Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A little writing advice from a friend

I have this friend from high school who I haven't really seen since...uh...high school (thank God for Facebook). I recently posted something on his wall and a couple weeks later he messaged me back. I told him I was writing a book. He told me he lives in Hollywood and is an assistant writer for Michael Dougherty, who wrote X-Men 2 and Superman Returns. Can I compete with that? I mean, this is a guy who runs into Brad Pitt, rubbed shoulders with Drew Barrymore and even got a chuckle out of George Clooney while sporting his favorite plaid pants. But all I could picture was the guy who I sat next to in high school yearbook class! Soon we were emailing back and forth and last night I had the pleasure of talking to him for 50 minutes!

I had emailed him a five page synopsis of my book. I have been feeling overwhelmed. I'm reading so many different opinions from the Internet that I don't even know what direction I'm headed in. I'm even reading that I don't even need to write the book anymore! What? Supposedly now I just need to find an agent. But that's not what I read five articles ago on a different website. I need a biography. I need an outline. I need a query letter. I need a 1-2 page synopsis. I need this and that. What about the book itself??? Hearing this totally fed into my procrastination. Ah ha! I'm almost done, I thought! TOTALLY WRONG!

My friend called me and offered his opinions, especially since he's been dealing with all the pressures himself. I appreciated what he had to say more than I think he'll ever know, and I needed to hear it. My husband, of course, is on my case about this as well. I have to WRITE the book. I have to FINISH the book.

In the words of my friend, finishing the book will be one of the greatest personal feats of my life - and I just need to suck it up, divorce the idea of developing a best seller or contacting agents - I need to WRITE!!!!!! He also suggested some ways to improve my story. Some of his words that will stick with me are remembering to stay true to myself and put my own STAMP and VOICE into this book. This book is for me. Nobody else. But me. And this will show.

The hard part will be making this book a priority. This means saying no to fun nights out, weekends away and doing things for others - all very hard for me to say NO too. The next six months will have to be about me and finishing this book. I have to do it.

So, it's back to chapter one and fixing this up. I know myself. I know I can't just do something mediocre and be proud of it. I need to put my heart and soul into it.

See you on the flip side!

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Ha! Your husband sounds like mine and you sound like ME. I, too, have a debut novel that I'm pitching to agents. (I know you're still writing but you know what I mean.)

I just returned from a writers' conference in Ohio where I pitched to agents. This is only the second time I've done that (very nerve wracking). We have a conference in July in Missouri. Google Ozarks Romance Authors for the info. We have four speakers lined up and we all write romance--either contemporary, historical, romantic suspense or women's fiction.

Tomorrow, I'll post on my blog about the conference I just attended. I also have two posts about pitching to agents. You can read them at (I found you on agent query.)

Also, I LOVE the premise of your book. Really LOVE it. I think an agent would be interested--but you do need to finish it first. :) Just sayin'...

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