June Rodriguez
JUNE: With the beginning of the New Year most of us have been working on beefing up our writing expectations. I think we should include a dose of healthy expectations. For me the holidays included a few extra pounds for the start of January. I want to get back to adding some exercise time to my day. I’ve already made changes to my family menus to include more whole grains and vegetables. I am hoping to lose those new year pounds and a few more.

DORI: Ugh, now I feel guilty about my need to lose weight, exercise, and write! Of course they say exercise boosts ones creative juices, so maybe I should find time to exercise. At my house, we have integrated healthier eating this year so I can cross that off the list. Now to find a way to address the rest.

SARAH: Ha! Good topic, June! We writers sure hate “sagging middles.” With my own health at issue right now, I’ve realized the importance of setting goals and sticking to them! A healthy diet is fuel for our writer’s brain. Stay focused and aware. After all every wants a big rock, just not one in her gallbladder.

SARAH: It’s amazing how many people are out there chasing the dream of publication. I visited a new blog site and was aghast at the number of aspiring writers congregating in the comments sections. I wish I could say I wasn’t affected, but I’d be a liar! It was a mixture of awe and fear swarming my head. Rather than getting bogged down in doubt, we need to stay focused on crafting a manuscript that will stand out in a crowd.

DORI: It can be very intimidating when you stop and think about it, so I don’t. I’m committed to writing my book, whether it is ever published or not. Yes, I would love to see it on shelves. Better yet, have it make a best sellers list. I’ll certainly strive to write a novel good enough for both. However, in the end I have to write it for the sake of writing it and let that be enough. If it is a success, that’s just a bonus.

JUNE: It feels like two ends against the middle as we struggle to achieve the best of both worlds. You have to write something in a form worthy of sending out to a publisher but at the same time you have to put who you are out into the internet in all its current got-to-do-it forms. I feel sometimes that being a writer is like being a mother. You give birth, nurture it, clean up the messes it makes, and then finally send it out into the world to live its own life.

DORI: In reviewing my work tonight it dawned on me that all of us write in different genres (or at least sub-genres). These differences should be considered by each of us as critique partners. For instance, historical romances may use a lot of description whereas thrillers do not. To increase our effectiveness as critique partners it would be helpful for each of us to be more familiar with current writing in each others genre that represents our “market.” In that way when I’m editing I can keep those things in mind, so I provide pointed feedback.

JUNE: That’s a good point Dori. I have noticed some of our differences before but never thought about making a cheat sheet of my genre style. There are defiantly some aspects of my genre that do not pertain to yours. My dialogue is punctuated with more tags and we rely on more descriptive phrases. Providing each other with a sample of a writer with a similar style is a good idea as well. I found a site the breaks down the different genres and sub-genres. I was surprised at the breakdown. http://www.writersdigest.com/article/genredefinitions/

SARAH: I can see the benefit to doing that. It makes a lot of sense. Each genre has its own rubric. If we have an example of current market trend, we can better identify whether the work in front of us is following the ebb and flow.
Another benefit is we have to identify an author whose work is most like our own-which is a tidbit that might come in handy for query letters.
Good call, Dori!! I’ll take you and your fisticuffs any day. *wink wink*
2 Responses
  1. I have found it better NOT to try to follow market trends. Even if you sell a book today, it might not make it the shelves for year or more--and something else will be hot. Write the best book you can and get that baby out there. Then start another. Now I do agree with identifying other authors whose work is similar to yours. Then you open it, look at the dedications (often the author will thank her editor and agent). Ta-da. You have two people right there who like your sort of book. A house might claim they are looking for paranormal romance, but that doesn't mean every editor at the house wants or likes paranormal romance. Use the short cut, then do your research.

    Kathy, procrastinating for a few before writing her pages for the day

  2. Sarah Simas Says:

    HI Kathryn!

    Thanks for popping in and contributing such awesome advice! I've read your books and can attest you practice what you preach. :)

    Best wishes for a very productive day. Swing by any time!

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