Sitting in my car waiting for my nephew who needed a ride home from university, I took out my iPhone and jotted down some ideas for today’s post. It is a bit of a sequel to Tuesday’s work, as well as being a bit philosophical.
Writing a novel is a little like playing checkers. There are lots of different moves, not all of them good if you want to be successful. Going out to the London Writers Society and joining one of the critique groups really helped me jump over the red checker with my black one. Now I’m fairly flying down the board to the end, ready to shout, “King me! King me!”
Before I get there, though, I have more learning to do. Right now, I’m contemplating finding historical fiction writers to work with me in a group because they read the genre and love it, as I do. I have appreciated all the criticism, good and bad, over the last four years, but must confess to wondering how valid people’s points are when they write about chickens traveling the world and I write about real wars and chopped off legs. They’re not quite the same. And a great crime novel also has a very different feel from a marvelous historical novel.
Attending the Algonkian-Niagara conference was another leap. I learned to write pitches and got requests for partials from a great agent and a New York senior editor. In the next few weeks I’ll be moving these pieces down the checker board. And this weekend I am excited to be attending a workshop near Toronto with a well-respected agent, Sam Hiyate, owner of The Rights Factory.
Part of the reason for going is still to hobnob with other writers, for sure, but mainly I’ll be honing and improving my first 20 pages, my 1-2 page synopsis and my query letter. “King me! King me!” I’ll be shouting, the whole time.
What are pivotal moments in your writing career? Is there a person or course that has ‘made all the difference’? Consider leaving a comment below.