Sunday, June 5, 2011

A day devoted to writerly pursuits

Today I went to Alameda Writer's Group (AWG) monthly meeting. I've been a member for a long time and last year I won the first prize in the fiction category contest.  (yeah, they must have had one entry - mine!) but I earned my first money for writing , ever.

Anyway, got an e-mail that said the AWG as an organization was in trouble and to come to the meeting, which just happened to be covering YA Fiction.  There were three panelists.
Gretchen McNeil who is coming out with a novel called "Possess".  Suzanne Lazear who writes 'Steampunk' (yeah I had to look it up).  It is victorian era with with sci-fi or fantasy.  Like Libba Bray if you've read her.  And the third was a college student (I'm so sorry, but I forgot her name) who has an agent, but is not yet published.

I like to hear their success stories.  Interesting to hear their take on the industry. The first author, Gretchen had a three book deal but it still wasn't enough to quit her day job.  The second author, Suzanne ran a blog and has published several books from the sound of it. Very interesting lecture.  My take-away lesson?  I gotta put some vampires/zombies/fallen angel/werewolf or something into my novels in order for them to be of interest to publishing world.  Sad state of affairs for someone with no vampire experience...

Next I attended a three person writer's group taught by Famous YA Author.  She writes middle and young adult novels and has more than ten titles published! I was at a slight disadvantage because I hadn't done the on-the-spot critique in a while.  Plus we had to read the pages out loud so it is hard to read and critique at the same time.  But this group was good because Famous Author gave us her expert opinion on our writing and some very good suggestions on improving.

I brought my new book pages but I think she suggested I work on finishing the first book.  I'm just so tired of it though.  Between Famous Author,, the excellent work of the other two writers in the group, and Critique Partner #1, I feel like trashing mine and starting over.  Ugh.  Ugh Ugh.  Burying head in sand right now.

Next week, I will try to get to two more critique groups.  Critique group eight (I'm calling it that because there are eight people in it) sounds pretty tough.  I had to submit pages and get approval to attend.  They meet every week, each week 2 people from the group submit 15 pages each beforehand.  Then we spend two hours doing reviews/critiques.  Sounds pretty intense, and the potential for further depression exists.  I'm definitely not doing novel #1 there.  Rather they trash novel #2.  At least that hasn't been raked over the coals to the point where I have become allergic to it.

And then the SCBWI critique group.  This is the last one from SCBWI I'm going to try. No more SCBWI folks for me if this doesn't work out. These guys meet twice a month (supposedly), although it has been a month since the last meeting.  I'm in SF that day but hopefully I'll be back in time to make it. See? look at my dedication.

Now I just have to have something to critique.  ha ha.  Too busy with attending groups to actually write...

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