On Conference and NOT finishing Camp NaNo…

Irony that this article is coming out so soon after my quippy post about ADD and writers.

No – I did not finish Camp NaNoWriMo. No – I did not get to the word count on my story that I set for myself as my goal for the end of July. No – I still have not finished filling in holes on that particular story.

Yes – I went to a conference at the end of July. No – that is NOT the whole reason I did not finish Camp NaNo.

I did not finish editing and I did not reach my word count goal mostly because I spent those two weeks deleting more out of the story than I put back in.

And trust me when I tell you that what was deleted, NEEDED TO GO! Remember that I wrote “A Mother For Leah during NaNoWriMo last November. It was a struggle to even get to 50,000 words in that month… but I did. And I had more than a few unnecessary words in that document.

Fast forward to March of this year – I started editing, polishing, refining – and it took a LOT of work to get to where it was by April, when I put it aside to prepare for my first conference.I was confident that it was good enough to give the first three chapters to someone but it was far from done.

Fast forward again to May, when I had to put it aside again in order to pack and then move to Nashville.

June was spent mostly unpacking, settling in and trying to figure out how to find the most basic places near us – places like Starbucks, Lifeway and Barnes & Noble!

Then came July and, though I was late to the party, I joined Camp NaNoWriMo and got serious about my editing again!

And then I deleted… and deleted… and deleted some more. And I have taken out easily twice what I’ve put back in.

Yes – it is a tiny bit disheartening. Yes it is frustrating. Yes I am ready to scream at times.

BUT…

I AM NOT DONE! I am not quitting! And I am not going to let anything stop me from finishing this book! And then going on to the next!

So, I return once again to editing and I am going to make a conscious effort to stop complaining about how much I delete because – like I said – it NEEDED TO GO!

 

Good Day and God Bless!

©Rachel L. Miller 2014

IS AMISH FICTION BEING USED AS A STEPPING STONE?

Amish Fiction

Recently I posted the following comment on my Facebook author page:

I’ve noticed a trend lately among authors of Amish fiction and it’s had me worried… But I’m beginning to realize that those worries are a bit off-base.

Authors of Amish fiction are not migrating to other genres because Amish fiction is losing traction.

They’ve used Amish fiction to break into the world of published authors because it is extremely popular and now that their foot is in the door, they are moving on to the genres they are truly interested in writing.

I find this unbearably sad. This genre is a comfort to my world-weary soul and I can not imagine a more tremendous blessing than sharing it with others.

I have noticed this as a growing trend. Many of the authors whose books I LOVE have left the world of Amish fiction to explore other genres.

And initially… I panicked. I’m writing Amish fiction. What will happen if it’s popularity is on a decline?

After much thought and exploration, I realize – it is not on a decline. Keep reading…

We can take this mass exodus two ways.

1 – Coincidentally, every single on of these authors is moving on to another genre after releasing 3, 4 or 5 books because they’ve run out of steam in this genre or their interests have genuinely changed (who am I to judge…)

2 – They’ve used the Amish fiction genre (which is tremendously popular at this moment) as a stepping stone to get their name out there and their foot in the door(s) of the publishers.

And I am quite certain that, for at least a few, it is the first option. Not every author… but most of them, at some point in their career, changes genres – or at least steps into another genre and gives it a try.

But as many as there are rushing to other genres as soon as they have a hit or two… No, I smell a rat.

I’m guessing that at least 3/4 of them are simply using a popular genre as a springboard for their career.

And that is tragic.

I know what you’re thinking…

Why can’t I just shut up and enjoy? Why can’t I take advantage of what’s there and be thankful?

Because it seems more like disrespect to me than simple misuse.

And I know I am NOT alone in feeling that way. Every person who gets attached to a specific writer, becomes attached to that writer’s work to the point that they want to read every single thing they write – feels the same as I do.

And when that writer leaves us behind and moves on to a different genre, especially one that we would never ever read, we feel betrayed and heart-broken.

Don’t they realize what this does to their readers?

Don’t they realize, that they can write in that other genre and build up a whole new fan base there while still keeping their other fans happy?

If they would just release a book now and then that we can enjoy too…

To be fair, a few of them do. But not enough. And not enough of them give us a whole novel every now and then. They write a short story for a novella collection or they offer an eBook novella once every couple of years.

I guess it’s my own fault for being so adamantly attached to this new genre I’ve discovered that is always clean and decent. It’s a difficult thing to find in this modern age of media – even among “Christian” fiction, which is more often lately referred to as “Inspirational” fiction.

Just like how much it bugs me that authors who write such wonderful inspiring stories spend their time reading and watching and posting about such un-inspiring things.

But that’s a whole different argument.

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014

A Writer’s Conference – I finally found one!

I have been haunting the internet for some time now…20140407-225737.jpg

trying to find a Writer’s conference that I could afford to attend.

And finally… I found one!

I attended the Monte Sano Writer’s Conference last Saturday.

And it was FANTASTIC!

The key speakers for the conference included authors Homer Hickam, Milam McGraw Propst and Harper Collins senior editor Ami McConnell.

Each and every person who spoke at the conference (even the pastor) was inspiring and informative. The panel was helpful and entertaining. The lunch was delicious and the afternoon sessions were wonderful!

And even though I didn’t hand out a single synopsis, proposal or chapter, I feel like I made some very important contacts.

Milam McGraw Propst was especially entertaining and I still can’t understand why she thinks she’s not so great at speaking in front of a group – she did such a wonderful job!

Homer Hickam is nothing like I expected – in a really good way! And his wife is a gem! It’s so refreshing to meet good people who have not let fame go to their heads! They attend a very nice church but not one that’s obviously swimming in dough. And they clearly give a LOT of their time to the church.

That really says something to me.

It was a truly wonderful conference and I await next year’s (only slightly) impatiently. I have a lot of work to do between now and then – not the least of which is lighting a fire under Mom. She has more work to do on her own novel and I’m going to get her going on it so she is ready to go to the conference with me next year!

God Bless You! And Good Night!

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014