In months when carving out writing time is challenging, I remind myself that Toni Morrison wrote The Bluest Eye while working full time and raising 2 boys as a single mother, by writing before they woke and after they went to sleep. Doesn’t make it easier, but busy months take constant self-coaching to get it all done.
This week, I was thrilled with a provocative question from a friend that led to a new way of looking at a key scene. The upside of fighting for time to write is it is that much more satisfying when the work that comes out really rings true.
The week’s work has also led to discovery of some great links online, which is your benefit as I share this week’s Friday Links for Writers. As always, let me know in the comments which links resound with you, what you’d like to read more of, or share your own links. Best wishes for a great writing week!
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Among my writing friends, several are somewhere in the process of submitting novels as part of their winter goals. This article by Sally Clements, on the Irish Writing Center’s website, does a good job of addressing how to write a synopsis as part of the submission process.
Along the same lines, this round-up of querying advice from Chuck Sambuchino (at Wendy Tokunaga’s site) answers some more interesting questions about query strategy. Bonus: click the link in the first paragraph for another 10 answers.
Here’s a good resource on copyediting basics, whether you are trading manuscripts with a beta reader or your novel is in the hands of your publisher’s editor, or you are providing copyediting services to other writers. This article at The Millions includes a chart of standard copyediting notations and an interview with writer Edan Lepucki’s copyeditor.
It’s time to share another great post from Roz Morris. I like this post on shifting tones within a manuscript, because it addresses a revision issue we not have heard others name, point-blank: the need to read for consistent voice or tone in a novel that has been written and revised over long stretches of time.
I’ve said before that I am very excited to see the success of Anthony Marra’s debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, as I first ran into Marra in an online forum around the time he would have been writing it. He has received nods for several national and international awards, and has just been awarded the National Book Critics Circle’s first ever John Leonard Prize. Here is an interview with him from the School of Writing at the New School. So many of us could relate to Marra’s inspiration: “I wrote this book as much as a reader, as a writer. It was the kind of book I wanted to read and it wasn’t there yet.” I love the revision process he shares: “I retype everything.” As soon as he finishes a draft, he prints it out and retypes it, revising with new eyes as he goes.
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What About You?
What writing goals are you working on this week, or what other priorities interfere with your writing time? My best wishes go out to several of my regular readers who have been sharing their February goals and helping to keep each other motivated. Feel free to share yours in the comments, below.
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- Writing in Process: Using Alternative Voice to Understand Internal Conflict
- Motivation to Write: Setting New Goals to Move Beyond a Success
- Friday Links for Writers 02.14.14 (find all Friday Links in Links & Where to Find Me)
- My Reading List: Winter 2014
Popular Reads this Week:
- 2013 Writing Conferences & Workshops
- Novel Revision Strategies: Printing for Read-Through
- Novel Revision Strategies: A Day’s Work in Pictures