A Writer's Ramblings
Writing | Books | General Shenanigans
Emails Full of Writerly Fun
Scrivener 3 is the latest update to the Scrivener writing application. It's a major update, which means 1. there are lots of awesome changes and 2. this is a paid update. However, current users can get Scrivener 3 for a discounted price—more about that below.
First, let's talk about my favorite Scrivener 3 features and updates!
Although I'm not participating in the #RevPit contest this year, I am going to be part of a special February #10Queries event! This is completely free and is an opportunity for you to receive feedback on your query letter before sending it to agents or publishers.
Writers will enter their names in a Rafflecopter drawing, and the winners will submit their query and first five pages, which will be randomly assigned to an editor. Participating editors will tweet about their assigned submissions using the hashtag #10Queries.
The amazing part of this event is that the #10Queries feedback benefits our entire #RevPit community, not just the winning writers. So even if you're not selected to submit your pages and query letter, be sure to follow along with the #10Queries tweets. Chances are good that you'll find feedback that applies to your work.
Don't forget to follow the RevPit Twitter account and each editor's account to see the #10Queries tweets.
Okay, on to the details (from the Revise & Resubmit website):
Writing tends to follow a cyclical pattern. Anybody who has been writing for a significant amount of time knows that it's difficult—or impossible—to sustain a very fast writing pace for a long period of time. Events like National Novel Writing Month can help motivate writers to knock out a large chunk of words very quickly, but at the end of that month, it's normal to feel like you just can't write any more words—to feel drained.
That's because writing takes energy! Just because we're sitting at our desks (or on our couch, in the woods, at the pool, whatever) doesn't mean that we're resting. Writing is mentally and emotionally exhausting. It's easy for us to see that in the short term—you finish a particularly emotional scene and slump back in your chair, totally drained—but sometimes we set unrealistic expectations for our long-term productivity. If scenes are able to drain us in that way, it stands to reason that we can expect periods of exhaustion over months and years.
I like to compare this natural pattern to the tide, so let's talk about what to expect during high tide and low tide—and how to be a productive writer while taking care of yourself and ensuring you don't burn out.
The Wild Birds, Emily Strelow's debut novel, transports the reader into settings rooted in their relationship with the earth, where the reader gets to know the story's flawed but deeply relatable characters. From an orphaned girl passing as a boy to find work to an Oregon teenager on a path of self-discovery, the novel's characters carry the story as they attempt to navigate their lives and manage the consequences of their decisions.
What drives us? The answer is different for everyone, and everyone has many answers. The desire to achieve. The desire to be heard. A need for success. A fear of failure.
I've written about writers and imposter syndrome; related to that is the fear of mediocrity. In my experience, many writers do not fear failure as much as they fear being not quite good enough. Perhaps they're good enough to keep their friends turning pages but not good enough to get published. Or maybe they're good enough to get published but not good enough to get stellar reviews.
Writers—especially those working on their first books—tend to obsess over word count. Maybe that's because a manuscript's word count is one of its only truly objective elements. Character, plot, style, and voice are all difficult to define, and books change with each reader's response. But a manuscript that is 82,749 words is exactly that. So it makes sense that writers want to control this aspect that we can control, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Word count is important, especially for writers planning to pursue traditional publication, and understanding word count goals can make the drafting and editing processes more efficient. But sometimes focusing on word count can be a detriment. Let's discuss why word count is important, how to use your current and projected word count to your advantage, and when word count should be the last thing on your mind.
This November, the Revise & Resub editors are taking NaNoWriMo up a notch.
Each editor will lead a team of writers working toward the 50,000-word National Novel Writing Month goal. Team members will submit their weekly word count, and the team that averages the most words during November win early access to the RevPit contest and the opportunity to ask the RevPit editors a question of their choice, which we will answer during a live-stream Q&A.
Learn more about the annual RevPit Contest here.
During the contest, I'm leading a team of sci-fi writers! Keep an eye on the #RevPit and #TeamVictoria hashtags on Twitter to see how it's going and to join in our craziness. And don't forget to follow all the RevPit editors and my team members.
Even if you're not participating on a team, you can still take part in the fun!
Learn more about the RevPit NaNoWriMo Contest.
National Novel Writing Month
Why do we need to compare writing to Star Wars? Well, we don't...technically. Then again, we don't technically need coffee or puppies either, but I bet if I handed you a fresh cup of dark roast and a Labrador pupper, you wouldn't turn them down. So writers, please enjoy the Star Wars GIFs.
Inspired by my popular Why Drinking Coffee is Like Writing post, I offer this post for those writers who get their caffeine from tea—not that we can't enjoy both, of course. I am just as happy with a nice strong cup of pu-er as I am sipping dark roast coffee.
Without further ado, here are a few ways your tea obsession mirrors your word addiction:
I'm looking for traditionally published authors to contribute to an advice page.
Published authors have a lot to offer writers still chugging along, hoping to make it to that stage: encouragement, experience, and advice.
I previously published a post compiling advice from published authors, and the response was great. Readers wrote to tell me how helpful the advice was and that it had come at the perfect time in their writing journeys.
The new post will be similar, with one catch: All contributing authors will be traditionally published. This is not because I believe traditional publishing is inherently better than self-publishing, but because traditional publishing presents a specific set of challenges that writers must overcome to become authors.
The same applies to self-publishing, and I would love to do a similar post with self-published authors in the future. Keep an eye out for that call, and drop me a comment if that sounds like something you'd like to see!
If you're a traditionally published author who has something to share about the process—be it your personal experience, advice you wish you had known earlier, or encouragement for those still in the trenches—contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or using the form below. I will contact you by email regarding next steps. Let's make this happen!
The post will include author images, bios, and links to social media, websites, and books.