, all of whom gave me valuable feedback and made me think of my story and writing in new ways. I have also hired a freelance cover artist to design my book jacket. As I finish my current rounds of edits, I am excited by what the future holds for my writing career. I know there is a lot of competition out there, but hopefully those people who give my novella a try will find a warm, heartwarming holiday tale and that will be a wonderful reward.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm Finished, Now What?

Well I did it! I finished the latest draft of my holiday novella. I know it still needs some work, but while I'm waiting for my readers to come back with their comments, I'm left wondering what's next. I know what you're going to say, if you're finished writing one project move on to the next, but how do you decide what's next. Usually I have some ideas in the back of my mind of stories I want to write or characters who are just waiting for me to write about them, but at the moment I've got nothing. Any advice? I'd like to get back to my romantic suspense roots for my next project -- so I know that's the direction I'm going to take,  And I do have a half-written story that was interrupted for a number of reasons, should I go back and retool the opening of that and focus on finishing or is the fact that I put it down in the first place a sign that the story isn't working? Decisions, decisions ...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Writing Through November

It's already well into November (where did the year go?), which means it is a superbusy time for writers. Sure there's food to be cooked for Thanksgiving and presents to be bought on Black Friday but before that happens writers get to hunker down for two big November events -- NaNoWriMo and SYTYCW.
NaNo, as most participants call it, is a monthlong writing exercise where authors and aspiring writers aim to pen a 50,000-word book in just one month. To be successful with NaNo you really have to buckle down, writing nearly 2,000 words per day, every day of the month -- including Thanksgiving. For those who are participating, good luck! But just remember the old adage -- all good writing is in the rewriting.
As for the other acronym, SYTYCW, that's a much newer, but very impressive writing challenge from Harlequin Books. So You Think You Can Write launched last year, and hundreds (if not more) aspiring category writers took part in various challenges throughout the month in the hopes of winning a writing contract from Harlequin. Aside from the challenges, what makes SYTYCW so informative for writers, whether they are participating in the competition or not, are the great tips, blogs, chats and more that the publishing house's editors offer during the contest. You can learn more about SYTYCW here: SoYouThinkYouCanWrite.com. Good luck! And even if you're not participating in either of these events, make it your goal to buckle down and write this month.