Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekly Progress Check-In

Welcome!  This is the Mid-Willamette Valley RWA chapter's weekly progress check-in.

Did you meet your writing goals last week?  What do you plan to accomplish this week?

(The best prize is achieving your writing goals, but as an extra incentive, we will award gift cards from Powell's bookstore to the chapter member and the non-member who check in for the most weeks in 2012.)


Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Hi, all! I reached "the end" of book #5 in the latest round of edits. Then immediately started through the story again, decided I didn't like the beginning so much and am reworking that. I know I'll do a couple more passes through this book before I read it out loud to fine-tune it even more and send it to a Beta reader. So the end is near! LOL!

I'm also wrapping up a few smaller projects so I can focus on preparing for the May 1 release of LEGACY OF ANGELS--have lots to do on my Web site and LEGACY blog, as well as check to be sure all the promotion is in place. Will be offering one of my previous stories for free to kick off this release, and will let everyone know when that is available.

Happy writing to everyone!

Meggan McQuaid said...

Sounds like things are going well, Genene!

I got my scores back from the two contests I entered a while back, and even though they had some nice things to say about my writing, the over-all scores were in the 60%-70% range. On the Fab Five contest, I got 27th place out of 27 scores.

It's possible that I entered the wrong category, maybe should have entered "strong romantic elements" instead. But really, I think, as everyone said who read it, it just wasn't good.

So I have a couple of ideas for writing it differently. But I can't do any writing until I don't feel like road kill anymore. I don't know what I was expecting, but apparently it wasn't last place.

Wish me luck; I have some re-writing to do.

Barbara Cool Lee said...

I'm so sorry about the contest results, Meggan! I think you have a darling voice. Sometimes the contest results can be skewed if the judges only see your beginning, and it's a bit slow, or they only see a set-up of the plot, and they are looking for romance, or something like that.

This is the story I always tell about contests: I got the results from two different contests on the same day. In one, I scored 3rd from last place overall among about 120 entries. The other was the call telling me I finaled in the Golden Heart with the exact same partial of the exact same manuscript. I went on to win the Golden Heart-- I also went on to score near the bottom in other contests.

Contests can be really helpful; they can also be ridiculous and mess with your head. Try to step back and look at it objectively (takes time to do that, sometimes). See if there's a common thread in the comments. Not "this sucked," which is not helpful or even valid, IMO. But several people saying something like, "I didn't understand why this character acted the way he did," or "I wanted more interaction between the hero and heroine," or "I couldn't figure out the plot," etc. If a bunch of people are having the same problem, then you can think about changing things. But also remember the Fab Five is an opening scene contest. You might just be starting in the wrong place, and the story itself is fine.

Okay, I'm done ranting. :-) Eat some chocolate and take a deep breath and go at it again another day.



Barbara Cool Lee said...

Congrats on The End of book #5, Genene! Or at least, almost the end....

Keep us updated on all the release dates, too.


This week, I got Cat's Blood released in a paperback form (it's just a short story, but some people wanted it in paperback, so I thought what the heck). I'm working on the next books in the series and am concentrating on a summer novella now, since summer's going to be here soon!

Good luck in meeting your goals, everyone. :-)


Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

(((HUGS))) Meggan. If you can come up with an analogy of feeling like road kill, you are a writer! Barb had some great advice.

Thanks for the congrats, Barb. Will keep everyone updated on releases and freebies--coming soon!

Wow, Barb, sounds like you are really rolling! Keep those books coming!

Meggan McQuaid said...

Barb, that is terrific advice, and of all the advice I received, THAT actually made me feel better!

I do see it as constructive, and I got a few comments like "excellent" and they all liked the characters, so I'm sure at some point (soon, I hope) I will be able to take this and move forward with it.

I love living in a world where you can say..."some people wanted it in paperback, so I got that done." :)

Genene, thanks for that...I guess it was a pretty writerly analogy, huh!

chanceofbooks said...

Barb--just saw you are in the TOP TEN in Romance Series on Kindle. You rock! So happy for you! (Now when do you release on Nook????)

Megan--Contests are great, but you have to have a thick skin. And when in doubt, revise and enter more :) Seriously, I only make changes when either 1) I immediately see & agree with the advice OR 2) more than one judge mentions the same thing. I.e. I just finished a massive rewrite of a first chapter because contest feedback and CP feedback were lining up & I didn't *like* it but I saw it. Other times, contest feedback just isn't worth much. Especially if you write a specific subgenre and you get a judge who doesn't read much in that genre, their feedback isn't going to be as helpful. I ran into this a lot when I was entering YA and getting judges who didn't read current YA. You can tell when you get one who doesn't read your genre. Chin up! Keep writing!