If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

The Mayhem Gang

I started TOASTING FEAR, my work in progress, in May. Setting a goal of querying agents by September was unrealistic. I knew that at the time and set that goal by design because of self-knowledge. I procrastinate. I’m a pressure writer. With a deadline, I produce. Swearing to sit down, think out my plot and write, I do, but what I write ends up as a new short story, a new blog, or ideas for new novels and shorts. An aspect of procrastination, self-sabotage, isn’t all bad. It’s an effective way to avoid a goal, like setting a date for going on a diet and then eating twice as much before that date. Taking the opportunity to try out delicious recipes, creating culinary masterpieces, the dieter achieves different goals while avoiding the pain of losing weight.

By July, I hadn’t written a new word, continuing to edit and caress the chapters that I’d already written. When Betsy Bitner, the critique coordinator for the Guppies, (The Great Unpublished, which is actually a misnomer because many Guppies are published) a subchapter of Sisters in Crime, solicited for new novel critique members, I grasped the opportunity. Having critique partners to keep me on a writing schedule would force me to produce. Has it worked? Yes.

For the group to work, all members had to be at the same stage of creation. One member dropped immediately because she thought her manuscript was polished, but later rejoined the group anyway. The rest of us admitted to not having our first drafts completed. We decided on a week interval in which to complete our reviews of approximately twenty pages of manuscript. This schedule allowed three weeks for those of us not finished our manuscripts to produce at least twenty pages and complete three reviews. I thought this was a reasonable schedule.

We are now up to the start of submission five, or about page 100, and already changes have occurred. The member who thought her manuscript polished has re-dropped out of the group. Of the remaining three, it is clear that one of us has a complete manuscript. We remaining two are scrambling to produce because we now have two weeks to complete twenty pages of script and two reviews. Writing sometimes flows more easily than at other times. The schedule will be daunting. I think another factor affecting our production is that we have started those chapters that are hardest in a mystery to write; the investigation.

This week we took a week off, enabling some of us to catch up. This change has initiated in two worthwhile results. Taking the week off has resulted in a more relaxed, realistic and forgiving attitude. Recognizing that writers are human beings in need of slack time may make us better critique partners. Writers aren’t machines and things come up that prevent us from keeping to the straight and narrow: jobs, attending conferences, sickness, etc. But now that I have no more previously written chapters for review, as I did in August and September when I was ahead of the cycle, I have to produce, and I am. It is what I envisioned when joining The Mayhem Gang.

Many writers are now participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo-or-NaNo for short). I think for the very same reason that I joined a critique group: to provide motivation to write. Do you procrastinate? Do you need a critique group or NaNo to produce?

5 comments:

Warren Bull said...

Personally, I have the goal of writing something every day. I am in favor of whatever works for you.

E. B. Davis said...

I understand many writers have that goal and I wish I could as well. But, I must concentrate and focus, and most days don't allow me that alone, quiet time in which I don't have competing demands. So, I must write in clumps and be very productive in intervals. Sometimes, this time interval works because you think about what you have written and where you should go. When you do get to the writing, it's more planned out then doing a little each day--but then, maybe that's just me.

Pauline Alldred said...

I believe a writer should do whatever works for that person. And whatever works can vary according to where they are in their lives. When I had small children, I wrote early mornings. When I had teenagers, I wrote late at night. A group can help as long as the gap between submissions isn't too long. If it is, a critique partner loses the forward motion of the story.

morganalyx said...

I am trying NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. I haven't yet tried a critique group, but the next time Betsy posts them, I will definitely join.

Glad to see that it's helping you stay on track, E.B.

Alyx

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks Alyx-yes, and that's why I put myself into a critique group. I worked so hard on my second manuscript to no avail when querying that I had a hard time with motivation. Also, I wanted more input, which I didn't have with my other manuscripts. It helps enormously and I highly recommend it. Good luck with your WIP.