Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Print Vs. Digital Book Battle Continues


The Technology Of Books Has Changed, But Bookstores Are Hanging In

Check it out! For those of you who love books. NPR did a fabulous job with this article this AM. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Open Communication In Critiques

Getting feedback from someone else regarding your project is essential. Too often, we spend so much time in front of our computer, we start to write with blinders on and can't see the mistakes we are making. But, getting poor feedback from someone is going to be equally as bad for an author. The key to making the critique successful is open communication on the part of BOTH people.

For the person doing the critique, worrying how the person will feel if you told them truth is worse than telling them their writing is a piece of "you know what." Leading them on and giving them the image that what they have done is fine will only lead to problems down the line when they start submitting works to the editors and agents and the rejections roll in. Up until that point, everyone "loved the writing." Except, the reality is that they weren't coming out and telling the person the truth.

There is a second level here that we need to acknowledge, and this applies to many of the contests writers enter. The person providing the critique needs to be honest of his or her capabilities. I have mentioned this before in an earlier post, but would you take your car to a plumber to be fixed? Probably not. The same goes for getting feedback. If the person you are getting the feedback from is struggling to get published, or maybe even write a quality story on their part, are they the best for getting feedback for your story? Probably not! The key is the person doing the critique needs to know his or her strengths and weaknesses. Focus the critiques on what they are good at and limit the critiques of what they are weak at.

But the open communication issue also applies to the writer. If you send your story in for feedback, it is beyond crucial to focus in on what YOU need the help with. Just saying "tell me what you think" can potentially lead to making changes in places you didn't need or what. One of my Greyhaus authors is really good with that. "Hey Scott, when you take a look at this, can you just make sure the GMC of the heroine is coming through in chapters 1-6." Making a statement like this prevents me from making plot changes or other suggestions that might not work with the outlined story she had going.

Critique is good. Feedback is necessary. But, if what you get is sending you in the wrong direction, then you have problems.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

You're Writing And Your Writing Sucks

I want to begin with stating, you are not alone. What you are facing, or have face, or will likely face during your writing is common and every author goes through it. At some point, in the middle of the latest "work in progress" you will come to the realization that you are pathetic. Your writing sucks, The characters are awful. Your editor is going to fire you immediately. Your agent already hates you without seeing the book.

Oh but wait, it gets better! Your family and friends, the great defenders of everything you do are about ready to duct tape your mouth shut and tie you to that desk chair to make you get back to writing.

The issue is simple - you are the only person who believes this at this particular moment.

Self-confidence is simply one of those demons that can completely wreck the career of any writer. That darn self-doubt is not a fun character to hang around with. But you simply cannot ignore that
voice. You have to do something to get over it. In some cases, it is simply because you are tired and need a break.

In this case, it is time to return to Disney for this one and the words of our favorite character from the sea, Dory.

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." (now the song is stuck in your head!). Stop writing the chapter that brought on all of this negativity and move on. Start a new project for a day or two. Read your prior story that you totally love and recognize you are not a bad person.

The nice thing about moving on and ignoring that road-bump in your writing is that you will find the answer. As you are plugging your way through the other project, you will discover nothing is wrong, or that you have the solution.

Please understand that this will not always fix the problems. There are cases where the story does suck. Your writing at that moment is not the best. But, in most cases, this is a minor glitch you have to work through. Just remember, you are not alone and you CAN still write.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Greyhaus Closed For The Summer

Beginning June 1, Greyhaus Literary Agency will be closed to all "NEW" submissions. This will run throughout the summer and I will re-open around the end of August.

Submissions I have already requested WILL BE considered.

Submissions I ask for from contests and conferences WILL BE considered.

All new submissions, unless falling in one of the prior two categories WILL NOT BE READ.

This is giving me a chance to work with my current clients on projects as well as get a few things done on my end that have been put on hold.