This is topic NSG 2/24 - 3/1 in forum Hatrack Groups at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by WBSchmidt (Member # 8533) on :
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).

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


Last Week's Goals

I really didn't do much this last week other than buy Scrivener (finally) and restart a project in that application for a book I've been thinking about. I'm taking a subplot at a time and adding placeholder index cards for each of those scenes. Later, once I have them all compiled, I will combine those all into specific scenes. Progress, but not much. [Smile]

My goals for next week:

Continue outlining this book.

What did I learn this week?

I thought for a while about what I learned most from LTUE this year. I attended 15 panels that weekend. Between the recordings I made and those that I gathered from other attendees, I have 50+ recordings to go through. As can be imagined, quite a bit of knowledge was presented. I'm still processing all that information and I haven't listened to all of the panels yet. So, what have I learned?

One thing I noticed is that a stigma still exists against self-published authors. One such author said that she requested to do book signings but when she told LTUE that she was self-published she was refused the opportunity. I've thought about going the self-published route but I have not completely decided to take that plunge. She was refused a marketing avenue because of being self-published. Something to be considered.

In the traditional publishing realm, I've heard many horror stories about publisher contracts. It's one thing to read these horror stories on the Internet. When you're reading words on the screen you wonder whether the stories are real, despite the long time experience of the authors of those stories. I trust what these particular authors are saying is true. However, sometimes you wonder whether publishers are really that desperate. It's another thing to hear it first hand at a writing convention.

One author stated that she wanted to publish a short story of hers and charge for it. She saw another published author publish short stories between books. It sounded like a great marketing method of keeping your books in the readers' minds. However, her contract was written in such a way that she could not sell the story. So, I believe she gave it out for free. My question was (although I did not verbalize this out loud): Whose Intellectual Property is it, the publisher's or the author's? Even if I decide to go traditional, I will probably need to hire an IP lawyer just to make sure my IP is not stolen. Shouldn't I have the right to write anything I want and whenever I want? It's my world. I spent days, months, or years developing it. Not the publisher. For those who want more details on the related clauses publishers are putting into their contracts, go to Kristine Kathryn Rusch's latest blog post: The Business Rusch: Competition.

Despite all of what I learned, the main take-away for me from this experience, whether to self-publish or to go traditional, is to develop an audience. Laura Hickman stated that when she tried to find a publisher for her cookbook the publisher asked her about her social media presence. By her description, the publisher seemed more interested in how many friends she had on Facebook and how many followed her on Twitter. True, a cookbook is not fantasy or science fiction, but it is increasingly evident that publishers are looking to those authors who already have an established audience (i.e. customers).

Audience is key.

How do I, a complete unknown, develop an audience that would interest a traditional publisher? By far, the answer is to write a really good book. [Smile] Beyond that, I need to take a step back and think of ways I can do this. In the past I've thought about writing mini-articles about writing techniques. I wrote one such here on Hatrack about a process I used to outline book plots. I could do that and start a blog on those topics. This would benefit me in several ways. Researching technique could, hopefully, help me improve my writing techniques (plotting, character, etc.). It should also help me improve my core writing skills (spelling, word choice, grammar, etc.). Finally, and most importantly, it could help me build an audience. Will I do this? I don't know. I have so many things on my To Do List that to add another could be overwhelming. At the same time, how can I NOT do this?


Posted by Meredith (Member # 8368) on :
Last Week's Goals:

MAGIC'S FOOL: Start reading it through to make sure it's ready for readers in March.
Yes. [Smile]

MAGE STORM: Keep querying. Two more queries out next week.
Yes. [Smile]

SEVEN STARS: Keep working on the query and synopsis.
Yes. [Smile]

BLOOD WILL TELL: I don't like to do it, but I've got to call that agent next week and find out what's up. Then continue to prepare to e-pub it.
Eh, no. And I've decided I'm not going to. It's just turning into a further excuse to procrastinate. I'll send another e-mail. [Frown]

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

Update my blog twice a week.

Get some work done on the first draft of the short story which may one day become a WotF entry.

Work on another short story idea, too. Could be a flash or not much more than a flash. That's a tough spot for me to hit.

Yes, no, and yes, in that order. [Smile]

Next Week's Goals:

Keep reading it through to make sure it's ready for readers in March.

Keep querying. Two more queries out next week.

Keep working on the query and synopsis.

Keep reading through Smashwords' Style Guide, etc. E-mail the agent one last time.

Let it rest.

Update my blog twice a week.

Finish one short story.
Posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (Member # 59) on :
In the past I've thought about writing mini-articles about writing techniques. I wrote one such here on Hatrack about a process I used to outline book plots. I could do that and start a blog on those topics.
Just so you know, William, your article here is still yours. So go ahead and start that blog, and let it be the first article.

Of course, we'd appreciate it if you were to mention that you originally posted the article here on the Hatrack River Writers Workshop forum.
Posted by Shaygirl (Member # 9761) on :
I just updated the NSG, so seeing as I don't a previous week's goals list, I'll just start in on this week:

The Fop and The Ferret :

Write the first three pages. Continue doing research on negotiation work!

Analyze and figure out main climax and guess ending.

Blog: Post twice.

Overall: DO IT!!!
Posted by axeminister (Member # 8991) on :
Lost a page or two, gained three or four...

Slow and steady.

Week 1 - Page 21 of a projected 100
Week 2 - Page 41 of a projected 100
Week 3 - Page 49 of a projected 100
Week 4 - Page 55 of a projected 100
Week 5 - Page 61 of a projected 100
Week 6 - Page 66 of a projected 100
Week 7 - Page 71 of a projected 100

Posted by EmilyS (Member # 9447) on :
First draft of UNBORN is finished! [Big Grin] It's a good 30k shorter than either of my other first drafts, so it will be interesting to see how that changes the editing process, since my focus will be on fleshing things out instead of cutting them down.

This week, I'm going to work on my query for NULL PROPHET, and start putting together my submission for a writers' workshop at a con I'm attending this spring.
Posted by axeminister (Member # 8991) on :
Go Emily!
Posted by annepin (Member # 5952) on :
This week:

Week 2 of Cat Rambo's class is coming. I will probably have associated homework to do, including writing etc. I am excited for it!

Yep, had homework, did it. I also got my first story workshopped, which was a lot of fun.

Continue writing and playing with synopses.

Did not do.

WOTF story:
Need to get moving on this before I lose sight of the story completely. So. Revisit story, at least do a first pass edit.

Did some of this, but was pressure for time last week, what with work and school.

This week
I'm keeping it light this week. I have 2 stories to read for Cat's class as well as something to write up.

This weekend I really want to finish up D2 of my WOTF.

I'd also like to work on my synopses. I'm now trying them for all my books.

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