Tag Archives: Elementary school

Jon Gibbs’s Ten things I wish I knew before I was published #10: Interaction is the name of the game

How you interact with others will have a HUGE impact on your careers

  • Join your first writing group ASAP and join as many as you can
  • Find other authors who might help you
  • Go to Writers conferences – You can meet people who can help you.  They might tell you where a conference is and you may meet someone there (agent publisher)
  • Remember, you will get a lot of useless information
  • But also remember, you will get some great information as well.

Note:  The above are Jon Gibb’s main speaking points, with my rambling opinions attached.

Jon Gibbs is the author of one of my son’s favorite books:  FUR-FACE, which was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award.

Jon is an Englishman transplanted to New Jersey, USA, where he is an ‘author in residence’ at Lakehurst Elementary School.  Jon is the founding member of The New Jersey Author’s Network and FindAWritingGroup.com.

Jon blogs at jongibbs.livejournal.com

Website: www.acatofninetales.com

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Jon Gibbs’s Ten things I wish I knew before I was published #4: The End is Just the Beginning

Boy, did he nail this one the head for me.  I spend 80% more time editing my work than actually writing it.  In my last novel, HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT, it was my own fault for pantsing it, and then having to go back and make major edits.

However, even with LAST WINTER RED, which I outlined, I spent several weeks of intense-high pressure edits after writing the bulk of it over a weekend writer’s retreat.  And for all that work, I didn’t really change much.  I added three small scenes (by small I mean 100 words or so) but the rest of it was fixing grammar, spelling, flow, etc.

Jon’s suggestion is to get your story down first, and do the editing when you are done (Yay, I did it right!)  If you edit constantly, while you are writing, you will probably go back and make changes before you are even done.

Note:  The above are Jon Gibb’s main speaking points, with my rambling opinions attached.

Jon Gibbs is the author of one of my son’s favorite books:  FUR-FACE, which was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award.

Jon is an Englishman transplanted to New Jersey, USA, where he is an ‘author in residence’ at Lakehurst Elementary School.  Jon is the founding member of The New Jersey Author’s Network and FindAWritingGroup.com.

Jon blogs at jongibbs.livejournal.com

Website: www.acatofninetales.com

Writing to a Deadline Part 2: “I still got Nothing.”

In Part One, I told you about this publisher’s writing prompt.  I told you I decided to pass, even though it was a great opportunity.  It nagged at me, though.  I have written two Epic 400,000 word series.  Why the heck couldn’t I do something with this picture?

I opened the web site back up.  I stared at that picture.  I was brutally aware that I was now two-weeks behind all those happy writers that seemed to be all over this story.  I could do this.  I stared at the picture some more.  I put it on my desktop.  Looked at it all the time.  Thought about it all the time.

Had I lost my touch?

“Just do it,” my son says. “Just write it.  Get it over with and see what happens.”  I ground my teeth as my own words came back to haunt me.  (See my previous post)  Problem was… this was a publisher, not a fourth-grade teacher.  They wouldn’t be happy with a “B”.  This needed to be “A” grade work.

I had no idea where to start, so I used a trick that I’ve used in my novels when I’m not sure how to start a new chapter.  I took the character in the picture—  I knew nothing about her, just what she was wearing and a setting.

I sat down to my keyboard, and had her take a simple step.  The wind whipped up around her.  Her shoes got dirty in the mud.  The air chilled her face… I engaged myself into her setting.  I allowed myself to feel her.

You know what happened?

Within one paragraph, I knew who she was.  I knew where she was going.  I knew how she had to get there.  I knew why she was going.  I knew what she had to do.  Her character snowballed in my mind.

Do  have a story?  Well, no.  Not yet.  I need more characters.  I need to develop those characters.  I need conflict.  I need antagonists.  I need explosions.  I need overlying theme and plot.

But I had a start.  And, to my surprise, I was suddenly interested in that woman in the picture.

Stay tuned.