Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blog Chain: The Best Mistake!

It's my turn to start off the Blog Chain this round! :)

I've been thinking about mistakes I've made so while persuing a writing career, and I realized something.

Our mistakes can be more useful to us than our successes--they not only teach us how to think critically and ask the right questions, they teach us how to grow.

My question for this chain is:

What is the best mistake you've made so far in your journey as a writer? How has that mistake helped you grow :)?

This past year, I've made some royal mistakes, which I'd like to share for the edification of all ;):

1) Write down names, things, and places! When writing a fantasy novel, you're bound for forget all of the crazy stuff you named as you went. Was it Sepharith or Sephorath? Castill or Cavills? Oh, geez, I have no idea, and the search function can't help if I don't know what I'm looking for!

What I learned: Create a glossary as you go! It will help immensely down the road.

2) Don't go it alone! Find some people whose writing you know is as good or better than your own (this part is important), and then ask them to please read your book and give you feedback.

What I learned: There are some things we are blind to, because we are just too close. Always ask for feedback, from several places if possible!

3) Take your time! Don't query too soon, and don't assume your book is finished before it is.

What I learned: If you're not completely sick of your own writing, you obviously haven't revised enough! ;) It's worth it in the long run.

What have you learned this year or decade from your Best Mistakes?

Don't miss Kate's answer, coming up next!

21 comments:

Sandra said...

This should be an interesting topic!

Kat Harris said...

Great topic. I can definitely relate to the last one.

Kat Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca Knight said...

Thanks, guys! :) I'm excited to read your posts!

Cole Gibsen said...

Oooh great topic! And great answer! Got to get thinking...

Shelli said...

taking notes is key - especially as we get older :)

Tere Kirkland said...

#3 is my biggest mistake. I promise not to query my new projects until they are absolutely finished!

Abby Annis said...

#3 is my best mistake too. It's all a learning process. Great topic!

Rebecca Knight said...

Cole: Thanks, dude! :)

Shelli: What are you trying to say? ;)

Tere: At least we're in good company! Good luck to you, my friend!

Abby: Totally :). At least we're figuring this all out as a group. Go, us!

Christi Goddard said...

I guess it's nearly unanimous at number 3 :-)

Christine Fonseca said...

OOHHHH....Love this topic! Hmm...think I need to sve my answer for my turn

Elana Johnson said...

Man, I've made so many mistakes! I like your number 3 the best. I'm always in a hurry, and need to take time to slow down and get it right. This is a great topic!

Michelle McLean said...

Oooo I could write a book on this topic LOL I can say "ditto" to all of yours :D

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great post! I starting querying agents only to find out my voice was off. Funny thing is, my crit group had no problems with it--they got it. But they're much happier with my new voice. My natural voice. ;)

So that's what I learned from my mistakes. Stick with your natural voice.

Eric said...

Great question. You're assuming of course, that I've actually learned something. Heh heh.

This is great advice to learn from though.

Oh wow, what do you know? I just learned something :D

JennyMac said...

Great question Rebecca and I liked your answers.

My biggest mistake has been thinking "first draft" and "final draft" could be the same thing. LOL.

Will you pretty please link your email to your blogger profile? I wanted to respond to your awesome comment on my blogaversary post but got 'no reply at blogger' as your email. :) BOO.

Rebecca Knight said...

Christi: Welcome to the site :D!

Christine: Okay, now I'm intrigued!

Elana: Thanks! I'm always in a hurry, too. That's the hardest thing for me to get over.

Michelle: I would totally read that book if you wrote it :).

Stina: Great point! I think a lot of times we try too hard and ruin that natural quality.

Eric: LOL! I'm happy for you ;).

JennyMac: Ooh! Sorry about that! This is updated now :). Please, email to your heart's content!

Lisa and Laura said...

I love this topic. Number 2 is vital. Whenever we share work with other writers, it feels a whole lot less lonely.

Mandy said...

I totally agree with you about writing stuff down. I created an entire lineage for one of my books that required the use of a family tree. And unfortunately, none of it came into play in the story. I just needed it as a reference point!

Shaun Hutchinson said...

I'm practically a mistake waiting to happen. I love this topic. Great post!

B.J. Anderson said...

Great topic! And I've made a lot of mistakes. It's going to be hard to narrow it down to just one.