I received yesterday’s prompt at 2:04 this morning just before today’s at 2:10 Therefore, I’m going to combine the two into one post.
The best advice I’ve received came from my daughter, Tiffany Beasley Rock, who told me to simply get off my behind and write something. I did, and after I held that first copy of The Legend of the Swamp Witch with my name on the cover, I was hooked. Thanks, Kiddo!
The next best piece of advice came from my friend and writing coach, Adam Sterling. He’s given me lots of advice, but telling me to Outline was probably the best. He turned me on to the Snowflake outlining process. I bought the book and studied it. I used the process before sitting down to write The Ruby Queen and the book practically wrote itself. I wrote The Ruby Queen last year for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and finished the first draft in thirty days.
The Queen of the Cow Towns took roughly sixty days and I did not use the Snowflake for it. I already had a clear picture of my characters and knew I wanted this book to be Roxie’s story. I’m struggling some with Crown Queen, book 3 of The Soiled Dove Sagas.
I also have to say The Central Phoenix Writers’ Workshop, my awesome critique group, has given me wonderful support and advice along the way. I’ve cleaned up many of my grammar issues and problems with POV. My sentence structure is much stronger now and I’ve learned to balance the dialogue and narrative in my manuscripts. Adam has told me my writing is 3000% improved since joining the group and I’d have to agree. I intend to do a total rewrite of The Legend of the Swamp Witch, which I wrote and published before joining the group. I’m certain I’m going to cringe when I go through her again.
What advice have I been given that has been the most helpful? Write! If you have an idea, make an outline to organize your thoughts. Write! Find a critique group and present your work for your peers to evaluate. Pay attention to their criticism. Rewrite!