Friday, May 14, 2010

Wiscon and Philosophy

Two weeks from now, I will be in Madison for Wiscon, the Feminist Science Fiction Conference. Going to readings and getting writing tips from the pros. Selling my freaky woolen creatures (hopefully). Staying with my best friend, which means learning new hooping tricks and playing (losing) endless geeky girl strategy games. Yup: my own version of heaven. And it's within driving distance.

One of the things I'm excited for this year is the free writing workshop Wiscon offers. I'll be getting my first 10,000 words critiqued by a small group of fellow as-of-yet-unpublished writers and an author. I've done this once before, two years ago. Here's where I was in the writing process at that time: I'd taken a Loft Children/Young Adult writing class; had a complete draft, with at least one full revision done; I'd gotten positive responses from my fellow classmates and instructor; my mom loved my story (cue flashing red warning lights.) I was ready to send my baby out to the world of agents. She was so cute, who wouldn't snap her up for a nice cuddle?

I sent out four queries.

All rejected within a couple days.

And then I went to Wiscon, and discovered the novel was not, in fact, ready for mass consumption. My pacing was off and, lo and behold, I wasn't writing for Young Adults like I'd thought. I was writing for Middle Graders. I got lots of great advise from the other writers, and the professional. And I've taken that advice and run with it. Plus, I've also taken another Loft class since then, this one focusing on Science Fiction, and I've improved the novel through two sets of revisions with my fancy schmancy super duper writing group. I know it's better. Much, much better.

So, I've been feeling the urge to start looking up agents again. But, this time, I'm going to wait until after Wiscon to send off any queries. Hopefully, I'll get feedback that assures me that it's just about time. And if not, well, I'll most certainly like the novel even more once I'm done working through whatever suggestions I'm given.

One last tidbit, to tie in with my last post. In the previous Wiscon writing workshop, the pro (again, who gave me tremendously useful advice overall) wondered if I needed the philosophy. Couldn't I tell the story without three teenaged pseudo-reincarnations of Plato, Thomas Hobbes, and Simone de Beauvoir? Maybe I can. But at this point, I still think the story is richer with the philosophical elements. I'm curious about any Wiscon feedback I'll get on this point.

Stay tuned.


Jon said...

Good luck! You'll do great!

Shawn Enderlin said...

Don't tell anyone, but I've never been to a Con. Well, there was the Star Trek con back in the early 90's, but I don't think that counts!

Jon said...

Me neither. Maybe I'll try out Wiscon next year...