Friday, July 9, 2010
Not at Conference? (and gossip)
Here are some things those not at conference can do this weekend.
1. Polish that first chapter.
Every writer at conference wishing to pitch to an editor and get feedback on their WIP, has really polished the first chapter of their manuscript and sent it in to the RNA to be read by an editor prior to their pitch talk. The time pressure to get this done has forced them to work hard to make sure it's the best first chapter that it can be. Us non-conference goers (NCG's) should drag out our first chapter and do an edit and polish.
2. Write a kick-ass synopsis.
The conference goers had to write a one page synopsis to go with their first chapter. We're luckier, because we're not pitching to an editor at the conference, but getting a submission ready to send in by the regular route. We can write a 2 page synopsis. Scroll back through Minx posts and print out Cindy Davis' excellent 'How to do a synopsis' post and write it. This weekend, pretend we're under time pressure too!
3. Polish the next 2 chapters.
Those at conference might get a request to see the first 3 chapters. They will have polished the next 2 so they're ready when the request comes. Let's do the same.
4. Claim your writer status.
By going to conference they're stating that they, published or unpublished, are writers. Go to vistaprint or another online printing service, and design up some free business cards for yourself. Shout it loud!
5. The Revamp.
The conference is the perfect opportunity for reinvention. New dress, new shoes, new haircut. If the budget allows, get one or all of the above! If time and finances don't allow, at least have a diy pedicure and paint those toenails.
6. Craft up.
Workshops, talks and lectures abound at the conference, but we have it all too, online. One good place to look is at the Romance Writers of America site, they have lots of handouts that you can read through. Everyone's got their favorite craft blogs, but here's two of mine, Les Edgerton's blog for craft articles, and Laurie Schnebley Campbell's.
7. Indulge yourself.
The conference is also about having a meal out, and coffee with friends. Taking the time to talk about writing, your goals, hopes, and fears. Try and get together with a likeminded writer friend for coffee, or if not (because they're all away!) get together online. Maybe try a Skype session to brainstorm ideas, or maybe just get yourself that coffee (with cream!) and large slice of chocolate cake for next to the keyboard.
The weekend is about focusing on yourself, you're a writer, you deserve it!
I'm sure there are loads of things I've forgotten, do pop in a comment with some more suggestions!
And now for a Friday news snippet... Here's some unofficial gossip about the Romance is not dead competition from Mills and Boon.
A little bird tells us that the contest is going ahead, and the time to post the first chapter is during September. It looks like its going to be for all the UK edited lines. The first round will be judged by editors and then the next few rounds are judged by the public and the panel. The first round is the first chapter, the next is the next chapter, and the final is the pivotal moment.
Word is that Mills and Boon authors will be holding workshops about how to write a M&B, and that there will also be stuff on the website. Check the website regularly, and let us all know the moment this competition goes live!