Friday, November 26, 2010

CAP-athon Week 4 -- How Are You Doing?

Well, it's been a strange three weeks. When Capathon began I had high hopes that other writers would post--even the NANO gang, whom I invited. My vision for CAP-athon was to be a place for writers during the month of November, to help each other stay on track by posting about our daily or weekly word counts, writing successes (and failures), etc.

We started out with a bang, and then lost a few posters along the way. However, for all of you who've hung in there during the past three weeks, as well as those who started out with the best intentions, I thank you for participating in the first ever, but official CAP-athon. There WILL BE another one next November as well, and maybe even every six months.

Our family already in the middle of a serious and (near-tragic) family "event" when CAP-athon started. We almost lost a family member. I doubted that I'd be able to participate much, and although I didn't get a lot of writing done, I DID make progress.

I'd been blocked on a project (actually, two books) after recieving some bad advice. One thing I learned is that I should have listened to my gut instinct and then make decisions that are not based upon someone else's personal experiences (or in this case, severely limited knowledge and expertise).

I became "unblocked" on an old project, and the ideas on how to improve it began to flow. I also realized that my first choice of a publisher long ago for a project has ALWAYS been the right one, despite the opinion of someone else.

So...all in all, I'd say CAP-athon has been a success. Some who've posted here have sold projects, completed projects and achieved phenomenal word counts.

This week, let's try to go out with a bang!


  1. My goal for the week is to get that cover letter and do a final proof of the manuscript before sending it off.

    I'm also going to write in those new elements to my other paranormal novel as well.

    Come on. The turkey and pumpkin pie should be gone by now so there's no excuse not to get back into the swing of it, right?

    What are you working on this final week of CAP-athon?

  2. Let's see this week...

    Working on a couple of things. One is a sequel to the WIP I finished, then there's the book I'm _supposed_ to actually be writing. LOL Um.. yeah... I turned in edits that I completely blanked out on. I blame the tryptophan. Did some Turkey-day shopping online. Now I'm just getting through the last few days.

    I am hoping things have settled down with your family, that all is well.

    No one has to reiterate what you wrote up there. Be true to yourself. Only you know how to make a story work. Advice is good, if it helps. It's okay, hon. Deep breath, and dive back in. It'll come together.

  3. Thanks for the pep talk, Diana. Unfortunately, I realize the error of my ways. LOL! But learning experiences are a great thing. I've found that when I trust my instinct, things always turn out better than if I second guess myself.

    Glad you're getting so much work done. I haven't been shopping yet. Probably won't until the kiddies go back to school Monday.

    But I woke up dreaming about the book AGAIN and am making notes about how to make improvements.

    Can't wait to send off the other romance manuscript next week!

    Hope you have a great writing day!

  4. I am 2900 words from winning NaNo. There's a lot coming to a head in this story so I will probably go over the count. A lot to wrap up in less than 15 pages! I'm also 140 pages into edits on a 230 page book. I want it done and back to my editor by next weekend!

  5. Wooot!!! Awright MJ! Kick some NaNo Booty! :)

  6. WOW! Fabulous, MJ! I know you're going to make it to your goal with plenty to spare. I have a severe case of manuscript envy. :-)

  7. Receive word about your blog through the yahoo group 'western-romance writers'. Not doing terrific with NANOWRIMO this year. Like you, I had a family member with medical needs. But its alright--by the amount of writing I've accomplished thus far, its opening a new avenue of understanding where I want to go with my writing. So not all is lost. I do enjoy the writing, it does add a direction and calmness for me. BTW congrats MJ on finishing NANOWRIMO!

  8. I guess I'm very late for the party, but just saw the post on the Red Rose Publishing Yahoo Group about this blog and decided to pay it a visit.

    The last few weeks have been tough for me as an author. My third novel, a mystery about a serial killer was just rejected by an agent who I met at a writer's conference and who I had a very high regard for. The only reason she would give for rejecting it was that it wasn't right for her. No comment about merit or whether the book needs more work.

    My second book, a comedic novella called Confessions of a Liberal Lover, was published by Red Rose in May, but sales are lagging. I've spent so much time promoting, I'm neglecting my writing. Finally made a decision to hire a woman to promote for me for a few months just to see if it makes any difference in the sales.

    Even tougher was making the decision to pull my first novel, a political thriller called The Founding Five, off the market. I spent a great deal of money publishing it with iUniverse in 2006, but recently sent it to an editor who is also a published author, who told me in the most brutal manner that the book was beyond help.

    I've decided not to take his advise, which was put it in a drawer and take it out when I'm 99 and have a good laugh. Instead I'm rewriting it and will be self-publishing under a new title, The Neocon Conspiracy.

    Sometimes I think I've made every possible mistake a writer can make. Other times I feel like I don't know the first thing about writing, even though my novella did get some good reviews.

    Well that's an update on my sad story. Thanks for providing the opportunity for me to share my experiences with other authors. Hopefully I'll be back next year with a happier tale.

  9. Just saw your announcement and thought I'd add my 2-cents' worth. I've 26 novels in print now, with #27 and 28 due out in far. During a horrendous writer's block (which still isn't completely done with), I made a list of all the fragments, chapters, and ideas I'd started then abandoned. Now, I'm going through the list and finishing them. So far three novels have come out of that list and I'm 2/3-the way through number four. It's taking a little longer now (I used to write a novel every four weeks) but that's because I keep finding other things to do when I should be writing. Nevertheless I'm forging onward, determined to get back on track or else!

  10. Hi there, I wasn't sure what I was to do until I clicked on 'Links to this post' and was able to see what the other writers have written. My book Desert Flower released in January this year and immediately did really, really well - best seller lists etc. But after that other than a few sporadic buys it's been extremely slow. As my audience - I believe - is very much based here in the Middle East where I live I'm not sure how to promote it. I created a blog hoping in part to have other writers access it and post their stories (which they feel may never find a publishing home) and also to promote Desert Flower. I'm at my wits' end as to how to plug this story! In the meantime I am working on a much longer novel also set in Bahrain. That is proceeding in fits and starts. In between I have written a short children's story in English/ Arabic for Bahraini kids. It is based on a friend's idea and she's working on the illustrations. I am also searching - without much luck for a children's story publisher - been rejected by two publishers, one said it wasn't right for their 'list' the other that it wasn't long enough. So perhaps I shall work on stretching out the tale. And that essentially is where I am, on the shores of a sea called Maybe.

  11. Well, after about 5 days of blockage, it finally hit me. The scene was rushed, no build up, soooo. Easy fix. Now it's running a little smoother, if I could get people (namely those I live with) to leave me alone. LOL Thanksgiving break is over and the boy is back at school.

    I'm anticipating a few more edits in the next week, but we're at the end of the process, they won't be bad. The last month of the year is upon us. Good grief, how DID that happen? LOL

    Hope all is well...

  12. Hi all,
    Saw your post on the RR list and decided to pop in, even if it is almost the end of the month.
    My RR book, Runaway Mom, came out and I have no idea how it's doing. Any way to tell? It's still not up on Fictionwise, though it's appeared on Amazon.
    I've been editing a book coming out in Feb, so haven't gotten much new written. Still recovering from total hip replacement, which has seriously curtailed my involvement.
    Good luck to all of you!
    Edna Curry

  13. Blanche, I know what you mean about NANO. I'm a slow writer--that is, I have to nurture a story in my mind for a while, and then nudge it along inch by inch until completion. NANO would simply never work for me. That's why I started CAP-athon--"complete all projects," OR "complete a project." The choice is yours. No pressure, just good old fashioned support and encouragement from fellow writers.

    It's good to see you here and thank you for posting. Keep writing!

  14. EM....sorry to hear about your brutal rejection. I've been brutalized by agents and published authors who thought they knew everything when in reality, they didn't know their elbow from a knot on a tree.

    If you think you've got a good book, go for it. Believe in yourself. Keep subbing and someone will snap it up. Honey, it's not all about talent in this business but perseverence.

    Still, I'm glad that you've decided to take the initiative with your work. There are so many different ways for authors to publish these days. IT's great to live in a time when we have choices.

    Keep writing and I hope your sales with your RR book increase soon.

  15. Toni,

    I'm happy that your writer's block has ended, and that through it all, you were able to pull out three potential projects from the rubble of that time.

    You sound as if you're getting back on track. Always remember why you began writing in the first place and hold that image in your mind if you ever start to lose your way again. I've had to do that a couple of times in the recent past.

    I hope you have a productive writing week.

  16. Zohra, it's good to see you here. It sounds that despite a couple of rejections, you're staying on track. Keep plugging away and don't give up. Research, read and follow agent's blogs, network and talk to other writers in your chosen genre.

    Thank you for commenting today. :-)

  17. Hi Diana,

    Glad to hear you're able to fix that scene.

    I don't know if there'll be much writing today. My house is a nasty disaster, there's no "good" food in the fridge and a shopping trip is in order, and I'm still exhausted from yesterday's 11 loads of laundry.

    It's hard to get back on a schedule when you've had company for a week.

  18. Edna,

    Take care and I hope you are back in the full swing of things in no time.

    I'm not sure if there's anyway to check on a current release (e-book? I'm assuming) so you might have to hang in there until the royalty statement comes out.

    It's good to see you here! Thanks for commenting.

  19. Kimberly, Thanks for the words of encouragement. I do intend to keep plugging away and honing my skills as an author. I may never produce a best seller, but that doesn't take away the satisfaction that comes from completing a novel. Sure would be fun though to send that editor/author an email telling him one of my books is selling like crazy.

  20. EM...there's nothing like completing a work, is it?

    Keep writing the best books you can and hang onto the dream of bestseller-dom. It's not as far-fetched as it seems. You must first believe you can do it.

  21. I didn't know about this, but glad I do now. I started a nonfiction short piece about digging my dad's grave. I wrote 4 paras yesterday and sent them out to a writer friend, she made some meaningful comments and asked me send back more when I had a page, I wrote two today and sent them around to her and some others. One person commented over the phone. I understand what you're sayig about others advise. The first one helped with a blindspot and encouragement; the other was a bit confused by the first introductory para. I took what I felt was valid, but left what my gut felt. Thanks!

  22. Hello longlange and thank you for commenting. I think I answered your question on FACEBOOK this morning.

    Yes, always take writing advice with a grain of salt, unless you're getting it from Stephen King or James Patterson or Danielle Steele. LOL! Choose what feels right for you and discard any comments that dont.

    What genre of fiction or nonfiction do you write?

  23. No particular genre, realism, I guess.

  24. There are only two days left of CAP-athon, which ends tomorrow at MIDNIGHT. On December 5th, I'll draw the name of one lucky winner who'll recieve a free download of my award-winning e-novel, RIDE THE WILD WIND. Everyone who has posted here during the month of November 1st - December 4th (even once) is eligible to win.

  25. Oh shoot! I thought we were done already!!! hahahah!!! Oh well. Hope everyone had a good November.

  26. Thanks, Diana! It wasn't productive writing wise for me, but I got my writing brain on straight and now know what I need to do. So I guess my November wasn't a bust after all.

    CAP-athon ends tomorrow night (December 4th) at midnight.