Thursday, October 6, 2011

51 Being Your Own Inspiration

We had another great WOW Wednesday post yesterday to inspire us and point out that craft, persistence, and perseverance do pay off, but we've been talking a lot about accomplishments lately, and I've spoken to a lot of writers who are a little bit down about where they are personally on the road to pub. Marissa, Clara, and I had wanted to do something special when we hit 3000 Twitter followers (besides fall over in shock -- OMG, THANK YOU ALL!!!), but I think you need to hear some encouragement and applause. So, we're going to do this a little early.


Are you ready?


It's time for a BIG giveaway to help remind us all of some important points about the writer's journey. As Kiki Hamilton pointed out, it takes more than inspiration to write a successful novel and build a lasting career.


We can't just keep writing the same thing that didn't succeed before.  

We have to grow.

     We have to work on our craft.

           We have to stay on top of the publishing industry.

                    We have to read widely and deeply.

                            We have to question our concepts and our work.

                                    We have to revise. A lot.

                                           And we have to write new stuff. A lot.

                           And one more thing.
                           We can't wait for validation from other people to tell us that we are right to write.


We have to believe in ourselves.


So let's make a pact, shall we? Let's celebrate our own work, our own milestones. Every step we take on our writing journeys is a victory, even if it feels like a defeat.

     Did you read and analyze a book by an acclaimed author recently? Great.

     Did you finish reading a new book on craft and consider how to apply it to your own work?  Yay.

     Did you write down a new idea? Did you question that idea, try to grow it? Awesome.

     Did you finish a synopsis or outline? Wow.

     Did you write another 1000 words in your first draft? Score.

     Did you finish a draft? Victory!

     Did you revise another page, another chapter? Yep, you guessed it. Congratulate yourself.

    And all those rejection letters?
    As long as you learn something from them, even if it's only the depth of your determination, every one is a badge of honor.


Keep Writing and Keep Improving

For the most part, writers succeed because they Keep Writing. Few of us sell our first manuscripts. Or even our second manuscripts. But fewer writers stick it out to write three manuscripts, and fewer still grit it out to four.

Let's Celebrate Your Victories

Today, let's celebrate your milestones, small and large. For every five writers who leave a comment with a even a minor victory, We'll pick a winner at random and a book at random. (U.S. and Canadian entries only!) We've got tons of books in the vault. Comment before next Thursday, 10/13 and help us give them all away.


Here's a list of the awesomeness that's waiting for you:

BARGAINS AND BETRAYALS: A 13 TO LIFE NOVEL by Shannon Delany

Locked away at Pecan Place, Jessie finds her situation to be even more dangerous than she feared. While she struggles to maintain her sanity and discover answers about the group that seems less and less like any legitimate government agency, Pietr fights to keep their relationship alive. But very aware that his mother’s time is running out, Pietr makes a deal he doesn’t dare tell Jessie about. Because the deal Pietr’s made could mean the death of far more than his tenuous relationship with the girl he loves.

YOU AGAINST ME by Jenny Downham

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another


DRAGON'S OATH by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

The first in an enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Dragon’s Oath tells the story behind the House of Night’s formidable fencing instructor – the love that will transform him, and the promise that will haunt him

In early 19th century England, long before he’s a professor at the Tulsa House of Night, Bryan Lankford is a troublesome yet talented human teen who thinks he can get away with anything… until his father, a wealthy nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the Dragon – and a brand new fate.

Becoming a Fledgling may be exciting, but it opens a door to a dangerous world.... In 1830’s St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are both frightening challenges and beautiful perks. Like Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling…

But when a dark power threatens, Dragon is caught in its focus. Though his uncanny fighting skills make him a powerful fledgling, is he strong enough to ward off evil, while protecting Anastasia as well? Will his choices save her—or destroy them all?

TIGHTER by Adele Griffin

When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's connection to the couple so intense? What really happened last summer at Little Bly? As the secrets of the house wrap tighter and tighter around her, Jamie must navigate the increasingly blurred divide between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Brilliantly plotted, with startling twists, here is a thrilling page-turner from the award-winning Adele Griffin


THE PROJECT by Brian Falkner

It all started with a book. The most boring book in the world! So boring that nobody would ever read it. The perfect place to hide a terrible secret. But now the book has emerged from its hiding place and the world may never be the same.

An action-packed adventure which will have readers on the edge of their seat

From the best-selling and award-winning author of The Tomorrow Code and Brainjack.

Perfect for kids who love Alex Rider.

THE DEATH CURE by James Dashner

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.

Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

DARK PARTIES by Sara Grant

Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...
Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.


JANE JONES: WORST. VAMPIRE. EVER, by Caissie St. Onge

For Jane Jones, being a vampire is nothing like you read about in books. In fact, it kind of sucks. She's not beautiful, she's not rich, and she doesn't "sparkle." She's just an average, slightly nerdy girl from an ordinary suburban family (who happens to be vampires.) Jane's from the wrong side of the tracks (not to mention stuck in the world's longest awkward phase), so she doesn't fit in with the cool vampire kids at school or with the humans kids. To top it all off, she's battling an overprotective mom, a clique of high school mean girls (the kind who really do have fangs), and the most embarrassing allergy in the history of the undead, she's blood intolerant. So no one's more surprised than Jane when for the first time in her life, things start to heat up (as much as they can for a walking corpse, anyway) with not one, but two boys. Eli's a geeky, but cute real-live boy in her history class, and Timothy is a beautiful, brooding bloodsucker, who might just hold the key to a possible "cure" for vampirism. Facing an eternity of high school pressure, fumbling first dates, or a mere lifetime together with Timothy, what's a 90-something year-old teen vampire to do?

Fans of the Vladmir Tod Chronicles, You are So Undead to Me, and Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side will feast on this deliciously readable, smart, and fantastically funny debut.

SOUL THIEF by Jana Oliver

Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there's Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad. With all the hassles, Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.

But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever…

HOOKED by Catherine Greenman

Thea Galehouse has always known how to take care of herself. With a flighty club-owner mom and a standoffish, recovering-alcoholic dad, Thea has made her own way in her hometown of New York, attending the prestigious and competitive Stuyvesant High School. But one chat with Will, a handsome and witty senior, and she's a goner—completely hooked on him and unable to concentrate on anything else.

Always worried that she loves Will more than he loves her, Thea is pleasantly surprised when their romance weathers his move to college and Will goes out of his way to involve her in his life. But then, Thea misses a period. And that starts Thea and Will on a wild ride that neither of them could have possibly prepared for. When they decide to keep the baby, their concerned parents chip in what they can to keep Will in school and give both teenagers a comfortable place to raise their child. But when a freak accident leaves Thea shaken and threatens to upend their little family altogether, Thea is forced to turn to the last place she would have chosen for comfort: her stiff, uncompromising father.

This smart, touching first novel brims with realistic, beautifully drawn characters, and reminds us that love is never as easy or predictable as we might like it to be.


THE DRAGON'S TOOTH by N.D. Wilson

For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.

Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.

N. D. Wilson, author of Leepike Ridge and 100 Cupboards, returns with an imagination-capturing adventure that inventively combines the contemporary and the legendary.


ROTTERS by Daniel Kraus

Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.


YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME by Brian Meehl

Sixteen-year-old Billy Allbright is about to bust out of his sheltered cocoon and go on a gonzo road trip. He just doesn't know it yet. His ticket to freedom? A mysterious Bible containing two resurrection stories. The second is about a man Billy's never met, and who is supposedly dead: his father.

But the road to a risen-from-the-grave dad, and the unusual inheritance he promises, is far from straight. Billy zigzags across the American West in a geocaching treasure hunt. When his journey includes a runaway baseball star, nudists who perform sun dances, a girl with neon green body parts, and con artists who blackmail him into their "anti-action movie," Billy soon realizes that the path to self-discovery is mega off-road.


THE FLAPPERS: INGENUE by Jillian Larkin

In the city that never sleeps, Lorraine Dyer is wide awake. Ever since she exposed Clara Knowles for the tramp she was—and lost her closest confidante in the process—Lorraine has spent every second scheming to make her selfish, lovesick ex–best friend pay for what she did. No one crosses Lorraine. Not even Gloria.

True love conquers everything—or so Gloria Carmody crazily believed. She and Jerome Johnson can barely scrape together cash for their rent, let alone have a moment to whisper sweet nothings in the dark. And if they thought escaping Chicago meant they’d get away with murder . . . they were dead wrong.

Clara was sure that once handsome, charming Marcus Eastman discovered her shameful secret, he’d drop her like a bad habit. Instead, he swept her off her feet and whisked her away to New York. Being with Marcus is a breath of fresh air—and a chance for Clara to leave her wild flapper ways firmly in the past. Except the dazzling parties and bright lights won’t stop whispering her name. . . .

INGENUE is the second novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic Flappers series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . where revenge is a dish best served cold.


THE OTHER COUNTESS by Eve Edwards

It's 1582 and eighteen-year-old Will Lacey's family is in trouble. After years of wasteful spending, his late father has run Lacey Hall to near ruin. Tasked with marrying his family back into fortune, the new Earl of Dorset is all set for a season at court to woo not just the Queen but potential brides with his jousting skills. But when Ellie – a strong-willed girl with nothing to her name but a worthless Spanish title – catches Will's eye, he faces a bigger battle than he could ever have anticipated.


ART GEEKS AND PROM QUEENS by Alyson Noel

Dorks, Dweebs, Debutantes, and Jocks—Where would you fit in?

Being the new girl is tough—just ask sixteen-year-old Rio Jones. A New York transplant, Rio has no clue how she's going to fit in at her fancy new private school in Southern California. Plus, being late, overdressed, and named after a Duran Duran song doesn't make the first day any easier for her.

Then Rio meets Kristi. Beautiful, rich, and a cheerleader, Kristi is the queen bee of Newport Beach. And Kristi isn't friends with just anyone, so Rio is thrilled when she's invited to be part of the most exclusive, popular clique. Of course, like any club, Kristi and her friends have rules: Always smile (even if you don't mean it), always dress cute (and never repeat outfits), and always flirt (but only with jocks, preps, and rich college guys).

At first Rio is having a great time, but as she becomes more immersed in this jet-set crowd, she figures out there is one last rule that her new friends forgot to mention: Don't cross Kristi . . .

SEVEN KINDS OF ORDINARY CATASTROPHES by Amber Kizer

Okay, so here's the deal: there are books about volcanoes erupting and meteorites hitting Earth and plane crashes where the survivors have to eat people—those are extraordinary crises.

That's not what this book is about. I'm more the ordinary catastrophe type. This second semester of my sophomore year, there are basically 7 KINDS OF ORDINARY CATASTROPHES: high school, boys, heartbreak, family, job, friends, and the future.

Well, I guess everyone's life is full of ordinary catastrophes. These are mine. Hi, I'm Gert Garibaldi. Welcome to my crazy life.

JASPER JONES by Craig Silvey

Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it's here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper's horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu. And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

FOLLOWING CHRISTOPHER CREED by Carol Plum-Ucci

Years later . . . what really happened to Christopher Creed?
When Torey Adams posts on his blog that a body has been found in Steepleton—four years after Christopher Creed disappeared—college reporter Mike Mavic sells his laptop and hops a plane to capture the story that will undoubtedly launch his journalistic career. But what Mike finds is a town suffering under a cloud of bad frequency and people with an underlying streak of meanness. To the teens of Steepleton, Chris is nothing more than history—but to Justin Creed, a teen obsessed with his older brother’s memory and balancing on the edge of sanity, discovering what really happened to Chris Creed is a matter of life and death.


THE SHATTERING by Karen Healey

Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.

As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.

As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?

KINDRED by Tammar Stein

The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen.

Miriam is an unassuming college freshman stuck on campus after her spring break plans fall through. She's not a religious girl--when pressed she admits reluctantly to believing in a higher power. Truth be told, she's about as comfortable speaking about her faith as she is about her love life, which is to say, not at all.

Then the archangel Raphael pays Miriam a visit, and she finds herself on a desperate mission to save two of her contemporaries. To top it all off, her twin brother, Mo, has also had a visitation, but from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum, which leaves Miriam to wonder--has she been blessed and her brother cursed or vice versa? And what is the real purpose behind her mission?

Are you ready? Let's celebrate!

Happy writing,

Martina

51 comments:

  1. How inspiring! I am celebrating a small victory. I've stuck on the same chapter for weeks, but on Tuesday I finally finished it and feel like I'm making some progress.

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  2. Congrats on 3000 twitter followers. How awesome! I'm starting to outline my new project and writing down some ideas for the second book in the trilogy. I know my progress is slow until my daughter's swim season ends next month but I'm moving.

    I'd love to win Bargains and Betrayals, Dragon's Oath, The Project, The Death Tour, or Dragon's Tooth. Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway.

    And Kiki's post yesterday was awesome. So excited about her release of THE FAERIE RING.

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  3. I appreciated this post. Thanks for all the good points. I have query letters out for may latest completed work and need the reminder that both rejection and acceptance can be part of progress. :-)

    Meanwhile, I have started a poem based on our experiences here in Galicia, Spain.

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  4. This was awesome! We all need to celebrate the small victories!

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  5. Yes, today I needed this reminder. I haven't touched my WIP in over two weeks, but I've read an excellent book on the craft of writing. Now it's all about applying when I've learned to what I'm writing, right? Much more easily said than done. Thanks for applauding the mini-steps I'm taking toward finishing my book.

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  6. Great post, I sometimes forget that the little things are important, too! Chapters make up an entire book, after all :) I revised a scene I'd been having trouble with and think it's almost there. You Against Me looks amazing!

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  7. What a great post! It's hard sometimes to remember the victories when you are facing the defeats.
    Instead of looking at what a mess the MS I am revising is, I should celebrate the successes. Yesterday I revised a crucial chapter and ended up making the MS so much stronger. And an awesome new character came out of nowhere to join the cast. Love her.
    Dragon's Tooth looks like the kind of book my son and I would love.

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  8. Yay for inspiration! I thought I really wasn't getting very far in my writing lately. But then I realized since I've been bouncing between three books, maybe there was more than I thought. When I added up all I've done on the 3 combined, wow! I gave myself a little pat. I haven't been slacking at all. And I did read a few books in between writing stints. It's good to stop and take inventory, because some days feel like you're getting nowhere.

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  9. Thanks for this post. I hadn't been feeling all that victorious lately, especially when it came to writing fiction, but then I realized how far off base I was. This past month, I launched a new website for DIY MFA, have edited countless drafts of a new workbook and started a new semester of teaching writing. While this may not be fiction writing, it's still writing so I feel a happy dance coming on.

    Congrats on 3000 followers! And thanks for this awesome giveaway!

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  10. The little victories are so important because they all add up. While changing my story from YA to MG, I manged to cut the word count from 80K to 66K. Each word cut was a victory!

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  11. Love this post! :-) I've finally outlined my entire book and I really feel like I'm on track. It's the small things that count :-) thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  12. Congrats to the above writers (and kiki for Farie Ring!)

    My first short story was recently accepted for publication in January, I'm so stoked!

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  13. I love this post! Congrats to everybody celebrating a big or small victory - it all counts! I just finished some revisions last week, so thanks for the great giveaway and reminder! :)

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  14. This is pretty much THE post I needed to read today. I have been in writing limbo for months, long agonizing months in which I have listened to my characters voices berating me for not finishing their story. But, a few days ago I had a revelation about why I was stuck and realized I needed to let go of a subplot that was dragging me down. Also, I have been reading more on the craft lately, getting back in touch with some online groups and forums for inspiration, and this morning I actually Opened My WIP File. Huge step. Thanks for reminding me that the real inspiration is inside me and all I need is to spark it :)

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  15. Great job, everyone! Go you! It's amazing hearing the common denominator in all your comments, we all do a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. I wonder why that is?

    That's two books gone. Nineteen to go :D

    Hugs to you all,

    Martina

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  16. Thanks for this. I'd had a breakthrough today, just a little while ago in fact. I had felt that I somehow hadn't shown the reader enough of my main character to get a 'woah' response when he does something out of character... anyhow I now think I have figured what i need to do... though showing you his emotional response to something he did before I think the reader will be pre-invested when he's about to do it again...
    Happy Thursday All :)
    Geri

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  17. Woo! congrats on the 3K Twitter followers!! And my victory is that my agent wanted me to rewrite my entire novel from 3rd person into 1st person. I HATE 1st person...or at least I thought I did. I did a sample chapter, and whoa--I liked it! And now I've transformed the entire novel into first person--and present tense, which I also thought I hated. Never say never!!

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  18. Wow, what a great post and a great lineup of books. Thanks for all the inspiration. My victory is that I just finished rewriting my first two chapters and I'm really happy with the way it's going ;-) Every little victory counts!

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  19. I think this is an awesome idea and congrats on 3k Twitter followers! That's amazing. I'm celebrating a milestone victory - I accepted an offer from an agent last week and I'm going on sub next week! Happy dance!

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  20. Such an encouraging post! I just finished my second round of revisions. Can't wait to see what my critique partners think! Yay for accomplishments! :)

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  21. All of you inspire me in so many ways, I can't begin to thank you enough for the wisdom, encouragement and crafting tips I've gleaned from this blog *heart-felt hugs*!!

    Even with two damaged fingers on my left hand, I've learned NOT to give up, even if that means only writing a little at a time!
    Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

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  22. I forgot to add that I ALSO appreciate all your generous & exciting giveaways, I'm so glad I found your inspirational blog.
    So now I'm crossing my bent fingers to win The Death Cure or Bargains & Betrayels :)
    Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

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  23. Thank you for this so much. It is beautifully written and we all need to hear/read it now and then. I especially loved the part about the rejection letters!

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  24. Amazing post. I love this idea. More power to us! I'm working on revisions to book #4 (yes, four) and yesterday I got a 50 page request (on book #3) from a very promising agent. Yay!

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  25. It's too bad I don't have a Twitter account but...

    On to writing!

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  26. I think about this a lot. You just have to celebrate along the way. I wrote 500 words. I finished a scene. I revised a chapter. I finished a book.

    Small victories add up to big ones! Thanks for this post, I can't wait to read Kiki's book!

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  27. LOVE this post today!! It's exactly what I needed!! Thank you so much for posting this :o)

    Congratulations on surpassing such an amazing milestone on Twitter!

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  28. Yay, I can even enter, even though I live in Canada.

    Getting an awesome critique that will majorly help your novel is a big victory. Those are always the best, even if they leave you in tears. :D

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  29. I outlined the rest of my novel, which I've spent almost 2 years drafting. (I'm a slow writer.) I'm a pantser. It was really scary to outline how my first novel ever ends. But I did it.

    Thanks for the giveaway! It feels good to be able to admit that out loud, in a positive light. :)

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  31. Thanks for the encouraging post. I recently went to my first SCBWI conference two weeks ago and started brainstorming a rewrite on my middle-grade novel when I got home.

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  32. Thanks for the post, great give-a-way, and encouragement!!
    I revised a chapter in my newest WIP yesterday, and wrote over 1,000 words today. Also, I'm reading the last chapter of "Hooked", by Les Edgerton, all about hooking your reader in those oh-so-important first pages.

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  33. Thanks so much for this post and for the encouragement. It may not seem like much to some, but over the last week, I've done more to work toward writing my first novel than ever before. I signed up for a YA writing workshop, have done additional mind mapping and come up with new details, and have written the first draft of two different scenes. Feel so happy.

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  34. Oh...and my email address is melissa{dot}montovani {at} gmail {dot} com.

    Thanks!

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  35. Thanks so much for this post! I'm celebrating a little victory! I just started 2 new projects and almost done with my current WIP! I loved the question u posted! And thanks for sharing the wonderful goodies! :)

    valialind(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  36. Inspiration can be found anywhere. Thanks for the highlight!
    I've finally started something concrete out of what I've been toying with.

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  37. Thanks for this generous giveaway!The biggest victory is finishing your draft and being proud of it.

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  38. Ooh, I have two recent victories!
    Last week I finished the current draft of my WIP, and this week so far, I have made it through the first half of the next revision.

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  39. This is the best idea ever--love celebrating growth!! You guys just rock and then rock even harder, you know that?

    My big victory? Overcoming frustration at needing yet another rewrite. (Martina, you know what I mean!)

    Have a great weekend Ladies!!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  40. OMG, you guys! You are AWESOME! Congrats on all the wonderful progress!

    Geri, that is great. I hope the breakthrough pans out, and when you have time, do check out the Emotional Structure book I recommended. I love it!

    Carol, wow. That is a HUGE revision. Good for you for tackling it -- and wow for having something so amazing (and such an amazing agent) that shone through for her inspite of the changes she thought it needed. It says worlds for her confidence in you, and your online professionalism, that she knew you would rock it!

    Tina, HUGE congrats! Hope you'll come do a WOW Wednesday post for us!!! We'd love to hear your story and words of inspiration.

    Mary D. -- I had NO idea. Good for you! Do you use Voice Recognition software? I have TOS, which means the nerve pain gets bad enough that I sometimes find it hard to type. I've tinkered with the Dragon Naturally Speaking stuff, but find I really miss the connection with my fingers. Has it worked for you?

    Kristen, thank you so much! I love hearding that. (I guess I need encouragement sometimes too :D)

    Lisa B. Yay and YAY. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. Please let me know how it goes!

    Kristine - Exactly!!!

    Stina - I'm sending you mental hugs. And if you ever need another set of eyes, let me know!

    Riv. WOW. Wow. I'm speechless. At first blush, that's a long time not knowing how it ends, but then I realize how often my critique partners and I completely change things and I guess it all works the way it's supposed to work. I bet you've learned tons in those two years! Congrats on the breakthrough.

    Darcy, isn't SCBWI great? I always come back so inspired. In fact, I don't even have to come back. I rewrote the opening of my first novel during a Libba Bray speech at an SCBWI conference, and wrote a complete picture book during another session. Somehow, listening to all those brilliant writers just makes the brain start sparking like crazy.

    Awesome Christina -- and isn't HOOKED great?

    Melissa, Vivien, Valia, Lily, way to go!

    Elin, exactly right.

    Angela, can't wait to hear your current thoughts. So proud of you for making that hurdle.

    Hugs to you all,

    Martina

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  41. Totally what I need to read today. I have to refocus and to do that I found posts, like yours, to help me.
    Next, I'm going to write a few posts that I hope will help others like you've done for me.
    THANK YOU!

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  42. My big victory: I'm a grantwriter by day and a playwright by night who's been self-producing staged readings of my own work (like paying actors and renting venues out of my own bank account) because it was the only way to get my work onstage. I'd applied for grants for myself before - from many of the same arts funders I get huge checks from for the ballet company I work for - and never got a penny. I know they know I can write a grant, so it was impossible not to take it personally as a rejection of me as an artist. Just yesterday I found out that I got my very first artist grant, which will cover all the costs of the staged reading I'm doing in January, AND a real theatre is producing the reading. So instead of tearing my own tickets at the door and setting up and taking down my own chairs and worrying about how I'm going to pay the actors, I get to just be a writer. It feels like a HUGE victory.

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  43. A small victory: got started with outline for new novel I'm hoping to begin in November for NaNoWriMo.

    I may not comment on every post here, but I sure read them all. Thanks for being an awesome resource and for having these contests!

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  44. I'm not entering the giveaway (which totally rocks) because I'm a contributor to this blog, but I wanted to say how inspiring all your comments are. Every accomplishment, big or small, no matter where you are in your writing career, is something to celebrate. Thanks, everyone, for making me smile!

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  45. You guys are awesome. I'm celebrating finishing my book and having the guts to send it out to agents. And not going crazy as I wait. ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  46. I got a great critique that made me realize how I can up the conflict between the MC and the antagonist. Yay!

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  47. It doesn't matter how big or small a writing assignment is, you always feel a sense of accomplishment when we finish. Thanks for this great giveaway! I'm hoping to win The Death Cure or Soul Thief. :D

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  48. Oooh, there are some books there I've been dying to read! I've been a little bit of a writing rut lately, but I recently edited a short story for publication, and that inspired me to get started on a new story based on one of the characters from the first story. Hoorah!

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  49. Congrats. I'd love to win worst vamp ever or the other countess! Awesome site!!

    Hollybwright at comcastdotnet

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  50. Congrats on making 3000 Twitter followers... I am happy to be included in that number! This month I've really been focusing on planning and outlining the novel I'm about to tackle for NaNoWrMo. Already I've come a long way! That's the small victory I'm celebrating. :) Thank you for the giveaway, looks like you have some great titles there... and thank you the little bits of inspiration and encouragement you provide!

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  51. a small victory today: a new story idea, a bigger victory: I'm querying another story.

    But mostly I love reading your blog, it is inspiring.

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