"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform..." William Cowper

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Session #1: Welcome To Writing Camp!


I saw this book on a recent morning talk show and it made me think a bit on kids and summer camp. As I begin creating my third manuscript, I thought it might be fun to do a little "writing camp" this summer to freshen up. The following letters are from a young writer getting a dose of summer writing camp for the first time. For the sake of simplicity, I’m using one book, Stein on Writing, for the advice of “Coach Sol.”

Dear Mom and Dad and Tootles,

I know I said I wanted to go to writing camp this summer, but that was when I thought I was a pretty good writer. Turns out I was wrong. Our assignment this week was to write a short story. We received comments back today. Coach Sol said he was EXTREMELY glad I was here. Apparently I need major help. Coach said he liked my punctuation skills (big whoop) but that I needed help in other areas. Things like point-of-view, creating likeable characters, and showing instead of telling. What in the world does show instead of tell mean anyway? Then Coach said I needed to think of my reader. Do I really need to do that? I’m the one writing the story after all. It’s MY story, not theirs. I can write it how I want to.

Anyway, I am NOT having fun. I miss you and I miss Tootles. Please come pick me up soon. This camp was a bad idea. I don’t think Coach knows what he’s talking about.

Love,
          Your Unhappy Camper

P.S. I hope Tootles likes the bone I gave him before I left.

Bad contest scores. An agent or editor rejection. All writers know these disappointments, but I don’t think any sting as much as that first time. My first was six years ago after receiving some not-so-flattering contest scores. My defenses immediately went up. Do you remember your first writing disappointment?


10 comments:

  1. I'm fresh off the green horn farm and I haven't had any writing rejections because I haven't been brave enough (or ready) to submit anything. It's one of those things at the back of my mind - that first rejection. I'm trying so hard to learn as much as I can and avoid some of those common errors - but I know I won't be able to avoid all of them.

    I look forward to Summer Sessions! :)

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    1. LOL--you're so funny, Gabrielle! I think it's great you're preparing yourself and learning as much as you can. Keep at it! :)

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  2. How cute, Heidi!

    Yep, it was earlier this year when I received a few rejections for my nonfiction writing. Boo. Took me a whole week to recover. Then contest results in January or so...but with the encouragement of friends, I moved past it.

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    1. Already easier, right Lindsay? I think after my first disappointment, I didn't write for a month, so a week is a pretty quick comeback. Good job!

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  3. Yep, no from an agent. Punched in the gut. But I recovered. And I got an agent to boot.
    ~ Wendy

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    1. I know you've written many manuscripts, Wendy. I'm always inspired by your persistence--and the fact that it's paid off with an agent now. Hope to see you in September!

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  4. Cute letter! I think it was my first rejection. I totally hadn't prepared for it and it came out of the blue.

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    1. Yes, I think when our hopes are high and we don't expect the rejection, the pain is worse.

      Looking forward to meeting you in September, Cindy!

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  5. Hey Friend!

    This is so cute. :) Yes, when I wasn't a finalist in the Genesis last year it was a major disappointment, but I'm so glad for that experience now.

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    1. I can relate, Melanie. We usually can look back and see the good, can't we? Have to remember that... ;)

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