I can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks since I attended the ANWA writers conference! As many of you know, I’ve been writing for the Homemaking Cottage for over three years and Arizona Mama for about two years. It’s very therapeutic and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Writing fiction is the same, but much more challenging. In between catching up and dealing with everyday life, I’m still digesting all that I learned.
This was the first time I showed anyone a sample of my fiction writing. Fortunately, everyone was very kind – probably a little kinder than I deserved, but I still had plenty of feedback to use editing my story. I have no problem editing my kiddos school papers, but I was too nervous to do more than get into my table-mates stories. It probably helped that they were good writers showing their most polished work.
Query & Pitch by Anita Mumm
I’m a long way from writing a query letter but the class and workshop was great information for when I am at that point. Here are the points that stuck out:
- A good query letter introduces the author, grabs the agent’s attention and shows your writing style.
- Research which agencies to send it to and who to address it to, show you have done your homework by including information specific to them. Make sure your manuscript is in line with the type they represent.
- Have your query letter critiqued!
Finding a Home for your Book by Linda Radke
- Check references for literary agents.
- Don’t pay for traditional publishing.
- Do have a marketing plan regardless of how you publish your book.
- Three ways to publish book: traditional publishing, partnership publishing and self publishing.
- If self publishing – have an editor!
Secrets for Romance Writing by Donna Hatch
- Every word should push your story forward.
- Characters should have a goal, motivation and conflict.
- Stay in voice. If your character looks in the mirror, they aren’t going to mentally give a detailed description about their hair. It’s not natural!
Writing Process by Larry Brooks
- Understand the criteria of an effective story.
- Stellar performers put 10,000 hours into their craft.
- Each scene has a beginning, middle & end.
- Write your story outline on index cards, so you can rearrange as you need.
This is less than half of my notes from the conference – now you can see why it’s taking me so long to process all that I learned! Come back next week for the rest of my notes!