Friday, September 23, 2011

ACFW Day 2 Overview

What a day! I haven't hit a breaking point yet, but there is no way I could do this for four days. I really enjoyed my three classes today. One of them was about writing humor. My series certainly doesn't fall into the comedic genre. It has parts that are dark and face the problems of being broken, dirty and ugly. Humor is a nice way to keep a reader energized and remind them of that light at the end of the tunnel.

I ate lunch with a publisher/editor I really like and other writers who proudly wave their geek flags. Geeks are the best. Where else is "That's so weird!" a giant compliment? Geekland, that's where.

I also had my first chapter critique today. It went really well. My criticizer (I'm not positive that's the word I want) made two assumptions about me based on my work. One, that I was a college grad and two, that this manuscript was not my first writing project. Neither of these are true, and it was pretty awesome to hear from someone in the publishing world.

The following is her evaluation sheet. :)

She complimented my synopsis. I had never written one before, and all my research had outlined was a required length that varied from two paragraphs up to five pages. It needed a few more things, but since this was my first attempt, I'm proud of what I accomplished.

I could actually bask in this. Even the low point, "Most of the dialogue is flawless," is awesome. I've never had a single class on dialogue, and I know it's not nearly as strong as my action writing. She told me the tension I build is fantastic and at some point she got chills, even though this isn't her usual genre. Even you could see me right now, I might actually be glowing with happiness.

It wouldn't be fair if I posted all the things that were great about my first chapter, and then excluded the weaker points. I've done a decent job forcing myself out of passive voice, but there's always room to improve. My progress is even showing in my longhand. I'm honestly surprised with how much trouble I have conveying emotions to my readers. Relating to people is not something I struggle with in real life. It baffles me a little that I can lack that strength in my writing.

That was my day! Overall, it was excellent. Tomorrow I have class on dialogue. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that. I also have a mentor appointment lined up as well as an agent appointment. No, I'm not pitching Demon. Not yet. The appointment was part of the conference fee. I'm confident my manuscript will be strong enough for publication this time next year. I figured I may as well sit down with an agent and ask some questions that will benefit me when the time is right.

The conference has been great so far. I even met a few gals who live in Bettendorf! Imagine that! Right now, I want to finish my homework, soak my feet in hot water, and get to bed!

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