Monday, March 14, 2011

Answers! Sort of. I mean, I basically don't know anything.

First: holy wow, you guys, I'm so stoked that y'all are excited for the contest! I've got the box of books all packaged and ready to go--you've got a week left to enter. And those of you who're signed up for my newsletter should have gotten an extra hint about April's contest, too!

Second: A little while ago, I posted an "ask anything." And now, without further ado: answers!

Edited to add: I have no flipping clue why the spacing is so off on this one. Sorry. 

N.E. Williams said... Have you ever doubted your writing when you decided to publish your work? I love writing and want to share my stories with everyone but I am scared that others wouldn't like them. What do you tell yourself if you ever have doubt and make it stay away?

Yes. YES. Actually, the closest I've ever come to giving up was just before I sent ACROSS THE UNIVERSE out. As for being scared to share your stories: I think everyone is like that. At least, every writer I know is like that. In fact, when I sent Book 2 to my critique partners, I distinctly remember sending a plea to them apologizing for how bad it was...

So, the short answer is: I have no idea how to make the doubt go away. None at all. I have it all the time. Instead, for me, it's a matter of living with the doubt, and sending my work out despite it.

The Blogger Girlz said...How do you balance real life with writing and how do make time for each without going insane? Also, any tips on plowing through a frist draft?

I have no idea. Time management isn't my strong suit. Basically, I just do whatever I can, whenever I can. I tend to write in huge, long bursts as quickly and as much as I can...and then not write for a few days. I also regularly ignore things like household chores, doing the dishes, and hygiene. 

As for plowing through first drafts: when I get stuck, I switch formats. For example, I tend to write on the computer. But when I get stuck, I use pen and paper. Also, changing location helps me. If I've been writing in one spot, say, at my desk, I'll move to the couch if I'm stuck, or even leave the house and go to the coffee shop. 

Natalie Aguirre said...How do you start a second book in a series and weave in the back story without doing an info dump?

I dunno. (That seems to be the theme of this post, huh?) It took me a lot of trial and effort to get the first chapters of my Book 2 written--and they're still not perfect. But that's how I write: I just write and write and write and hope something good comes out.

If you're working on this, I think that JK Rowling did a very good job of this, particularly in books 2 and 3. CS Lewis did an excellent job of this in THE SILVER CHAIR in particular.

Lianne said...What was the best day of your life so far?

My wedding. Ha! Thought it'd be something about writing, huh? And that's really high up there, honestly--but my wedding is the best so far. I was surrounded by everyone I loved, friends and family, and there was cake. 

Lindsay Cummings many times did you query ATU before you found your agent?

About fifty queries or so. But if you count up every query I sent for every project I worked on, I sent out several hundred queries. Keep in mind I've got ten trunk novels, and queried most of them extensively. 

jmartinlibrary said...Beth, we'd love to hear your words of wisdom for agented writers going on submission for the first time. Thanks!

Pray! Eat chocolate! Talk to friends! But...take out your neuroses on your friends, in private. Don't blog about it. Don't tell the world. Find a couple of trust-worthy friends and commiserate with them. Also: keep in mind that everyone's different. I know someone who got a book deal in a matter of days. I know someone who was on submission for almost a year before she got a book deal. So everyone's different--don't compare. Don't judge yourself by anyone else's stick. Also: write the next book.

Anita said...When is the second installment of "Across The Universe" coming out in bookstores? 

I have no idea! :D I would guess sometime around this time next year :)

More tomorrow! I know I've not covered all the questions--but I'll keep doing this tomorrow as well! Also, if you'd like to add a question, please do so here.

And remember! You've got a week to enter the contest!


Anita Saxena said...

Wow. It took fifty queries before someone bit on ATU?!? I just finished reading ATU, and I must say it is one of my all time favorites. I was turning the pages so fast because there was so much tension. I can not wait for the second book.

Aurora Smith said...

I must check this book out! I have two in line to read, and its freaking me out, I never get that low! HAHA!

Unknown said...

You give me hope when sending out queries!!! I know that during the process it had to seem awful sending out query after query but to us little people this helps! I like knowing that several were sent out so that when it happens to me I can panic LESS.

Samantha Cheng said...

It's so refreshing to hear honest answers about how hard it is to write and how it isn't all easy as pie :) I kind of want to be an author but I'm still judging my writing abilities and my professors just keep saying, "don't worry, it's not that hard!" So now I've found an ally (Beth Revis) for my side :D
Great interview and thanks for the giveaway!

Bkloss said...

Thank you! So encouraging--especially how many queries you sent out for ATU. Can't belive that. Just finished reading it--in one day. Your voice sucked me right in and I am biding my time for your next installment!

Christine Danek said...

I love hearing your journey. It makes me feel better to hear answers that are realistic. I know writing is tough, but I love it and I want to keep going. There are those days when I think, I am no way in the same league and this will never happen. Stories like yours inspire me to keep going. I can't wait to read your book.

Cherie Reich said...

I am amazed at how many people rejected ATU. I finished reading it yesterday (almost in one day), and it is frexing awesome! It's everything a novel should be. It does give writers hope to know to be persistent. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the great answers, including to my question. JK Rowling's books are great examples of books in a series. I guess I'll have to wait for book 2 of yours to see exactly how you weaved in the back story.