Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Stumble and Bumble Your Way to Success

In 1 on February 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Join me for a talk to the California Writer’s Club Marin Branch in May:

Sunday, May 23, 2010 at Book Passage, Corte Madera:

 “The Wild and Wooly, Stumble and Bumble Your Way to Success Story. Or: How Anyone Can Publish By Saying Yes”

 In this new day of publishing, writers have to think even further outside the box on the road to publication–and get comfortable with the fact that the line to success may not be a straight one.  Jordan Rosenfeld uses her own experience “saying yes to unexpected opportunities” along the way of her career to illustrate how important it is to be creative, take opportunities and not limit yourself on the road to publication.

She’ll give examples of unusual avenues for publication ranging from radio to readings, magazine articles to book proposals.

You Already Know (What you need to do)

In Business of Writing, Craft, Writers on Revision on February 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm

When my clients send off their manuscript to me many of them will then embark on a 4 to 6 week-long process of agonizing. Some of them email me during the process, even though I say up front that I will only give feedback in total. They want to know if I hate it, love it, think they should give up altogether, or quit their day jobs. They fear what I am going to say.

It can be agony to wait, I know. Right now I’m doing the same thing with my own novel. Readers are reading it. Some have given me early feedback, bless them, but mostly on the first act. That leaves two acts hanging in the balance. And I am itching to revise because I’m still in the world of this book. No other project is calling me away. I’m not sick of it yet. I want to shape it to be as perfect as I am capable of getting it.

Yet as each bit of feedback rolls in, I have had the same reaction: Yes. Yes, you are so right. That does need condensing. She wouldn’t really say that. The language has been sacrificed for the action here…Some part of me knew that, and thought maybe I wouldn’t have to do it.

Most likely, you also know many of the problems with your own manuscript. Feedback is, then, a chance to validate what you suspect, to get evidence to support the change you know you must embark upon.  Sometimes we don’t want to see it. We are afraid of the work it will entail, and wonder if we can do it.

You can do it. You must, if you hope to be published.

But most likely, it’s no more work than you already imagined when you are honest with yourself (unless, I’m sorry to say, you have been deluding yourself all along).

So don’t be afraid. Get feedback. Revise. Start over.

It Happens to the Toughest of Us

In Craft, Writers on Revision on February 1, 2010 at 4:33 pm

“The first draft reveals the art, revision reveals the artist.” Michael Lee

No one is immune to the discouragement that comes in the process of scaling the craggy, seemingly impossibly high mountain of revision.

Just last night, after two weeks of gleefully gutting my manuscript I hit the sinkhole. The feeling that, even after all this revision, I still had so much more to do…was it even worth it? Should I gut the entire first act altogether? Should I rewrite the thing from scratch? Not my finest hour, I’ll tell you.

But I woke up this morning with that same sense of possibility: Oh yeah, I get to rewrite this. I have the power to change whatever I want. It says nothing about me that it isn’t “there” yet except that I am not done. And to quit now would be silly.

So, in April I’m teaching a 4-week class on Revision for Publication, and I’ve realized how important it is that I include, each week, several supportive strategies to help writers power through the discouragement and disappointment inevitable in the revision process. It will be as crucial as the editing tricks.

To Register: