Sunday, July 01, 2018

Blog hiatus: Day One, Question One

There's a new post at Query Shark today about Tumblr, fanfiction, and getting plot on the page.

I'm off on a reading retreat for the next week, ably assisted by Intern Ty who is wondering why I'm not petting him right now:

You all gave me some terrific ideas for Nine Days, Nine Questions.

The first question is from Julie Weathers;

Do you have a "posse" that keeps you on track with your writing? 

Answers in the comment column.
And just a reminder as current events heat up: stay on topic, please. 


AJ Blythe said...

I have the most amazing group of writer friends (we have an online group) who provide a tonne of support, encouragement and red penmanship. My family are wonderful, brilliant (add superlatives here) with their support.

The thing is, it doesn't matter what they do, it really boils down to me. My family can clear time for me. My friends can sprint with me. But unless I knuckle down and stay determined, I won't stay on track.

As an aside, my close writing friends are scattered around the country. I only get to see them at our annual conference in August. As a result I have to confess I'm a little more excited about seeing them than conference itself.

AJ Blythe said...

Should have mentioned, like Janet with Intern Ty, I have an assistant, Biggles, who listens and agrees with everything I have to say about my story, which is very helpful =)

KariV said...

I don't have a posse as in accountability partners, but I have some amazingly supportive people around me.

My sister, also an author, reads every chapter I write and has helped take my book from blah to wow. I wouldn't even be writing now if it weren't for her.

My husband is super supportive of my writing. He's the first one to read each chapter, he helps me brainstorm, and he's in my corner 100%. I'd put writing on the back burner if it weren't for his encouragement.

Megan V said...

While I have some incredible CPs and betas (the best!) I wouldn't say they keep me on track with my writing. Rather, they are very understanding about the fact that my writing time is super sporadic and is affected by what's going on at my day job. (i.e. if I've got a trial coming up, then that's where my focus is because that's where it needs to be) So while they do check in, they don't turn up the heat or increase the pressure.

PAH said...

Nope. I wake up at 4:30 am every day to write. I love it (and hate it when i have to miss a day).

When I was young, I really really really wanted to be a writer.

The last 2-ish years, I really really really want to write.

It's made all the difference. You gotta love the doing more then the being.

However, I have noticed I am way more disciplined when my wife is around. So I guess she is my posse... :D

RKeelan said...

I don't have a posse keeping me on track, but my problem is more often writing too much than too little. ("Just one second, baberoo. Daddy needs to finish this line of dialogue.")

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I've kept myself on track for so long (or gotten myself back on track so many times) that even though I have what I would consider to be "writing friends" finally, I still don't have anybody going "what's going on with your books? you had these plans. Can I see anything? Do you need help?" etc. etc.

I have people who absolutely support me if I need to vent or whine, and people who celebrate with me if I have a victory. But on track is still just up to me.

Kristin Owens said...

I belong to a critique group that meets weekly for three hours. I am compelled to bring something. BUT my biggest drive is myself. After quitting my lucrative day job, I have enough motivation to keep at it. Yet on dark days my spouse is super supportive. He doesn't say 'if" he says "when" and this small thing is enough for me to keep plugging. They should really consider changing wedding vows to: "will you love and honor Kristin EVEN if she decides to be a writer?" It could help lay some groundwork for future realistic expectations. Just sayin'.

One Of Us Has To Go said...

My family doesn't support me; nowhere in life. If they knew I was writing, they wouldn't either, I suppose, cause my book is mainly about how I fell out with them and feel mistreated by them.

In Canada, I had started to get into a writer community, which I enjoyed. Now, in the UK, I will search for some new writer friends (I have to move again soon, so no point in looking right now, unless online, but I'd love in person/s).

I too drive myself (and my writing), always done so, and will hopefully keep doing it.

Like in Kristin's case, I have big support from Boyfriend!

And, I 'have' Colin Smith, who seems to be more than a "writer friend". Thank you 💗.

Sam Mills said...

If I tell my husband, "Bug me about this until I do it, shame me, shaaame me," then he will comply. I don't have any writer friends who know what I'm working on, though.

I've started attending a monthly writers group, but it's more general industry discussion than talking about our WIPs. It just gets me out of the house.

I've always been self-motivated. I set deadlines just to practice having them. XD

Karen McCoy Books said...

I have a group of people that I write with, both virtually and in person. The group is based in Yolo County, CA (between Sacramento and Wine Country) and we call ourselves the Yolo County Wrimos.

And, does this community count? Because I also think of my fellow Reiders as a really excellent posse!

Jeannette Leopold said...

No posse, though I'd like to be part of a good crit group. Reiders who are part of crit groups, how did you find them?

Kate Larkindale said...

I have been part of a fantastic critique group for a number of years. We all met on the website, but have since moved the group off the site since we are now all published and working to different deadlines than we were previously.

It's a really diverse group of writers (horror, fantasy, YA, Sci-fi) and I think that's why it has worked so well. I know I wouldn't be where I am now without them!

Lennon Faris said...

I have an anti-posse. They're smallish and cute.

I don't really mind that my writing goals and their ideas for how I should spend my time are some(many)times at impassable odds.

Craig F said...

Not really. Writing has long been a bad habit of mine. It was a bad habit because I forced it on friends. Some of them even liked it. One asked me to immortalize her in print. I am now pushing towards doing that.

I am a member of a critique group but that is kind of a wholesale thing. Send in 3500 words, three get picked and posted. Two hundred of us read those and try to make sense of it for a monthly meeting. i haven't joined into any of the cliques. The administrator and I hit something but our orbits don't touch very often.

John Davis Frain said...

I've had good and bad luck with critique groups. The current group (weekly meeting, going on two years) was formed with members of our Sisters in Crime group. You have to be a member to join. We're at 5 people, which I think is max. Three or four would work as well, but 6+ strikes me as getting unwieldy and too time consuming. You gotta produce, because you have to turn in work every Thursday. We get ornery sometimes, but everyone has the same goal.

I'm a member of a writer's guild here as well, but thus far have not found a good critique group there after a couple tries.

If you're having trouble finding a good critique group, I'd encourage you to join a writer's group in your area. Then, start to cultivate people who are serious about getting published. There's a TON of people who want to be serious about it, but don't really want to put in the time.

Dena Pawling said...

I have a few folks locally, and several from the comments section of this blog. They don't "keep me on track with my writing", but I'm trying to get ready to enter the query trenches again in September, and they are GREAT for reading my query and WIP and giving me awesome comments.

C.M. Monson said...

Alas, I do not have a posse. I had hoped to connect with writers in my area during last NaNo, but they were all too new. And because they write adult fantasy and sci-fi, they didn't want to read my YA novel. Perhaps this year will prove to be better.

Adele said...

I'm afraid I don't take well to being corralled, so no writing posse for me. No-one who knows me - even a little bit - would think that bugging me to do something would be a good idea. I do have two good writer friends who know me very well indeed, and they don't bug me but they encourage me when they can and they let me bounce ideas off them when I need to. We met at a writer's group (the local RWA chapter, now disaffiliated) and formed our own little writer's group, where we worked more on plotting and story structure than critiquing.

Emilya Naymark said...

I've had crit partners on and off for years. For me it's always 'on' because I'm always writing, but the partners sometimes peter out because they either decide they don't want to write anymore, move on to other forms of writing that don't require critiquing so much, or otherwise move on. I've had a couple who have stayed with me for a long time and I treasure them. I also found a couple new ones this year who are great and I hope to continue treasuring them as well.

I found my partners three ways - through the Gotham Writing workshops online, through a local Meetup writing group, and through reaching out to a writer at the WriterUnboxed page on facebook.

If you're looking for a partner, the Meetup groups can be very useful. But mostly, I keep my eyes and ears peeled, and if I come across a person who seems like a good match, I just reach out. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but it's worth a shot.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

My posse consists of 2 email critique partners I met through Janice Hardy's Fiction University website. Twice yearly she sets up a yahoo group for writers to mix and meet and self-match. My 2 crit partners have since gone onto other works-in-progress (one pubbed, one still looking for an agent) while I'm still working on my first story!

I've also found a few writers here at Reid's Reef and through a facebook writer group, who I have exchanged first chapters or, when I thought I knew what I was doing, asked to read my query.

When I went to a writer's workshop in April, I connected with a writer there but no exchanges so far.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Does this place count?

I have tried an assortment of beta readers. Found a couple that are good. My friends and family hunor my “obsession” but woery it will “ruin” my life. Most think i am an untalented weirdo - unfortunate overheard conversations. They all apparently wish I would “wise up” and attend to reality.

Being unpublished makes it hard to make a good case for myself. So my posse is this place and the voices in my head.

KDJames said...

I'm firmly in the don't-tell-me-what-to-do camp with Adele. But I do have a group of friends, mostly readers and a couple writers, who encourage me and cheer me on and say they can't wait to read whatever I write. I'm not sure I'd be writing today without them. We met, years ago, in the comment section of another writer's blog. Now we have our own blog and cheer each other on with whatever is going on in our lives.

And there's the FB group that consists of writers from over here, where we talk about various writerly things and report about progress we're making (or not) and sometimes offer to beat each other up, er, that is, offer polite constructive criticism on queries.

Off topic: want to let you all know I'm taking a social media hiatus in July and maybe August (I wrote about it on my blog, if anyone is interested). I'm trying to decide whether this blog counts as social media. I mean, obviously, it does. But it doesn't really fit into the category of things that are stressing me out (like twitter and FB). So I might/might not be around much in the next little while and didn't want anyone to worry if they noticed.

roadkills-r-us said...

No posse, per se. Like with KariV my spouse reads each chapter after I write it, and typically asks, "Well, where's the next one?" She's my early editor and my biggest cheerleader. She convinced me to seriously go after what has become my YA series.
Beyond that, my readers give me reason to keep writing. "When is the next book coming out? I have to know what happens to ___!" Now if only there were millions instead of hundreds... Some day!
And frankly, I love writing. I've always written; it's just that now I am far more focused.

Marty Weiss said...

I do beta reading for three friends, all published or self-published writers. Each one of them writes in very different genres and styles. I have not really sought out their opinion or comments on my work,and I'm not sure why that is. Anyway, the opening chapter of a novel I've written is included in a literary magazine available on Amazon this month. Maybe I'll get some outside feedback that way.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Unable to read all the comments just now.


I have lots of support from family and friends but here is where I feel most accepted. Thank you boys and girls. Hopscotch in the shade tomorrow, Jack's on the sidewalk.

April said...

There was a write-in for 2016 NaNoWriMo that happened to be quite close to my house. So when the month was over, I said I wanted to keep meeting... did anyone else?

Of the group of 15-20, six of us continued to meet every two weeks all year long. At 2017 NaNo, we met weekly again and welcomed the extra visitors. Some of them stuck around, so now we regularly have 8 to 10 people. We mostly talk too much during the get-together to get much writing done, but it’s great to have people to bounce ideas off of or to ask, “So how’s that story coming along that you told me about?” I just sent them my synopsis to critique, so we’ll see how that goes (no one's shared stuff before).

Most of them write for fun, not career. But I enjoy the opportunity to have writer friends.

Beth Carpenter said...

The people here, at the reef, and others I've met online have taught me so much. They've answered my newbie questions and encouraged me. But the only person keeping my writing on track is me, and I'm barely hanging on. I'd hoped to be done with a first draft by June 30, but I'm only at 70%, so back to work for me.

RosannaM said...

While I have a writing group, you would not consider it a posse. Years ago, we tried to set goals and hold ourselves to some kind of metric, but it just sort of fell by the wayside. We all had life stuff that got in the way. So now I only set goals that I meet for myself, based on staring my bleary eyes in the mirror.

Sometimes I hit it, sometimes I hide in the closet.

Day 1, question 1--answered. Grade? Uh.. maybe a B-.

BrendaLynn said...

I have a dear friend who cheers me on and begs to read the next installment of whatever. She is a blessing.

Sherry Howard said...

I keep myself straight AND I have wonderful support for family, writer friends, and my small publisher. Lucky!

Kate Higgins said...

I have a studio with 'reminders' hanging from the ceiling. Not words but objects that are critical to my storyline. A white board with quotes and an old fashioned picture morgue of ideas. These sit there silently yelling at me to "DO SOMETHING to finish your dreams.

I find people posses are highly unreliable as they often tell me what I want to hear or are consumed by their own projects. Sort of like being at a party...people are more concerned about what others think about them rather than what they think about you. Of course it is nice to be married to an ex-newspaper, technical editor who wouldn't allow a mistake in grammar, syntax or punctuation to sneak by. He does not, however, get my particular bent toward thriller, middle-grade realistic/historical fantasy, or my love of Star Wars, Harry Potter or anything by Gaiman, Atwood, Asimov, Bradbury, Le Guin etc.

You are your best advocate and your worst enemy; it took me ____ years to figure this out.

BJ Muntain said...

My writing group keeps me on track emotionally to write, though not always timewise. But sometimes emotional accountability is more important when it comes to writing, if that's what you're having problems with. Love my writing friends!

Sherin Nicole said...

I have a creative partner who we hope will be the Betsy Beers to my Shonda Rhimes, The Duffer Brother to my, well, Duffer Brother.