Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Find your writer tribe and kick insecurity to the curb! For regular interaction, join the IWSG Facebook Group here. Writers of all skill level and background ask questions and offer support. Follow the monthly IWSG blog hop here. Pick a number and visit a few blogs. Comment and make a friend! Now the IWSG crew has a monthly prompt. Whoohoo! Even easier to join up now.
July 6th Question:
What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?
One of my friends who is a writer, who I was friends with before I started writing myself, kept bugging me to read something of mine. I don't know about you all, but sometimes it's harder to have real-life friends read your work vs. writer friends. Imagine they hate what you write, and every July 4th BBQ you have to face them, wondering if they're thinking how terrible your writing is as they serve up a hot dog.
So, I went ahead with it. My friend, a guy, reads and writes wonderful short stories and sci-fi. He read through my whole young adult manuscript, a heartfelt contemporary story about sisters and complicated family dynamics and first love. He said the first few pages were a little tough for him because he wasn't used to reading books from a teen girl's perspective. But then, by about page ten, he said he forgot all about those things and just focused on the story.
That may sound simple, but I consider it a huge compliment! I was able to bring him into a story he would not have otherwise read, and made him forget that it wasn't his usual fare. My manuscript still needed work, but the essential storytelling bones were there.
I read a lot of contest entries through Romance Writers and Pitch Wars and other volunteer mentoring. The best feeling is when a story takes hold of you and you forget all your hang-ups and preconceived ideas.
Have you ever been blown away by a book you didn't expect to like?
Happy Independence Day (Americans!) Happy Monday, everyone else :)
I've been binge-watching House of Cards on Netflix, which is pretty timely in an election year. I can't say it's giving me much faith in our political process. At least it's fiction.
Beyond that, I've been making a dent in my To Be Read list, and still on a self-imposed library ban to read through the books I own (with exception of downloading audio books from the library). Yes, these are #bookpeopleproblems :)
Now, on to updates!
New website ... soon!
Great change takes time, but soon I'll have my new website up. I'll announce it across social media!
ALTERATIONS Release Date
My debut young adult novel Alterations is releasing September 6! Super stoked. A cover reveal and advanced copies coming soon. Spark is a digital book imprint of Bloomsbury, so my timeline is more narrow for these updates prior to release. Meanwhile, I'm over on Instagram regularly chatting about books if you want to follow me!
The group blog I joined this year is celebrating its three year anniversary. You know what that means: giveaways galore, and a bunch of fun posts all about books! Check out the intro post here.
Pitch Wars is Coming!
Writers seeking publication: the time is approaching! I'm signing on as a mentor for my third year.
Here are the basics on Pitch Wars, where published and agented writers and editors choose a writer to help polish a full manuscript prior to a pre-selected agent round. The submission window opens August 3 on Brenda Drake's website, but the party starts sooner on twitter under the #pitchwars tag, plus hit the Home tab on Brenda's blog for all kinds of preview articles on the pitch contest.
Do you make summer reading plans? How are you doing so far?
Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Find your writer tribe and kick insecurity to the curb! For regular interaction, join the IWSG Facebook Group here. Writers of all skill level and background ask questions and offer support. Follow the monthly IWSG blog hop here. Pick a number and visit a few blogs. Comment and make a friend!
Goal, Set, Check!
The blogging group I'm part of, the YABuccaneers, are in month 2 of our Spring Writing Bootcamp. Each week we check in on our Facebook group or on twitter to set goals, motivate each other, and report back. It got me thinking on goal setting and what works and what doesn't.
I love the concept of SMART goals. If you guessed that each of those letters stand for something, you're right!
Generic goal: finish the book by June 30!
This goal sets you up for failure. There is one objective, and if you don't meet it, you fail. Why do that to yourself?
SMART Goal: draft 3 new chapters by Friday
Specific: instead of "finishing" it's a set amount of chapters.
Measurable: there is a number of chapters indicated.
Achievable: the goal has a smaller chunk of a larger piece of work to do.
Realistic: this will depend on your ability--if you write 1k words daily, giving yourself a week to write 3 chapters is feasible. If you are a sporadic writer with slow output, maybe 1 or 2 chapters is more realistic.
Timely: a set day is named.
The best advice I can offer beyond setting SMART goals is to share your goals with at least one other person to keep you accountable. The IWSG group could be your accountability, or another writer friend.
What type of goal setting works for you? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!
The YA Buccaneers have a great post this week on Yoga for your Brain. Yes, YOUR BRAIN. BRAIN YOGA! This applies to anyone, not just writers!
Check out this success story on Brenda Drake's blog featuring one of my writer friends and In Real Life critique group partner Kelly Garcia on how she contracted with Literary Agent Terrie Wolf! Kelly entered the Pitch Wars contest in 2015 and the shaping up of her manuscript led to this agent match only a few months later!
Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be insecure no longer! Commune with fellow writers and find your tribe. For more regular interaction, join the IWSG Facebook Group here. Writers of all skill level and background ask questions and offer support. Follow the monthly IWSG blog hop here. Pick a number and visit a few blogs. Comment and make a friend!
Happy Star Wars Day! That is, May the Fourth ... be with you!
Photo: Stephanie Scott
The Force Awakens and Rey: A New and Old Brand of Hero
Can we talk for a minute about how cool Rey is? In case you somehow missed the epic-ness that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey is one of our new heroes, a girl abandoned on her home planet who comes in contact with a very special droid and embarks on a dangerous mission. Sound familiar? Rey's story mirrors many aspects of Luke Skywalker's from the original Star Wars: A New Hope. That core story of someone unexpected launched into an epic journey is partly what made the original Star Wars so memorable. Luke was someone to root for, especially after he returns to his aunt and uncle's farm to find his family murdered. Similar with Rey: in her first scene we see her working hard scavenging scrap metal only to exchange it for a meager amount of dehydrated foodstuffs which she eats alone in her hideout. She doesn't tell us she's lonely, but we can see it in the image of the vast desert landscape and her sad little meal, and we glimpse her own betrayals in small flashback moments. Rey is not the same as Luke, but her core story is similar. She's the unexpected Everygirl who becomes part of a much larger adventure. When crafting our own stories, we can keep these basics in mind. How can we take a core hero story and make it our own? What common threads can we use from classic stories to then mash up with unique details, settings, and experiences?
What's your favorite hero story? Or, if you want to gush about The Force Awakens, I'm all for chatting about Star Wars!
We're hosting a FREE, two-month writing challenge, and you are invited! Spring Writing Bootcamp starts May 1st, 2016 and runs until June 30th, 2016. As with all of our bootcamps, this is a free-form (and free!) writing challenge open to all writers. You set your own goal - to finish a first draft, complete revisions, blog once a week, etc. - and we'll help you make it happen.
How? We'll provide the writing motivation in the form of Word Sprints and blog posts, encouragement via private groups, and book giveaways to keep things exciting. All you have to do is focus on writing, revising, drafting, or blogging - whatever you want to accomplish during the next two months.
We have SO much in store for those who join Spring Writing Bootcamp this year! Just a glimpse of what you'll get when you sign up:
Goal setting worksheets
A printable weekly writing progress tracker
Access to private bootcamp groups on both Twitter & Facebook
Additionally, you can find me on Instagram in May doing this photo prompt challenge under the tag #MayIGAuthors. My Instagram is @StephScottYA
I'm Stephanie Scott and I write Young Adult fiction about teens who put their passions first. My debut ALTERATIONS releases 12/6/16 by Bloomsbury Spark. I enjoy dance fitness, cat memes, and Pinterest is driving me broke. I'm represented by Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Lit. Find me on twitter and Instagram at @StephScottYA