Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group and Ninja News

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.


The very first posting of the IWSG was September 6, 2011. While I do cull the list now and then for non-participants, the group is now three hundred strong.
First, I’d like to thank Christine Danek, Rusty Webb, L. Diane Wolfe, Robyn Alana Engel, Marta Szemik, Siv Maria, Jamie Gibbs, and Annalisa Crawford- these awesome bloggers have posted every single month for the IWSG. (And if I missed someone, let me know.) Thanks for your dedication, guys!
Second, the list is so big, there is no way I can visit everyone. Those from the middle of the list to the end seem to receive less comments, so if you guys could pop in and visit a couple new bloggers, I would appreciate it!

My post today is a good one! With BuNoWriMo motivating me, I’m making good progress on CassaStorm. It helps that I spent over four months on the outline, adjusting and adding, to the point I told Rusty I needed to stop before the outline became my novel. I’m not the fastest typist, especially as the perfectionist in me ponders every word and line as I write. My pace is about 350 words an hour. Go ahead and laugh – I know some of you can type that in five minutes! It takes me longer, but I am making good progress.

Now this is something that might help other writers. When planning CassaFire, I relied on reviews to tell me where I needed to improve. Some people don’t read reviews, but I like to know what I can do better and what fans want, so I look for common themes. Usually I look at Goodreads and Amazon. Well, since I discovered my books were bouncing around on the Amazon UK bestseller charts, I noticed something else – many of those reviews were different (As in, new to me.) So, if you do look at your reviews for input, be sure to check all sites!

Click on the tabbed page above for a list of all IWSG participants!

Ninja News!

Michelle Gregory at Beautiful Chaos has something special today just for IWSG participants! She is giving away nine paperback and ten eBooks of her novel, Eldala. Thanks, Michelle – that is really awesome!

Several blogger buddies of mine, Helen Ginger, Stephen Tremp, and Mary Montague Sikes, have contributed to a short story anthology from the BBT Café called Corner Café – and it’s available now! Congratulations, guys.

Jennifer Hillier’s Freak comes out soon! And she’s holding a contest – write a story using the word freak. Signed copies of Freak and an Amazon gift card are at stake. That rocks, Jennifer!

And I just purchased the 3D BluRay of John Carter. I’m going to be busy watching movies this weekend!

What are your insecurities today? Do you read your reviews to improve? Ready to take advantage of the cool offers above? Want to come watch John Carter in 3D? We have extra glasses!

177 comments:

L. G. Keltner said...

I'm just waiting to have reviews. The idea of receiving bad reviews worries me, but not as much as never getting my writing out there.

My main insecurity right now is that my brain seems to be scattered most of the time. It's hard to get a book finished and polished enough for me to be happy with it. I need to conquer that before I worry about the reviews, I guess.

Karen Walker said...

Oh, Alex, I don't know where to begin with my insecurities. I did read reviews when they came out. Only got one bad one and it was from a blogger, not a professional reviewer and it was a personal attack, not a review. If I were to come out with a new book, I'm not sure what I'd do.
Karen

M.J. Fifield said...

I don't actually have any reviews to read but I imagine that when (if) I do, I'll peek at them through my fingers.

Enjoy your 3D movie. My body does not allow me to watch those.

Annalisa Crawford said...

ahem... *raises hand shyly* actually I've also posted every IWSG too...

I don't have many reviews - that makes me pretty insecure in itself :-)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Congrats to everyone with new books, and creative contests coming out! Glad your third adventure is coming along so well Alex! Julie

Sean McLachlan said...

The Ninjas are being very active today! I love it when we get a big fat Ninja news column. Keep writing, everybody!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Pleased your new book is progressing.
No one has reviewed my book apart from bloggers so I wouldn't know how I'd feel if a bad review came my way.

Have a good day,
Yvonne.

Lan said...

This was going to be my topic this week but I changed it last minute! I haven't had the pleasure/pain or reviews as yet but as I'm a book blogger I'm well aware of the kinds of comments a writer can get and there's a certain kind of dread that goes with it. Glad to hear that you're using reviews to improve your books. I always wonder if writer's ever read reviews of their books and get influenced to change things.

Marta Szemik said...

Thank you for the mention Alex. It's good to hear that CassaStorm is coming along well.
I read reviews now for the exact same reason! To look where I can improve the writing.
My insecurity today that has a lot to do with writing is actually aging. Yeah, I know. Can't do much abou that one :(

Marta Szemik said...

Thank you for the mention Alex. It's good to hear that CassaStorm is coming along well.
I read reviews now for the exact same reason! To look where I can improve the writing.
My insecurity today that has a lot to do with writing is actually aging. Yeah, I know. Can't do much abou that one :(

C.M.Brown said...

You are doing very well writing the third book in the Cassa series Alex. I have only had one review as yet, which was surprisingly good so I only have this to guide me so far! But I think it is a good idea of yours to let your readers guide you in what they want from your work, after all they are the customers!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Ninja is taking names and kicking arse.

Pk Hrezo said...

LOL... big ol belly laugh to the outline becoming a novel. I'm so guilty of that too. But aren't they helpful?? I keep mine beside me like a Bible thruout the drafting process. Thanks for all the links! :)

Michelle Gregory said...

unless someone specifically says they wrote a review, i try to stay away from them. i'm still too much of a wimp to read the bad ones because i know they'll send me into a nosedive.

Kyra Lennon said...

350 words an hour is pretty good going! I haven't got to that speed yet lol!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

LG, one step at a time!

Karen, that was just wrong! Ignore that troll.

Annalisa, I'm sorry - I have added you to the list!

Sean, always something happening.

Lan, I use them as feedback and try to do better the next time.

Marta, you're welcome, and aging sucks.

CM, exactly!

Lass, you got that right.

PK, they can grow that big!

Kyra, bet you type faster than that!

Siv Maria said...

What? Did I miss a month posting for the IWSG? Will have to go check that out! Glad the group is helping your motivation, it is a wonderful group! I still lurk around in there :)

Michael Abayomi said...

I am one of those new writers sharing their insecurities with the group for the first time today. So thanks, Alex, for creating this group where we can all express ourselves amongst peers.

P.S: I didn't realize John Carter was out on Blu-ray & DVD already. I guess Disney decided to cut their losses and pull it out of cinemas early. A smart move. Hopefully they'll get to recoup more of that $250 million budget.

Mark Koopmans said...

Never mind the 3D glasses, I just want to borrow your "Blog Borg" suit.

Mina Burrows said...

I'm having plotting issues, and I feel better reading how you took your time w/ plotting. Good to know. Love IWSG too. Thx.

Susan Roebuck said...

Yes, I read reviews too and I appreciate that someone has taken the time to write something for me. I really wish people, who only put stars in and nothing written, would just write a line and say WHY they liked or didn't like something. It would be a great help - even bad reviews. Thanks for the IWSG!

Jan Morrison said...

I haven't received any reviews for my writing except my plays. One review I got for a play was so bad that my friends thought he must have a grudge against me and my writing partners! He said we'd brought a 'new low to Nova Scotia theatre'. OUCH! But I'm OK now.
As a fellow BuNo person - isn't it great - this is such a better time for me than November. After all things grow in the spring and die in the late fall!
Thanks for having this group, Alex - I really appreciate it.

Brinda said...

I have mixed feelings about reading reviews and being influenced by them. I'm impressed with your outlining skills. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't have any book published so don't have any reviews. But I'll take your advice to read them to improve the next books. That's a great attitude toward reviews.

I wish I could outline a whole novel like you before starting to write it. It might make the writing go fast. I type fast but am a SLOW first drafter.

Rusty Webb said...

Hey - thanks for the mention. How would you even know who's posted when? I'm super impressed you can even keep up with that.

And John Carter is out on Blu Ray already? Is that possible? I'm probably not going to be seeing much of anything for the next week or so, and that included Prometheus. Sigh. Figures.

michelle said...

I think that 350 words an hour is good...
I'm off to check out some IWSG newbies, and to spread some writerly support & bloggy love their way...

Aleta said...

I'm not a writer because of insecurities, how's that?

Just recently my cousin finished writing a book and asked me to review it. She wasn't looking for flattery. She wanted to know where it could be improved upon.

I read it once through. Then read it a second time, because there were issues with the storyline that screamed out with red flashing lights...

Honestly, I was tempted to send back a "nice job" reply to her, but I couldn't. I sent an email at a time (something she wanted) on each page where I thought a change was needed about the storyline, etc.

I thought my actions would ensure a severed friendship. Instead, she was grateful and made a lot of the changes, even asked for more input and suggestions.

God Bless the writers with thick skins.

Old Kitty said...

Extra glasses of wine!??! In 3D??! Count me in!

But seriously! Well done you with your 350 words an hour!! That's like 349 words more than me! Yay!!

Take care
x

farawayeyes said...

You have a 3D TV, but of course. I'll be right over. Well actually...It takes about 15 hours to get to the states, with connections and all, but A 3D TV...and I loved 'John Carter'.

Christine Danek said...

One day I hope to read reviews of something I've published. Thanks for the shout out and I can't believe I've actually participated every month.
Thanks for putting this together, Alex.

Laura Eno said...

I read my reviews but sometimes they're contradictory, leaving me back at square one - everybody has different tastes/sees different things. Actually, my IWSG talks about writing for yourself today.

Congrats on CassaStorm's progress!

Tracy Bermeo (A2Z Mommy) said...

Still trying to get published, which I suppose creates an insecurity in itself. But when I do (notice the positive outlook? lol) I think I would use reviews and feedback for the next story.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Siv, if you didn't, let me know!

Michael, I think it's still playing overseas. And thanks for joining the IWSG!

Mark, what size do you need?

Mina, I take forever with an outline.

Susan, yes it would!

Jan, all you can do is laugh at those kinds of reviews.

Natalie, I'm slow on both counts.

Rusty, I have a list and check it every month as best I can.

Aleta, your friend had the right attitude!

Kitty, for you, yes! Glasses of wine.

Christine, you have!

Juliana Haygert said...

Glad you're making such great progress with CassaStorm!
Hm, I think I'm gonna buy John Carter's bluray today lol NEED to see it again ;)

Jess said...

Keep it up, Alex! If you write 350 words an hour, that might save you time when you're writing your second draft! So in some cases, you might be better off :)

Have a great day!

recoveryalongroute66.com said...

Alex,

I'd never laugh at you about your typing speed. And I think that's where I fail the MOST, is not having a strong enough outline. I think it's awesome that you worked for four months on an outline!! You rock!
--Chris

kmckendry said...

Congrats on your progress! I don't type fast either, but I'm getting better at not worrying about every word and just getting the ideas written. I hope I'll be left with something good enough at the end that it's worth editing! :)

Bob Milne said...

Reviews can be great, but I'm guessing you need a pretty thick skin before diving into them. :)

Jennee Thompson said...

Congrats at your progress...that's always the first step, making progress!

Can't wait to hear what you think about John Carter. I haven't seen it yet because I've heard mixed reviews.

Charmaine Clancy said...

John Carter is one of my favourite films, I'm definitely going to have to grab the 3D version!

Have joined up for the insecure fun, will visit some middle-dwelling blogs :)

Isis Rushdan said...

I'm a fast typer, but a slow writer because I think about every word and have difficulty just letting it flow.

Way to go on having a meaty outline for your next book.

When my first book is published next year, I don't plan to read reviews. If NYT bestselling authors didn't read them on their climb to the top and recommend against it, I'll follow their advice. I think a writer can get great feedback from impartial beta readers that aren't friends/family. The danger with reviews is that many writers don't realize they can't please every reader no matter what they do.

WTG on hitting Amazon UK!

Louise Bates said...

350 WPH is nothing to be ashamed of! I would rather type slowly and think about each word than zip through a draft quickly and have to go back and delete over half of it later.

I tend not to be a heavy outliner (I get bored when writing the story if I already know every detail ahead of time), but I will say that the few times I've done a detailed outline has made the summary and query letter so much easier. Good and bad points to each way of doing things!

Michael Pierce said...

That's awesome to here about our CassaStorm progress. I shoot for 500 words an hour, but much of the time only hit between 300 and 400. Hey, we still get the job done! I didn't know about different reviews on the different Amazon sites, I'll have to check and see if I have any reviews elsewhere.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Juliana, it was a great movie.

Jess, I hope so.

Thanks, Chris!

Jennee, I thought it was awesome.

Isis, I don't try to please all, just the general masses.

Michael, I never thought about different reviews until I looked.

Clarissa Draper said...

Lots of great news. I hope your writing goes well. I didn't post today because I needed a day to rest but I'm enjoying the other entries.

L.G.Smith said...

That's interesting that you read your reviews and use them to shape your next novel. It's probably a very good idea as far as pleasing your fan base, though I'm strangely reminded of that scene in MISERY where the author upsets one very psychotic fan by going against her expectations. :P

Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

Happy writing this month! I finally remembered to post as part of the group. :)

LynnRush said...

I do read EVERY review. I take them all to heart and use what I can to grow from them. I've always believed you need to keep a teachable spirit through this writing journey, that includes what readers have to say about things. John Carter... Oh gosh. I haven't even watched it on a normal screen let alone in 3D. LOL!!!!

Have a super day!

Lisa Regan said...

I would imagine that reviews are very useful especially since the people writing them are not in any way worried about hurting your feelings! You probably get a lot of honesty. I used authonomy for awhile for my books and it was like that--basically people said what they thought. EXACTLY what they thought. Although some of it was quite blunt, it was extremely useful. Also please, don't worry about being what you consider slow. The really good stuff takes time! ;)

Stephen Tremp said...

We'll be watching John Carter this weekend. Not in 3D, although we drool over the 3D TVs when we're in Costco. That's going to be our next Christmas present to ourselves.

LD Masterson said...

Well, I'm still at that point where rejected queries take the place of negative reviews and they rarely offer tools for improvement.

I did notice a tiny theme in some IMSG posts today. Invisibilty. I can relate to that one.

Keep chugging away on CassaStorm. Speed is highly over-rated.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think I posted every month . . .except there was that one month that I was late by a day . . hmm, I'll have to check now. That's how forgetful I am. LOL. \
John Carter rocks!

[Retro-Zombie] said...

I see life in 3D... I get dizzy, so I took the world off. Now I am blind.

Please give out your thought on John Carter...

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot said...

Congratulations on the writing progress!!!!! That is always a grand feeling.

I'm looking forward to reviews so I can know what readers want and don't want. Right now I rely on voting and asking the few that have read my book.

I'd come watch John Carter 8-D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Clarissa, that's all right.

LG, I hope that doesn't happen to me.

Lynn, my attitude exactly.

Lisa, hope so!

Stephen - get one! 3D rocks.

Tyrean, let me know.

Jeremy, it's awesome!

Miss Jack, join us!

Cate Masters said...

Reviews can be a great source of feedback, if they strike a chord with the writer, and particularly if several reviews echo the same idea.
Is John Carter worth a purchase? You'll have to let me know! That's one movie that's received very mixed reviews.

Suze said...

I really enjoyed 'John Carter.' It had some narrative surprises that titillated my intellect and I appreciated that. I was a bit bored by the initial spectacle but the Thurns (sp?) and their MO had my imagination gripped. Hats off to Edgar Rice Burroughs and hats off to the people involved in adapting his work.

Huge thumbs up. I watched, 'The Avengers,' 'Iron Man' and 'JC' all in one weekend and loved 'JC' the best.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Alex, I'm still on the fence about John Carter. I've seen to many negative reviews. I'll rent it and see if it's worth watching. Is 3-D TV worth it?

Julia King said...

I will be posting my IWSG soon. I hope it helps. And I'm excited to read other group members posts. I've been waiting impatiently for the first Wednesday of the month to come. I'm glad I found out about it.

3D glasses story for you: My parents went through this phase where they watched 3D movies all the time at home. Back when I lived with them, I snuck up on the and snapped a picture of them sporting their wicked cool 3D glasses. They didn't even know. My parents looked like that guy from Back to the Future who wore those funky sunglasses in the one that took place in the future... I have no idea who he was but they sure looked like him. My mom and dad laughed when I showed them the pic later on. haha

Jen Chandler said...

Best of luck with the new novel! That's exciting :D

I just visited Michelle's blog and found out about the giveaway. Downloaded my copy about twenty minutes ago. I'm looking forward to reading it! There are SO MANY books coming out this month and SO MANY fellow bloggers whose books I haven't read yet. Yours included...*hands head in shame* That's one of my goals this year: read books by bloggers! Huzzah!

Always a joy to participate in IWSG day!
Cheers,
Jen

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi Alex, thanks for organizing this support group. I'll bring the coffee and donuts next time.

Learning from reviews and incorporating those lessons into new novels is indeed important. I've changed some of my writing from third person omniscient POV to third person limited based on some reviews.

Nicki Elson said...

I definitely read the reviews - and separate the wheat from the chaff to see what I can learn.

Great job making progress on CassaStorm. Everyone has their own writing process, so stay true to yours, bruthah!

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

I almost forgot to be insecure today, about writing that is. Luckily, I clicked on Reader and was reminded. It was timely, really. I am insecure about the external things, but embrace the connections I make.

Play off the Page

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I would read my reviews if I had any. I am glad your progress on your latest is going so well. Enjoy JOHN CARTER. No 3D home unit for me yet ... probably never actually. LOL.

Negative reviews means at least someone has read your book. That they did not like it might say more about them than your work.

Summer Ross said...

Congrats on your progress, Alex. As far as John Carter goes, I think I'll wait until it comes out on video.

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Great idea about the reviews. Be carefull, though, some comments can be really left handed.

I watched John Carter last night. Let's just say it was better than I had expected it to be.

Cherie Colyer said...

Congrats on making good progress. I do read reviews and like you I keep them in mind when writing my next novel.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cate, that's how I feel. And yes, saw John Carter in the theater and thought it was awesome.

Suze, agreed he wrote a masterpiece!

Maurice - YES!

Julia, glad you've joined us. And those old glasses were awful. Bet the photo was funny.

Jen, that' all right.

Jennifer, we can learn.

Nicki, I will. Not like I can write faster anyway.

Roland, true.

Cherie Reich said...

I do read my reviews, especially to see where I can improve. Of course, not every book is for every person, so as writers we have to be careful to listen to reviews. :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

The IWSG is so incredibly helpful. :) I will try to start at the bottom of the list this month and work my way up from there.

Julie Dao said...

If I get published, I think I'll read my reviews too... although it might be scary sometimes. It's always good to know what people are thinking and use it as a way to get better.

Andrew Leon said...

Yeah, I'd watch that again. Do you have a big TV?

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I know I'll read reviews, and I know I won't like all of them - I have only once seen a book that was straight five stars on amazon.

I find a great amount of satisfaction in knowing that you are slow at getting your draft done, especially after reading Cassie's speed. I probably won't get to as many Insecure Writers this month as I usually do because I finally figured out where the heck my story needs to go next. (YAY!)

Nancy Thompson said...

Funny you should bring reviews up. I just wrote my third Amazon/Goodreads review yesterday. My policy is to only review books I love. I don't think it's in anyone best interest to publicly slam an author just because you didn't like their work. I don't think I'll be able to NOT read my reviews once they come in. I know I shouldn't get hung up on it, but I probably will, that is until I drive myself nuts & restrict myself. It's just way too subjective to put much stock in. I mean, when I was reading a couple of the reviews on the book I was reading, I thought, "Am I even reading the same book they read?". My opinion was so completely different. Luckily for most authors, most reviews seem to be kind & positive. I hope I'm that lucky.

As for John Carter, it's not my kinda flick, but I'd do anything to sit watch with you!

And my insecurities are too deep & vast right now to even think about, which is why I chose to write a more positive IWSG post today. I didn't want to whine again!

TL Conway said...

I'm usually more guilty of working on my outline than I am of my actual MS, so yes--figure out how to put it down and pound out the words. Then tell me your secret. :)

My insecurity for today? That I won't get it all done and I'll end up a ball of wasted opportunity. Gee, no pressure...

Tobi Summers said...

I had a problem when I was writing fanfiction when I'd see a negative review that was angry about a subject I'd chosen to include in my writing (for example, two gay characters). So then I'd go and write something deliberately designed to piss the reviewer off. And then I'd call him out in the story out of spite.

I only did this when I felt the review was homophobic or racist or something like that (*not* when it had to do with my actual writing). I'd like to think I won't do that with a real book. I'd really, really like to think that.

Carol Kilgore said...

Ah, something else to add to my growing list of things to remember. Thanks.

Mark Noce said...

Wow! 300 strong:) My how it's grown!

Also, neat that you got the John Carter DVD, I've still been meaning to watch that film.

Cassie Mae said...

SWEET! Keep going with Cassastorm and you know, you're uber smart to look at your reviews to help you improve and stuff. If it were me, I'd grab a pint of B&J before sitting down to look through them, worried the whole time about what I'd see. Not that you have to worry about that, since probably all the reviews you get are positive.

cleemckenzie said...

How do I love thee, insecurities? Let me count the ways.

I've never appreciated this angst-releasing monthly post as much as I've appreciated today.

Tonja said...

I think as a writer (and a person) you can't please everyone. You never will, no matter how hard you try, so you should focus on what you know you do well. Very brave of you to read the reviews.

I think I posted for all the IWSG's but maybe not. I posted for all the ones I remember....:)

Patricia Lynne said...

Crap, I forgot about this again. Even with the badge where I see it on my blog, I keep forgetting. (I think I got culled too. Alex, I'm trying to post, promise!)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Some days my list of insecurities are longer than others. I pick one for this coming Monday's Musings.

As for typing speed. I don't think it matters what the speed is so long as you're moving forward. Looking forward to this one. :-)

I've heard of Corner Cafe, but haven't had a chance to look at it. Life has been like riding a rodeo bull the last few weeks. Sheesh.

Oh, and I saw The Avengers on date night with hubs Sunday. It. Was. FABULOUS!! I took my son to see it yesterday afternoon, and it was still great. Have you seen Battleship yet? What was your take on it. It looks good, but I think Snow white is next on my list. Did you see the trailer for Promethus? Wow.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Gina said...

I, too, think that reviews are there single best way to improve our writing and our plotting. Writing is an art in constant evolution; as we evolve, so do our stories and listening to our intended audience's comments helps us get there faster.

Thanks for all your dedication to so many projects, IWSG is a great group to vent those crippling moments of doubt that besiege us and become stronger in our numbers.

Way to go, Alex!

Patsy said...

That's a coincidence - my own IWSG post is about reviews and ratings! Yes, I do read my reviews and take them into account.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Summer, it came out yesterday.

Wendy, I take them all with a grain of salt.

Rachel, thank you!

Julie, exactly!

Andrew, 55".

Tasha, then by all means keep writing.

Nancy, you never whine. And you're right not all people like the same book. The reviews that are the most helpful to me (and I put more faith in) are the ones that said they liked it, but... If I see a lot of consistent 'buts' I know I need to work that issue.

Cassie, CassaStar has some low ones but all the ones for CassaFire are good. So I guess I did improve.

Tonja, if you did, let me know.

Patricia, that's all right. Sign back up when you are ready.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I just got my copy of John Carter. Can't wait to watch!

I love IWSG Wednesday. Best blog day of the month.

Tracy Jo said...

Today I am so happy that I signed up for IWSG because it got me back out here. It has been a crazy month. That is great about CassaStorm...progress feels so good! Off to check out the offers! As always, thanks Alex!

Johanna Garth said...

I agree. I read every review, especially the negative ones looking for ways to improve.

My insecurity today? I feel fat and swimsuit season is coming. Yes, you probably don't want to touch that one with a ten foot pole!

Gwen Gardner said...

1) I'm not to the review stage yet
2) Those are some awesome giveaways and I'm feeling like a winner!
3) I'm doing BuNoWriMo, too, but not getting very far - I had no outline yet so had to start working on one
3) 5.83 words per minute? I'll leave that one alone...

Gossip_Grl said...

Congrats on the ISWG getting to 300. Also Congrats on the new WIP. It sounds like you are making great progress with it!

Christine Rains said...

Those are great offers! Thanks for sharing them with us. I'd love to watch John Carter in 3D. I have it on the top of my Netflix list. Can't wait!

Hart Johnson said...

So glad BuNoWriMo is working for you!!! I write a lot faster than that, but I also know I have to REwrite a lot more than you do. I think in the end, getting it RIGHT takes about the same time.

Arlee Bird said...

350 words an hour doesn't sound too bad to me, but I get distracted a lot and my mind wanders.

I've been watching Fellini's 8 1/2 this week and all the special features on the double disc. I'll bet no one wants to join me for that.


Lee
Wrote By Rote

The Angry Lurker said...

John Carter is worth the watch?

Jamie Burch said...

Glad you're doing so great with the writing, Alex!

Been looking forward to watching John Carter. :)

Rick Daley said...

I read reviews. I don't think I would be able to keep myself from it!

I haven't seen John Carter yet, but at some time I will. I'm not familiar with the source material at all so it will be interesting to watch.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Thanks for the shout out, Alex! YOU rock!

And I look forward to your John Carter review. Missed it in theatres but heard it was great. Have I mentioned I'm jealous of your 3D TV? :)

Jan Arzooman said...

Just finding your group today, Alex. Thank you so much. I'm on the fifth blog of the morning and enjoying reading others' adventures in life and writing.

Jan

B. Radom said...

Just found you on "blogs of note". Looking forward to reading your books! I still have a few John Carter of Mars books to read before I watch the movie, but looking forward to your review, all the same!

Jamie Gibbs said...

I'm not a fan of 3d movies, and since Avatar I've refused to watch anything in 3D. I'm interested in seeing John Carter though; for all the backlash surrounding it it still looks interesting.

Just had a look through; I've posted every month too (though I need to sort my labels out on blogger, some posts have IWSG, some have the full title. Whoops!)

Charles Gramlich said...

We've got a storm coming in here as I type this. I don't think it's a Cassastorm, though. :)

Leovi said...

Better to write slowly and with quality.

Milo James Fowler said...

I don't care what the critics had to say; I thought John Carter was tons of fun. Made me feel like a kid again, watching Star Wars for the first time. Keep up the good work on your next bestseller!

Myrna R. said...

Hopefully some day I'll worry about reviews. For now, I have to get myself motivated to write something. So glad to have discovered this site. I feel motivated already.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Ugh. I still haven't started BuNo. Sigh. Stupid day job interferring with the writing

Catherine Stine said...

Insecure about... pick a topic, any topic. Right now, insecure about being able to write fast enough. About my block against doing a press release and all of the myriad of things I need to do. Have fun with those 3D glasses at the movies this weekend!

Katherines Corner said...

congratulations to all of the talented authors. xo

Joshua said...

Where's the viewing of John Carter?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Sia! Avengers only gets better with repeat viewings. Battleship was dumb but I really enjoyed it. Snow White was last week and I didn't enjoy that one.

Gina, glad you're enjoying it! I'm still trying to get around to as many people as possible, so be patient with me.

Patsy, I saw that!

SL, thank you for saying that.

Tracy Jo, glad you signed up as well.

Johanna, but you look thin!

Gwen, yeah, I'm slow.

Hart, I think it does!

Lee, enjoy!

Lurker, yes! That's why I purchased it in 3D.

Rick, the books are really good.

Jennifer, you're welcome. And don't hate me for my 3D TV...

Jan, welcome! I'll be visiting soon.

B Radom, thanks!

Jamie, sorry I missed yours! I'll add you to the list.

Leovi, that's what I'm aiming for.

Milo, I agree!!

Myrna, welcome!

RaShelle Workman said...

Alex - I love the IWSG. It's such a great idea. Lately it seems my blog has been obligated. I'm i'm insecure for sure. Today it has to do with feeling like I have a ton to write, and that I can't get it out fast enough. Then when it does come out I question the "goodness" of it.

Thanks though, for having such a cool group. You're awesome.

And I'll publicly thank you today for mentioning me and my book, BLOOD AND SNOW, on Monday. You seriously rock!!!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I guess I haven't missed one. I think I just impressed myself.

Delighted you are making progress with your book.

I read my reviews because I wanted to get better.

Krista McLaughlin said...

I just joined your insecure writer's group and I'm glad that I did! Support is definitely important with writing. :)

Some days I only write 200 words in an hour, depending on how stuck I get, so don't feel bad. :) Keep going! :)

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

I always thought this is the best way to overcome insecurities - talk about them; admit to them; share my concerns with others. Even if I don't participate in The Insecure Writer's Support Group, I share the vision :-)

Ciara said...

Congratulations on the progress with CassaStorm. You know being a fast typist just means we have more clean up in the end. You know I analyze every review. I'm always looking to improve my writing.

M Pax said...

Happy IWSG! Great on making progress with CassaStorm. I wish I could outline more honestly. Wish my brain worked that way. Maybe in the future.

I recently got a fan email that had me making some additions to chapter one of Stopover. If they're not just being snarky, I do take critique into consideration.

I have Torchwood 4 and Game of Thrones to watch on dvd. Yay.

Lauren said...

I love that you read reviews to get better. That's awesome, and an encouragement to readers to write detailed, helpful reviews. :)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Congratulations on all your progress, Alex!

I do like reading my reviews to find ways to improve.

John Carter in 3-D...cool!

jamieayres said...

Congrats on everything, Alex:) One day I hope to read my reviews . . . for now I just read blog & critique comments~CHEErs!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Thanks for mentioning me as someone who's been consistently insecure, Alex. =)

I dream of a day when I can review a review. I may curse that day too, right? Smiles.

xoRobyn

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

RaShelle, that's all right. And I'm not writing fast enough either. Oh, and YOU ROCK!!!

Diane, you haven't missed a post.

Krista, welcome, and that's good to know!

Thank you, Angela.

Ciara, maybe that's it - less mess in the end.

Mary, snark not appreciated!

Elizabeth, yes - 3D!!

Robyn, the blessing outweighs the curse.

Lynda R Young said...

There's a danger to reading reviews. 1. it can get depressing (lol) 2. you could fall into the trap of catering to the fans and not going with the story in your heart. For an example of this happening see the Star Wars movies eps 1-3 ;)

Congrats on your terrific progress.

Allison said...

That's interesting that you look at reviews to improve.I notice even in my critique group, often someone says one thing, and then another person says the exact opposite; it takes skill and tenacity to weed out the good advice from the bad.

Allison (Geek Banter)

Helena said...

My main insecurity never ends: it's the feeling that whatever I write is never truly good enough, that I should still polish it, that there are a few words somewhere in it I really should change.

Enjoy John Carter. It was dissed by the critics but I had fun watching it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, I think bad writing and directing killed those films. I'm still writing what I want though!

Allison, that's why I throw out the extremes.

Helena, I thought it was awesome.

alexia said...

I'm sure I'll read some of my reviews when I get published. Thanks for all the news!

Ella said...

oops, busy getting daughter ready for camp and didn't post! I will go make the rounds and visit!

Internet was down when I got home. It just came back up...augh~

Enjoy the movie, sounds fun!

Congrats on your progress! I think you are wise to gather insight from the reviews. It is important to listen to your fans! :D

T said...

Speaking of reviews... I hope you'll post one on your review of John Carter in 3D because the ones I read were terrible and I have not seen it yet!

In other news, thank you for creating this group... the amount of support and encouragement going around is so inspiring! I look forward to participating every month... and if I ever (finally) publish an entire book, I promise to openly read and learn from all reviews :-)

Carrie Butler said...

I love your take on reviews, Alex. :) Congratulations on the progress!

tfwalsh said...

I've been slack last couple months with IWSG... life has thrown me a few hard balls, and I'm trying to get back to my feet... I'll be back next month I hope:)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I keep any critique in mind as I plod through my next novel. I haven't seen John Carter yet. Will probably watch it on demand.

Sherry Ellis said...

Reviews are helpful if they are given by thoughtful people. Those are the ones I value.

Kelly Polark said...

We have the 3D glasses and TV too. My fave 3D movie that we watched at home was HUGO. So lovely.
Enjoy!!

Dani said...

Thanks for mentioning the Corner Cafe here, Alex - it was a lot of work but so worth it! Wish you had submitted a story, too. Maybe next time, eh? http://www.amzn.to/Cornercafe is the Amazon link and it's free this weekend!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ella, that's all right! And I want my fans to be happy.

T, I'm so glad you're enjoying the group! I'm going to visit more participants tomorrow, so will see you then. And I though John Carter was great when I saw it in the theater.

Kelly, that was my favorite as well! Such a magical film.

Dani, next time! Just came when I was promoting my book and then co-hosting the Challenge.

Jemi Fraser said...

There are so many blog buddies with stories in anthologies lately! I need more time to read!

Imogen said...

Insecure? I'm all over insecure. I'm insecure about showing my writing to people, and getting feedback. I'm always worried that people will judge my writing because I'm a teen, even though I know a lot of people will try not to. And I worry that I'll never write well enough to do anything. Hmm, I could almost be a candidate for the Insecure Writer's Group.

DeniseCovey _L_Aussie said...

Great post Alex. A lot of participants now which is a lovely way to tap into a lot of useful info. It's always good to read about the way someone writes a novel so thanks for sharing. You obviously don't align yourself with the 'just slap those words onto the page and fix them later' crowd. Whatever works for you I say.

Denise

Stephanie said...

Glad CassaStorm is well on it's way. Never be ashamed of your words per per. I average 1000 words per half hour, but most of that is from letting my cat walk on the keyboard. Or at least, it would fair to think that from the state of my initial drafts.

I have more than a few insecurities, most centered now on my novel. Will my cover art look decent? Did my editor do a job worth the money paid? I've already found two mistakes she missed on page one.

I'd love to see John Carter, but my next theater jaunt will be to see Brave. The main character's state of the art computer generated curls have hooked me.

Marla Mayes said...

Hi there! Like several folks above, my insecurity at the moment is being a slow writer - and I'm just writing internet articles.

I'm so impressed with all of the novelists, congrats to everyone that got it done!

Someday maybe for me I'll go there, but for now, just quickie articles to try to earn a living from writing.

Melissa Bradley said...

Posting late again. LOL Sorry! I can't believe we've been going at this since September and to think I've only missed one month. :) You've done an amazing thing for us.

I can't wait to get John Carter. What a great film, it deserved much more praise than it received. I sincerely wish they do another, but that seems a lost cause unless the DVD/Blu-ray sales soar.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Although I always claim I have no insecurities, I've recently discovered I have query block. I need to give myself a good talking to. :D

Kela McClelland said...

You already know I'm not having any insecurities right now, well, that's actually not completely true. I realized this afternoon that I'm only compeltely secure when it comes to writerly things. I'm still having issues with my 5yo and it's making me a littl insecure. So, perhaps my post wasn't 100% true? I mean, it's not like that's writer related so I guess it's okay...

Oops, sorry Alex, didn't mean to ramble. I did check out some of the offers you posted, very cool. Oh and WOOT! for getting progress on CassaStorm :D

Kela McClelland said...

completely/little* Jeez don't know what was going on there...

Jeremy Bates said...

Hey Alex.

When you watch John Carter take a look at the airships used in a battle scene and see if you've seen it in any other recent movie.

Cheers!

ediFanoB said...

Reading reviews? I read my reviews often before I post them. I always have lurking doubts whether I found the right words to express my thoughts.

I'm one of these persons from the other side of the fence. I'm an avid reader and I'm someone who tries to share his thoughts about books.

In the end it is mostly a question of personal taste.

- Do I like the style of an author?
If I can bath in the author's onomatopeia I will be less harsh with possible flaws.

- Do I like the story,characters and setting?
If there is nothing to identify with everything is lost to me.

Most important thing for me is honesty.
It is not helpful for the author nor for other potential readers to butter up the author.

My reviews are far beyond to be perfect but they deliver my honest thoughts about a book.

ediFanoB said...

I totally forgot to talk about the writing pace.

There is a big difference between typing and writing.
I type faster than I can write.
To write (which is much more then simply hitting keys) 350 words per hour is good.
I never measured when I write a review.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Imogen, you are welcome to join us next month!

Denise, thank you.

Stephanie, you can only control so much. (Including the cat on the keyboard!)

Marla, if that earns you a living, then stick with it.

Melissa, they really dropped the ball with marketing for John Carter. I wish there were more as well.

Patricia, query block - that's a new one.

Kela, but that probably affects you in all areas including writing.

Jeremy, will do!

Edi, you probably write the most honest, effective reviews of anyone I know. And thanks - it just feels that pace is slow for writing.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for all the news and links. I can always count on you to keep me in the loop!

Heather M. Gardner said...

I love this group, Alex. It's been a great place to talk to others about the same problems we all face.

I went back and checked and I did miss one month of IWSG since September...but the topic of September's post...I was worried I wouldn't finish a 2nd book and I did finish it so that is awesome.

Thanks for all the info and encouragement as usual!
Heather

Talli Roland said...

If I used my reviews to guide my writing, I'd probably have given up by now, hehe! :) I'm joking, of course, but there have been some really, well . . . not so great ones!

Matthew MacNish said...

I visited a bunch of ISWG posts yesterday, and forgot to visit yours.

Grammy said...

Alex, after all the comments here, I'm a little insecure in making one. Ha. Thanks for coming to visit me when you can. I always appreciate it. I just stopped by to see your blog and was blown away by the sheer gigantic size of it all. Best regards to you, old friend.
Ruby

Julie said...

Congratulations on your CassaStorm progress, that's awesome! And on the UK reviews, I can imagine it's a big thrill to realize you are reaching readers in all different parts of the world. :)

Amazing that the IWSG has grown so much, I am looking forward to meeting new participants.

Leovi said...

I like the monster of the word.

Christopher Hudson said...

350 word and hour ... why, in my world, you're a speed demon.

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot said...

Thank you for the comment! I do enjoy getting them.

Oh yes! The Hobbit is going to be great! I am hoping to go to the midnight showing.

Eve said...

Hey Alex...just wanted to say thankyou for hosting the IWSG! I had a lot of fun visiting different blogs and doing my own post..I am looking forward to next month! So many interesting people out there..thanks again!

Lydia Kang said...

I have no idea if I'm going to read my reviews. Probably some of them. We'll see. Hooray for Freak! Can't wait to read it!

Emily R. King said...

You are a brave, brave man reading people's reviews of your books. I'm not there yet, so I don't know if I'll have the courage to do that, but I respect you for seeking to improve your writing. That's why you're a ninja!

Spacerguy said...

Darn, I've missed the IWSG again! LOL.

Libby said...

I just wrote a post on critiquing. Not the same as reviews but definitely similar. I need critiques to keep me on the right path.

Pat Tillett said...

I just hope I'm able to get to the point of reviews! I have so much going on (writing wise) at the same time, that I'm not really accomplishing a darn thing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Heather, that is great! Maybe this coming September should be an update for everyone.

Talli, we just ignore those.

Matthew, that's all right.

Hey Ruby! Always a pleasure to see you. Wish I had more time to visit everyone.

Julie, it is mind boggling.

Eve, that's great! I still need to visit you.

Emily, you just need to stay objective.

Melissa said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Alex. And thanks for the hashtag correction. I had it set up as a keyword stream in Hootsuite and I was getting all KINDS of strange stuff. LOL I promptly corrected it in my post (and on Hootsuite). Best of luck! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Interesting point about using reviews as a source of finding ways to improve!

ali cross said...

Awesome Alex! So excited you're working on CassaStorm! Woot!

klahanie said...

Hey Alex,
After scrolling down to "China", I have found the part where I actually get to leave one of my 'eagerly anticipated' comments.
As per usual, chock full of interesting info and I note, at the time of my comment, you have another 82% to go on "CassaStorm". Although, I have no idea how you know how many words will evidently be in your book.
Nobody has ever reviewed what I write. Then again, that doesn't matter. The main thing is that I write for therapy and hope that some of what I write is a comfort to others.
Take care and happy writing.
Gary

Matthew Vanacore said...

Great purchase, Alex! I enjoyed John Carter. While it had its fair share of flaws, I still found the experience engrossing.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

I don't have any reviews at this point -- oh, yeah, I have one from that novel that was published way back in 1996. Come to think of it, now that I have the rights back, I'm revising it for digital and I am paying close attention to that one stinger I got. Good point, Alex! And good post. :) Thanks for visiting my blog and I'm thrilled to be a part of the IWSG.

Liza said...

As I type this, I am comment #170. Alex you amaze me how you jump forward in giant steps. And now...working on your third book. You constantly amaze.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'll read and use constructive criticism, for sure.

I can't wait for Jennifer's Freak.

I'm looking at your counter. You're making great progress.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Too many insecurities to mention! But starting my new novel really helped wipe away so much of the anxiety and insecurity I've been feeling. I think I was just stuck in a rut.

We just purchased the BluRay of John Carter, which I haven't seen, but hubby has, so I'm looking forward to a movie night this weekend with the projector and big screen! There are some movies you just can't watch on a television set the first time, am I right?

Candilynn Fite said...

I vow to start my IWSG blog visits at the bottom and work my way up as soon as I arrive back home. I may even start tonight when we arrive in Amarillo.

Such a great group, Alex. Thanks for hosting and organizing. You've done an amazing job at keeping up with all of us. :)

Congrats on all your writing progress!!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I'm lucky so far in getting good reviews - but I'm sure my turn is coming. Can't wait for Monday to hear what you thought of all those movies I want to see!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

PS - I LOVED John Carter. Read all the books as a kid and was SO FUN to watch the movie as an adult.

Deniz Bevan said...

Yay on your progress! I've been doing better than I expected, ever since I came up with a new schedule. But that ol' "I suck" refrain won't leave my head!