Monday, 25 August 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! Wrapping Up

The day is finally here folks! It’s the end of RSW and hopefully a full and productive summer for everyone who participated. My co-hosts, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Jaime Morrow, and I would like to thank all of you for joining us in setting goals and encouraging one another to push ahead in our writing endeavors. And (Jaime this is for you*) even though it’s time to “pack it up, pack it in,” remember to JUMP AROUND and see how what kind of progress your fellow participants made this summer. Also, don’t forget to check out the second half of this post for details on our beta/CP match-up on Thursday! Please read that carefully so you know how to post if you choose to participate.

How I did on last week’s goals:

My final goal was to write 3000 words and I topped that with 5200.

Summer Recap

Over the course of the summer, I finished my revisions for Engrave (until after it’s CPed at least), organized mountains of notes and my outline for Enlighten, and wrote about 45k on Enlighten as well. In all, it was a productive writing summer and I’m well on my way to finishing this trilogy.

A favorite line from my story:

I hold out the champagne flute and his hand purposely closes around mine, lingers as long as he dares before anyone notices. My skin is charged with electricity, tingling and effervescent like the bubbles in the champagne. I relinquish the glass, reluctant to feel his fingers pull away with it.

The biggest challenge I faced this week:

This is the second time this summer that I’ve strained the muscles in my neck and shoulders, likely from spending too much time on my laptop. Earlier this week, I woke up and could barely turn my head. Ouch. I couldn’t write for a few days because of it, which was discouraging because I wanted to write. And it's still kind of bugging me.

Something I love about my WIP:

That my three main characters are all reflections of me in very different ways.

And now the details for our beta/CP match-up…

We’ve all worked hard this summer on our WIPs and many of us are at the point where we need an extra set of eyes on them and perhaps some constructive criticism. That’s why we’ve decided to close off RSW with a beta/CP match-up on Thursday August 28th. If you’re looking for critique partners or beta readers, or if you’re interested in beta reading for others who participated in RSW, then we’d encourage you to take part!

Below is a list of suggestions for what to include in your post if you’d like to let potential betas/CPs know a bit more about your story. This will also give people an idea of what your writing style is like and whether you might be a good fit for forming a partnership. You can “shop around” to see what people’s WIPs are about, and if you’re interested in reading for someone or possibly becoming critique partners, leave a comment on their blog to let them know. I’d suggest even looking back at some of the posts they shared about their WIP over the summer.

If people leave comments expressing an interest in reading your WIP or working together as CPs, you can decide who might be a good match and contact them through your/their blog or privately through Twitter or email. I think this goes without saying, but please be mindful of how you accept or reject offers. And please remember not to be discouraged if you don’t get any offers. There are many factors involved in choosing betas/CPs: timing, genre, the number of betas a person needs, if your WIPs sound too similar, etc. Chances are it has nothing to do with your writing abilities and everything to do with projects or schedules just not lining up at this time. Likewise, if people offer to beta/CP for you, don’t feel pressured to say yes. Forming a writing relationship with someone is a big deal, and you want to put your story in the best hands possible, meaning someone who’s the right fit for you.

Here are some ideas for what to include in your post on Thursday:

■ a love list, elevator pitch, or query description
■ an excerpt
■ genre/age category
■ whether your WIP is a standalone or part of a series
■ where you’re at in your timeline (ie ready for betas/CPs now or maybe later in the fall)
■ whether you’re looking for beta readers or CPs (or both)
■ any warnings that might be applicable (ie only offer to beta if you don’t mind swearing, sex, drug use, etc.)

And in case you’ve never been a beta reader or CP before, here’s a list of links you can check out. These articles will give you some tips on how to approach these writing arrangements and what to expect.

In case you’ve never done a love list before, here’s a link to the post Stephanie Perkins did on this. Love lists are tons of fun, a good way to renew your passion for your WIP, and a perfect way to share the flavour of your WIP with potential readers in a creative way.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below! Otherwise, we’ll see those of you looking for betas/CPs on Thursday! And thanks again for participating in RSW this summer! 

*In case you’re wondering, Jaime and I often listen to Jump Around during our Skype writing sessions. It’s the Irish in us bursting out.


  1. Congrats on having such a productive summer! I'm sorry about your neck/shoulder pain! :(. It's especially frustrating when it's something that keeps you from writing. Maybe you should splurge on a massage since it's still giving you some trouble. :) Thanks for hosting RSW--it's been so much fun and a huge help at keeping me accountable this summer!

  2. Congrats on accomplishing your writing goal this summer. Thank you so much for hosing this fantastic intensive. I don't think I could have accomplished so much either without all of your support. Thank you. :D

  3. Ouch for your neck and shoulders! I get an achy hip if I sit for too long at the computer - it's like my body is telling me to get off my butt and take a walk :)

    Congrats on your productive summer and here's to a productive fall!

  4. Hope your neck and shoulders are feeling better! Way to go with blowing past that word count goal, too :)

  5. You consistently amaze me with how much writing you get done each week! Congrats on achieving your summer goals and I hope your neck and shoulders feel better so fall can be just as productive... :)

  6. you kicked some serious butt this summer, Erin! And I love that your characters are a reflection of you, I feel the same way about mine. Can't wait for the CP/Beta match up on Thursday!

  7. You got out some serious word counts this summer! Congrats on all the progress, and hope your neck/shoulders are on the mend. I've hurt my hips and back from too much sitting/poor posture and it is the worst!

  8. Amazing job on your summer-long progress, even with two neck and shoulder slow-downs! Thank you so much for all the encouragement you've given to me (and to everyone else) this summer! It definitely help me stay productive and focused. Good luck with your future writings!!

  9. Your productivity this summer is inspiring! I love the excerpts you have shared, and that you are nearing the end of your trilogy. That is all incredibly exciting stuff. Thank you for hosting and encouraging us every week.

  10. Congratulations on your summer progress! Do you think a good neck pillow would help with the muscle strains? I've sometimes worn my Critter Piller Jack to help with that. Critter Pillers are neck pillows in the shape of a number of different animals. They seem to be meant for children, but I've got small enough shoulders that mine is a perfect fit. I bought Jack at the airport in NYC because I wanted a stuffed animal on my first Israel trip but didn't want to look like a baby at age 25. He serves a great dual purpose.

  11. LOVE the excerpt you shared, Erin! Your voice is so beautiful and unique. I've had a blast following along with your RSW progress this summer. Best of luck with your projects moving forward. I can't wait to see where they go from here!

  12. the "Jump Around" link. ;-) You know me so well. I also love the snippet you shared from your WiP. I can't wait to get back to reading your series ASAP! You've done so, so well this summer and I'm really hoping all of that rubs off on me a little this fall. I'm really looking forward to continuing to motivate each other. :D

    1. Oh, I forgot to mention: "I ain't going out like no punk bitch..." ;-)

  13. Erin, you did AWESOME this summer! I find it hard to write one story in one book, so I can't imagine how difficult writing a trilogy must be.

    I love that you say your characters are reflections of you in some way. It's interesting how that stuff filters through into the writing.

    And I can totally picture you and Jaime jamming out to Jump Around when you've both gone a little crazy from writing! Ha :)

  14. You made so much progress this summer! GO YOU! And I'm so sorry that you had such a pain in your neck this week - I hope it goes away soon! Good luck with the writing this fall and thank you for hosting again with me!

  15. Congrats on a super productive summer! I loved getting to read your snippets. And thanks so much for doing this, I super enjoyed myself. It really, truly helped my writing this summer. *hugs*

  16. Congrats on accomplishing so much this summer! You really rocked it. I wish I had been able to do more this summer, but I'm happy with what I accomplished and excited to have a productive fall. :)

  17. Sounds like you had a very productive summer! I hope the neck pains go away soon- that sucks!

  18. Yay for all your progress! And thank you so much for hosting such a great writing intensive. It has been so fun to get to know everyone and to have the accountability. I look forward to doing it again next summer!