Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Next Step

Last month, I attended the Next Step writer's conference, which was hosted by Redwood Writers, our local branch of The California Writing Club. The day was filled with excellent presentations, plenty of schmoozing, and learning about the business side of writing. I left the day feeling invigorated and ready to take some important next steps in my own life. 

One step was volunteering as editor for The Redwood Writer. While the prior editor did an excellent job on the newsletter, I envisioned a new look with a table of contents, columns, submission guidelines, and an editor's section.  After much work with a wonderful team, we finished our first edition for June 2012 and published it on May 25, 2012. So far, I have gotten many emails of kudos and encouragement. 

Another step was to start revising my novel to give my characters more color and life, as well as to rid the plot of too many coincidences. I have been working on the revision for the last couple of weeks now, and I find this process more difficult because I have to make sure the "new breath" is woven throughout the book and is consistent to the end.  Once I am finished, I will start the query process again. 

I am looking forward to more taking many more small steps with regards to my writing. Once I complete my family research, I would like to put the information together into a booklet for my family. Part of the research will involve writing biographies of key characters in our history, and perhaps some fictional tales derived from known facts and what life might have been like for some of my ancestors. 

As for now, I continue to put words onto paper. I am engrossed in How to Write and Sell Historical Fiction, an audio book by my friend Persia Woolley. This book is not just for historical fiction writers, but for anybody who writes fiction. I am about a quarter of the way through already, and I highly recommend this book to anyone.  

What is your next step when it comes to your writing? Whatever it is, just remember to take as many steps as you need to reach your goals.  

Happy writing all!  

To Go Oxford....or Not

Do you use the Oxford comma or do you omit it? Some grammar sages say to either keep it or omit it, unless omitting the Oxford comma will...