Category: Becoming a Writer

Jan 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Out With the Old, In With the New

Resolutions have never really worked for me.  If you were to read entries from late December and early January in the journals I’ve kept for thirty years, you’d see me resolving to give up essentially the same bad habits every year. The amusing part is my certainty, each and every year, that THIS year I’ll finally keep my resolutions. I like the idea of resolutions.  Coming up with them is like doing a performance appraisal on myself and my ability to handle life.  Resolutions are things I need to do differently or areas in need of improvement. Despite my lack of success in keeping them, I make resolutions every year. Sometimes I call them priorities instead of resolutions.  Changing what …

Dec 18, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Finished…Mostly

Finished…Mostly

Ten months ago, I started submitting 5,000 word chunks of my first novel to my writers group. As a novice writer, I was eager for the feedback of more experienced writers. Their numerous suggestions continue to help me to be the best  writer I can be. Tonight the group critiqued the last six chapters of Addicted. Rather than the usual 5K, I submitted two additional chapters (an extra 2,500 words) so everyone could see how the book ends. The ending came hard for me and I was anxious to hear what everyone had to say. Writing Glass Houses was easy. I’d lived the story.  I just needed to tell it in an interesting and entertaining way. My only constraint was …

Nov 29, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Learning Curve

Those of you who know me will attest to the fact that I’m a bit slow.  Though it applies, I’m not talking about my jogging speed. For some reason it takes me a while to figure things out that others pick up right away. For example, I was one of the last people to figure out that I was gay. It’s true. Despite mountains of evidence, I was twenty-one years old before I realized what practically everyone else knew by the time I was sixteen or seventeen. Some of this slowness is a result of having learned the wrong lessons earlier. Right or wrong, once I get something in my head, it takes quite a lot to change my mind.  …

Nov 20, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Glass Houses: Revised

Today I got an e-mail from my editor about Glass Houses. Her page-long message included an eleven-page overview of her suggestions and her version of three re-worked chapters.  A hard copy of the edited manuscript  is on the way and should arrive Monday or Tuesday. The message and summary are effusively positive. The more she worked with the manuscript, the more she fell in love with the story.  One reader down, a couple of million to go. After reading over all her suggestions, I have to say I’m more than pleased. Most involve combining and re-arranging chapters.  In a few places, she’d like to see me add some dialogue. The hardest are her suggestions for me to write more about …

Oct 28, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Stuck!

Three weeks ago, I all but finished writing Addicted, my first work of fiction. The main elements of the story are finished. All that’s left is to write a chapter or two to wrap things up. I would have finished it three weeks ago, but I couldn’t figure out how to get from where I was to where I wanted the book to end. It’s not a case of writer’s block. If it was, I wouldn’t even be able to blog. I’m just stuck. I’ve been stuck like this before. The first time was early in the process of writing Glass Houses.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to advance the story. After reading a draft, …

Sep 24, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Destiny & Gratitude

That I am a slow learner is one of several themes throughout Glass Houses, my as yet unpublished memoir. Besides adding an element of humor to the story, it also happens to be true. Where self-awareness is concerned, I’m especially obtuse. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to write. Out-of-town friends and relatives still talk about the long, chatty letters I wrote them dating back to the 60s. The journal I’ve kept since 1982 now includes nearly twenty volumes. All that and the professional articles, consumer fact sheets, news articles, and blog posts I’ve written over the years would fill a trunk or two. But more than enjoyment, I am compelled to write. Something drives me to …

Sep 06, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Change of Plans

Several months ago I hired a professional editor to take a look at Glass Houses. Due to other commitments, it took her a while to get to my manuscript. Today I (finally) received her review. The five-page review was actually better than I expected. Her criticisms were nothing I hadn’t heard before, and included several ideas for how we might address them. Her thoughtful review emphasized the positive and helped me to see a way to fix problems I’ve known about since finishing the memoir. Her review focused on general comments, strengths of the manuscript, and recommended revisions. The general comments revolved around narrowing down the storyline, selecting major characters (rather than the cast of thousands in the current draft), …

Sep 04, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

I fully expected to get a lot of writing done over the long weekend.  With my partner being out of town and a rainy forecast, I hoped to make significant forward progress on Addicted, my first work of fiction. Unfortunately, aside from a few new posts here on the blog, I haven’t gotten any writing done. The writer’s group met yesterday and critiqued chapters twenty through twenty-three of Addicted. The regulars all agreed it was my best work to date. I was thrilled. Normally I spend the Sunday after a writer’s group meeting following through with all the suggestions they made about my manuscript. Last night it took me all of twenty minutes to make the changes they suggested. I …

Aug 10, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Following My Dream

Writing a book is easy. Writing a good book is more difficult. Unless you’re somebody famous (or infamous), getting even a good book published is a great deal more challenging. My dear friend, Terri, posted on my Facebook wall today that The Help was rejected sixty times before author Kathryn Stockett found a publisher. Two years ago, just the idea of writing a book overwhelmed me. Then, thanks to encouragement and support from a lot of people, I penned my memoir. I definitely hope to see Glass Houses in bookstores one day. But if it never gets published, the fact that I wrote it will always rank among the proudest accomplishments of my life. To learn more about how to …

Jul 20, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Encouragement from Above?

Here is the full text of the rejection e-mail I received nearly two weeks ago from my first-choice publisher: Dear Mr Rupured: Thank you so much for submitting your manuscript, Glass Houses. Upon review, we find that the work does not match our current list needs, and we are unable to accept this manuscript for publication. Another publisher may be looking for just this kind of work to fit their upcoming schedule and we wish you success with it. We appreciate the opportunity to have reviewed this work. Sincerely, <name removed> I know rejection is part of the process. But receiving such an impersonal rejection for what everyone agrees is a very personal manuscript was disheartening. I don’t blame the publisher. Providing guidance about how …

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