A Writer's Ramblings
Writing | Books | General Shenanigans
Emails Full of Writerly Fun
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.
Welcome to the show! Have a seat, kick up your feet, and grab some popcorn. I've got a story for you, and then we're going to chat about building writing momentum—what that means and why it's important for writers. Please hold all questions until the end, and direct your praise and rotten fruit toward the comments section located below.