Wednesday, 4 August 2021

IWSG August 2021

It's time for the first Wednesday of the month and time of course for our monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers of all kinds can share fears and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today's co-hosts are PK HrezoCathrina ConstantinePJ ColandoKim Lajevardi and Sandra Cox.


This month's optional question is: What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

I know this is an answer that will probably come up A LOT today, but I'd have to say Stephen King's On Writing. I like the fact that it's partly an autobiography, which makes it more engaging than some other books that are focused only on theory. For an author starting out, it's very inspiring because they can see that even the great and the good had trials and setbacks starting out. And overall it has a very laidback and conversational style. I haven't picked up the actual book for a while, but you don't really need to when quotes come up from it so often on memes and social media. I'd definitely recommend to any new writer. 

What about insecurities for this month? Well, I've been venturing into uncharted territory by drafting a synopsis and query letter for my current WIP. These are notoriously hard to get right, and although I did struggle to reduce everything down to a couple of pithy paragraphs, I did quite enjoy the process too. I'm not supposed to enjoy it, am I? That probably means I'm not doing it right, and it will likely take a bit more polishing to get it right, or even just good.

More entries to this month's IWSG can be found here. I'm looking forward to picking up some craft book tips!

Also, don't forget there's only a few more weeks to enter for this year's IWSG anthology contest, with a theme of "Sweet Romance." Closing date is September 1. Full details can be found here.

26 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's awesome that you're writing a query letter and synopsis. It's been a long time since I wrote either. That's awesome that you'll be querying.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Yep, I have that book and have read it. I bet many have read it because it's a good reference.

Teresa

kjmckendry said...

That's my favorite one too! Good luck on your query and synopsis, maybe it's a good thing that you enjoyed that process!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Nick, I'm hearing so much about Stephen King's writing book 'On Writing'. Will put it on my TBR Pile.

Hope your writing is going well.

Chrys Fey said...

I personally enjoy writing query letters, but I always struggle with the synopsis. More because my muse is resistant to it than anything else.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The synopsis is always challenging!

Astrid said...

Isn't Stephen King the one who says you need to read at least 80 books a year and write 2000 words a day to be a proper writer? I saw that quote in Diy Mfa and it scared the crap out of me, as I can't read or write that fast at all.

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

Good luck with the query and synposis. Maybe you stumbled upon some voodoo magic that lets you enjoy the process. ;)

Karen Lynn said...

Good luck with the query letter! Those are terrifying... I know. And good luck with the querying, too. Happy IWSG Day!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The query is tough because it's so darned important.

Liza said...

Good writing is good writing...and it's fun, even it it's a query and or a synopsis! There's no rule that says writing them has to be awful! Best wishes. This must mean you are getting ready to query!

PK HREZO said...

Hey Nick! I don't think that means you're not doing it right! I love that you're enjoying the process. It's fun to look at our stories in different ways. Good luck in your process! Embarrassingly enough I still haven't read On Writing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - good luck with your query ... sincerely hope you're successful. Thanks for the thumbs up for King's 'On Writing' ... take care and enjoy the summer - cheers Hilary

Anne Higa said...

Now I feel like I might need to (finally) read On Writing again. It's been a while and so many people are mentioning it.
Thanks for sharing and best of luck with your pitch.

Anne from annehiga.com

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I agree, Nick. A synopsis and query letter are truly difficult to create. Bravo to you for enjoying and completing these. I need to do this, too. And I'm terrified! All best to you, sir!

JJ Burry said...

I agree that On Writing is better than many other writing theory books due to the autobiographical aspect.

Adrienne Reiter said...

I think King's On Writing autobiography is some of his best work. He's so candid about his personal life and how he writes. It dispels this 'romance of insanity' so many artists with substance abuse problems cling to. He doesn't even remember writing Cujo. That being part of his intervention is astounding. Bonne chance with your pitch!

Liz A. said...

You're enjoying the query and synopsis?!? Congratulations. That's great. There are always weird people who enjoy doing things most people revile. (I enjoy doing laundry.) Be happy that this isn't a chore for you.

Fundy Blue said...

A lot of people have mentioned King's "On Writing, Nick. It's one of my favorite craft books too. I hope that your synopsis and query letter yield great results. Have a happy and safe August!

H.R. Sinclair said...

Good luck on the query and synopsis -- those are so hard!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Yes! On Writing is super engaging. I love his autobiographical stories.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nick. Yeah, I found some good things in King's On Writing, but it's no way my fave craft book. All craft books have their place at different junctures in our writing life.

Diane Burton said...

I enjoyed King's book On Writing very much. So inspiring. Congrats on tackling your new project. Good luck!

Phil Huston said...

Good luck with the query letter. That's brutal self punishment - hopefully with a payoff.

After Firestarter my King enthusiasm waned. I spent 6 months one week with The Stand. I am hesitant to pick up his writing tome as my disenchanment was down to how how it felt like SK had fallen in love with the sound of his own voice. Admittedly a good one but still... It's enough for me he despises adverbs as tags (although they are there in low numbers). AA for the autobiography part, I was in the music biz for 40 years - how who makes it is as frightening in the lit world as in the music world.
Good luck again with that letter - "pithy" tells me you take marketing for what it is! shot in the dark

Kalpana said...

I agree with you about On Writing. Congratulations on enjoying the process of writing the query letter.
Also - thanks for the reminder about the IWSG anthology contest. I'm still waffling around trying to decide whether to enter.
I do wish that books from other parts of the world were easily available in India. Well, Kindle has solved some of that but not all.
Good luck with the synopsis.

J Lenni Dorner said...

That is a popular book choice, and with good reason.
I had a productive month reading for a read-a-thon, writing a few book reviews, checking in with hospitalized family members, and writing a WEP flash fiction.
Have you seen the notebook on the current (Aug 25) giveaway at Operation Awesome? That is some amazing custom art. Debut authors are always surprising me.
I'm ready for the summer heat to be over. 🥵