Did it hurt? Sort of. I wasn't as attached to some of it as I once was since I'd put distance and time between the story and me. Honestly, a lot of what I removed was just, "Look, I don't know how to start this, so here is everything you will ever need to know about the main character and six other people whom you will have a whole book to get to know."
And to think, I queried those pages for months before I came to the realization at the DFW Writers' Conference that I wasn’t doing myself any favors by sending out the weakest part of my book.
So I did something that I had never considered before: I redrafted. Blank page, baby. My first fifty pages became twenty-seven. I got the same stuff done, but way less boring.
I'm not a plotter, I'm a pantser. I only knew the end of my novel once I finished it, and that allowed me to ‘fix’ the beginning. I figured out what I needed and what I didn't. (Oh hey, a three paragraph tangent about a college the reader will never see? Yoink!)
I certainly don't think everyone should pick at, revise, and prod their manuscripts over and over again. No, no. Onward and upward. Working on another book and taking the lessons from the previous one is what enabled me to 'fix' my last one.
Sure, I still have to get it to my beta readers. There is also the not-so-small matter of then sending it out to the nice agents who asked for it at the conference. But in the mean time, I'll keep writing my new novel. And then one after that. Who knows? In two years I may look back on my super tight first fifty pages and say, "Eh…it's not that great."
But that's the thing about writing, it evolves with the writer.
--Sally Hamilton, DFWWW member since 2009
Instructor Sheila Clover English--the woman who coined the word “book trailer”--will discuss their merit on a marketing level. She’ll also talk about making your own book trailer, and once you have one, how to wield its power. And she would know, because she’s been responsible for producing over 1000 of them for the likes of Random House and similar.
The course takes place on September 17 at 6:00 p.m. via a LIVE 60-minute Blog Radio Talk session. This means in addition to being free, you can attend class in your pajamas.
For more information and registration, click here: http://www.scriptscene.org/fasttrack-classes/
A horde of DFWWW science fiction and fantasy authors attended the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) held in San Antonio from Thursday, August 29, through Monday, September 2.
Just a few of the exciting happenings:
Member Gabe Guerrero debuted his orc cosplay character, Tarbuz, which was the hit of the con. His picture may appear in Locus Magazine, the leading trade publication for SF&F. He was also photographed by local television stations, and won a Hall Costume award.
During the Hugo's, the biggest SF&F award, member Alley Hauldren sat in the press section representing her many blogs and other endeavors.
And that's not all. Member Tex Thompson shined as a panelist as she rubbed elbows with her editor and fellow writers from Solaris.
Many of the top tier SF&F publishers were present, as well as several major editors, literary agents, and best-selling authors. There were participants from around the world (Japan, Finland, and United Kingdom seemed to be the most numerous). The variety of panels and topics were infinitesimal. The parties went until the wee hours of the morning (the candy and snacks at the Japanese party were life altering).
Needless to say, a good time was had by all.
SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) is hosting its regional conference here in the Dallas Metroplex. If you write YA, middle grade, or children’s books, look no further than Arlington (first they get the Cowboys stadium, now this…) to get some top tier education.
What: SCBWI North Texas 2013 Regional Conference
When: September 21, 2013
Cost: Early Registration (by Aug. 24) $165 for nonmembers
The day is full of breakout sessions and great classes. There’s even a cocktail reception in the evening which will allow you to rub shoulders with YA author Jill Alexander, Delacort Press executive editor Krista Marion, children’s book author Lin Oliver, and a Nancy Gallt Literary Agent, Marietta Zacker. Enjoy.