Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Writing Pitfall I Wish I Knew About #IWSG

This month's IWSG question:  What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

After a few years of writing under my belt with a few short stories, a novelette and a Daily Devotional book (Cling to God) published, I feel the biggest pitfall writers come across is the doubts that surface when too many people offer advice.

When we first start writing, we throw ourselves into the task. Later we discover we have a lot to learn and we are eager to learn. That's a good thing. I will always advocate the need to continually learn our craft. However, with the advent of easily accessed information via blogs and other social media avenues, we are inundated by so many supposed 'rules' and opinions, that the waters can grow muddy. Suddenly we think we can't write that, we're doing it all wrong, and we have to please everyone.

My humble advice is, yes, learn the guidelines and why those guidelines are in place, but understand they can be broken. Your story trumps all. If it demands it starts on a dark and stormy night, then let it start on a dark and stormy night. Sure, you will cop some grief by other writers who only see the rules, but are they really your audience? Most readers won't care about those details if your story is awesome, written in a way that makes that story shine. Ultimately it's only you who knows that way.

Yes, it's important to have critique partners and editors (which is another pitfall by thinking you don't need them). You will find they may have opposing views. You can't please everyone. When in doubt, consider all options, consider the validity of their advice and the experience behind that advice, then go with what your story is crying out for. Does the advice enhance the story, make it more powerful? Is your reader missing the point of your scene? Why is your reader missing the point of your scene? Can you adjust that scene so your next reader doesn't miss that point?

What's the biggest pitfall you've come across on your writing/publication journey?

Announcing The 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Theme: Masquerade
A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges who will be announced September 5.

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 IWSG has also formed a new partnership with WEP – Write-Edit-Publish.
We encourage our members, blogging and Facebook, to join this month’s challenge.

The August WEP Challenge – A Change of Heart
Who hasn’t had one? This one’s easy, right?
A commitment made when a prospect looked attractive, a decision on a course of action, and then regrets and reluctance to follow through. It could be an engagement, a date, a diet plan, a chore someone said they’d do and didn’t follow through. A strip poker-game. Or maybe a gamble with super-high, panic inducing stakes. A break for independence that once made, gives pause for second thoughts. A bolt for the grass-always-greener pasture and then wanting to vault-n-turn right back. Something offered, then withdrawn. Myriad ways to go.

Here is the permalink which will go live on August 6: