Writing advice needed

I have a decision to make.  The Institute of Children’s Literature says I have been chosen to take the advanced novel writing course.  Whether I really have been chosen or everyone gets chosen, I don’t know.  Similar to how I felt when I did the placement exam and they said I qualified to take the initial course. Does everyone qualify or do they really only accept people with some sort of writing potential? I don’t know.  I digress though.

Back to the issue at hand.  I was very happy with the initial course.  I went into the course looking forward to starting a manuscript and learning the ins and outs of getting published.  (Still working on the getting published part.)  I finished the course with a number of magazine pieces ready or close to ready to submit, the knowledge of how to submit them and a full manuscript.  Granted the manuscript needs a lot of work, but my story is all down on paper.  The beginning has even been commented on by my instructor so I know where to start with editing and what needs more work.

The novel course has you working, once again, one on one with a published author. During the course your instructor works with you to get your manuscript ready to submit. I have to admit, it sounds great. I don’t have the editing know-how or the experience to get my manuscript ready to submit on my own. I don’t belong to a writer’s group and haven’t the faintest idea of how to find one. And if I did find one, how would I know if it was a good one, one that would do more good than harm?  (Seems I’m full of questions today:). So what’s the problem?  Why the dilemma?  Sign up.  The problem is, it’s just under $700. That’s a lot of money.  Is it worth it?

I sort of also feel like it’s cheating in a way.  That I won’t really be making it if I don’t do it on my own.  Is that silly?  What would you do?  Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, I also figured out a new way to type on the computer while holding my sleeping baby. No more one-handed typing for me.  Wohoo!  (She is currently sleeping on my chest as I recline on the sofa with the laptop on my knees.) 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Writing advice needed

  1. Shannon Howell says:

    Well, I can help with one teensy part. Check to see if your library has or hosts a writer’s group. I found one that way.

    I don’t think there’s one that’s NOT worth the time because, assuming they don’t just chat and drink coffee or something, you get feedback – at least what works/doesn’t for those people. Hey, if they only find all the places your fingers typed “there” instead of “their” it’ll be something, right?

    The hard part is taking what they say with a grain of salt. If several people make the same comment, probably worth pursuing. However, I went to one where I was the youngest person by a couple decades and they ALL said they’d never heard the word “snarky,” and using an “obscure” word like that could alienate readers. Well, their other comments were useful, but my target demographic would know the word (the other writers weren’t in my target demographic). So, even with a consensus, you might not want to listen 🙂

    • exhaustedmama says:

      Someone told me awhile ago about finding a writer’s group through the library and I completely forgot. Thank you for reminding me. I will ask next week when I take my oldest in for our weekly library outing.
      You also make a very good point about the benefits. Feedback of any type is more than I currently have and would be helpful. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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