Showing posts with label publishers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label publishers. Show all posts

Saturday, July 7, 2012

WRITING MEMOIR, REVISING, REWRITING



This holiday week has been full of fun and work. Seeing old friends, talking with family, meeting new friends, and eating hot dogs and hamburgers.

The work came when a dear student of mine brought over dinner and her memoir manuscript she has been working on for three years.  She admitted she was shocked when she discovered the time and effort needed after all the words were on paper.
"I don't think I would have started this if I had known how much work it takes to get it published,” she said. But she has been bitten by the writing bug and is already planning future writing.

We spent hours Friday proofing and revising parts of just three chapters. She admits she did not really “hear” me when I said in class that revision is a big part of writing.
She had no idea that parts of her manuscript would have to be cut, rearranged or rewritten. She did hear me when I said she should hire a professional editor if she wanted to self-publish and her book to be the best it could be. She has an excellent editor, I think. The hardest part of working with an editor is accepting revisions that smooth out the writing, but leave out parts the writer feels were essential to her story. Maybe it would be helpful to remember that major authors of Best Selling Books are happy to have good editors who can improve on the way their words are written on the page.

I tell my students their memoir should inform, enlighten and entertain their readers. We want our readers to learn about us, about our situation or experience. We also want them to be enlightened – perhaps see something in a different light -- and I believe this author’s book will do that. Her editor likes the book and sees its worth and wants to keep the author’s voice intact. The book is entertaining. Humor, pathos, and outrage, flow throughout the pages, mixed in with the innocence lost as she meets with challenges she never expected to encounter.

A universal theme in this book is overcoming adversity and also the realization that no matter how things change they always seem to stay the same.

What started as a simple batch of stories about this writer’s life, has now become a full-blown 60,000-word manuscript. All this from someone who had never thought of writing a book until she began taking writing classes and devoting herself to writing.

If one wants to write, he/she should begin taking classes and keeping a journal. Write in that journal as often as possible. If not in a journal, start a morning practice of writing a few pages every day. Discipline is needed to begin a habit. Once the habit is begun it will be second nature to write whenever and wherever possible.


Click here to see a schedule of writing classes where you might want to begin.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sage Advice from Hope's newsletter



POPSICLES
It's easy to be against something ...that you're afraid of. It's easy to be afraid of something that you don't understand.
When you see people ranting online, usually they fall in line with the above school of thought. They bash something they're afraid of or something they do not understand. No, I'm not talking politics, but it applies there, too.
We bash agents, but we don't know any.

We criticize editors, but we've never spoken in person to one. We fuss that contests are rigged, so we do not enter. We don't query, because our submission will only land in a shredder.
We chastise something because we heard this and heard that. It's like the guy on the commercial talking to his girlfriend with the popsicle. He frowns and says it contains sucrose. The girlfriend asks what's wrong with it. He can't say. She tells him the good points of the popsicle and offers him one. He takes it and they laugh, happy with the world.
This world is seriously crammed full of people afraid to take steps into unknown territory. Many don't want to walk on unchartered ground, so they surmise that the experience can only be bad.
Therefore, they...
1. Don't submit to high-paying magazines.
2. Don't query agents.
3. Don't pitch traditional publishers.
4. Don't market themselves.
5. Don't sell their writing.

And most of them complain about the publishing arena and the strife of a freelance writer.
Listen. Until you've tasted and studied the ingredients of that popsicle, how do you know it isn't good for you?
What's the worst that could happen if you strike out there on your own and take chances?
1. You get rejected.
2. You don't sell your work.

Doesn't look so terrible, does it?
Now, go find a popsicle.

Hope

http://www.hopeclark.blogspot.com/

Reprinted here with permission of Hope Clark.Check out her website and her blog for good info for writers.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Trip to Winston-Salem

Normally I wouldn't have gone to this conference since it was such a long distance, over six hour drive, but I felt, as the Netwest Program Coordinator I should attend. I'm very glad I did. Much was accomplished for our group, I think, and I'm confident the Network is doing well and on the right track.

Friday afternoon, I met Mary Jo Dyre from Murphy and hooked her up with another western NC native, Pat Davis who lives in Pennsylvania now. Both these ladies were there to pitch their novels. And this was the place to do it. So many publishers, agents and programs for meeting the people authors need to know.

I met Debbie McGill, Literary Director of the NC Arts Council as soon as I entered the registration area. Debbie is a long time friend of Netwest and attended our Lights in the Mountains Conference when it was held in Hayesville. She was interested to hear all that is going on with our group. I had a few of our online newsletters, The Netwest News, with me and I gave her one. Nicki Leone, president of NCWN arrived and I made arrangements to meet with her and Al Manning on Saturday to go over our revised guidelines and mission statement.

Sara Claytor, a member of the NC Poetry Society stood near the NCPS table. She was excited to have her first poetry book published. I meant to buy one later, but never got back to pick it up. We talked about the possibility of "swapping writers" from her area in Raleigh to our area in western NC for readings, workshops, and other events. She said the poetry society talked about our "Coffee with the Poets" at one of their meetings and they would like to look into doing the same thing in their area. Ed Cockrell, publisher of the NCPC Correspondent, included an article on CWP this year.

I had invited Netwest folks attending the conference to join Barry and me Friday night for dinner. I was delighted to have Ken Kinnett and Lana Hendershott of Henderson County, Mary Jo, and Nancy Cash, author of Ritual River, join us along with our new friend Pat Davis. Although Nancy lives in Asheville, she is a native of Murphy, NC. Mary Jo and Pat seemed delighted to have Nancy tell them of her experiences in the publishing world.

After dinner, Jill McCorkle gave the keynote speech and entertained us all with her humor and insight into making your charactors believeable, even if you have to use some bad language to do it.

Jill is one of our outstanding southern writers who hails from Lumberton, NC.

As I left the jam-packed hall after Jill's speech, I was tired but exhilerated from so much creative energy in that room.