Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Fabulous Experience

Today ended the most intense, inspiring, and incredible writing workshop. I will owe Bill Bernhardt for the rest of my life. He has helped me to refine my work into something that I can not only be proud of, but that I can also say is publishable.

I met the most amazing group of women, whose critiques have inspired me to create bigger and better scenes. It is amazing to be able to call each one of them friends and know that anytime I need help with overcoming any walls, they will be there for me!

I am excited to return for Bill's Level 2 class on July 11th with my friends Angela and Erin. It promises to be just as enlightening. I plan to work diligently until then to finish my novel's 1st draft and begin revisions.

Thanks so much to William(Bill) Bernhardt for such an amazing workshop!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Writing Workshop = Mushy Brain(at the end of each day)

It is 10:30pm and I just finished the homework assigned at my writing workshop today.

I am attending the William Bernhardt 5 Day Writing Workshop this week and in class from 9am to about 1pm each day. I have been doing homework since I arrived home at around 2pm except for a short 15 minute break to fix dinner. (Yeah, it was pretty much a fend for yourself night in my house...yet somehow I still ended up preparing the 4 year old slave driver that runs my house his meal as well).

I am learning so much and really enjoying the experience! I can already tell my book is better, more refined. Mr. Bernhardt really is an excellent teacher. Reading about the proper way to set up the perfect story in a book is a great resource, but finding a great teacher to give you the nuances that you don't completely understand is absolutely priceless.

Having said that, this teacher really loves assigning homeworkd which has caused my brain to become total mush. So much that I am going to keep this post shortened for fear of rambling on and repeating myself. I just wanted to check in and let you all know that I am working feverishly to produce a beautiful piece of work that I can enjoy sharing with you all!

P.S. I have a friend, Laura, who has a 3 year old that is in serious need of prayer. Please join me tonight in praying for her little boy, Jackson. Please pray that he, his mommy, and his daddy are stregthened in this time of need and that little Jackson's health be restored. Thank you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Websites, Blogs, Forums, and Progress

Though I have been raised in the computer and Internet era, I must admit that I have managed to skate by on the basics. Most of you will know what I am talking about...e-mail, online shopping, and social networking. I did not have any interest in building pages for anything on the Internet, I simply wanted to look at the ones already out there.

All of that has changed, however, because I now want to be a published author and in today's market that means getting out there and creating my fan base, or platform before I actually begin the publishing process. That my friends, in an intimidating process. It is not that doing this is difficult, but that there is so much to take in while attempting it. So blogs, forums, and websites have become a real part of my thought process' as I get closer to finishing my first novel.

Blogs and Forums have been time consuming, but I have managed them. I hope you noticed the updated look on this blog and like what you see because lots of trial and error occurred until I got it to look this good. *grin* The website, however, is not something I am looking forward to tackling. Luckily I have a friend of a friend that is willing to help me, but I still hesitate to jump into that one just yet. I would like to be able to say that my manuscript is finished and I am currently submitting it for publishing before I feel I should have a website, otherwise what do I put on the thing? My friend, Angela and her friend Regina make good points for doing it now, but I am still mulling that one over for now.

I have made huge progress in my writing this week, despite the time spent on my blog and forum endeavors. I realized that my book was winding down and I only have about 3 or 4 chapters left to write before I am finished with my rough draft. The editing and refining will need to begin after that, but to say I am finally almost done with the first draft is euphoric for me!!! I must admit that when I realized this I stood from my desk chair and did a major happy dance. That's right! I looked like a cross between a chicken flapping its wings and mickey mouse doing the hot dog dance. Needless to say, it was a fine moment in my life. Then I sat back down and called my grandma, who is a huge fan already of course and loves to get excited with me when I feel the need.

I hope soon I can be updating my blog to announce that I finally finished it, but until then I thank you for caring about my journey to getting there enough to read this blog each time I post. I hope all of my friends and fans out there have a blessed day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Writer's Group...Strongly Encouraged!

   Today was the monthly meeting for my writer's group, Oklahoma City Writer's Inc. If you are a new writer and haven't looked up and joined a writer's group in your a area, I would strongly suggest that you do so! It is such a good way to network with other writers AND learn things associated with your craft.
   My group likes to host workshops for the meetings in the summer months. This month author Carolyn Wall spoke on 'how to create suspense in fiction' and it was fabulous! She sent us all home with an assignment asking us to take her formula for creating suspense and overlay it on an outline for something we are working on. When told by her editor that it was time for her to write the BIG ONE, she immediately pulled all the books off her shelf that were fabulous and whose authors were still remembered and asked herself...what do they all have that has made them the BIG ONE for their author. The answer was simple: suspense.
   She listed several books that were good for their suspense including To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. She also suggested a movie we should all see, Reign Over Me.
   I always feel as though I know so much more about writing after attending my group's meetings! I hope you will get on the computer and google your local writing groups also! DO NOT SIT IN THE BACK ALONE! Introduce yourself to the other members. You never know who you could meet that will play an instrumental role in making you a best selling author!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Synopsis...ugh!

   I decided that I want to submit my first 2 chapters into a writing contest my writing group hosts each year in September. So I need to write a synopsis. Now until the conference I attended in May, I had no idea these were considered a HUGE nightmare to writers. However, I now fully understand why and I must agree that I have a serious hate going for the synopsis.
   After thinking about it, the hate writers have for the synopsis does make sense. In a synopsis a writer is condensing their whole book into a 1, 2, or 8 page summary, depending on what the situation requires. How in the world is that supposed to happen? I spend almost 5 hours last Thursday trying to figure that out and when I was done, I had a terrible 2 page draft. I mean it really was embarrassing how bad it was. The next morning I was brushing my teeth trying to gear up to tackle the thing again and I admit that my eyes might have teared up at the notion. How could I be a good writer if I couldn't even do this one little thing? So I decided to leave it alone for a few days and go back to writing on my book until I could think about it without having my stomach heave.
   I am sure you could imagine my horror when earlier this week I received an email from Bill Bernhardt about the workshop I am attending on the 25th. He asked that I send him my first 20 pages and a ONE PAGE SYNOPSIS! My stomach hit my knees, I felt like I was going to be sick, and I wanted to hide under the covers on my bed for the rest of my life. After that brief(it may have lasted 10 minutes) panic, I pulled up my big girl panties and got down to business. Somehow I managed to get my pathetic attempts edited down to one page and I sent it to Mr. Bernhardt along with my first 20 pages. I'll admit that it wasn't very good, but I thought, hey, what is the class for right?!!!
   The day after I sent the horrid thing, I was talking with my friend, Angela and I had an epiphany. I had been trying to write a synopsis for my entire trilogy, rather than just one book! WTH?! While it still wasn't easy, I must admit that it went so much better. So now I have a decent synopsis that I will just have to take with me to class in order to redeem myself AND I can quit worrying about it so much! Praise be!

Side Note: Thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope you will click to follow me below and help me to grow my platform, or fan base for the day when I finish my book and start the publishing process!!! ~Sabrina

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Welcome To My 1st Blog Post!

   I am a writer and aspiring author, but I have only been on this journey for about 8 months. I discovered at a writing conference recently that 8 months is, in fact, a very short time to be pursuing this dream. Since highschool, I have thought that being an author would be a something I would enjoy, but my own self-defeating voice would always brush that aside as unrealistic. So I continued to ignore that tiny voice that said it would be fun as I went through highschool graduation, choosing a degree in college, and colledge graduation. After college I became a mother for the first time and yet again the voice was ignored. Then, I met my friend Angela. She was working on her first novel and wanted me to read what she had. As I would talk with her about her book, that tiny voice began to grow again. If an average person like Angela could write a book, why not an average person like me?
   I love science fiction/fantasy and have always had vivid dreams and ideas for what would make a good story. So I started writing them down in secret. I was afraid to tell anyone what I was doing, too afraid they would laugh at me. My first story quickly began to take shape and it wasn't long before I began to type it out on my computer. I began to write my first book at the end of November 2010 and now have 11 chapters complete and a shaky synopsis. Along with my friend, Angela, I have joined a local writing group, attended a local conference, and will be attending William Bernhardt's writing workshop in a couple of weeks.
   Now I have written this all very nonchalantly, and if you believe that it has all gone as smoothly as I just made it sound, please hit yourself in the forehead for daring to think such a thing. Now wasn't that fun?! In fact, this journey has been so full of emotional ups and downs, nervousness, and stress that I am not really certain how I still have my sanity. I can be certain that I owe my family HUGE kudos for all of thier support. I would like to think that without them I wouldn't have scrapped the whole thing, but you know, I am really not sure!