Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year In Review

Happy New Year!

I know today is the first day of 2011, and most people review their year yesterday, or the day before...but that's just silly! How can you review a year that hasn't past yet?

Now that the year has truly past, here is a brief look at all the things I accomplished this year:

Personal Life

*Started a New Job
*Married my husband
*Moved into a new apartment

Writing Life

*Took Holly Lisle's online class for writers. How to Think Sideways and How to Revise Your Novel. These classes are absolutely amazing. It's like having a pro writer for a mentor. 

*Took a three day writing seminar from Aaron Allston and Michael Stackpole. It was absolutely spectacular. The classes were short, yet packed with information. They talked about a lot of issues like Plot Analysis and Writing a Series that doesn't get a whole lot of coverage. Michael Stackpole has a newsletter full of goodies, and he's bundled them, along with some How-to writing books that I bought, and I still refer to frequently. 

*Read NUMEROUS books on writing. I have lost count, honestly. 

*Took Kristin Nelson's webninar about writing query letters. It was soooooooo informative and awesome. She is one of my favorite agents, and it was great to hear from the agent's mouth about some of the pitfalls of fantasy and science fiction queries.

(**A short aside: Many would-be and even published authors debate the merits and flaws of reading books about the craft of writing. Some writers argue it takes away precious time when you could be writing or reading fiction, which is also essential to a writer. Obviously I think there is some merit to reading books about writing, since I own so many, and have taken classes. 

While every writing style is different, I like to be ahead of the curve. I like to learn what I can from the people who have "been there, done that" and make my own mistakes. It's partially in this spirit that I blog, actually. Hopefully someone can learn from the processes and mistakes I am making. There's no short cut to good writing, but I honestly feel like these books have helped me. The caveat is that not all How To writing books are created equal, and you should do lots of research as to the content of the book and the author.)

*Read tons of fiction books. Also lost count. Some highlights were Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless) and Jim Butcher's latest addition to the Dresden Files.

*Started a blog! And meet all kinds of wonderful people like Joseph Selby and Charity Bradford and Mia Hayson and more people too numerous to count! I would like to mention Lena Hoppe here, even though I met her a few years ago during NaNo. Just because she's been an awesome part of my writing life, and this is starting to sound like an acceptance speech. Acceptance for what????

*Revised a book and decided with much debate to trunk it. It was a hard decision, but ultimately, in order to bring it up to standards I would have had to rewrite the entire thing. I might do that in the future, but I needed some space. The other issue I have with it is the book is really like two small books fused together. And the love interest is from one book, and the main character from the other, so I am having a hard time imagining how I would rewrite it into one coherent book and keep the love interest there.
 Also, with my current WIP I took the subplot, and made it the primary plot so I worry there might be too much conceptual overlap.

*Started three books. The third one is being writing right now (no, not literally). The other two...well, they had issues.

Whew! That was a busy year!

I don't know about anyone else, but I am pumped for this coming year. Last year was great, and I can't wait to see how the next one turns out. I also have some exciting things (secret things!) planned for the blog, and I can't wait to get the ball rolling. Until then, I hope everyone has a great New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth, I'm getting a shot of strength just by reading your post. Thanks!