Tag: Athens Writers Workshop

Jul 08, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Ready for Wednesday

Last night I got to hear what the writers in my group thought about the first four chapters of After Christmas Eve. Before I tell you what they said, I have to give you a little back story. Otherwise, this would be a three sentence post, and you know me better than that. Every word  counts, but the beginning of any book is especially important. It needs to lure the reader in and give him or her a reason to keep turning the page. The first 5,000 words of Until Thanksgiving, then known as Addicted, went through the group four times before I got it right. Last night, the first four chapters of After Christmas Eve got a thumbs up …

Jul 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Ready for Chapter Ten

I’ve always enjoyed a good jigsaw puzzle, whether the wooden puzzles I played with as a toddler  or the 1500 piece monsters I’ve tackled since. The more complicated the picture, the more satisfying it was to put the puzzle together. Writing After Christmas Eve is like working a puzzle. The pieces are all on the table, and I have a picture of the finished product to guide me. It’s just a matter of putting everything together. By comparison, writing Until Thanksgiving was more like going through a maze. I knew where it started, but had no idea where it ended or how to get there. There were several dead ends and wrong turns before I finally found my way to the end …

Jul 03, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Like Thinking in French

Like Thinking in French

I took French in junior high and high school and plodded through three semesters of Russian in college. I never learned enough to think in either language. I was too busy in college. High school is a different story. Five years is a lot of time to have learned so little. I  should have been thinking in French. Becoming a good writer is like learning to think in French. The more you practice, the better you get. Eventually, good writing becomes second nature. Then the writer’s mind is free to focus on more interesting elements–like pacing, plot and character development. With experience, these things become second nature, too, and the focus turns to new ways to improve the writing. I’ve …

Jun 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on And We’re Off!

And We’re Off!

Nearly two weeks ago, I submitted a blurb, synopsis, character profiles, and chapter summaries for my next novel, After Christmas Eve, for critique by the writers in my group. I’ve never known enough to be able to put those pieces together without first having finished writing the book. I couldn’t wait to hear what they would say. Saturday night I got the verdict. The general consensus was that everything sounded okay. However, the devil is in the details the barebones outline didn’t provide–a fact that somewhat limited the kind of feedback they could provide. Everyone agreed that the story is chocked full of cliche characters, plot twists, and conventions. For the uninitiated, that is NOT a good thing. To some …

Jun 17, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Gearing Up

This weekend I’ve been immersing myself in the 1960s. No, I didn’t watch a Mad Men marathon or vintage shows on the TV Land network. I’m gearing up to write my second novel, After Christmas Eve, set in 1966/1967 in Washington DC. I’m not trying to catch the nostalgia wave generated by the success of Mad Men–not that I’d mind. The exact date for the story was dictated by a seemingly insignificant detail that I wrote into Until Thanksgiving. Setting this sucker in the 60s poses all kinds of challenges. The devil is in the details. The fully formed idea for a prequel around that little detail came to me in a flash. I wrote down my thoughts and in a couple …

Jun 14, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Waiting Games

Three weeks ago today I submitted a query, synopsis, and the first twenty pages of Until Thanksgiving to a publisher. Three days later, I received a response to my query: a request from the publisher for the full manuscript. I sent the manuscript within thirty minutes and have been dancing off the ceiling ever since. Waiting is not my forte. Years ago I learned two ways to eat up waiting time. Sleep, or stay busy. Long-term sleeping really isn’t an option. Since I couldn’t sleep past seven if my life depended on it, I’ve been trying to stay busy. Some would spend more time running and going to the gym. Not me. I still try to do something for thirty …

Jun 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Totally Different Experience

A few years ago, the idea of writing a book intimidated me enough to keep me from even trying. The complexity of the task overwhelmed me. The job was too big to comprehend and I didn’t know enough to break it into smaller, more manageable chunks. I added “write a book” to the things I would probably never do. Even if it never gets published, writing Glass Houses changed that. Turns out, I could write a book. Not having a clue about how to get it published motivated me to find the Athens Writers Group. We hang out together for three or four hours every other Saturday at a local coffee shop. I’ve missed the meetings maybe four times in …

May 24, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Sent!

The vacation from my day job means I’ve had time to focus on advancing my budding writing career. Until Thanksgiving (formerly known as Addicted) has moved on to the next level. I submitted the first twenty pages of the manuscript and a complete synopsis to a small, relatively new publishing company this morning. Let the waiting begin. Writing a book is the easy part. Seriously. After that, unless you’re Stephen King, James Patterson,  or someone famous enough to get an advance for your memoir, it’s uphill all the way. Self-publish? E-publish? Agent? Major publishing house? Boutique publisher? The options and permutations are endless. My initial plan was to start at the top and work my way down until I found …

May 15, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Goodbye, Addicted

Last week I blogged about the present status of my writing career. Basically, all projects were stalled and I was trying to figure out a way forward. As is so often the case with me, all I need do is state my intentions for everything to change. I got the marked up manuscript from the editor I hired to help me with the novel formerly known as Addicted. Thanks to all the help from my writer’s group through the critiques they provided from start to finish, the editor had very few suggestions. I ended up incorporating all but one. The biggest suggestion and one I’d already heard from my writer’s group was the need to change the title. Addicted was …

Mar 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Back to Square One

My affection for the people in my writer’s group has come up here several times before. We’re a diverse group with different backgrounds, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Together we’re a tough bunch of well-informed critics. Besides the formal submission process and the critiques provided at our regular meetings, there’s also a lot of informal sharing. Sometimes requests go out to the entire group. But mostly it’s one of us asking two or three others for feedback about a new section, an old section that’s been revised, or perhaps even about an entire manuscript. A year ago when I first joined, I sent Glass Houses to the entire group with a request for general feedback. I’ve since learned they thought I …