Friday, September 16, 2011

Focus Friday: Opening the Door

Stephen King advises to write your first draft with the "door closed."

Then, open the door.

How do you know when you're ready to open the door?  Well, if you've got a beginning, middle, end, and feel as though it's a complete story, you're probably ready. 

Now, to whom do you show it?

For me, the writers in my critique groups are the ones to see it first.  In fact, as this post is going live I'm away in the Northwoods with my writer's group critiquing and getting my work critiqued at a private, in-person retreat. 

For you, it may be a spouse or family member.  But what if you don't have anyone standing outside that door when you open it?  Or a group as lovely as mine secretly meeting in the woods like Dead Poets Society?

I've been working with a lot of new writers lately, and I find that many of them don't have a go-to person or group of professional writers to get feedback from.  That's why I started Rate Your Story, a new website in which you can get a first opinion when you decided to "open the door" and let someone else read your story.

The site, which offers a free rating service by a published author, will be opening for submissions very soon.  Beginning October 1, 2011, you can submit your story to Rate Your Story and get feedback from a professional.  It's confidential, free, and designed to be a first-step in your path to revision (and eventually, publication).

If you've got stories written and you're ready to open the door, consider submitting one or more at Rate Your Story.  There, you'll also find information on how to join a critique group, get a professional critique (with in-depth line editing and so forth), and helpful tips and info on writing, revision, and publishing.

Opening the door to experienced, friendly professional writers will help steer you on the path to publication.  You'll get honesty, and find it easier to "kill your darlings."

If you have no idea what "kill your darlings" means, I suggest Stephen King's On Writing.

Peace out, I've got woods to explore and manuscripts to revise on the beautiful cabin porch.

1 comment:

Marcia said...

Miranda, this new site sounds wonderful. I have ICL students who aren't sure how to go about getting a critique partner. Thanks for the great new resource! Enjoy your time in the woods. Sounds blissful.

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