November ALREADY?And New York!

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Yep, that’s me at the Top of the Rock!

So if you’re friends with me on Facebook–and if we’re not, I hope we’ll soon be!–you might’ve seen the pictures that Juniorette Hall posted about our recent birthday trip to New York City.

And if you’re a follower that keeps up with my blogging–here or over at the Muffin–then you know I love talking about my life experiences and somehow connecting them with a writing point.

I did not realize how often I do that until just recently. But I have to come up with stuff to say and so far, my family and friends haven’t minded being the source of inspiration and/ or tall tales.

Which could be because my friends and family don’t read my posts and/or tall tales.

Hmmm…I’m going to pretend I didn’t just have that particular thought. I did, however, have a couple of thoughts on New York and National Novel Writing Month in “New York and NaNo” over at the Muffin today. If you don’t want to read it, just keep that thought to yourself, okay?

It Really Is About The Revision

2014-10-21 09.46.15When I signed up for the workshop sessions I wanted to attend at the SCBWI WIK’14 conference, the first one I pounced on was “Revision Strategies For Your Rough Draft.”

Granted, I noticed that Courtney Miller-Callihan was leading that session and as agents go, she was one I’d been wanting to meet. BUT that was just an added bonus. Because I am always on the lookout for revision tips and strategies. Mostly because I am always in the throes of one revision or another.

I don’t think I’m that unusual, as writers go. I churn out words pretty quickly, whether it’s a blog post, an article, a story, or even a novel. (Okay, okay. The novels take a bit longer, but comparatively speaking, I get ‘er done in a mostly timely manner.) But the rewrites? The revisions?

It’s a lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ng process. (Well, maybe not the blog posts…)

Anyway, for me, writing is really about the rewriting. So any technique I can find that might help in that department is golden in my book. And I heard one from Courtney that was quite sparkly so I shared it in my Muffin post today: Revision Strategies (You’ll Thank Me Later).

If you’re doing NaNo, you’re going to need revision.

Or maybe you’re still revising a NaNo manuscript from *cough, cough*.

The point is, you can never have enough great revision strategies. So if you have one, how about sharing?

The Perfect Class for the NaNo Novelist

crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafbI hate to be pushy–though the Beneficent Mr. Hall would probably argue with that–but I’m going to shove you over to this NaNo prep class with my friend and agent Sally Apokedak. I shared all the particulars for NaNo Prep: Planning the High Concept Novel over at The Muffin so I’ll wait a second while you read the details.

…(humming, humming, humming….)….

Back? Okay, now, obviously, there’s a ton of wonderful writing stuff about this class–and you cannot beat the price, right? But I think the most wonderful thing of all is that, no matter what kind of novel you write, from chapter book to adult fiction, you’re going to get feedback on your idea and figure out what a high concept novel is.

That is no small feat. You can write–and write well–until the cows come home. But if you’re stuck in a “been there, done that before” scenario, you’re never going to break out.

It’s been my experience that most people (and I’m including myself here) don’t realize they’re writing about the same old, same old. They think they have a fresh new idea. They think they have a high concept. They think their premise is THE one that’s going to knock off the socks of an editor or agent.

Until it doesn’t. And then it’s back to the drawing board (or Precious the Laptop).

Here’s a short class at a great price by a wonderful writer and agent who gets it. And you’ll get it, too, if you take the class. So shove off, already.

It’s A Snowy Check-in Kind of Day

I am not such a fan of real snow–well, not so much the snow as the fact that, generally, it’s cold outside when it snows–but I do so love the snow here at Cathy C. Hall’s!

And here is something else I love:

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Wheeee!! Now I have some great, medium-great, and so-so great ideas to start my year of picture book writing. (I’m not counting the not-so-great ideas. I mean, what was I thinking, writing down an idea about a cow patty???)

And I kinda love this, too:

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Um, yes, well…okay, it’s not the winner’s badge. But I’m two-thirds of the way through that rewrite, and rewriting is a whole lot harder than writing because you have to, you know, really think about all those swell writing things that you’re supposed to know but maybe left out. And I had to weave all sorts of nuances through the story and add character development and…fine. I didn’t finish the rewrite. But I’m still giving myself a small “w” wheee! (one exclamation point). I will finish that rewrite before the end of December, friends.

And here’s something else I’ll finish:

2013 Reading Challenge
You have read 71 books toward your goal of 75 books.
There is something about the word “challenge” that’s very motivating for me. The Beneficent Mr. Hall might say I’m “too” competitive, but what is the point of playing a game if you’re not going to try to crush your opponent?
Um, anyway, I’ve been dominating that reading challenge at Goodreads, and just in case the December hectic hits, I’ve got a couple picture books around here to make sure I reach my goal.
And now it’s your turn. Here it is December already, and I want to hear about your Wheee!! (or even wheee!) moments. Because it’s a snowy kind of check-in day, here at Cathy C. Hall’s, and I so love a good, inspirational story!

Home Stretch Writing

MP900341371So it’s that last mad dash of writing, where we’re zipping in to the home stretch of whatever mad writing challenge we’ve pursued this month! I feel supremely mostly fairly confident that I’ll make PiBoIdMo–I mean, a title’s an idea, right?

But NaNo’s been a little more intimidating. I’ve been working on a rewrite and…well, you can read about Of Rewrites and Trees over at The Muffin.

And then, if you haven’t left a comment on Meg Moseley’s post to win her book, GONE SOUTH, zip over there and do so. I’ll be drawing a name tomorrow, so hurry!

And really, compared to coming up with yet another picture book idea and rewriting an entire novel, leaving a comment is child’s play.