Monday, November 15, 2010

Facing the truth

Thank you to Jessica our guest last friday, she had some pretty amazing advice didn't she? and now as picked by grabby toddler2; grabby toddler1's girlfriend and my french teacher. Here are the recipients of Jessica's book.
Liz Fichera
Lia Bal
Jami Gold
Jennifer Shirk
Kelley Vitollo

Clarissa D
Please remember to send me your American adresses and email adresses - Quinn, Nas and L'aussie I have your email addresses so don't worry, Liz I have yours too (looks like the lego system works for you).

Congratulations my winners, I have learnt today that all toddlers are just grabby, they don't ever pick one at a time.
Today I shall be talking about a counter advice and facing the truth.
1. Write from the heart - I agree but just like we all know that being in love is not the only thing that makes a relationship, I also have to realize that loving to write one genre does not guarantee I can write in that genre. What do I love to write and often tries to sneak into my manuscripts even though its been banned? Paranormal romance, I have written a few and even when I picked up my pen again in June I penned a Paranormal which I sent off to Carina Press and got a big fat R in 6 weeks. I still believe my manuscript prompted Angela James to tweet about the 20 reasons why manuscripts get rejected.
I have since told my cps to hit me over the head if I ever give them a paranormal to crit for me,  at this stage in my life I simply don't have the knack for it.
I shall keep up this topic for the rest of the week, what about you? Are there any truths we need to face regardless of what we are told? or am I just a grabby toddler writer who will soon be able to write all genres that I fancy soon?


  1. Hey girl, ooh is that me??? I'm obviously a great follower of instructions and of course I didn't put that I'm non-USA in my comment :( (*sigh*). Guess I'd better suggest a redraw so someone else can win the book :)



  2. Hi Rach, as our lovely American friends will say "my bad" I thought I knew my followers inside and out. I have re-picked cos grabby toddler2 has gone home for lunch and a nap.

  3. Congratulations to the winners of Jessica's book.

    I should maybe face the truth that I have made a very late start at this writing game and that I'm too old. Age is no more than a number and I'm ignoring it, so there! Maybe I should re-invent Chick Lit for my age group. Here comes Old Bird Lit!

    Have a happy week!

  4. NNNNoooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (can u hear me yelling comically) I think you are the perfect age for writing you have no toddlers holding on to your hands so you can type, you have visited many places, live in a beautiful village, travelled to a lot of places, experienced a lot of things if you can't write i dont know who can.

  5. Oh cool! I won!! Thank you so much!!!

  6. Omni pov: I'm always hearing you should never write omni because people don't like head hopping. But some authors get away with it.

    Of course, most of them were writing omni back when it was cool. Maybe their fans expect omni.

    I got over it. I'm happy with deep third.

  7. Nah, I think we can and should write in whatever genre, voice, etc. we feel compelled to use. It's called experimentation and is how we grow. Just don't believe that you're very first (second or even third) attempt will be automatic gold. Just practice, read and experiment more. ;D

  8. Congrats to the winners.

    I think it varies, sometimes the first attempt can be the real gem and other times the drafts need lots of redrafting. :O)

  9. Woo Hoo! Thank you for the book! I look forward to reading it.

    I think I have to acknowledge that I don't write stuff that does well in contests. (That didn't stop me from just signing up for the Golden Heart though. :) ) I write stuff with tons of subtext and layers, which I think is great for a deeper reading experience. But in contests, the judges seem to want things spelled out. I can understand where they're coming from, as they probably see plenty of mss where the writer didn't know what they were doing (and I'm probably somewhat guilty of that as a contest judge as well!), so that's going to be their first assumption - I don't understand the rules of this world, so they must not make sense.

    I'm not going to change my approach though, because I'm not convinced that the problem translates from bad-in-contests to won't-get-published. Well... That, and I'm stubborn and I'm not going to change my entire writing, plot, voice, and story-telling style just because of some contest scores. :)

  10. Joanna, if it makes you feel any better, I've gotten enough rejections to paper my office wall! Don't give up!

    And I won AGAIN?! Your blog is the greatest blog EVER!! :-)

  11. best writing advice I ever got -- don't write what you know; write what you love. That's when things starting going gangbusters for me.

    Looking forward to visiting in the First Gifts Blog Hop!

  12. Sorry, didn't mean to make that sound like they WOULDN'T be gold. LOL I just know it takes awhile to get down each form. Sigh.

  13. Hello Joanna, thanks for letting me win. I will e-mail you my info any second. As for writing: Write in whatever genre you like the most. There’s an audience for everything. Also, just because one publisher said no, doesn’t mean they all will, send it someplace else. And lastly, remember that it’s very rare that someone sells their very first manuscript.

  14. There are certainly things that I LOVE to read that I simply have no talent for. I've tried horror but it's just not what I'm good at writing. However, I think writing what you love is so important. If you don't love what you write, no one else will. I think it's one of those things where you can't necessarily write everything you love, but you have to love whatever you write. Does that make sense?

  15. Congrats to the winners!
    When I write, humor wants to intrude at inopportune moments.

  16. ha ha everyone
    @Victoria I get your point
    @lia I will tell grabby toddler2 you said thanks and trust me when I say I cannot write a para to save my life, b4 i got the rejection back I was already close to emailing them in apology, everything else I write is way better than my paras
    @Sondrae I think my main problem is thinking the grass is greener on the other side, I write contemporary romance which I love but I just think para writers are super cool and have an insane imagination which I would love to have.

  17. Congratulations to all the winners and well done grabby toddlers 1&2!

  18. Damn right. If it doesn't come from the heart, it's only intellectual and pretentious scribbling.

  19. I'm glad that I won and all, but I'm a non-US follower -- I thought I had put that in my comment, too. I have a US address, but I wouldn't be able to get the book. So, it's probably better to pick someone else.

    By the way, did you have any trouble using my Korean address for the last giveaway?

  20. You gave away a lot of books! Congrats to the winners! And woo hoo to the grabby toddlers, their talents come in handy when picking prize winners.

  21. Thanks for the laugh this morning.
    Congrats to the winners!

  22. Congrats to the winners!

    I think anything takes a lot of practice and learning, if you're going to do it properly., So - yes - we're all grubby toddlers, but we grow out of it! :)

  23. Congrats to the winners.

    As for rules...I just ignore most of them. I just do what I want, and if it doesn't work, I try something else. I think the only truth writers need to know and accept is the fact that publishing is SUBJECTIVE. What works for one editor/agent isn't going to work for another. Over and out. Keep going until you find the one that your product does work for.

  24. Hi Joanna! Great post!
    Here's the way I see it...

    Write what you know.
    Write what you love.
    Write what you want.
    Write what they tell you to.
    Write what they tell you not to write.
    Follow the rules.
    Bend the rules.
    Break the rules.
    Sheesh! I've heard it all. Heck, I've done it all. And, what did it get me? Besides a pile of paper to start a fire with? ;) Well, it got me closer to finding out what my truth is as a writer. Strangely enough, by lying to them and trying to do it their way - I discovered who I REALLY was as a writer. Hey, it's a journey, and if there were no bumps in the road or dead-ends that lead to insightful surprises - the trip would be pretty darn boring.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  25. Hi Joanna! Like Rachael, I'm an Aussie, not an American. One time I'd like to be *chuckle*. Anyhoo, I thought just maybe you'd decided to go international after all. Quinn is in Korea too, so redraws all round! Boo hoo!

    Love what you write today. Yeah, but it doesn't hurt to experiment with different genres. Just because you got a big fat R from one publisher doesn't mean your work sucks, not necessarily! Maybe another will love it. Sometimes you have to persist and re-send (always remember JK Rowling - tee hee - for the millionth time - she received 20 rejections on good ole Harry before she hit pay dirt!)

    Your blog is beautiful. If you accept awards, please go back to my blog and grab the Beautiful Blogger Award!

    Keep 'em comin'..:)

  26. Hey and I forgot to say congrats to the American winners! And Erica isn't an Aussie if that's how it reads...

  27. I agree with Victoria - we try things, practice, keep growing as writers, and it all works out eventually.
    Congrats to your winners. :)

  28. Hello Joanna, I'm so overjoyed by the win. Congrats to all other readers. Did I hear someone say POV, I've got a Harlequin book with a cat's POV. Just the one. And I neaver came across another, have you?

  29. Thanx for the advice people, and just to clear some confusion up we are sending 5 paperback books to 5 Americans and 5 Ebooks to 5 Non American Email addresses so yay!

  30. ...for me at least, when not leading forward with heart, hammering keys from one's soul, the work becomes nothing more than words on a page, something agents can spot like a smudge on one's favorite shirt.
    With constant revision, I imagine success can be achieved while remaining non-committal, but for me personally, it'd definitely be a challenge:)

    Congrats to the winners & thanks so much Joanna for your supportive comments on my blog!

  31. Ahhh...they didn't grab my name. Oh well, congrats to the winners.

  32. That's super that I won! Unfortunately, I don't have a US address. Could you give my book to another commenter. I noticed the one above me was sad she didn't get one...


  33. I can't do comedy and am so in awe when someone can write funny and write it well. That being said, I wouldn't give up on paranormal if you really love it.

  34. Those toddlers are too cute. Makes me want a toddler -- okay, maybe just kiss a toddlers cheeks and give her back to Mommie. Ha.

    A writing truth to me is to be true to yourself. Don't write for the market. Write what you love. Good writing trumps everything.

  35. I'm very excited at being one of the winners - thank you Joanna and Jessica! As for grabby toddlers, they obviously rock! I tend to just write something I want to read, and not worry about which genre it falls into while I'm writing it.


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