Not All Procrastinators Are Bad…My Writing Group Is On the Front Page Of the Local Paper Today!!!

1004731_10200103514298697_2013908284_nThis morning I woke up to a nice surprise! If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I mention my writing group quite often. Well, The Procrastinators was featured on the front page of The Journal. Aspiring Authors Talk Self-Publishing, Creativity was written by Juliet Lauderdale. It discussed our writing goals and accomplishments and highlighted my debut novel. I’m proud of myself, Pam, Marc, and Melissa! Let’s keep up the good work and help each other stay motivated!

Despite childhood fantasies, Mathison said efforts to establish a professional writing career as an adult have required discipline.

“I take publishing books very seriously and wanted to do it in the most professional manner possible,” [Hosby] said.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

On Receiving Critique

Found a cool blog post on successful ways to interpret critiques from writing groups or book reviews.

Live to Write - Write to Live

In a recent post, I blogged about offering critique. When I asked fellow writers for their thoughts about giving and receiving critiques, I got some great feedback, but there was so much, I needed to divide the posts. Here is what my fellow authors had to say about receiving critiques.

“For the writer, don’t take it personally. Don’t defend your work. Take the advice that works, and use it. Disregard the rest, but if you hear the same suggestions more than once, listen. The best workshops I have been in have required the writer to be silent during the process. Very hard, but keeps you open.” – Julie Hennrikus

“Don’t jump to any conclusions – make notes so you will remember later what was said, but then put it out of your mind. Sit with it. Mull it over. Leave some time between the initial hearing and the actual…

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Short Story Challenge

Instead of participating in NaNo during November, my writing buddy and I gave ourselves a short story writing challenge. We spent six weeks creating three stories (two weeks to write and edit each one). I’m happy that we have a new addition to “The Procrastinators.” Pam was cool enough to write a short story too.

I was happy to get back to my roots–short stories are my favorite things to write. There’s something about getting straight to the point that I enjoy. As you guys probably know, I like options. If things aren’t flexible, then I feel funny inside. Before the challenge, I made a list of the plot points I would use. Of course, I tweaked some idea concepts. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. A boy meets a girl at a pizzeria. Love at first sight? Lust? Either way, he has a crush on her and he’s trying to determine if she feels the same way about him. He’s afraid to make a move because of mixed signals. I wanted to challenge myself, seeing if I’m capable of writing happy stories. This is the very first one that wasn’t depressing or had a shock value (and I’ve been writing since the age of eleven. Who knows what that says about me hee hee). It was fun writing in only the guy’s point-of-view.
  2. A prank goes deadly wrong. I wanted to play on the fear of meeting a creepy stranger who you can’t get away from. With no doing on your part, the stranger is obsessed with you. And there’s nothing you could’ve done to prevent it. I wanted the story to be creepy and suspenseful. I wanted things to build slowly with a mystery element before all hell breaks loose. I enjoyed writing the twist at the end; it gave me chills writing only in the women’s point-of-view.
  3. A separated couple meet at a hotel. I wanted to write my favorite thing–a drama. What’s the biggest fear of parents? I’m not a mother, but I assume it’s to outlive your child. This story was written with my favorite approach of rotating point-of-views with scene breaks. I was hoping that readers could feel their pain.

Today at Jumpin’ Java (who have the best breakfast sandwiches ever!), we swapped our stories so we can critique. With the feedback I received so far, it looks like I accomplished what I wanted with how the readers should feel. After revisions, the second part of the short story challenge is to submit to magazines or journals. Hopefully, these stories will find a home. If not, Trapped could always use some company on my blog.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

The Procrastinators Goals

Since NaNo was a success (we finished critiquing each others’ story around the same time), we decided not to wait to try the 90 day challenge of writing a novel. When I say “we”, I mean Melissa (my writing buddy) and I. Tomorrow starts the big day; I’m really excited! Our goal is to keep producing novels, to keep each other motivated. So after 90 day challenge, we’ll have a little bit of time before the official NaNo starts. Might as well do that too; if we post on the website, we have a chance to win. To get our name out there.

  • I can handle it. We’ll be pursuing these projects while editing our NaNo novels. I would hope by three months I’d be finished. I won’t be naive as my first novel when I assumed it only took a couple of weeks. Boy was I wrong. Anyway, we also want to write a screenplay somewhere in the middle of all of this. Or maybe after NaNo is over. Robin was nice enough to give us tips. Movies that are cheap to film (stay in one location, shoot in daytime for majority of it) are more likely to be brought. Something useful to keep in mind.

Wish us luck!

For the 90 day challenge, there’s certain steps that need to be followed. The first month–absolutely no writing the draft is allowed. You can only focus on structure and stream-of-consciousness questions, basically in-depth character sketches. At the end of this month, you begin outlining.

For the second and third month, you create your first draft into three different acts (the same concept as a screenplay):

  • Act I–opening, dilemma, inciting incident, opposing argument
  • Act II–false victory, midpoint, hero suffers, end of Act II
  • Act III–hero accepts reality of situation, action, battle scene, equilibrium

Cool beans–this 90 day novel challenge will give us practice on the structures of screenplay writing. I’m used to it, but it’ll be my first time with a partner :). I’m a team player, so I should be alright hee hee. This will also help me get back into the mood of writing, instead of just editing. I should have time to go back to writing creative prompts again; keeping my fingers crossed.

It feels good to work with people who are on the same page as you. Who want the same goals as you. Who has the same passion and can help keep you motivated.

We call ourselves The Procrastinators, but as you can probably tell, we’re far from it :).

For all the writers out there, do you have any future projects you’re working on?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby