Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weds Check-in . . .July 26th

Not sure I'm quite understanding this ROW80, but here's the place to check in and see if I'm keeping up with this week's goals.

This week on the Internet Writing Workshop's NOVELS LIST, there's been much discussion about whether folks should submit work for critiques from stories that are "in progress" or "finished." Makes me want to jump in with an opinion, because the comments have raged against both types of writers, and some suggest there's only one way to participate in this IWW list.

What I've learned since last summer is that feedback from other writers has helped me focus my writing in unexpected ways.

When I was truly stuck, trying to decide which story to write, participating in the FLASH fiction group prompted me to explore ideas and pursue the threads of two possible novels. Over time, one story came to dominate my thinking. Could I have done this without the group? Perhaps.

I then rejoined NOVELS-L and dove into Years of Stone wholeheartedly, built my plot scene by scene on a cork board, spotted plot holes, and continued to write. Then occasionally, yes, work-in-progress, I subbed chapters from the story that was unfolding when I felt I wanted feedback on the energy of the writing overall. At this stage, I got enough feedback to feel I was truly on the right track. No one said, "Stop writing this crap!" though a few complained that I wasn't subbing chapters in sequence. Well, I wasn't writing in sequence so . . .

It's now a year later. The first draft is truly done. Every single chapter sings as best as I can make it. I'm subbing the final section 3 (yes to NOVELS-L) for review and have the entire first draft out to two 'first readers' I trust, and then . . . I'm not sure. Still waffling but leaning ever close to Amazon.

But my point is what worked for me may not work for anyone else. So, whether we submit finished, or work-in-progress excerpts for critique, this writing is a very unique journey, one filled with doubts and joys. Every comment I've received from critters on NOVELS-L (and FLASH) has helped me on my writing journey. I've struggled, learned, revised, edited, sweated, cussed a few times, retyped (oops, re-word-processed), and will persevere.

Thank you all.

Now to ROW80.
1. About 60% through edits on Section 1, Years of Stone. Got comments already on Section 2.
2. Edited one story for The Mermaid Quilt: A Collection of Tales.
3. Drew one picture for same.
4. Found two potential agents I like  for Years of Stone, but still waffling there.

May your week go well!


  1. Congrats on the progress! I agree that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing. Yes, we all need certain elements in our final book, but how we get there varies. As long as it works for you and your WIP sings, go with it! Have a great week.

  2. 100% agreed, Beth. I think everyone has their own approach, both to writing and to revising and/or editing. I've heard developmental editors say they can best help when a story is in the making rather than once it's been "solidified", which makes sense: character arcs and plot twists, whatnot, are best "plotted" beforehand. Still, for me that's--okay, maybe not impossible, but very *very* hard :) Key words, though, being *for me*. You're so right to underline the individuality of the creative process. There's no "right" or "wrong" way, not until you try it. Thanks for posting your opinion on the IWW thread!