This guest post from Raine Reiter, author of the fabulously entertaining Takakush, sums it up perfectly. New or aspiring authors will learn from it, and more experienced authors will chuckle and nod.
Ten scary things I’ve heard in writers’ group
Over the years I’ve participated in many writers’ groups, taken loads of classes, and taught writing classes for new writers. Here are a few of the questions I’ve heard along the way.
- I haven’t started writing yet, but what do you think of this book cover for my book?
- I intend publishing my first book in a year. How do I do that?
- I discovered another book with the same plot as mine. Should I stop writing?
- As a man, can I write a story about a pregnant woman?
- I’m writing a book about Japan/stone age Briton/autism/Anastasi Jews, but I don’t know anything about the subject. Can you help me?
- You’d understand my story better, if you knew the backstory. Let me tell you about it…
- I don’t need beta readers. My mother/sister/partner/best friend read my book and they told me it’s perfect.
- My mother/sister/partner/best friend read my book and said it’s horrible. Should I give up?
- My chapter is a page too short. What should I add to it?
- How do you get through writer’s block? I had it for years.
Here is what I usually tell them.
- Get out of your head.
- Focus on today.
- It’s your unique story, only you can write it.
- Do your research, or only write what you know.
- If it’s not on the page, it doesn’t exist.
- Get feedback from lots of sources. (Family LAST)
- Take the advice you like and leave the rest.
- Does the change serve the story or the dogma/rules/popular wisdom?
- You’re good enough, smart enough, and you CAN do this.
- Now, get your butt in that seat and WRITE.
Tell all your stories,
When Professor Elena Lukas returns to her cozy Pacific Northwest hometown with a broken heart, she’s plunged back into the fate she tried to escape. Like her mother and grandmother before her, Elena must now dedicate her life to a powerful ancient Lithuanian goddess. Although she is prepared to live as a priestess hiding in a contemporary tourist town, she arrives to find that a series of so-called animal attacks have terrorized her forest.
With the help of a handsome detective from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elena uses her expertise in invasive and endangered species to identify that these are no normal animal attacks. The woods are stalked by a dark, mystical creature bent on ravaging the area in an attempt to quell its insatiable hunger. When her little sister goes missing, Elena realizes that the beast can only be vanquished if she is brave enough to face it in-person, embrace her identity as a high priestess, and expose her powers to the man she is growing feelings for.
About the Author:
Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.
A fifth generation Washingtonian, Raine lives in the gloomy Pacific Northwest and prowls the rainforest with her silly spaniel, Luke.