Tag: Athens Writers Workshop

Dec 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Joining a Writers Group

The start of another year is like Christmas for the resolution industry. The gym will be crowded and meetings at Weight Watchers will be standing room only. January is also when we see a big influx of new members in our local writers group. Seems there are lots of aspiring writers out there. Some have maybe only thought about writing a book. Others have finished works that keep getting rejected. They want to know if I did something they didn’t do that made a difference. That’s not what they say, of course, but that’s what they really want to know. Quite a few successful writers–far more knowledgable and experienced than I–have written books about how to write a novel and/or …

Nov 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Devil is in the Details

The Devil is in the Details

Over the weekend, I finally finished writing After Christmas Eve. Finding time to write had been the biggest obstacle–never mind that I had loose ends all over the place and no earthly idea how to tie them all together. I had time to write this weekend and along the way, figured out how to end the book. Hallelujah! I sent the draft to my beta readers for general feedback, two technical consultants to look at specific things, and some of the folks in my writers group. At this point, I just needed to know if everything makes sense and fits the characters. And with my technical consultants, I want to make sure details about guns and explosives are correct, as well …

Nov 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

How to Write a Novel

If you ask me, there are two basic ways to write a novel. You can either make it up as you go along–a style known as pantsing, as in flying by the seat of one’s pants. Or you can plan the story out from start to finish and then start writing. No doubt there are endless permutations and combinations of these two approaches. The essential difference is you either make it up as you go along or plan it out ahead of time. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Seems maybe I was half right. I’ve done it both ways, pantsing my way through Until Thanksgiving and outlining my second novel. Having just about finished After Christmas Eve, I’ve been …

Oct 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Stressed!

Okay. I admit it. I’m stressed out. My upbeat, positive attitude has helped me to cope. But the quantity of major life events I’ve experienced this year has just about depleted the sunshine I’ve managed to set aside for dark and cloudy days. In graduate school I remember reading studies about a stress scale that assigned points to various life events. The higher the score, the more likely you are to experience stress-related illness. Thanks to my friend, Google, I found the scale this morning and filled it out for myself. Click here to check your own stress level. My score is a few points shy of 400. Scoring over 300 means I “have a high or very high risk …

Sep 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Six and a Half Weeks Later

On August 15th, I became a soon-to-be-published writer. The tidal wave I rode for several weeks has broken up into smaller waves, but I’m still very excited and busier than I’ve been since graduate school. An update on my journey is overdue. In truth, there hasn’t been a lot of action.  Dreamspinner Press (DSP) gave me access to a message board for other DSP writers and added me to the DSP writers group on Twitter right away.  Other than that and an email exchange about my desire to delete two paragraphs that don’t work with the prequel I’m working on, I’ve heard from my publisher twice. On September 15th, I got an email from the artists who design DSP covers. …

Sep 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Seriously, Venting is Not Whining

The pace sure has picked up for me here in the last month. Seems like there just isn’t enough time for everything I need to do. Even after a week off from my day job, I’m feeling stressed. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not complaining. I’m grateful for each and every item on my over-full plate. But until I adjust to the additional weight, keeping the plate balanced so nothing falls off the side is going to be a challenge. As is often the case, it’s not so much one thing as the many. Again, I’m not complaining. My busy would still be a welcome and relaxing change of pace for any mother with children still at home. I’m fully aware …

Aug 20, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My New Normal

Too much has changed in the past month for my life to ever return to normal. I lost my father. But the end to his suffering and his inability to do the things he wanted to do prevent me from being sad. Mostly, I feel a profound sense of relief–like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. The end turned out so much better than I ever would have expected, and for that I will always be grateful. Then I got the life-changing e-mail message from Dreamspinner Press. That was five days ago, and I’m still firmly anchored to Cloud Nine. My cheeks hurt from the giant and ever present grin on my face. I don’t think I’ve …

Aug 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Wildest Dreams

I wrote Glass Houses in 2010 and thought it was an absolutely brilliant memoir. My first choice agent rejected the manuscript. Then I tried a small gay publishing house that also turned it down. Solid in my conviction that the manuscript was perfect, the problem had to be with the blurb, synopsis, and query letter. I joined a local writers group for help. In the next few months I learned enough to see that my memoir had a lot of technical problems. I decided to set it aside until I could figure out a way to fix the major structural issues. Leaving it behind was okay. Writing the memoir changed me in a lot of ways, with one of the …

Aug 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Stop the World!

Swapping the vacation my partner and I had been looking forward to for Dad’s funeral ended up being a good thing. We were already off work, and since we were driving anyway and had a free place to stay at the beach, changing our plans at the last minute didn’t cost anything. Any other time would have caused problems and posed challenges. All this to say I’m not unhappy that we gave up a relaxing week at the beach. Things have a way of working out for the best. Already exhausted from the previous weeks activities, I spent the weekend catching up on laundry, mowing, and other chores. My writers group met Saturday, and I managed to squeeze in a …

Jul 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Section at the Bookstore

I never dreamed I could write a novel. Sure, I’ve always loved to write. But a novel? My first project was a memoir for a reason. I didn’t need to write dialogue, develop believable and interesting characters, or come up with clever and intriguing plots. Just write about my crazy family and the rest would take care of itself. Though I did it for all the wrong reasons, joining the Athens Writers Group changed my life. I wanted help with the submission process, which of course, required reading my manuscript. My friend Adrienne Wilder, an emeritus member of our group and a successful writer (click here for her books), was the first to try to tell me that my memoir…er…needed …