My Interlude with a Quick Brown Fox

A very busy month for me so I have lot’s to share with you this week.  🙂 

First, I completed my first ever Nano (National Novel Writing Month)! *high kicks*. Somehow in my crazy life I managed to eke out 51K and the experience has taught me some valuable newbie lessons;

    1. You have more time than you think.
    2. Planning and organization is the key.
    3. You WILL realize the true meaning of ‘write, write and then write some more’. So many of us only get small blocks of time in a day, so to make it really count when you get them, just write. Don’t go back (that’s for a different time and purpose). Just bang out as much as you can as fast as you can. Time and purpose people.

Second, I attended my first ever writer’s workshop, courtesy of Brian Henry from Quick Brown Fox fame. And yes, his blog is infamous. Check it out. 

‘How to get Published’ was an EXCELLENT workshop and I cannot recommend something like this enough. To have someone’s many years of experience there to answer all of your questions is worth every penny. Bonus;  Since our group was small we each managed to get one  on one time to review either a query letter or novel opening, and in some cases both.  PRICELESS. Best $48 I’ve ever spent. I mean how often do you get someone like Brian to sit across a table from you and tell you where it’s at?  Nearly never. There are many benefits to attending something like this, one of which is networking. Not only did I get to talk with the amazing, talented, prophetic Brian (how am I doing on the ass kissing front so far?), BUT I also got to meet and chat with other local writers in the area. I even met two who live in my home town, and I can’t wait to start up a regular meeting with them. One of the best resources a writer can have – – – > People. 

Readers, teachers, other writers, all this networking will be the key to any success we might wish to accomplish in our career.  So go on already, make some friends! 

Tammy’s Tip of The Week

A funny thing happened at the workshop while we were discussing query letters. A lovely and brave woman volunteered to read hers aloud. Well all listened to it and thought it was okay, but as we began to question her we quickly realized it actually hadn’t even hinted on what her book REALLY had going for it. While we were all laughing together over this, a tip occurred that I think/hope will be helpful to those out there like myself;

Step 1 – Read your current query letter aloud

Step 2 – Record yourself describing your book to someone who has no idea what’s it’s about

Step 3 – Play it back a few times then go back and re-read your query again

Does it match up? Honestly, from what I’ve witnessed so far, I’d be very surprised if it did. It’s quite funny actually how our query letter often fails to say what we ‘really meant’ it to.

Step 4 – Rewrite

Step 5 – Repeat as necessary (I’m on my fourth balled up piece of paper and counting) 

Well, that’s it for this week my luvies. I wish you all happy muses, scary plot-mares, and epic dreams! 


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24 Responses to My Interlude with a Quick Brown Fox

  1. Anne Michaud says:

    YES! Reading aloud – and listening to oneself on a recording device, if courageous enough – is one of the best way to see anything wrong with a piece. Oh, I’m envious, now…that workshop looked great!! We never have those in Montreal:(

    • CDNWMN says:

      So strange, I was reading and commenting on yours, and here you are! You should contact him anyways, he may know of someone doing something simliar up your way. That’s how it seems to work. If it hadn’t been for Kelley’s mention I’d never have known of such a thing so close to where I live. Never hurts to ask. 🙂

  2. Congrats on the NaNo win. I knew you could do it!!! Super cool about the seminar. Awesome!

  3. Well, damn, Tammy, it sounds like you kicked ass and kissed ass! Brava!

    And thanks for the tip. I’m about to nosedive into query and synopsis writing so I need all the tips I can gather at this point.

    • CDNWMN says:

      No one’s nose is browner than mine right now sweets. 😉 And good luck to you, it’s way worse than any other kind of writing. In fact, frankly I’d rather write a will than a synopsis. If you need a beta lemme know! 🙂

  4. Congrats Tammy! You busted your butt and accomplished a lot! Well done!

    I’m glad you had such a great experience at the workshop and meet new writer friends…that’s important. Writing can be so isolating at times.

    Good tips…I always read my stuff out loud…catch so many problems that way.

  5. diannewaye says:

    Tammy you rock! You beat Camp Nano!
    As usual, great weekly tip. Thanks for the info about the workshop.

  6. T. James says:

    I’ll say it again, congratulations on the Nano win… colour me impressed. I liked the solid advice for newbies too… and I hope you really enjoy meeting up with other writer’s near you, and make some new friends.

  7. Gareth says:

    Top notch tip T. I think the other thing I’d add though is that when you’ve spent months (or even years) writing and creating your “baby” why rush the letter that will either get you into an editors pile or in the slush that will be worked through eventually?

    As always well thought out and as soon as I get brave I may well attend one or two myself.

    • CDNWMN says:

      Oh excellent point G and so very true. It’s amazing how people linger over the novel and rush through the one part that can actually really make or break the whole thing. Well said! 🙂

  8. Sally A Wolf says:

    Great Post filled with helpful information as always!

  9. Heidi/Akeyla says:

    Great post, I’ve added his page to my list, and I was actually thinking of looking around here for some writerish things to do, like with people and stuff… lol!

    Good tip too. I always like to take my dialogue pieces and read them aloud like a play with people to see if it sounds natural. Just reading out loud is a good practice to get in to, it tells us so much about the way we speak and tell stories, naturally! Great post, got me thinking and everything!!!

    • CDNWMN says:

      Hi Heidi! Thanks so much. I’m glad you’re looking to expand, the networking and support from other writers can be a huge help. Let me know what you find/try/do! 🙂

  10. Still so proud of your Nano accomplishment! Way to go sis! And loved the tip this week. I liked how you presented it with that example from your class. Always great stuff on your blog. Its so enjoyable to read. Never a dull moment here! 🙂

  11. John Wiswell says:

    I’ve always marked where I hesitated in reading aloud to an audience, as whatever caused it is worth revisiting later in editing. Never thought about applying that to query letters, though. A neat trick idea!

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