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Monday, October 26, 2009

Transformer Shoes?

Pretty cool, huh? If only we could make our writing amazing as easily as these shoes turn into transformers. Okay, I've got a couple of things to talk about here before I get into the whole transformation thing, but I promise, I'll get back to it. First of all, I'd like to thank you all for making K.M. Weiland feel at home here on Friday. In case you didn't stop back by after leaving a comment, you might want to pop back over here. She responded to each of you individually, so I'd like to give her a big thank you too. And, the lucky winner of the copy of Behold The Dawn is: Tamika. Congratulations, Tamika. Shoot me an email (smills1@att.net) with your address and we'll send it to you. Thanks for participating. Now, I want to talk about NaNo for a minute. I've been all over the blogosphere talking about how I'm going to participate this year. Well, I lied. Okay, maybe I didn't so much lie as change my mind. You can call me a chicken, or you can call me lazy (I wouldn't deny that), but after a great deal of soul searching this weekend, I've decided to skip NaNo. Perhaps I'll have my own version when I'm ready. (I could call it SuRoMiWriMo for Susan Rochelle Mills Writes Month.) You see, I'm just not ready. Which brings me back to the whole transformation thing. Most of you know that I've been hard at work on revising a manuscript. Well, last weekend, I had the opportunity to read Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction, both by literary agent Donald Maass. After reading these two extremely helpful books on the craft, I realized my manuscript needs more than just revisions. It needs a transformation. This is where my heart is. This where my focus is. So this is where my efforts will be. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be talking about my experiences during this process, along with my take on the information I learned from Mr. Maass. If you haven't read these books, I highly recommend them. And for those of you still participating in NaNo, I'll be cheering you on. So, where is your heart? Where is your focus? And where will your efforts be come November 1?

53 comments:

Diane said...

Way to deliver on the shoes today! Very cool. Wondering how comfortable they can really be, but transforming into something new usually involves some stretching and sometimes suffering. The end result is great! :O)

Suzyhayze said...

I decided to do NaNo... for a few reasons. I have another story brewing that I want to just WRITE with no hesitation or self editing. At the same time I am waiting on feedback from a submission, so it will help with the waiting. AT THE SAME TIME as I am focused on getting to 20k with the sequel to that submission. YIKES. I guess I did the Nano thing because I needed freedom with a deadline. Hmmm... does that make sense?

Tess said...

Looking forward to the information...

And, I can't do nano. Chicken? yes. Lazy? yes. Just don't want to? bingo :)

that's me.

Tamika: said...

Thanks so much Susan, I will shoot you an email here in a minute.

I completely understand about NaNo, I am terrifed, but I know I need to meet this challege so I can show myself that I am committed.

I have Fire in Fiction it's just waiting for me to open it up. Glad to hear that it will shed some light on my work.

I'll be cheering you on as you begin your revision process!

paulgreci said...

My focus is on revising a multi-viewpoint YA novel to get the voices distinct. And, doing some polishing on another YA novel as soon as I get it back from my agent. Then she'll submit it. So, it's all about rewriting for me right now. And my heart is in both of those projects.

Susan,I'm glad you found Writing the break out novel--I used that book, and the work book that goes with it, as tools for my last rewrite of Placement, my YA novel that will be out on submission soon. Both books were extremely helpful in transforming my novel into something that people noticed.

Good luck with your rewrite!

Kristi Faith said...

My heart is dying to FINISH my manuscript. I really want to start querying for New Year's. So, my focus for nano is to complete a manuscript, any manuscript (I have like 6 going)

:)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Good for you for changing your mind. It's better to be completely focused on something than feeling divided and guilty!!!

I'm not doing NaNo either, simply because it will be hard to write every day with certain things I have going on. I do hope to write everyday; however like you I'm in the editing stage again. It's taking priority over the new manuscript. After that, I'll be all about the new story.

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

I'm not doing nano, but I will be starting a new story. So we'll see how far I get in a month. I doubt it will be 50k words.

And I'm glad you're going to focus on your current manuscript. I'm enjoying your revisions. :)

Stephanie L. McGee said...

I'm not doing NaNo. My focus for November will be on completing my manuscript. I should be able to finish it well before November is over though so we'll see what happens.

As for where my heart is, it's in my fictional world that is all my own for now.

Great post! Congrats Tamika!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Two really terrific books. If you can find it, Al Zuckerman's Writing the Blockbuster Novel is a good one, too.

Janna Qualman said...

I agree! This is the route I'm going, too. Instead of putting myself into something new for NaNo, I'm going to push ahead on my WIP. We can do it!

Julie Dao said...

Good luck on transforming your WIP! You should totally do a SuRoWriMo. Who says WriMo can only happen in November?! I'm going to do it this year only because I have a story that I absolutely need to get out. If all goes well, I might do a JulieWriMo the next month :)

Nancy said...

My focus for November is to live one day at a time and see where God is taking me. This is not a goal-centric time in my life except to be less in control and more open to God's directions. I love to read all about you writers who have such great projects in the works. Keep it up.

Abby said...

I'm doing NaNo, and it's freaking me out. But I think it will be a good challenge. I really want to learn how to write without editing. Plus, I have another story I've been stewing over for a while, and I'm anxious to be moving forward on that. Thanks for the book suggestions and good luck with your revisions!

Natalie said...

Good for you Susan! If it's the transformation that is calling you right now then it is definitely the best use of your November. I will be doing NaNo, but mostly just because I'm thinking it might be the only way I am going to get a lot of work done on ONE project. I've been a terrible project hopper all month.

Naqvee said...

goodest luck to you... enjoy

Veronica Barton-Dean said...

Susan...my son saw the transforming shoes and says he would like a pair please:) He said he's been good and his birthday is tomorrow, but he prefers bumblebee. Thought that would make you smile.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Heart and focus are in banging out the last 30+K words of my WIP. Have you read Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. I've enjoyed writing in it while I work on my novel.

I love when women know where they stand and where they need to be! Very cool, Susan.
~ Wendy

B.J. Anderson said...

Those really are great books. Good luck with it and I hope you get better results than you'd hoped for!

L. T. Host said...

I'm not doing it. I already kinda did, and I want to focus on adding nuance to my project from my own WriMo before really cracking down on revisions.

I intend to give myself at least through November, probably longer, probably less. (I know that doesn't make sense, but I have no idea how long it will take me before I can sit back and say I'm done.)

Cindy said...

I just cannot wrap my mind around how those shoes could become a transformer. ???

Anyway, I think it's great that you have focus on your manuscript. I read both those books by Donald Maass and he sure does give you a lot to think about.

I think it's fueled my enthusiasm to write a story that's very character driven. It's a new story idea that will work perfectly for NaNo, which I decided to participate in. I'm excited to write without self-editing--just let it flow and see what comes from it (a new genre, even). Have a great day!

strugglingwriter said...

I really shouldn't be doing NaNoWriMo either, but I am.

It's good you made the decision now rather than trying it and getting stressed about it.

I'm looking forward to SuRoMiWriMo. I may change my name for that month, just so I can participate. :)

Patti said...

I'll be editing as well. I have that book at home and need to pull it out.

Angie Muresan said...

Wishing you lots of luck Susan, in getting your manuscript ready! I am not at the stage of revisions yet. Still researching and writing. But I'm really loving it.

Regina Quentin said...

Good luck with the transformation. Having the courage to put new & fresh things on hold to really rework your WIP is admirable. I need to consider the same. This month should be seriously packed.

Carrie Harris said...

I WANT those shoes.

And I'm still drafting a novel, so I won't be doing NaNo either. I plan on doing a lot of cheerleading, though!

Stephen Tremp said...

I'll pick these books up. I'm always looking for good authors who can impart something of significance. Thanks.

Stephen Tremp

staceyjwarner said...

I'm way behind the ball, LOL! I have no idea what NaNo is...

Sounds like you are focused and ready to do what you need to do and I look forward to being a part of it.

I feel like for me, my focus is on survival, LOL and getting as much done as I can. I wish I could sit and write my book, blog, comments all day long but I have a job, a kid, and no BD around to get a get chunk of time.

I have faith it will all happen just not have as quickly as I'd like (meaning the book getting written.) Oops wrote a novel...

much love

Matthew Delman said...

My focus is on finishing the current WIP and then going on a detail hunt to make sure I'm not contradicting myself in the text. In the middle of that, I'm going to write some freelance articles. Yep, I is crazy.

Danyelle said...

Good for you for knowing where your efforts need to be. :) I'm going to shoot for it, and try not to mind too much if I miss. It will all depend on things that are out of my hands.

I'm going to focus on writing for the most part, but where the words make me fly rather than stress me out. For a type A, this should be an interesting transformation all on its own, never mind the word count. ;)

Corey Schwartz said...

I love the idea of NaNo. But I don't write novels (sigh) So, I am trying Tara Lazar's picture book alternative: 30 PB ideas in 30 days.

Karen said...

After finishing the first year, I made a personal promise that I would try to participate in NaNo every year. So far, I have. And I plan to continue. I figure at my current rate I'm not going to get THAT much further along on my current WIP in November than if I just focused on something else for awhile. So I'm keeping that personal pledge. I just know that spending a month on something else is going to make me miss these characters and get reignited in wanting to finish their story.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

As of now, I'll be doing Nano, but I reserve the right to retract this at any point in time!!!! LOL

Robyn Campbell said...

Susan, if you do not feel you are ready for NANO then you are right not to do it. I am sure that was a tough decision to make. Concentrate on making your MS the BEST it can be. Go where your heart is my friend. BTW, it sounds to me like you ARE determined. That's over half the battle. :) *fist pump*

Solvang Sherrie said...

Where did you find those shoes? Wow!

I read Writing the Breakout Novel a few months ago and applied a lot of it (I think!) in rewriting my book that is out on submission. I hope the lessons stay with me as I tackle NaNo.

K.M. Weiland said...

Ah! I want those shoes! How cool is that?

Thanks again for hosting my book last week, Susan! Congratulations, Tamika. I'll get your book in the mail soon.

Kathy said...

I am doing Nano this year. I've done it 2 years in a row and did not make the 50,000 word count so far. But I WILL this time!

Jill Kemerer said...

If you need a little hand-holding on the transformation of the book, I'll give it. I am in the process of completely rewriting my last book. And I'll admit--it's been fun, scary, and the right thing to do. Enjoy!

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh I am so with you Susan. That is the reason I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year. My heart is with the editing that I am trying to do with my first book. I need to focus my energies in that direction. I do not have the brain space to start another work right now.

Dominique said...

Don't feel bad. I dropped NaNoWriMo to work on a current project as well. We all need to prioritize. It's good to not stretch yourself too thin.

Girl Meets Gun said...

I've been talking to my sister-in-law a lot this week. It seems to happen when I'm in the middle for a transformation, myself. I haven't been able to write much because it makes me think and then when I think I think about the wrong things. Therefore, I've not worked on my novel at all.

I'm not so much transforming my novel, though. We, my sister-in-law and I, decided we want to work in a children's book. I've never thought about doing this, but it sounds like fun and will take my mind off serious matters. I'm going to put my heart into it, and maybe along the way, it'll be the change I needed to help me realize my own life.

Thanks so much for thinking of me, and I'll be reading more often now! You're amazing.

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Congrats Tamika!woohoo...

Susan, All the best to you with your manuscript. I love your version of NaNo. :)

Heather Sunseri said...

I'm trying to find the time to rewrite, rework, and restructure my current ms. I'm intimidated by the whole process in many ways and excited in others. I'm glad you found focus after reading those two books. I've been working my way through Plot and Structure. It is so nice to know I'm not alone in this process. Good luck, Susan!

Jody Hedlund said...

I've read the Breakout Novel and the Workbook. Actually I'm using the workbook as I plot out my next book. I'll look forward to hearing how you begin to put his techniques into practice with your books!

MG Higgins said...

I may be skipping NaNo for the same reasons. I've got two manuscripts that need attention, that I can finish and get out into the world, and I'm not sure if starting a brand new project is where I need to be right now. But I'm still thinking about it!

BTW, your posts are always so honest and heartfelt--I really appreciate them. (And you!)

Lily Robinson said...

I have those books on my 'want to read' list.

Erica said...

Awesome shoes! Let's hope they only transform when they're off your feet ;)

I think it shows a lot of gumption to admit you aren't ready for something. It's good that you are going to focus on something you really want to do.

My focus right now, is on my NaNo project, but after November I'll go back to the WIP I've been working on for a couple months.

I love Maass's books, he is brilliant and "Writing the Bearkout Novel," is my favorite :)

Good Luck with the transformation!

Kim Kasch said...

NanoWrimo is such a commitment and I have a fear of commitment . . .

Love the shoes - plus my daughter wants to dress up as a transformer for a Halloween party :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I've decided to skip NaNo too. I signed up, but then realized that it's just not my style to pump out that many words in such a short amount of time. I don't want to burn myself out with the stress. I'd rather write 3 quality pages a day and sustain the momentum.

Good luck with your transformation! I'm sure it will be great!

And congrats to Tamika!

jdcoughlin said...

I'm not doing NaNo. It's too much like a job for me where my boss has a big stick and even though I'm working as fast as I can only I get sloppier and sloppier. So no NaNo, no way.
Yes way to getting up and writing and writing and writing. And then stopping and reading, blogging, studying new shoes, and writing again.
Hope you find your flow!

Faith said...

I'm still NaNo-ing... and running the show in our town... but come December 1st, I'll be pouring myself into revisions, as I'll have 3 WIPs that need full re-writes. I'm thinking of November as the fun, relaxing period before the hard work begins. For whatever reason, I don't find NaNoWriMo to be very stressful or pressure-filled, though it's fun to act that way :) But I'm glad to hear you're following your heart and doing what it wants -- I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences and hopefully learning a few things to employ once December comes around!

Amy Tate said...

I'm with you on the NaNo thing. It just isn't for me. If I wanted to write soley for word count, I can do that but it wouldn't be worth a dime and no one would want to read it.
Your revelation sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading the posts!

Glynis said...

Well Susan, I took courage in hand and...decided against NaNo. It is too much for me at the moment.
I shared a little of my book on my author blog, this is to kick me into finishing it. That is how my november starts.
Have fun during yours.