Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tinker Mountain -- Day Last

Tinker Mt. Writers Workshop is over for 2011. It ended on Friday with the last critiques, a group discussion on publishing, hugs and promises to stay in touch.

I forced a group shot for the old blog and to send to the rest of the group. I can hear everyone now: I look awful, I'm not looking at the camera, I didn't want to be in the shot. And where am I? Behind the camera. My camera, my rules.

What started as a group of strangers ended as a group of friends who all wished each other success and improvement in writing.

I left with pages of notes and suggestions for improving Max 1. I also took away a couple of tips to share:

  • Hire a line editor before you send your manuscript out. I cannot edit for typos and catch them all. You probably can't either.
  • When getting ready to edit or rewrite, expand the side margins. Set them at 2" to give you more space to scribble changes.
  • Never throw away anything you cut from your manuscript. Open a file and paste the deletions in it. You might want them at a later date.
  • Don't give you deletions file a negative name, like "Rejects," "Bad Stuff, or "Crap," etc. It's only a reject for the present work. My deletions file is called "Parking Lot."
  • When you are really, really serious about submitting a long manuscript to an agent, and when you are really, really ready, format your manuscript and send it to a company like Lulu. Pay to get one copy of your book bound. If you can afford it, you will never regret the money you spend. You can't imagine how different your book reads when it is a book and not a manuscript.

    And now, I have to do justice to my teacher and thank Fred Leebron for his guidance and inspiration for the past week. I went into the workshop hoping to learn a few things. Instead, I learned where and how to "fix" Max 1. Now, I have to execute what he taught me.

    Write now, right now.

    1. Great info, Betsy! I totally agree with reading your story as a book instead of a manuscript. I send my finished product to my Kindle. I'm able to "feel" the flow--or breaks in the flow--rather than simply seeing it. Makes a huge difference!

    2. Rhiannon, you'd be surprised at how many people in the workshop had never thought about reading a manuscript in either book form or on a Kindle. They learned something very important -- as did I.