Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG for September 2015 - co-hosting, the surprise, and nerves!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month is my first time co-hosting. I'm a little nervous, but I have awesome co-hosts: Julie Flanders, Murees Dupé, Dolorah at Book Lover, and Heather Gardner!

Plus, IWSG has a surprise for us. It's completely awesome. Read on down through this post to find out what it is!

This month I'm nervous about several things. Not just about co-hosting! I finished a project and I've submitted it to my publisher. Will they like it? It's different than the trilogy I already have with them. What will I do if they don't want it? That means querying other venues. Yikes!

I've also started a new project. One that's ambitious even for me. A serial with nine parts. I tell myself that I will outline for this story, but my muse just wants to write. She has consistently snubbed any outline I've tried to write in the past no matter how general I make them. So I end up pantsing. Which works most of the time for me, but with a nine part serial? That needs planning. Big time planning makes me anxious.

Are you nervous about anything this month?

Now the reveal.... 

The IWSG Short Story Contest 2015

After the success of last year’s IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, we decided to create another book. This time it’s a short story competition with the top ten stories getting published in the anthology.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 5000-6000

Theme: Alternate History/Parallel Universe. That’s right, we’ve decided to go the speculative route. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines, except erotica or graphic violence.

Story deadline: November 1st, 2015.

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to TheIWSG at gmail dot com before the deadline passes. Make sure to include your contact details.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges:
·         Laura Maisano - Senior editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian fiction
·         Russell Connor – Author and owner of Dark Filament Publishing Startup
·         Candace Havens  - Author and Editorial Director for the Covet, Edge and Select lines at Entangled Publishing
·         Dawn Frederick – Literary agent and the founder of Red Sofa Literary
·         Alice Speilburg – Founder of the Speilburg Literary Agency
·         Michelle Johnson – Founder of Inklings Literary Agency and Writers' Center and Bookstore owner
·         Kendare Blake - Author
·         Lydia Moëd - Associate agent at The Rights Factory

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. The winners will also receive an exclusive badge to display on their blog.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

83 comments:

  1. Gosh - nine parts is indeed ambitious! Best of luck with it - and I hope the publisher likes the one you've just sent in.

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  2. Awesome you sent a project to your publisher. Fingers crossed for you on it. And good luck on your new project.

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  3. Hi Christine - you've done so many brilliant things with your writing - I'd have thought you could have written with your muse, but noted things as you went along .. so sort of panstering with plans?!

    Good luck and I love the IWSG anthology idea ... cheers Hilary

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  4. You're going to do awesome as a co-host today!
    A nine part serial sounds fun. If outlining just doesn't work, let your muse guide you through the writing. It'll come together.

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  5. Hi,
    Thank you so much for co-hosting and all the best with your submitted work.
    Also, your nine-part serial sounds very interesting.
    As for me, I'm preparing to make a 15 hours drive down the coast of Italy to the Women's Fiction Writing Festival and it is my first time attending. I'm excited and also fighting anxiety. But I know that will go away when I start driving.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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  6. A nine part serial? You can do it! Your creativity is boundless.
    After reading the 13th Floor collection, I have no doubts.
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG today!

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  7. You know, I had an aversion to studying plotting (e.g. 'Save The Cat') for a long time. Turns out I'm a natural plotter. Maybe you are, too. That said, the beat-sheet-style outlines have helped me figure out my plot points more quickly and helped me streamline my stories. Maybe you can rein your muse in a tad and find a happy medium that works for you. ;)

    I'm excited about the anthology contest news. Neat idea!

    Thanks for co-hosting.
    IWSG #119 until Alex culls the list again

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  8. I know that feeling, Christine. Every time I submit a book to my published, it's like crossing fingers. What if they don't like THIS one? I think we all long for the days when you could sell a book on three chapters and a synopsis (sigh...the 90s...) Nice to meet you!

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  9. I scrolled down to comment, and Jensen is lying there. Helloooo. teehee

    Anyway, I think I've successfully forced myself to outline once. Any other time I even thought about it, my pantser brain stopped me.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  10. New projects always make me nervous. Hope your publisher likes your stuff.

    Susan Says

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  11. I may have to have a go at this :)

    shahwharton.com

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  12. Thanks for hosting, Christine! Good for you for trying something different. As an ADD/OCD plotter, trying the pants route was terrifying and liberating but it WORKED! Now I'm a hybrid. Fingers crossed for your proposal.

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  13. Much luck with the submission! I'm sure it's wonderful. I love what #IWSG is doing with this anthology. Great stuff!

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  14. Plan in small stages so you don't overwhelm yourself.

    Sending good vibes for your submission.

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  15. Serials and series do need a bit more planning or you end up rewriting huge chunks of it if something doesn't turn out right the first time. I say write the first one and make it a strong base for the other stories. You can do it. :)

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  16. Interestingly, I'll be doing the same thing soon, submitting a different kind of book to the publisher I have my trilogy with. I'm feeling the same kind of nerves, too. Good luck!

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  17. I'm also a pantser, so outlining is difficult. But nine parts is a lot and you'd probably have to have some kind of a rough outline, and I think you can do it.

    Good Luck with your new submission. They'll love it, I'm sure!!!

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  18. Good luck with your planning. I prefer pantsing any time! :) Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

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  19. My fingers are crossed for ALL your projects!
    Best wishes.

    Maybe instead of an outline you need index cards or a whiteboard. Maybe that will please the muse.

    Keep at it! You're a great writer and we want to read more!

    Great day co-hosting with you!

    Heather

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  20. Good luck with your finished ms. Hope your publishers love it. And why wouldn't they! Thanks for co-hosting.

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  21. Best wishes with your new project. I've always thought about writing a serial, but all my stuff ends up being 100,000 words or more.

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  22. Best wishes with your new project. I've always thought about writing a serial, but all my stuff ends up being 100,000 words or more.

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  23. Good luck to everyone who submits. I don't do spec so I'm out, but I'm sure ISWG will knock their socks off--again. :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  24. It is amazing co-hosting with you. If your publisher doesn't want the story, you can always self-publish it. Just a suggestion. I think you will do fantastic. Good-luck with the rest of your projects.

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  25. Really excited about this IWSG news! I've got an idea, so hopefully it's good enough!

    I hope your publisher does accept the new manuscript you threw at them! (and if not, I hope your search for somewhere else to pub is fruitful)

    I never plot, lol ... and I'm writing a nine part novel series. Well, I ammend - I do write key points down and after every book, during edit, I write the plot down, but it's never a beforehand thing. Panster till the day I die. :)

    Thanks for co-hosting this month!!

    - Madilyn Quinn @ NovelBrews

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  26. Nine parts! Holy Guacamole! Plotting and write at the same time. People do that, right?

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  27. Nervous about anything, how about everything!!! :)

    You'll write that outline when the time is right! Just write, and it will all fall into place!

    Great IWSG announcement!
    Happy Anniversary!

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  28. I'm way looking forward to your new projects. Your 13th floor series was epic, and I'm sure this new one will be just as amazing.

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  29. Thanks for co-hosting. It looks like so much work! You're doing great.

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  30. Best of luck to you and your project. Thanks for co-hosting too. Wishing you much success.
    Juneta Writer's Gambit

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  31. You are braver than I with this co-hosting! Best of luck with it. And remember to have fun with it, too! :-)

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  32. I get a little closer to outlining with each project, but I am always so antsy to write. I plan out what I can, though mostly character arc stuff which I then base the plot on, and character journaling to get their voice. That used to sound cheesy to me but it really helps.

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  33. Good luck with your new project! Outlining and making notes are key when undertaking a long or ambitious project. I couldn't have written any of my Russian historicals without my chapter-by-chapter notes giving me a general idea of how the story unfolded. Of course, as you get more into your story, you may find it unfolding in a slightly different way, and not going exactly as your notes planned.

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  34. A serial with nine parts? Oh, I'm excited about that! :D Good luck with your new project! And I hope you hear good news from your publisher.

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  35. I, too, am starting a new project and am totally nervous about it. But I am moving forward, and outlining it more than I would in the past. Also working a serial story with another author and we "pantsed" it for a while, but had to get together and sort it out with an general outline as well. Worth the time it took, but made me feel like I was wasting writing time. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month! Nicely done.

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  36. I always get nervous when I send a new project to my publishers. Best of luck with the new serial! :)

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  37. Whoa - a serial with nine parts? That sounds terrifying! But as long as you and your muse are excited about it - go for it! :)

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  38. Nine parts?? Yeah, that may require a bit of outlining. Maybe you can sneak in some planning here and there. (I'm a pantser, too, so I have no idea what I'm talking about...)
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  39. Nine sections in a series is totally impressive. I guess I'd have to outline because I'd never be able to keep the stories and the characters straight. Good luck.

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  40. You could allow the muse to run wild and just keep notes as you go. That's usually what I do. I have a general plot in my head, then I'll start writing and I'll jot notes about ideas for the story.

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  41. I have to outline--I wonder if that means I'm not as creative because I have to know ahead of time what's going to happen. I guess that's an insecurity for next month 0_o

    Yay for the anthology, I might have to think about writing a story!

    Thanks for co-hosting, Christine!

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  42. Ooh your serial project sounds awesome. I think you should go with your muse for now - you can always go back and tweak/organize once she is done. :)

    Hope you're having fun co-hosting!

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  43. Good luck! Nine parts, you are ambitious. Nine is a good number though. Though considering your other book is called "The 13th Floor" I don't imagine you're too superstitious about numbers. ;-)

    IWSG September Post

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  44. Wow! What a day. Thank you everyone for commenting. I've visited over 100 blogs today. My head is swimming a little, but it's been a fantastic experience.

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  45. Wow. You are very ambitious. My muse is like yours, she wants me to write--not plot, write; not promote, write. Unfortunately, I like to write, too, so it's hard to do the other stuff.

    Best wishes,
    Diane IWSG #95

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  46. Good luck with your new project, I hope your publisher likes it.
    I am excited about the #IWSG contest. It is going to challenge me genre wise.
    I co-hosted last month for the first time I was SO nervous. Thank you for hosting this month!

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  47. Good luck with your adventure. I understand your concern about the serial. But if you like the idea and have a clear outline of the over-arcing plot, you'll do fine. Best wishes and thanks for co-hosting today.

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  48. So much for taking it easy on yourself. Pushing yourself into new directions is always a good thing, even if it does scare the heck out of you.

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  49. Good luck with your new project and thanks for hosting

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  50. You are so brave, nine parts!! Cool! Thanks for co-hosting this month, and good luck with the serial!

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  51. New projects are always good. Go for it. Maybe nine parts will turn into more. Maybe they will lead to something unexpected. Trust your muse.

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  52. Go for it! I have troubles with outlining too. I think it helps keep me on track better, but I find I ignore it as much as I used to.

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  53. Oh my goodness...a 9 Part series!? I hope all goes well with your publisher. I'm sure they'll love it. :)

    Edge of Your Seat Stories

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  54. Best of luck with your publisher. Heck, I'm nervous just thinking about a nine part series and it isn't even mine. I'd probably be the exact opposite and I'd spend nine years just outlining and I would never get around to the actual writing. Something that big scares me. Best wishes

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  55. Good luck planning the new serial. It does seem that some kind of outline would help. Thanks for hosting this month!

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  56. I'm sorry outlining and plotting make you anxious. Your muse is right though - you can deviate from any outline as long as you have the basics in your head. Good luck with your serial!

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  57. Oh no way. 9 parts?? Holy cow. Keep good notes. Don't let that dang muse run over you. With such a large project, here's the best advice. Tackle that writing like you'd eat an elephant..one bite at a time. Best wishes!!

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  58. Wow, that's so exciting! I hope your publisher loves the new project.

    I'm a pantser normally, but I find myself approaching the next project with more structure and even *gasp* outlines. That's never worked for me before, but this story just seems to want a different approach, so I'm rolling with it. We'll see what happens!

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  59. Oh! I know that feeling of subbing a new book and hoping your publisher likes it. Hopefully, you hear back soon. Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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  60. Don't be nervous, put each day into perspective and take each task in tiny chunks! You can do it! thanks for co-hosting!

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  61. A 9 part series - like 13th floor, maybe? - I would dig that, even if it isn't exactly like 13th floor. :)

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  62. Best of luck with planning your serial. I hope your publisher likes your new manuscript so you don't have seek other venues. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  63. I'm a panster, but with nine parts I'd want to have a basic outline to follow. It'd make the writing easier. You can nix plot holes before they happen. I'd say reason with your muse, but we're talking your muse and we all know muses laugh at reason. ;)

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  64. Your writing is amazing! I have no doubt that the serial you're working on will be awesome when completed. I've tried planning in the past and it's never worked for me. I'm definitely a pantster, no getting around it.

    Thanks so much for co-hosting this month! Hope you're having a blast. Hugs. Eva

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  65. Hi Christine and thanks for co-hosting today. I hope your publishers like your new work. I'm a pantser myself and a plotter, hence I'm really a plantser. So as a word of advice from my pantser side, I say to let your muse take over and pants away. You can always shape up and outline the story later for your new 9 part serial.

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  66. co-hosting is the easy part :) Glad you joined us. Perhaps if you wrote the outline in a narrative form, like a synopsis, or conversation with your muse, she will allow some amount of plotting? Its how I handle outlining without feeling like a plotter.

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  67. I knew what I was going to comment, and then I scanned down to do so and there was Jensen Ackles.

    Mind blank.

    Good luck with both the project you're querying and the serial you're putting together! New types of projects are stressful, but so exciting.

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  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  69. Christine, thanks for dropping by Into the Shade! Don't be nervous! You're doing the co-hosting duties great from my POV. ;-)

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  70. Every good wish for your ms at the publisher, Christine! And I'm co-hosting in November but not sure what it entails. I'm not nervous though.

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  71. All you can do is try. If they don't want this new book, you'll find someone who does. My guess would be that if they reject it, it's because they don't do that type of book. All publishers have their niche, and you might find one that is a better fit.
    Good luck, and thanks for co-hosting this month!
    Play off the Page

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  72. Thanks so much! I'm happy to meet all the new folks and happy to see old friends. Co-hosting has been a blast! :)

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  73. I think it's such an amazing and wonderful opportunity for the IWSG members!

    Best of luck with your submission! Fingers crossed :D

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  74. Wishing you the very best of luck. Hmm, I see in my crystal ball you will have a very prosperous and exciting writing career. Wow! Hang on, it's gonna be a wild ride. Blessings

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  75. Christine, have fun being a co-host. And good luck with your submission!

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  76. My nervousness is centred on wondering if I should or shouldn't submit a completed story somewhere to be published. I'm always nervous, or more to the point, I have always been nervous about that. So nervous in fact that I have never actually done it. But then again, that'll likely be the topic of one of my IWSG posts in the near future.

    Keep doing all you do. I'm sure your nine part serial will come to fruition. I've found myself to always be anxious about something new I'm starting, only to end up enjoying and loving it as I've come close to the end. I would think, every writer feels that. Take courage!

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  77. Nine parts? Wow! But if your muse thinks she can panster it, I'd let her go for it. Here's crossing my fingers for your publisher's news. And even if it doesn't work out, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just a path to new opportunities :)

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  78. Thank you for co-hosting this month! Planning never works for me, either. My muse rarely goes where I intend. Good luck with your submission and your new project!

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  79. I hope the querying goes well for you! That new project sounds like a handful. Best of luck!

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  80. I'm sure your publisher will love it, Christine. Congratulations for everything that your accomplished. Like you, I have tried planning and sometimes it works and other times the plan just gets left behind as the fingers and the mind enter another plane. Wishing you a great weekend and all the best with the 9 parter.

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  81. Wow, a nine-part serial does sound ambitious! Good luck with your planning! Thanks for co-hosting this month :)

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  82. Serial in 9 parts? Wow!

    And the contest idea is quite wow :)

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