Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Heroes and Villains Blogfest, Ninja News, Wednesday Movie Quote, and World Trivia Answers

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. 

My awesome co-hosts today are Sheena-kay Graham, Suzanne Furness, and Laura Eno. Please be sure to thank them for their time and effort to make all IWSG members feel welcome.

A couple recent posts prompted me to provide a little hope today by debunking some myths.

Got a first manuscript hiding in a drawer that you loved but everyone says those first novels are practice only?

Take it out, dust it off, and go back to the original idea. Maybe in its current form it’s no good, but with a rewrite and a polish, it just might shine. And become something worth publishing.

I know – the original version of CassaStar sat in such a drawer, but with a complete rewrite, it became my first published book.

Think that the mess you produced during NaNo will never see the light of day?

Even if it is a mess, you can restructure. Find the plot holes, get help from critique partners, and edit it up to standards. A publisher might want it.

I know – my second book, CassaFire, was written during NaNo 2010, and my upcoming novel, CassaStorm, was written during June’s BuNo 2012.

Ready to believe in those NaNo and first manuscripts again?

Visit others on the LIST and be encouraged!

Ninja News

Mel at Writings, Musings, and Other Such Nonsense is hosting the Followers Blog Hop. If you are looking for more blog followers, check it out.

Write Club Submissions are open!
Visit DL at Cruising Altitude 2.0 for details on how to enter. He has a panel of great judges lined up for the third Write Club. Oh yeah, and me. (I look so out of place on the list!)

Cover reveal-

Red Threads by Stacey J. Mitchell

Twenty-six-year-old Lily Robinson has her dream job in a museum, a great boyfriend, and is happy with her life – until the day she starts seeing red threads growing out of the chests of those around her…

The release date is June 12, 2013.

Dafeenah at Indie Designz posted a list of Ten Great Blogs for Self-Published Authors.

Diane at Spunk on a Stick’s Tips posted a list of reviewers who review self-published books.

Heroes and Villains Blogfest

Posting a day early, this blogfest is hosted by Jackie at Bouquet of Books and Dani at Entertaining Interests.

Favorite Hero – Colonel Jack O’Neill from Stargate SG1

What’s not to admire? He leads SG1, the first Stargate team. He’s a tough soldier. He’s full of snark. And he always gets his team out of trouble. Jack may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I’d want him guarding my back when I stepped through the Stargate.

Favorite Villain – Top Dollar from The Crow

Top Dollar has power and money. His presence is commanding and full of charisma. He’s snarky, owns a heavy metal club, and would be really interesting to hang out with if not for the fact he’s a homicidal maniac.

Wednesday Movie Quote

This week – dragon movies!

My quote comes from Reign of Fire:

Denton Van Zan – There’s nothing magical about it. They’re made of flesh and blood. You take out their heart you bring down the beast.

In TWO weeks (as I’m not posting next Wednesday) – animal movies.

World Trivia Answers

1 – What drink did the Incas invent? Cocoa
2 – Name either of the countries that are home to the Mayan Pyramids. Mexico and Guatemala
3 – What large tree grows in Yosemite National Park? Giant Sequoias
4 – What body of water is the saltiest in the world? The Dead Sea
5 – Who is buried under Paris’ Arc de Triomphe? The Unknown Soldier 

What’s your writer insecurity today? Ready for Write Club? Find some good links for Indie authors? Who is your favorite hero or villain? Favorite dragon movie quote? And how many trivia answers did you get right?

And the story behind my Cassa series is up today at MJ Joachim’s blog!

181 comments:

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

After submitting my post for the Insecure writers group I am suddenly
plauged by a side bar that keeps coming and going and also a pop up commercial from the bottom of my screen. getting quite dizzy with all the activity.

Yvonne.

Karen Walker said...

I got only one trivia answer - The Mayan one -cause I've been to both places.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm still swimming around in the huge mess that is an old MS. It's fun, but I'm losing hope... every so often :-)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement Alex! Another great movie quote, and thanks to the Incas for inventing Cocoa!

Julie

J.L. Murphey said...

WTG girls nice job!

I pull my first MS out from time to time and cringe. Weak plot line, grammar errors, poor character definition, etc. Even the base idea for the book is trash. There is no hope for it. A major rehaul isn't even possible. The gems within have been used in other books so it's an empty shell.

Donna Hole said...

Of course The Unknown Soldier! Sometimes you can overthink a simple answer :)

I have a few novels in a drawer I may dust off someday, when I get time.

Thanks for hosting today Alex; and have a great weekend.

.....dhole

Lexa Cain said...

Thanks, Alex it's nice to think our old ms's and half-baked ideas might be resurrected someday and made into something worthwhile. :-)

Stacey said...

I like to think that some of my early attempts at novels might be salvageable one day... I'd certainly have another look, if just for the fact that I hate giving up on anything!

Thank you for helping with my cover reveal, too! :-)

Francis Lee said...

My favourite villain has got to be Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal, favourite hero Karl Urban as Judge Dredd!

T. Drecker said...

MSs...MSs...I'm stuffing them all into the drawer at the moment, except for one. They need to collect some dust, so I can blow it off ;)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Such a good topic for today's post, Alex. Those manuscripts are doing no good in a drawer and are frequently so much better than we think!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Top Dollar is a terrible villain and The Crow a great film. Congrats to all the writers with books and I'm doing the Aberration Bloghop tomorrow. First books can be redone for real and happy IWSG Alex. Glad I'm co-hosting.

Brinda said...

Oh, thanks for the Write Club reminder!

Kirsten said...

Now those are some quality heroes and villains. I had forgotten about Top Dollar from The Crow but he is definitely a villain I love to hate.
Funny that you brought up that first manuscript, because I'm still working on getting mine up to speed. Sometimes I doubt if I will ever get it right, but there was a reason I wrote it and I think I owe it to myself to get it right. I'll decide what to do with it after that!
It's cool to know that you got your first ms published though!

Carolyn Brown said...

Two good choices for Heroes and Villains. The Crow is a fantastic movie.

I am sure Sheena-kay, Suzanne and Laura will make excellent hosts for IWSG.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the encouragement. If my current manuscript doesn't get an agent, I'm planning to put it away but maybe look at it with fresh eyes in a year or two.

J.L. Campbell said...

Haven't posted yet, but I'm gonna! Love the sound of that book called Red Threads. Definitely will keep an eye out for that one.

On IWSG, I must be one of the few writers I know (and I see you have that view too)who does not believe in throwing away any novel. I don't believe any is beyond redemption.

I also don't see myself getting to 30k words and starting over. It'd make me tear my hair out. The MG book I have out now. Admittedly, I wrote it before I had a clue how to write a novel and it's taken a LOT of work to make it readable, but I think it's worth it.

Soldier on, I say to anyone who thinks their novel can't be salvaged.

Liza said...

I do have a drawer book. I like to think someday, after I've achieved publication success, I'll get back to it. Thanks as always for the links Alex.

Yolanda Renee said...

Your posts are always full of great information. So many things going on and so little time to get to them all.

Interesting book Red Threads, intriguing!

I really liked Stargate, and Jack, and even The Crow series.

Enjoyed Reign of Fire, but who doesn't like a good dragon tale.

Happy IWSG Day!

Jill Haugh said...

O Captain my Captain!
What great advice about dusting off old manuscripts. I've always rather mourned mine sitting in my cupboard, growing yellow with age, waiting for that posthumous publishing. Never say "Die"!
~Just Jill

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yvonne, I'm sorry!

Stacey, you're welcome.

Fran, good choices.

Elizabeth, exactly!

Sheena-kay, thank you for hosting and have fun today!

Kirsten, keep working on it.

JL, we put work into them!

Jill, attack it!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

My all-time favorite villain was Benjamin Linus on LOST - he was the best actor on the show!!

Melissa said...

I'm all fired up for IWSG. It's a nice way to come back from hiatus.

I like your post, too, Alex, and I agree. I think many first books ARE publishable if one can find a way to rework them. I plan on publishing mine...eventually. ;)

randi lee said...

Extremely wise words, Alex! Never give up on an idea because, even though that idea might change in concept, it's still the idea that's worth sharing with the world. Love it!

Louise Bates said...

The story I'm currently working on is a rewrite! It's my first time trying anything like this, and while it's not the walk in the park I had fondly hoped it would be ("It's a rewrite! It'll be so much less work than starting something from scratch!"), it is a lot of fun. And, I think, will make me a stronger writer in the end.

Melissa said...

P.S. Jami Gold has a great post on this very subject.
http://jamigold.com/2013/06/ask-jami-can-this-story-be-saved/

Man O' Clay said...

Going to see about write club. And for a second there, I thought you were going to write about MacGyver! I loved that show!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Very good advice Alex! Dognapped? is my second book published, but was my first manuscript, and many years ago it began as a NaNo novel. And thanks for all the work you do running the IWSG - it's awesome.

Lan said...

I reread my first MS the other day. It was terrible! But I still have such a passion for the story and your prompt has got be motivated to get back into it again!

Pat Hatt said...

My first one was so bad it should be burned lol and as for animal movies homeward bound takes the cake.

Brian Miller said...

smiles...good stuff on the drafts...i have notebooks with ideas and fragments that are a treasure trove of stuff i go back to...if nothing else then to fuel new ideas...

and how can you not pick the man that was macguyver

Jen Chandler said...

Thanks for this post, Alex. I've got a trilogy that I typed THE END on five years ago and I haven't looked at it since. I think about it constantly though but I haven't the guts to go back and pick it apart.

Looks like I just got the answer to MY IWSG post ponderings today :)

Cheers,
Jen

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My first novels were YA fantasy, but I'm moved onto NA contemporary romance, and there's no looking back. I'll just think fondly of the stories.

I can't talk about my writing insecurity. Not yet. Hopefully soon. I really have to sign up for IWSG. I love reading the posts.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Great advice, Alex. I know I have trunked mss I hope to take another look at some day. :)
Thanks for hosting!

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

spoiler... one that sears didn't really exist and something is not suppose to be in there.

i am not sure why every time some talks about the film reign of fire, it's always negative... i love that film, it looks like you do to... that is two.

the crow what a great film, sad... but they made it work.

Lynda R Young said...

Not sure I could convert my original ms into something sellable, but there are elements I've used in other stories.

Pk Hrezo said...

Lots of great info! I forgot about Top Dollar. He'd have made a nice addition to my April villain list. The Crow is such a great movie.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. I'm a-wondering how I'm going to convert the information I have on the 60th anniversary of the Coronation into sensible posts .. still they will materialise ... and will be read or not! Thankfully that's all I'm really worried about .. except so few hours in the day ..

Your ideas are so sensible - we just need to keep at it, and not give up .. and get that duster out!

Cheers Hilary

Ella said...

You will be a great addition to judging-diversity is needed! Besides who couldn't use a Ninja ;D
Ninjas are always a great asset to any team~

oops about IWSG-I'll be back strong next month!

Thanks for sharing hope-off to the attic!

Melanie Schulz said...

It does seem to help to let them sit a while-doesn't it?

Angela Brown said...

Very encouraging post. I've actually got a few manuscripts sitting in a digital drawer that I hope to take out one day and see if something can happen with them... after I finish the hot potatoes on my plate right now :-)

The one trivia answer I was sure about was the Unknown Soldier but didn't list it *snap*

Yeah...I suppose being a homicidal maniac can make a person hard to hang out with lol!!

And GO for the Colonel!

Juliana Haygert said...

"Favorite Hero – Colonel Jack O’Neill from Stargate SG1" << What's not to like? HE'S MACGYVER!!
Sorry, couldn't resist lol

Oh, Reign of Fire ... that's a good movie.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I have a number of old mss in the closet - some of which will never see the light of day, but others most likely will. Those contain a spark - a character, an idea, a voice, something. It was often the case that at the time, I didn't know how to make the story work. Hopefully, I've grown as a writer since then and know better what to do. :)

Denise Covey said...

Very encouraging stories about dusting off those mss.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Melissa, you can do it!

Louise, that's the attitude!

Ian, his every role was awesome.

Charmaine, you are living proof as well.

Jen, you should go back to it sometime.

Stina, please join us.

Jeremy, I thought Reign of Fire was awesome. Don't know why people hate on it.

Ella, thanks for the vote of confidence.

Candilynn Fite said...

ACK!! So I must've went too far down and posted my comment for this post on the one below! Ugh, I can't even recall all of what I said now. What a dork. The gist: your IWSG post resonated with me today. Thanks for all you do. :)

Mark Koopmans said...

I'm working on a D-Day post for tomorrow, so it's fun just jumping around.

I didn't post an IWSG.

But now I'm feeling insecure, 'cos so many did.

(Scampers over to Gary's garden...)

It's OK. I'll be safe here.

:)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I missed trivia I knew?! Oh no! Oh well. :) Maybe next time. But I also forgot favorite dragon quotes - that's an even more heinous crime. I had a good one, and now it's gone . . .if it pops into my head again, I'll be back.

Thanks for hosting IWSG, Alex!!! It always gets me back on track.

Love your links, and love your hero - Colonel Jack O'Neill has always been one of my favorites. :)

Teresa Coltrin said...

I get from your post that there is hope in our ideas that are stored away drawers (virtual drawers included).

Julie Luek said...

Good advice and encouragement, Alex.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I'll be thinking about great villains all day. I wrote about not having time to write now that it's summer. sigh. Whatever. Gotta live a little, too!

Tonja said...

I agree - sometimes a story has to rest.

M. J. Joachim said...

Enjoying your IWSG tips today. Also sharing the story behind your books today on my own blog and know people will enjoy what you wrote.

Also, sequoias are bigger in volume, but redwoods are taller trees. Double checked this when I saw your answer...many trips and school field trips around this natural science stuff as a kid - glad you jogged my memory on this one. http://www.nps.gov/redw/faqs.htm

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Loved The Crow!

I have dozens of short stories I could dig out and rework.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Thanks for the advice about dusting off old pieces of writing. Things look so different over time, when we're more objective. And I would mind Colonel O'Neill guarding my back either.

Be well, Alex.
xoRobyn

Lisa said...

Great post. Getting ready to go out and explore my blogging buddies sites... For once in my life I don't feel particularly insecure about my writing right now. About lots of other things yes, but, feel clear about writing. Doesn't happen often so I'm enjoying it while I can!

mshatch said...

I loved O'Neill! What a great character he was - actually, the whole show was a load of fun :)

Julie Flanders said...

Love your advice and tips. And I'm embarrassed at how badly I failed the trivia, safe to say I wouldn't make a good Jeopardy contestant. :D

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I bet you already know that all the Stargates were filmed in Vancouver. Awesome series. Thanks, Ladies for taking care of today's post.

Elsie Amata said...

I watched The Crow about a month ago. I had forgotten how much that movie rocks.

I love ISWG - such a great place to find support - which I truly needed this month! Thank you, as always, Alex!!

Beverly Fox said...

Once again you seem to have perfect timing with your advice0 just yesterday I did an exercise where the characters from all my unfinished novels got to tell me much I suck for leaving them without a finished story. Now I just have to figure out which unfinished novel to go back to first!

Having never seen SG-1 I can only take you word for it- but he certainly looks capable. And I could never keep the villains in the crow straight- it was Brandon Lee and that little goth girl vs. everyone else in my memory.

I haven't figure out who my heroes and villains are for tomorrow- better get on that!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

I'm working on killing my (writing) babies, during the revision process, as Stephen King suggested.

I knew about the Incas and Cocoa. I learned it while prepping for the A to Z Challenge.

Ink in the Book said...

I love ISWG, too. It's like an addiction that last for the entire week the first of every month. Thanks for the support and faithfulness. It's means more to me than a simple Thank you! Happy Wednesday, y'all!

L.G. Smith said...

I sometimes think about taking my first novel out of the drawer and giving it a second look. Maybe some day I will. I still love the story idea.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm so glad you say there is hope for that old, dusty manuscript. I have one that keeps calling me and yes, I know it will be a complete rewrite (almost) but it's about a Marine...and we leave no soldiers behind, right?

I thought I had three right. Nope. Only two. Why was I thinking Charles DeGaulle was under the arc? Don't laugh, I tried.

rebeccabradleycrime.com said...

Thanks for the reminder about using the linky list to visit new bloggers. I definitely need to pick up some new blogs to visit this month.

I absolutely agree about the first manuscript Alex. It's my first that I just sent out. Beta readers are wonderful for picking things out if you need help with that ms you've left in a drawer and are thinking of going back to.

Write club sounds amazing. I just don't think I have the time to give it right now. Or the confidence! My IWSG post this month is me fighting the fear!

Loved Jack O'Neill. Very lovely to look at as well :)

Jennifer Lane said...

Cool trivia questions! I dusted off my first novel and edited the HELL out of it--cut out about half of it--and it became my third published novel. Great encouragement to the insecure. ;-)

SA Larsenッ said...

Looking over work we've put away some time ago is a good practice. It not only shows us how much we've grown, but could also lead to a potential newer version of an old story or even prompt an entirely new story.

Hee...I did get #2 correct. I feel like a hero. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Love you hopeful post, Alex, because my book that's just come out was also my first book. It took lots of work to bring it up to snuff, but learning to write well is a continual education. And I did it in my own personal NaNo. =D

Charles Gramlich said...

good advice about that stored manuscript. of course, last summer I took out a manuscript that I wrote when I was 17, thinking I might polish it up. Instead, it was so bad I put it right back in the box. :)

S.K. Anthony said...

Great advice on the first novel, Alex. I actually joined the IWSG this time around and I'm looking forward to reading some of the other posts.

I have to go check out the Writer's Club link and congrats to Stacey J. Mitchell :D

jaybird said...

Great advice about the first manuscript- God has really been working on my heart and insecurities this month. I'm so thankful for the support of this group. Helps to know I'm not alone.

I think it goes without saying who my fav superhero is, he he he . But my favorite villain? Magneto. His story is so compelling. Surviving the Holocaust- going through what he went through, my heart goes out to Eric. I almost understand why he turns evil. And I believe there is good in him still.

Patricia Lynne said...

I have a few writing buddies who have their first novel or NaNo novels published. As for mine, noooooo way. My first stories are something I'm keeping safely tucked away (too much of my real life or favorite movies in them. They were still fun to write though. =D)

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

Oh I love your insecure writer's advice this month, Alex. It's the shot in the arm that I needed. You're right, and I'm gonna go look in that drawer.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Candilynn, you gave me a good laugh though!

Mark, I still see you!

Tyrean, that's all right if you forgot.

MJ, so the sequoias are fatter?

Lisa, just enjoy!

Marcy, one of the best ever.

Joylene, yes I did.

Elsie, thanks for being a part of it.

Beverly, good problem to have.

Ink, thank YOU.

Elizabeth, can I chuckle?

Rebecca, that's great!

Jennifer, another success story!

Donna, awesome!!!

SK, glad you joined us.

Jaybird, perhaps!

ilima said...

I have that first book in a drawer that still calls to me. I think it may be time for a rewrite. :)

I have so many favorite villains, I tend to like them better than the heroes. Maybe it's a good girl likes bad boy syndrome, idk. My favorite might be Loki.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

My home burning saved everyone from the trauma of having to read my first novel. Hannibal Lector is one of my "favorite" villains: intelligent and quite terrifying.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Seems I always read about something new at your blog. I love NaNo, but I'd never heard of June’s BuNo before. I'll have to check into that.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Great advice, Alex, about dusting off that old manuscript and re-writing!

Sarah Ahiers said...

You're so right about those drawer mss. They don't have to stay in that drawer forever!
Also, good pick on Jack. Fun Fact, he went to high school with my dad and uncle. Good times.

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

what is not to love, dragons... period!

Carrie-Anne said...

My parents, esp. my mother, still can't understand why I'd want to keep working with books and characters I first created 20+ years ago. Why should I have "moved on" as I got older and started all over again with new characters and stories? I think my writing is stronger today because I literally grew up with my characters and had all that time to develop their stories and characters over time, instead of tossing them like they were silly, stupid, childish "practice" for more adult things.

Laura said...

My first Camp NaNo project was awful - I wrote it last August and it was my first attempt at a novel. However, I've thought of a way to rewrite it into something much better, so I definitely agree with you!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Great post today! Really good point about taking something old and making it new again!

Is it bad that I love your hero and villain! Great picks.

I still get upset when I think about Brandon Lee. I hear they might remake The Crow.

Heather

farawayeyes said...

WOW! Lot of good news as usual and a BIG THANKS for that encouragement about the 'first book'. I really needed that today.

Hart Johnson said...

I've got half a dozen novels I WANT to get back to... but the later novels are SO MUCH easier to clean... And brand new novels are so much more fun to write... I will get there, but it may not be any time soon...

Sher A. Hart said...

Too many questions to answer, but I haven't given up on my first ms either. Just can't find enough time to finish my rewrite. I'm looking for editing help so I can write more of my own stuff. As in you'll get paid editing jobs once trained, but it would be your own business. More info in my post, but I may not answer until I get back from writer's conference. I am so time crunched. Help!

Nancy Thompson said...

I don't know how anyone can give up on an entire manuscript. After all that work? No way! I say, keep at it 'til it works. I'm off to MJ's to read about Cassa!

Morgan said...

Spot on post, Alex! What's funny is I have a shelved manuscript and a NaNo project I could resurrect... maybe that's the answer to my insecurity for now. Not sure. IWSG is always a great day though. Thanks for your brilliance.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Will check out Write Club. Stop being modest, Alex, you will never be out of place as a judge. You will fit in perfectly.

Melissa Bradley said...

Can't believe I got so many right. LOL

I love Top Dollar, too. Michael Wincott is an awesome villain.

You've got some really terrific people helping out this month. love them all. :)

Laura Marcella said...

C.S. Lewis got the idea for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when he was 16. He didn't write it until he was 40! If he had written it when he was young, it wouldn't have been the story we know and love today. Sometimes it's a good thing to go back to an old idea or manuscript years later!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

J. A. Bennett said...

So funny that you picked that topic when I'm re-writing my Nano. Awesome!

Cassie Mae said...

My NaNo is actually probably my best book :)

Cassie Mae said...

My NaNo is actually probably my best book :)

michelle said...

So when we sip on that coffee/hot chocolate, should we thank the Incas?
I'm off to MJ's blog--------
Writer In Transit

Michelle D. Argyle said...

My very first novel finally made it to a published status last year, after seventeen years of sitting around. Lots of rewrites, but it made it! You're right about "a publisher might want it." You never know.

Glad to join ISWG!

RaShelle Workman said...

I think I have 2 or 3 NaNo books that I need to dust off and rewrite. Now if only I can find the time. =)

Nicki Elson said...

Your publishing story is definitely an inspiration. Three Daves was my first novel too -- still pinching myself that it found its way out into the world.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I have some of those "dusty" mss in my drawer. I might have to take them out again and reevaluate! Have to check out the Write Club again. That was a lot of fun. Thanks for the nudge.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michael, go find a hidden gem!

Ilima, good choice.

Doralynn, it's at the Burrower's blog. Hart Johnson is one of the admins.

Sarah, that's cool!

Carrie-Anne, you just stick with those characters.

Laura, make it so.

Sher, need some clones?

Morgan, time for a resurrection. Book kind, of course.

Rachna, I hops so!

Melissa, he's just an awesome actor. We just have to forgive him for doing Alien 4.

Luara, good point.

Michelle, another success story!

Nicki, we were both blessed.

Andrew Leon said...

I should really watch The Crow again. I haven't seen it since it first came out.

Arlee Bird said...

I've got manuscripts that have been tucked away for so long that they're more than just dust covered. Digging them out would be more like mining for diamonds.

Lee
Wrote By Rote

Johanna Garth said...

What a cool revelation! Maybe I should dig out some of those old MSs.

Tina said...

You answered another question I'd asked today in my post, but then edited out. Fix the mess later, get the story out now. Yes, sir ;-)
Tina @ Life is Good

mooderino said...

I don't have a drawer but I have a folder on the computer full of manuscripts I'll go back to one day (maybe).

mood

SC Author said...

Awesome! I have to polish up my old MS once the time comes, I'm sure.

Emilyann Girdner said...

Thank you for the encouragement about the first manuscript Alex. I have one hiding away that I know I have to revisit someday, and this post was encouraging that it can become publishing worthy.

Also, great pick for a hero. I love Col. Jack O'Neill! He just makes me laugh in every episode :)

J.C. Martin said...

Very true. You'll never know when one of those old manuscripts could come in handy. If not on its own, bits of it could come in useful.

RED THREADS sounds like an awesome read! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, but you just might find one!

Tina, you have your orders...

Emilyann, he's hilarious.

Mark Means said...

I'm still not sure whether my NaNo project is worth trying to polish up or I should just start something new. You have given me some food for thought, though.

I had to chuckle at Top Dollar, only because I remember seeing The Crow in the theater with some friends and one of them kept raving about 'Top Dollar'. I guess I didn't catch the name in the film because I kept saying "Who was that?" :)

Mel Chesley said...

As always, Alex, thanks so much for the mention in the news. I do have a couple of MSs I could dust off and revisit. I have to choose one for a fellow author who is interviewing authors about them. I have a couple to choose from, so we'll see!

Carrie Butler said...

Hooray for manuscript recycling! :)

Laura Eno said...

Great words of encouragement for any writer with a story stuck in a drawer!

Suzanne Furness said...

Had tonnes of fun today reading so many great IWSG posts. Thanks for letting me get involved, Alex. I now have even more respect for your blog visiting abilities! The kids keep asking are you done yet? And I reply just a couple more!

Dani said...

Great co-hosts this month!
Awesome picks for the fest! I lived both films yet never would have thought of either of them!
Loved loved loved Reign of Fire. Well, I liked Matthew M all dirty and muscular in that movie!

Jackie said...

Wonderful advice with the MS sitting idle in a drawer.

Nice choices for the blogfest. I love Jack! Thanks for participating!

Jackie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M Pax said...

RDA is one of the reasons I fell hard for SG. lol I miss that show. It was fun.

Congrats to Stacey!

I have two series sitting on my hard drive. Some day I'll dust them off. Probably just write them from scratch. Not quite yet. It helped me to move on and do something else.

Editors At Work said...

Thanks for a great post and encouragement.

Nas

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mark, now you know!

Mel, you're welcome.

Suzanne, thanks for co-hosting! Yes, it's addictive, isn't it?

Dani, he's one of the reasons my wife likes the movie.

Mary, I was bummed when it ended, but it was time.

Cherie Colyer said...

That's great advice: to take out that novel sitting in a drawer and dust it off. I did that with one of my MG novels and after a re-write got my agent.

Allison said...

Jack O'Neill is awesome. I love his snark and that he makes mistakes like a real human being.

Allison (Geek Banter)

Leovi said...

Yes, you're right, when things are stuck in a drawer long bratty need dust!

The Words Crafter said...

My two fave SG1 episodes: when Daniel gets radiation poisoning and when Jack and Teal'c (?) get caught in the loop.

And I love The Crow. Period.

Red Threads sounds spooky and great advice about the dusty scripts.

I had a quote picked out and forgot to add it. It, too, was from RoF.

Off the check out the Cassa background!

Laura Brown said...

The Crow raaawks! :D

Returning to old work is sometimes a great idea. Sure, you worry the work is shoddy and in need of a huge amount of work, but thats what time is for- to improve your skills. A shining idea, a brilliant concept can come at any time in your life- there is no reason not to shelve it until you feel you have the ability to convey it as it should be.

Cate Masters said...

Excellent advice, Alex. The real story comes out in revision anyway. :)

Sabrina A. Fish said...

I've submitted my first IWSG post and the welcome has been fabulous! Thanks for starting such a great support group, Alex.

You've added to my 'To-read' list, yet again with Red Threads...what an intriguing premise.

DMS said...

Love the inspirational advice! It is amazing what we can do when we revisit an old writing piece. :)

~Jess

Patricia Stoltey said...

Insecure writers....are there any other kind?

Love hearing that your first novel was a rewrite of a shelf books. I have two of those I should take a look at.

L.G. Keltner said...

Great writing advice! There are plenty of great books out there that wouldn't be if the authors left them sitting in the drawer.

Sandy Campbell said...

Great informative posting, and there is one blog hop I will be participating in...the follows..I forget the formal name! lol...

The write club I think would be a bit over my head at this time, maybe next year I hope!

I got the answer to the Myans!

sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

Cynthia said...

My current WIP that I'm still working on happens to be my NaNo novel. I'm still optimistic I can finish the first draft of it by the end of the summer.

klahanie said...

Okay, yes, I've arrived. Everywhere I go, it's that "IWSG" and now that I find out it doesn't actually mean, "I Was Seeking Gary", I realise I must come to terms with it. Never mind, eh.

If I see another blog hop, or blogfest, or blog party, I think I'll sob in a darkened room.

Stargate SG-1. Another show filmed in Vancouver. Another show I turned down a role in. Yep, something about sweeping up the set.

I'm going now....

jamieayres.com said...

Great words to encourage, Captain! We'll miss you next Wednesday!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I laughed at your Jack ONeil hero. I have MacGyver playing on Netflix right now.
My first book became my third book sold after I dusted it off.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great Captain choice!! Love that show too :)

Kathe W. said...

Red Threads....eeeek! I'll keep my eye out for this!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cherie, that's awesome!

Words, one where they are caught in the loop is my all time favorite!

Laura, exactly!

Sabrina, welcome!

Cynthia, I bet you can.

Gary, it could still mean that. And you were almost famous!

Susan, that's awesome.

Robin said...

Very inspirational with the debunking myth strategies. I might still pull my unfinished work out or actually follow through on one of my other ideas. I have been thinking about writing.... always the first step to plunging back in!

Cathy Keaton said...

You make that rewriting thing sound so easy. I'm glad you busted those myths right out, though! We all can learn from you. :)

Lisa Regan said...

Thank you for that--that was actually quite inspiring. "Go back to the original idea". Hmmm . . . I think I may be dusting off quite a few projects in the future! :)

Julia King said...

My first book is the one I got an agent for... Sadly, I've parted ways with the agent, but alas, it can happen for a first book. Never forget em. They are gems.

And as for Jack I'Neill (Yes, two L's) HE IS OUTSTANDING! I love him and SG1 rocks my world. Great choice for a favorite hero.

kmckendry said...

OMG 145 comments! wow that's awesome!!! My favorite villain has to be Darth Vader.

Marta Szemik said...

I don't know if I can pick a favorite villain and hero. There's just so many good ones! You're right about the first MS. I'm just getting into one I started three years ago and will try to finish that story before the year end:)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Alex,

WOW... number 146 on the first day.... Geez... My head spun scrolling down reading the comments.

Just wanted to let you know I always appreciate you looking out for me and your kind words... It's been a tough week and I am pushing on. Nice to know Ninja Captain is always on the watch or one of his minions are.

As usual lots going on at your blog. Hope to hop around and get inspired.

Thanks again.

M

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robin, do it!

Lisa, you should - never know where it will lead.

Julia, you are uber cool in my book now.

Marta, hope it works out great for you!

Samantha Jones said...

Whoa, Stacey's Red Threads sounded so intriguing, I had to visit her site to find out more - looks fantastic!
As a parent of two kiddos under 8, I see every animated movie known to man, so the first "dragon" movie that popped into my head was "How to Train Your Dragon". The best line, from Stoick: "Your mother would have wanted you to have it. It's half of her breastplate."
WriterlySam

Lily said...

REWRITING? Oh boy. I think I found my topic for next month...

Nebula Way

VR Barkowski said...

Great post, Alex. I've often wondered how many potentially awesome first manuscripts are languishing in desk drawers because the author was told that first novels are practice.

Truth: Writing is editing, and a 'practice novel' is synonomous with 'draft.'

VR Barkowski

Brandon Ax said...

Good inspiration. I did the same with Elemental I just wanted to get the story out and move on to things that were "Better", but after going back I realized I could make it better and then it ended up being my first published book.

Helena said...

Me insecure? Neurotic? Hey, that's 'cause I'm a writer.

My two Charity MacCay novels are far from being my first manuscripts, but I'm finally polishing them and getting them into print. They mean so much to me that just having the physical, real, papery copies of them in my hands will be wonderful.

Hey, I actually got a couple trivia answers correct for a change!

Suze said...

'I know – the original version of CassaStar sat in such a drawer, but with a complete rewrite, it became my first published book.'

You inspire a lot of people, Alex. Well done.

Jessica Therrien said...

Very cool knowing how your books started! Thanks for being so supportive of me during my tour (and to all writers!)

Erin L. Funk said...

Great advice about brushing off old manuscripts! I have a lot of those kicking around here and maybe someday I'll give them another chance.

Nice pick on your favourite hero! I love Jack O'Neill and fully admit to having had a crush on Richard Dean Anderson since I was a kid. C'mon, he's MacGyver! I have to admit that Stargate Atlantis is my favourite out of the franchise though (thus the t-shirt I'm wearing in my blog pic).

Jamie Gibbs said...

Good tip - knocking out that perfect novel first time isn't going to happen, so it needs a little love and attention, even if it's been collecting dust this whole time.

Rekha Seshadri said...

Sorry for the late entry. I posted my IWSG last night and was just happy to be posting on my blog again. Thanks Alex for this nudge every month to connect with the creative world.

tfwalsh said...

Oh, I might have to check out Write Club... was a lot of fun last time:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michael, the week can only get better!

Samantha, that's a good one.

VR, very true.

Brandon, more proof first manuscripts can be good.

Helena, that's awesome.

Suze, thanks.

Jessica, you're welcome.

Erin, Atlantis had some great characters. Ronin was my favorite.

Rekha, we've missed you!

A Beer For The Shower said...

I've got a first manuscript buried far, far away. I keep telling myself maybe I'll dig it up and polish it one day, make it into something decent. But then I also get reminded of that phrase "You can polish a turd but it's still just a turd." It... really was quite bad.

Gwen Gardner said...

I did BuNo 2012, too, but have yet to edit it. What a mess it is, LOL! That's my next project, as I'm planning on releasing it in October. Yikes, I'd better get busy:)

Stephen Tremp said...

My favorite dragon quote: "Don't tickle a sleeping dragon" from Harry Potter, its under the Hogwart's crest.

Sounds like good advice to me!

Summer Ross said...

The Crow villain is a good one! I forgot about him.
~Summer

Jack said...

You have a very good point about old manuscripts. I wrote one everyone said was bad and should never see the light of day. but when I picked it up years later I found some things in it which could be used. The basic plot, mostly. So sometimes, even in those old books, is something worth keeping.

Maurice Mitchell said...

The IWSG is really helping a lot of great writers Alex, so thanks for creating this. I've never seen The crow, but Michael Wincott always plays a great villain.

Sherry Ellis said...

Jack is definitely a cool hero!


That's good advice to polish off old manuscripts that are sitting in a drawer. If I ever have some free time, I might just do that!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Brandon and Bryan, you should still give a go. Think of it as a lump of coal instead.

Gwen, better get busy!

Jack, exactly!

Thanks, Maurice - that was the plan. You should watch The Crow. Very haunting film.

Timothy Brannan said...

Top Dollar. Man what a great choice.
Creepy, evil and just a bastard.

Tim
The Other Side

Laura said...

Lovely advice Alex- I'll take you up on that- I'm off over to read the story behind the stories now
Lx

Leovi said...

I like hero Colonel Jack O'Neill!

Shell Flower said...

Wow, you get a lot of comments, Dude :) I love Reign of Fire. Your encouraging points are awesome. I would love to see one of my trunked novels see a new life.

Medeia Sharif said...

That's what I'm doing now, taking an old manuscript and making it new again. I'm having a blast rewriting it when I used to think it would be stuck in a drawer forever.

I'll check out the links.

Dafeenah said...

Thanks for the shoutout! Believe it or not I don't think I've heard the full story behind the series. Now off to read!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Top Dollar is a good villain, but his girlfriend is the freakiest of all. "I like the pretty eyes." Love The Crow!

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

O'Neill - the snarkiest Colonel there ever was - he was such a great character. I have seen the Crow, but have to admit I don't really remember the villain except for the part where he was a nut ball :).
Tasha's Thinkings

Jean said...

Hey Alex. We just lost our dog. I am a disheveled mess. I am writing to let you know major changes are going on here (no I am not getting divorced) and I want you to know I am working really hard. I had planned to review for you by Sept. on Amazon. sticking to that. I doubt I will be able to post earlier on Goodreads, too much flying around here. Love your blog, as always!
best wishes, jean

Jai Joshi said...

That's so great that Nano helped you write both your second and third books, Alex! It's inspiring to many others, I think.

Jai

Anna said...

June 10th, 2013
Dear Alex,
Sorry I'm late. But I have posted a short post for June here:
Anna's iwsg for June
Best--
Anna

Christine Rains said...

I need to dust off some of those old manuscripts. They'll need a lot of revising, but the ideas are fun. Great picks for the Heroes & Villains blogfest!

Nicole said...

And now I want to go watch Reign of Fire... :)

Jamie Burch said...

Thanks for the inspiration, Alex! I know I have some old manuscripts hidden away and hope to make something of them soon.