Apr
1
2016

First Public Writing Acknowledgement

First off, writer groups are awesome. If your not in one, then you are missing out on a lot. Such as friends, support, motivators, beta readers, fans, and more. A month ago at a Mountain Scribes meetup event, my friend Tony (blog link) suggested we run a flash fiction at the near end of our meeting. He selected the Horror Scribes' Fright Cards Competition on Dante's Nine Circles of Hell. We had just enough time to write for two of the areas, Treachery and Fraud, as a group. Tony encouraged us to submit stories for every one of the nine levels. He submitted to all of them and is far more great for it. I wanted to finish, but like everything--it was left not finished.   On March 28th I signed into Facebook and saw my name tagged in a post in our group.  I had made the "shortlist" for the final winners selections. This was my first opportunity to win a writing competition. I've entered a few in the past, flash fiction here, little short story there, but nothing got noticed until now. I was and am very excited to have this recognition from Horror Scribes. Today the final winners were posted. I didn't make it into the winners circle, but, to be honest, I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. I learned a lot from this lesson, but my number 1 take away is how awesome my writing group is. To be encouraged, supported, and celebrated even with a little successes, makes me very lucky.  
Aug
19
2015

Over-killer Critique

My flaws or advantages, depending how you see it, of being detail oriented are getting me into a lot of trouble these days.  Especially with my writers group.  My critics are full to the brim with details on word suggestions, omissions, show not tell, and things that don't make sense.  I can tell my group is getting frustrated with me, because they are sending nice subtle hints with Facebook posts on editing vs critiquing.  “Critiquing” is not “Editing” If Jan Austen Got Feedback From Some Guy in a Writing Workshop 10 Tips For Taking Feedback on Your Writing Below is a compiled snapshot of several of my comments that I’ve left with my group members over the last few months.  You can see for yourself, I’m not very elegant and I’m trying to fix everything (must be the troubleshooter in me too).  Actually, I'm a real butt-munch.    I have a lot to learn still.  I hope my writer's group will be patient with me as I improve my ability to write and provide proper critiques.  Hopefully in a month or so from now, I can look back at this and pat my own shoulder with a sense of accomplishment as I will have given several helpful and good critiques.    
Aug
4
2015

The Fear of Little Gods

A prompt of 26 sentences using the first letter of the sentence with each alphabet letter in order. It is a folklore tale of how the mind can make a positive out of a negative, but remains blind to the truth. [More]
Aug
4
2015

What have I been up too?

Warning this is a long read, I have a lot of ground to cover. It has been over a year and a half since my last blog post.  Back then I had switched to part-time at my IT job in hopes to have more time with my children and with my writing.  Being part-time didn't last very long as we became nervous about the stability of my husband’s work.  I went back to full-time in the fall of 2014 as a Business Analyst, instead of a Sr. Developer.  I wanted to try something new and use more of my detail oriented obsessions.   Anyway, back to what I have been doing with my writing.   Writing.com Last post I mentioned writing.com and I do sometimes still use it, but mainly as a reviewer to help sharpen my skills at finding my own writing flaws.  Learning by example has always worked for me. The Mountain Scribes In mid-April 2015, a group of writing friends on Facebook (from NaNoWriMo) decided to start a local writing group.  I am a happy member of The Mountain Scribes.  We meet every two weeks, alternating between submission reviews and creative prompts.  We use OneDrive to share our writing and meet up at WiFi enabled restaurants.   We are still learning a lot about each other, but I can tell writing has improved for each member since April.   I love this group compared to the last, it was too stiff and there were no real connections between the members.  In this group half of them write fiction (paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural) which is where I like to focus, and the other half fiction/non-fiction (memoirs, romance, historical) provide invaluable feedback.  I find it wonderful for those outside my genre to help point out the misunderstandings in the technical scope.  Such as, letting me know that they are having trouble visualizing the space and distance between the two characters in a scene.  I look forward to all of our meetings and am grateful there is no heavy pressure or stress.  If you aren’t already in a writers group, find one—it is a must! WVW Conference 2015 This summer I attended the West Virginia’s Writers Conference.  I went alone (not knowing anyone), but ended up making a few friends.  The odd part was that they are all younger than me.  I didn’t mind, friends are good to have no matter their ages.  Overall the event covered Non-Fiction and Fiction, but it felt like it leaned more towards Non-Fiction and Poetry writing.  I felt out of sync most of the time.  I did enter into a couple of the small competitions while there; a short piece on the “writer’s wall” and a piece I read out loud.  That was utterly nerve wrecking.  I did join the West Virginia Writers group. I learned a lot about ways to improve my writing, but overall had a sinking feeling that my writing will never be good enough for publication.  That’s probably a bad mood to walk away with, but it was lurking in my mind for days after.  The thing is—you can’t stop a story.  I write for me and continue to write, even if I think it sucks. Plot Board I started working on a plot board for my WIP (work in progress) and have found my story to be lacking.  I am working on filling in all the holes and empty spaces.  This has been a great exercise and I recommend it to everyone working on a novel.  I followed Going Reno’s A Novel Idea: How to Make a Plot Board using a trifold poster board. Useful resource: Plotting visually: You’ve got to see it to believe it - by P.J. Parris - https://killzoneblog.com/2013/05/plotting-visually-youve-got-to-see-it.html Tor.com Original Short Story Submission My first submission.  I submitted one of my short story pieces to Tor.com for an Original Short submission (the contest is closed).  I submitted back on May 26, 2015 and the status today is listed as “in progress”.  They warned me that it could take up to seven months to get a response.  I’ve got up to four more months to wait out.  Looking back I wish I had changed the first sentence.  Once this is done I will submit this piece to others, perhaps local art magazines.  I submitted in order to get my first rejection out of the way, but who knows there is a very small chance they may like it—there is no hope from me. My Story Progress For my WIP novel I have actually come up with a better inciting event that I’m still working on. I started working on a younger version of my character/superhero Phoenix (although when I go to publication I will need to give her a different name, as that one is taken), she is in High School.  To help… think Buffy meets Black Widow—but with a lot more “Nerd” quality.  I tried to draw her a few days ago.  I am definitely no artist, but the head turned out a lot better than I thought for my first graphic using my SP3 and stylus.                                  Prompts, I’ve writing a couple prompt pieces for our writers group and will be posting one of them shortly.      

About the author

Hi, I am Jamie McCoard (also known as Tevyn or JMcCoard). This blog is about my thoughts and dreams towards becoming a published writer.  It's a long term goal.

If you would like to read more about me please visit About The Author.


Month List

Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.