Writing Workshop: What Are YOU Writing?


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What are you working on right now?
A novel? Your best article ever? A poem? A film script?

Maybe you’ve just finished something you’re really proud of? Or you just can’t tell whether it should get a Pulitzer or be thrown into the trash?

Here’s your chance to share and discuss with each other what you are writing about.

Whet our appetite with the opening paragraph of your future bestseller, give us a link to your best article, or tell us what you are writing at the moment.

Who knows, your piece might even attract the notice of a major publishing house!

Here are some guidelines:

A. Writers:

* State what aspect you’re working on. For example, you might want to say, “Here’s a link to my article “Whatever” I’m currently working on eliminating superfluous words.”

B. Commenters:

* When commenting, first list everything you really like about a piece.
* Only then offer careful suggestions.
* Treat each other with respect, friendliness, caring, and honesty.
* Remember that we are all still learning.

Now it’s over to you. Take a deep breath. Then jump into the comment section and bring out your treasures!

 

Mary Jaksch is Editor-in-Chief at Write to Done. Grab her FREE report How to Write Like an A-List Blogger. Mary has helped thousands of students successfully create outstanding and profitable blogs at A-List Blogging and is the blogger behind Goodlife ZEN.

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46 thoughts on “Writing Workshop: What Are YOU Writing?”

  • James Zhao says:

    Although I’m not working on a piece, per se, the independent literary magazine I head just published its second issue. This is a feat I am quite proud of, and I’d like any kind of critique or comments on any part of the zine. Specifically, though, focus on my article, introductory letter, and layout.

    Thanks in advance.

  • James Zhao says:

    Bah, forgot the link! Here it is: http://www.locution-zine.com

    Download link is on the home page!

  • Glen Allsopp says:

    This sounds interesting, I look forward to seeing all the entries. I’m currently working on editing a 2,000 word blog post on Confidence, mostly because I think parts are repetitive and it could be significantly shorter.

    I’ll post the link soon :)

    Cheers,
    Glen

  • Mat Packer says:

    This is my latest article which I put a lot of time into, Two Months Down, Goal Check Time, and for someone who isn’t a good writer it was quite time consuming to write.

    Currently I’m working on re-writing my Grandfather’s home brew recipes, along with random stories of his. He’s been dead now for about 15 years and I really want to put something interesting together for our whole family.

    Cheers
    Mat

  • Ron Bailey says:

    I have begun a book on the idea of ‘covenant’ in the Bible. I have begun more than one book in the past which has never been completed but am finding Scrivener, a Mac application, a powerful tool at keeping me on track. It has a statistics panel which converts words into ‘paperback pages’. I am up to page 64!! and I would think about a third of the way through my book.
    yours
    Ron

  • Shanel Yang says:

    My current project is a screenplay with the working title “Gene Genie.” But, I don’t want to say what it’s about till it’s done ’cause Joe Eszterhas advises (and I believe him in this regard) talking about it somehow makes it impossible to actually write it.

    I decided to comment anyway because I wanted to say this: Regardless of what others say — even the so-called experts — you might nevertheless have a Pulitzer Prize winning novel on your hands. Don’t give up!

    The author of A Confederacy of Dunces, which book DID win the Pulitzer Prize for literature, killed himself because he had submitted that book to publishers and every single one of them rejected it. He then drove from New Orleans to Los Angeles to visit Marilyn Monroe’s grave trying to figure out what to do next with his life. Apparently, it didn’t help because on his way back home, he committed suicide. TEN YEARS LATER, his mother found the only remaining copy of his manuscript and kept pestering an English literature professor at a local university to read it. He finally did and loved it. He then convinced the right people to give it a chance; and, the following year John Kennedy Toole’s first and only novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

    Don’t give up, Fellow Writers! And, please don’t kill yourselves! ; )

  • I’m currently working on a book explaining how to stay calm and stick to your investment plan even when the economy and stock market go crazy.

    The companion blog to the upcoming book is at http://www.obliviousinvestor.com/

    To any others working on books, stick with it! It’s wonderful to hold your finished creation in your hands once it’s all done. :)

  • Tash says:

    I’ve just finished a review of the Perth Writers Festival on my blog http://hightealadies.blogspot.com/ I found it really inspiring to hear all these wonderful writers and readers share their thoughts and ideas.

    I think one of the key messages that stood out though was that published works are one of the few successes of writers and much of being a writer is writing and re-writing and working on your craft.

    I’m currently working on a novel, for awhile now, but am continuing to plug away at it.

  • Terry Heath says:

    I’m working on an MFA, which also means I’m working on a novel. It’s the culminating final project. I’m expanding on a short story I’ve already written, which was originally going to be a novel anyway. I don’t have that story posted online right now, so you’ll all just have to read the book! LOL

    In the meantime, here is a link to three pieces of microfiction (very, very short stories) I have written.

  • I am focusing much of my writing toward my writing.

    To be honest, there is a struggle of what type of writer I want to be–in essence, what is my voice.

    I really want to communicate to readers what in means to be a Soldiers with posts like this one: http://chaplainandrews.com/how-to-pray-for-soldiers

    But also to be a voice of change with posts like this one: http://chaplainandrews.com/indulgence-and-the-return-to-tradition

    At the same time–I like to talk about me and my life, once and awhile: http://chaplainandrews.com/20-minutes-on-the-treadmill

    Blogging has given my the platform to do this, but as I write more–I seek to develop within a market to be a voice people want to read.

  • Brian says:

    Here is the address to a book idea that I turned into a blog. It is a collection of articles focusing on the benefits of creativity and creative practice. http://www.artistandopportunist.com or just click on my name.

  • I worked with words, I knew what they could do, I could swing it and I did. Over 20 minutes and 973 words with just the right pauses in just the right places, the king of the Tri-fold brochure became a professional eulogist. I’ve worked the National Cathedral; it was a whole family. All of them gone in an instant on the DC beltway. He was a big mucky muck at AOL. I read passages from Haunted Heart and Beckett. I have eulogized children. I quote Tupac and Woody. I go deep and I connect. I back up the claim. I can make you cry and I can make you laugh. You walk out of my eulogies stunned to your core. Fucking happy to be alive.

  • I have had a plot and images running through my mind for some months now, finally wrote some of them down for a solid base on what I think will be my first book. Going to be a sword & sorcery tale heavily influenced with my Zen and Tao beliefs. Backdrop is a world devastated by misunderstanding and misuse of the world’s natural energy, and how the people in this age struggle with finding their balance with things as they are and with attempting to return the balance of things to as they should be. Very early in the process, and I don’t even have a title yet.

  • Monique Rio says:

    Right now I’m working on the last post of a series on my experiences with abstinence. Here’s a link to the first post: My Story.

    That particular article sounds clunky to me, so I’d appreciate feedback.

  • Julie M says:

    First, I love this blog and read most of your posts.

    This weekend, I got a lot of writing done and this blog posts sums it up with links to my latest articles.

    http://julies-journeys.blogspot.com/2009/02/productive-day-of-writing-with-all-my.html

    Thanks for asking!!

  • Tom Jansky says:

    Basically I’m writing videogames. Career-wise I’m torn between screenwriting and writing for videogames, and currently I’m leaning towards the latter. Three projects right now; one’s a 3rd-person action mini-game set in rural England (a rare location for fuckin’ anything, especially games), one’s a 3rd-person action epic set in rural England (… I like rural England) and the third’s a traditional FPS set in America’s southern states, which is built around the concept of a modern-day take on the Duke Nukem 3D model which worked so well in the 90’s.

    Right now all three are at the initial plotting/developing stage, I’ve been searching for writing workshops to help me develop my protagonists/antagonists, which is actually how I ended up at this blog. Thanks!

  • Will P. says:

    This is something I’m working on that’s in the beginning stages, it’s called Æther [unfinished]: http://willparkman.wordpress.com/
    I’m enjoy video games and movies/TV, I’m just feeling my way to see where my would stories fit in either medium.

  • My most recent post on my blog, I’m particularly proud of. Not to say it’s anything special… just that I feel good about it.

    The title of the piece is – “A Rushing River is The Ultimate Metaphor For a Wise Life”

    Link – http://punintended.com/blog/what-can-you-learn-from-a-rushing-river/

    Anyone who wants to take a peak, feel free. Any thoughts are appreciated, but not necessary. Frankly, I’d be happy if more people read this article.

    Cheers,

    Bamboo Forest

  • This is the opening paragraph of my YA fantasy novel, The Chosen:

    The attacks on the villages of Phantasma were horrifying. Prince Gastle sent in his best soldiers to lead the attacks, and they made sure everything was destroyed: the villages, the forests, the trees, the animals and all the people. All of Phantasma was in shock and grief. Many were very angry. And something needed to be done.

  • Lisa Dale says:

    I love all this great creative energy! It’s so interesting to see what everyone is working on. So much diversity.

    I write women’s fiction/romance for Hachette. Currently, I’m writing (revising) based on my editor’s suggestions for my new book, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, that comes out in November. There’s an excerpt on my web site http://www.lisadalebooks.com.

    I’m also about to compose an editorial letter for a manuscript consultation client. I love helping writers who are “just about there” but still need that extra push.

  • Currently my problem is having too many ideas and projects! But thats not nearly as bad as having a lack of ideas…My brain is pinging all of the time! It feels great to be in such a creative state of flow. My current project that I am (mostly) focusing on is a novel/film script package that I hope to sell and get produced here in australia. It deals with three young women who were raised in a crappy suburb and the choices they make in life. Drug addiction features heavily, as does love, loss and abuse. Its pretty heavy. Its pretty exciting :)

  • MoxieMom says:

    I just posted my latest narrative at http://www.moxiemom.com. I write these monthly as a syndicated column carried in two markets.

    I’m looking to publish a collection of these humorous essays/narratives under the title “Sleeping With the Laundry” but have yet to find a publisher.

    And I’m also looking to get them into additional magazines across the country.

    I’d like critique on what would make them easier to sell into more parenting publications or regional magazines. Or should I be shooting for national magazines or ezines? Should they be shorter, 650 words? Should they frame more?

    Maybe tips on where I should take these? Or what publishers are looking for narrative/memoirs type ms at this time.

    OK. Thanks for any help. Become a follower on the site if you like it. I just switched it to a blog and have only 2 followers.

    Fair’s fair, I’ll help critique others too. Now how to do that…

  • Vlad Dolezal says:

    @Bamboo forest:

    When I read this bit:

    “Round up every high school bully, every negative person who sincerely wants the worst for others and have them congregate around the river. Then, have them look downward into its clear moving water.”

    I just couldn’t help thinking the next sentence should be: “Then shove them into the river and run off cackling madly while they scramble for the shore and curse your name.”

    Just saying :p

  • I just posted a blog that makes me feel a bit like a whistle-blower. It gives me an image of a David (us) against Goliath (drug companies). Check it out. I love comments and critique!

    http://foodallergyassistant.blogspot.com/

  • @ Vlad Dolezal: Heh, that certainly could have been one avenue to have explored.

    Thanks for reading my article :-)

  • Canadian Dream says:

    Ok, I’ve got a couple of projects on the go, but I’m trying to focus on just one of them a non-fiction book. Working title: Free at 45: Retire Sooner and Happier.

    I’m up to page 80 on the 1st draft, so sorry nothing to link to yet. I’m plugging away for about a page a day so I hope to have the first draft locked down by May this year.

    Good to hear/see everyone’s work.

    Tim

  • Stephanie says:

    I’m off & on trying to work through a novel. The opening was published at a journal that went under & pulled its archives but I have a pdf of it on my site. The ms is just out of control. I’m not sure what I need to do with it but my current plan is to reread from about ch 9 ff and untangle it, maybe make an outline or something or what I have, and see where I want it to go. Plus blog, articles, essays, etc. that I hang in the cracks, like wet socks ;)

  • Volunteering for fun and jobs – the Prosocial Volunteer … is the working title for a short book on making the most of association volunteering. ASAE & The Center’s volunteer study shows association members are happy and willing to think about volunteering, and many take the plunge, but just as many are uncertain or just didn’t have fun the first time. The title captures the dual purpose of professional volunteering – creating a difference while investing in your profession and your professional development. My blog has a number of related posts including http://tinyurl.com/daqm8t and http://tinyurl.com/3p8fd9.

  • Jo Paoletti says:

    I am alternating between two projects. The big one is a book on the history of gender differences in American children’s clothing (think pink and blue…). I just sent the second chapter (out of 5) to my editor but would be happy to share with interested serious readers — I am concerned that it has too much costume nerdiness for the general audience. email me at jo dot paoletti at gmail dot com.

    My other project is a blog on ethical fashion/conscious consumption. I use it as a second writing outlet but would like more interaction/visitors/comments. (Blog linked to my name)

  • Randy W. says:

    Here’s a link to my new blog that I just launched today. I’m currently working on finding a way to reach a greater audience.

    Any ideas?

    http://www.sunshinepi.com/

    Sunshine Pi is a blog dedicated to achieving the continuous feeling of “It’s great to be alive!”

  • Jeremy says:

    I run a little site about boxing (http://www.glovegame.com) and I’m in the middle of writing an article about the benefits of compost. Where’s the link between compost and boxing? It’s there believe me. It’s a persuasive piece and hopefully it’s good enough to drive home a point.

    I do not write for a living, I work with my hands. I do try to learn what I can and I find this site to be one of my favorite resources. My main goal is to shorten my sentences or as Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch said: “Murder your darlings.”

  • Robin says:

    Isn’t it amazing how supportive writers are with each other, especially budding writers? This is a great idea!

    My career has been in finance and administration, but in mid-life I am allowing the creative nonfiction writer in me to be heard. I like to write about the meaning I find in everyday experiences, as well as lessons from childhood.

    I finally found the courage to create my own blog: http://robinlbernstein.blogspot.com/

    You are genuinely invited to visit. While I am always my worst critic, I would appreciate honest, yet gentle feedback.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Basho says:

    I am away from England and travelling Asia and so I am writing mainly travel articles for my site, the latest is possibly my most controversial, it is called “The American War” and is about the Vietnam Conflict. Link is here: http://www.outsidecontext.com/2009/03/05/the-american-war/

    I also recently wrote an article about how to setup a Windows Laptop for writing in peace, it is called “Zen and the writers desktop – 7 Steps to writers freedom”, link is here: http://www.outsidecontext.com/2009/02/16/zen-and-the-writers-desktop-7-steps-to-writers-freedom/

    Finally, I am also working on my novel; here is the first few paragraphs:

    “My mind seemed to watch, merely interested, merely quiescent to the experience, as my body was ripped apart. My body, now a shell around which my mind floated, was broken up by the flying debris of an explosion that brow beat it to a pulp like casually discarded apple sauce. But, for all that a violent injustice was irrevocably done to it, I cannot remember if it hurt. My body was then blown by enough high band radiation to reduce it down into broiling subcomponents, atoms and chemical molecules. All that remained of it was a puff of smoke. I no longer cared – as she was dead.

    It is often claimed that your life flashes before your eyes at the moment of death. What flashed in front of mine was her face. And then my body was gone.

    After that it seemed a little strange to still be thinking, but stress is a physical reaction caused by the passing of time and it was obviously a little late in the day to care about anything more happening to my physical being. Except for that final thought of her I had ceased to exist.

    I started to fade away…

    Then they took hold of me. What remained of my thoughts was suddenly embraced in a vice of unimaginable strength. Bright white light flooded into my mind causing my thoughts to twist and reel as though running with an electric current. Nothing could hide from this power and I found my mind pulled this way and that as though I lay on some specimen table being examined by God. A command, unspoken, but undeniable passed though me.

    “WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER?”


    Comments are always most welcome!

    Basho

  • I must say that you have all it takes to be a great writer.I love the tips you included in your article and I enjoyed reading other posts too.

  • Well, how do I fit? Being that I’m a student and blogger, I’m working on writing that’s assigned to me by professors. When I start my next research paper, I’ll fill you all in. :)

    -Mig

  • I am working on three novella length stories that I hope to have published together as a single book. They are all lesbian love stories – so to speak. Some people would probably find them rather dark. I admit the second story is very dark but the first and third are hopeful – the third actually even has a happy ending and some lighter moments. They are, however, definately rated R or X. I’ve tried like ten times to publish the URL of the blog they are on and been blocked as spam here. So – if this works – go to the blog linked to my name and I will publish a link there to the a*ult blog. Comments welcome, but be aware it is a*ult and does contain s*x.

  • Lauren says:

    I am working on a book for pro-crafters entitled “Indie-Made: The Modern Guide to Making a Living from the Stuff You Make.” I am hoping to be done later this year!

  • I’m a storyteller and I’ve shared some of the tales from my life on my blog and other places too. A recent post called Tackling Wisdom ( http://ohwowchronicles.blogspot.com/2009/03/tackling-wisdom.html ) is an example of the type of story I write. I told this story to a group of women recently and had them in stitches with laughter, but I don’t know if I am able to get the same emotion when I write. I’ve been working lately to do a better job describing the scene. But I am also just interested in knowing if these stories are interesting to me because I am the star (so to speak) or if there truly is some nugget of truth that I manage to get across to others. I would greatly appreciate any comments!!!

  • Mike Pugh says:

    I’m working on a travel memoir called Emergency Exit: Vagabonding Through Asia, Africa, and a Broken Heart.

    It’s Annie Hall meets Indiana Jones: A young Chicagoan embarks on a solo, round-the-world journey beyond a failed relationship and in search of adventure.

    The manuscript is done, but I’m enhancing a narrative thread about the breakup and the girl back home.

    The story begins like this:

    I’m in an overcrowded public minibus in South Africa and everyone around me is screaming. Our battered vehicle rolls backward, out of control, down one of the resplendent Twelve Apostle Mountains. We’re moments away from a 5,000-foot death plunge.

  • Björgvin says:

    As an audio engineering student I have a fascination for music. So I just started guest writing for http://www.emusictips.com
    I like writing as a means to understand my topics better, putting me completely on top of the things I’m learning.
    I’m working on an article on creative control in the studio, or producer vs musician which will hopefully be an interesting read.

  • John Wariner/Ned Pepper says:

    My editor is helping me finish a six year project, a time travel novel about a long board surfing, three-plane-owner flyboy who meets a time traveler while flying at 12,000 feet over the California Coast. The time traveler is Pancho Barnes, and she’s smoking a cigar and telling the protagonist, Pete, that he’s about to meet up with Amelia Earhart. It’s a wild time travel piece 2004, 1929, 1937 Amelia’s last flight and New Orleans. The first hundred pages are now on a agents desk in Dallas, and he’s no fly-by-night, he’s got the savvy to get the book published.

  • Ned Pepper says:

    What I’ve learned is that persistence pays off. If you give up, then you should have never started. I’ve learned that no one is going to help you, not really. They’ll give you a hint or two, but are not those who have the power are not going to jump into your lap with the keys to great writing. In twelve years I found that no one (really) cares about your writing. Not even close friends. Also, a great writing style is not going to come to you from books or lecture series or conventions or workshops. Writing style is going to come by pure persistence and from your ability to create awesome lines of literatrue. Oh, you can read novels, look at styles, listen to published authors and agents, but in reality, you had better write your buns off–it’s the only way you’ll ever find if you can write at all. The first five pages of my book on time travel I rewrote at least a hundred times, maybe more. And if you are going to write about anything, you had better be damn sure that the plot is different than anything out there. No agent will touch you if you don’t have something totally different to show them. And even then, they may not give a damn. Persistence will break down huge barriers, but it will take years, not days.

  • Ned Pepper says:

    Sorry about the “literature” mistake, but it flew off the page before I could amend. I need an editor all the time!

  • Chick J says:

    Just drop by on a recommend by Ramkarthik of Blogging Tips. I am listening to your remarks on commenting. I agreed with Ramkarthik they are really good.

  • Stan Morris says:

    I am beginning my second story in “Tales of the Ragoon.” I’m calling this one, “Kate’s Movie Star.”

    “What? You’re giving me to someone? You’re giving me to someone that I have never met?” she asked angrily.
    “You have met him,” responded the alien. “He is right there.”
    Kate turned to glare at the man sitting on the other end of the couch. He smiled weakly and shrank back. Kate turned back to the lizard.
    “Why are you doing this?” she demanded. “I was just having a night out. I was only a few miles from my home. My Dad doesn’t care if I go out. He probably didn’t even know that I was gone.”
    “You were fifteen miles from your home, you did not have your Comprehensive Personal License with you, and you are right. Not only did you not have a note from your owner, your owner did not even know that you were missing, and he has not been aware of your absence for five days.”
    That last part stung. Had her father not even known that she was missing? She knew that she was not a son, and that he considered his sons his pride and joy, but did she mean that little to her father?
    “I’m an American,” she responded bravely. “I’m a free person and I won’t be anyone’s possession. I’ll never understand you barbaric beings.”
    The alien leaned forward menacingly. Kate pressed back against the seat.
    “You are lucky that you are not on your way to the moon. Do you understand that?” It’s voice had changed. There was a dangerous quality to it that Kate had not detected until now. Maybe she was just imagining it. Whatever the reason, Kate swallowed and then nodded.
    “When you see my assistant again, you may thank her that you are still on this planet. Now get out of my office. Someone will be sent to escort you to your transportation.” The Ragoon waved them away.
    The man lifted a hand. “Before I go, may I ask if I can get my car back soon?”
    The alien gave him a menacing look. “Are you speaking of the car that you were driving when you almost killed me and my assistant and this girl? At this moment, it is a large, what do you humans call it, paperweight that is sitting on a dock in Oakland, waiting to be shipped to China.”
    “You crushed a Maserati?” asked the stunned man.
    “Into a very small block of metal,” the alien responded with a touch of satisfaction in it’s mechanical voice. In a daze, the man followed Kate out the door.
    Outside of the alien’s office, Kate rounded on the man. “I don’t care what they say. I am not your property.”
    The man held up his hands. “Hey, I know that. I’m just as much of an American as you are.”
    “And don’t try to…to take liberties with my body,” Kate said as her face reddened.
    The man snorted, “Take liberties with your body? Geeze kid, what century are you from? Here’s some news. Girls these days say, ‘Don’t try anything. That’s if they don’t use the F word.”
    So Kate used the word, after looking around to make sure that her father wasn’t around by some weird unlucky chance.
    The man sighed. “Look, kid, let’s back up a little. What’s your name?”
    Kate scowled. “My name is Kate Garcia, and I’m not a kid. I’m seventeen.” Well, I will be in a couple of days, she thought.
    “My mistake,” the man responded politely. “My name is Runyon Silverstar.” He smiled and waited. Kate gave him an impersonal nod. He frowned and waited. She looked bored. He stared at her.
    “You don’t know who I am, do you?” he said.
    Kate lifted her nose. “Should I?” she asked in a sacccarin voice.
    “I’m a famous movie star,” he said indignantly. “I was the lead in three movies. I was up for a part in ‘MacKenzie’s Rock!'”
    “Never heard of it,” sniffed Kate as she lied. “Never heard of you, either.” This was the truth.
    “Geeze, where have you been hiding?” Runyon grumbled. “Under a rock?”
    “So sorry, Your Greatness,” responded Kate sarcastically.

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