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Author Topic: NSG 3/23 - 3/29
Member # 8533

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Welcome to this week's Novel Support Group (NSG). Anyone can join. If you're new, tell us a bit about who you are and what project you are working on. Feel free to update the NSG Work in Progress thread with your current projects. Although we can report on any number of things, here is a list of suggestions (suggestions welcomed).

  • What were your goals last week and did you accomplish them?
  • Describe what you worked on.
  • Set goals for next week.
  • Did you learn something during this week?

Here is a list of things that you can do each week as we work on our novels (suggestions welcomed).

  • Writing on a novel
  • Characterization
  • World Building
  • Relevant research


Last Week's Goals

I did not do very well, but I was able to get an hour or two in world building. I concentrated on the antagonist, his story, and his goals (along with some of his history). I have more to do with that character, but I want to better understand him and what he's trying to do in this book. I have not had much detail for this previously.

My goals for next week:

  • World Building
  • Scene Segment Consolidation

More of the same, mostly world building the antagonist.

What did I learn this week?

I didn't learn anything this last week.

However, for the last many months I've debated whether I truly wanted to do self-publishing. The biggest obstacle before me is the quality of my work. A part of me still feels that I'd be giving up some quality in order to become published "now." Will I become the best writer I can if I not seek traditional publishing (and all the editorial assistance / vetting) that may provide? Am I simply seeking the "easy way out?" I don't know the answer to those questions and they still trouble me.

Yesterday I read Kristine Kathryn Rusch's artical on Quality. She talked about this very thing. Although I still question self-publishing, her article helped put into perspective the concept of quality. Who decides what quality is? Traditional publishers? Or readers? I'd say the readers do, even when only considering traditionally published works. If readers don't like the book, word gets out, one buys the book, and the other may disappear (or create a new pen name).

My wife wants to learn how to be an editor and neither of us know the best way to "get there" (even if she had the time right now, unfortunately). The article touches on editors as well. At this point, my wife has as good of a start as some other editors. I thought that was interesting that many editors don't train to become editors. It's their love of reading that helped them. So, if editors do not necessarily get training to become editors, how is it they decide what is quality and what is not? Now, I'm sure some editors in New York have been trained to do what they do. However, editors are passioniate readers. So is my wife. And, I hope, that gives us the start we need.

After reading her article I feel more comfortable seeking self-publishing. I haven't taken that plunge yet and I'm still concerned about the quality of my work. What writer isn't?


[ March 23, 2012, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: WBSchmidt ]

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Member # 8368

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Last Week's Goals:

MAGIC'S FOOL: Wait for more of the crits to come back.
Easy goal. [Smile]

MAGE STORM: Keep querying. Two more queries out next week.
Nope. Only one. [Smile]

SEVEN STARS: Keep working on the synopsis.
Oops. I do need to get back to this. Soon. [Frown]

BLOOD IS THICKER: Let it rest.
Easy one. [Smile]

THE BARD'S GIFT: Continue research.
Completed. I'm almost ready to start writing. [Smile]

MAGIC'S APPRENTICE: Just write on this. No specific goals. (Too much other stuff going on.)
Eh. No, not really. [Frown]

Update my blog twice a week.

Work on another novella I had shelved because it's more romance than fantasy. But romance sells, so I may want to rework this, get some crits, and e-pub it.

Yes to both. [Smile]

Next Week's Goals:

Wait for more of the crits to come back.

Keep querying. Two more queries out next week.

Work on the synopsis.

Let it rest.

Finish prep.

Update my blog twice a week.

Finish revisions on "The Music Box" novella.

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Member # 7974

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Last Week's Goals and Accomplishments

I didn't post last week, because I didn't feel I had anything new to share. My goal was to work on the story draft of RITN every day.

Did I accomplish this? Yes, I think so. Although, my journal entries show mostly potential changes to plotting and characterization rather than notes on what I actually did with the draft.

Next Week's Goals
  • Work on the story draft every day.

Lessons Learned

Despite that some of the settings are based in the real world, in our current time, they will all be unfamiliar to most readers. For readers to believe that the settings are real, I think I must show that the characters interact with their settings in unique ways. I've been taking too much of the setting for granted.

Also, I realized that I've made too much work for myself. The first version of this story felt more like a supernatural mystery than the science fiction romance I'm aiming for now. For the second version, I'd tried to exclude mystery and horror elements. What I've realized, specifically, is that a mystery could draw the heroine closer to the hero. Why shouldn't she ask the questions that were asked in the first version by her uncle (initially a MC but now a secondary character who doesn't appear until the middle of the novel)? Her motivations would be different, but some of her goals could be the same. Her search for answers would also force the hero to face the horrors of his early childhood and come to come to term with truths he initially rejects.

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Member # 7974

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Oh, I didn't work only on RITN last week. I also added a prologue to DeCo. However, I'd rather not exert too much energy on DeCo. That novel remains beyond my abilities to write.
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Member # 9447

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Last week:

Send 4 queries. Yes [Smile]
Submit to writers' workshop. Yes [Smile]
Brainstorm/research for North. Yes [Smile] Except once I hit on a potentially great idea and started thinking about how it could work as a good opening for the story, my brain decided to flip back to The Null Prophet and tell me how it should have started. So, North's on hold for a bit while I rewrite the first 2 chapters (again).

This week:
(Rather, next 2 weeks, since I'm leaving town for 4 days in the middle...)

I was going to send 2 more queries, but I'd better wait until I finish the rewrite. So that's my goal: finish the chapter-and-a-half worth of rewriting, then decide if it's really better. Then get a second opinion.

If I finish early, then I can go ahead and send another query, and get back to North.

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