Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, June Movie Preview, and IWSG Anthology Contest


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 awesome co-hosts for the June 2 posting of the IWSG are Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria!

June 2 question - For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

By the time I finish a first draft, I’ve completely forgotten how it began, so I usually start in on revisions within a couple days. After the torture of getting the darn thing on paper, I’m ready for some relaxing editing!


Don’t forget the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology Contest is now open! Genre – sweet romance, theme – first love. See the site for details.



Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for June. As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.


4 –


The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The Warrens investigate a murder that may be linked to a demonic possession.
Director: Michael Chaves
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O'Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook
A movie and political statement all in one subtitle.


18 –


The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
The bodyguard Michael Bryce continues his friendship with assassin Darius Kincaid as they try to save Darius's wife Sonia.
Director: Patrick Hughes
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Frank Grillo, Samuel L. Jackson
Because The Hitman’s Shameless Cash Grab was too obvious a title.


25 –


F9
Cipher enlists the help of Jakob, Dom's younger brother to take revenge on Dom and his team.
Director: Justin Lin
Stars: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson
F yes!



How long do you let a first draft sit? Entering the IWSG contest? Watching any movies this month? I will be posting once a month during the summer but back into a regular groove in September. Too much to do this summer!


102 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Enjoy your summer.
Editing seems to be a divisive topic. Some people love it, while others loathe it. Sadly it is very necessary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - honestly reading everyone's comments makes me glad I'm just blogging quietly away. I'm doing so little at the moment - our Art Gallery is open now - so I'll get down there ... but films aren't on the menu - they'll open up the avant garde ones again in September/October. I'm still reading and reviewing, as well as working here. Good luck with all writing and editing - cheers Hilary

Susan B.Rouchard said...

Thank you Alex for your post and keeping the ball rolling. Quite a selection here ... delving into older movies at the moment as Leonard Cohen would... take it slow...
susanbr

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Alex, I cannot remember was my answer to this month's question! That first revision is what I'm waiting for...I love revising.
Hope you have a lovely summer! Movie options make me happy to stay home.

Leigh Caron said...

Had to chuckle by your comment - by the time you finish the first draft you've forgotten how it began. I'm guilty of that too. And forgetting some minor character's names. Have a great relaxing summer...you deserve it!!

Lynn La Vita said...

I'm smiling, too at Leigh's and your comment about forgetting the beginning. I'm only a blogger, so less to remember.

At the moment I'm redesigning our Website. I'm taking a WordPress self paced and I confess, I need to refresh my memory on what I learned the week before. Guess I'm in good company.

Lynn La Vita @ http://la-vita.us/write/

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
I to finish my first draft and then start my revising but I usually wait three or four weeks before I begin my revising and begin working on something new.

Wishing you a great month of June.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Cathrina Constantine said...

It doesn't take me long to begin editing either. I also like the editing part. I can't remember the last time I was in a movie theater. They recently opened up here in Buffalo. I would like to see The Quiet Place 2, which I heard was good, and filmed around Buffalo.

I am so looking forward to a pleasant summer. Enjoy yours Alex!

Liza said...

Hi Alex! Yep! The writing is torture, so I'm with you--happy to get to the editing!

G. B. Miller said...

Back in the day, the 1st draft really didn't sit, as I was often adding newly completed pages to the three ring binder, then about once a week I would make editing notes, so by the time I had finished, I had a complete 1st draft chock full of editing notes, which was then in the batter's on-deck circle waiting to be called to the batter's box for creation of draft #2.

kjmckendry said...

Me too! Plus I get excited that I finally finished the first draft and I want to see if it actually sounds any good so I reread it right away!

I'm thinking about entering the contest sounds fun!

Kathy--Imagine Today

Jennifer Lane said...

Hope you have a summer full of fun, Alex! I'm thrilled Ohio just stopped their COVID mandates.

Good luck to the IWSG contest entrants.

Joanne said...

I edit all along and tend to talk myself out of my work. I am super critical and tend to cringe. Hence - my current not writing and barely blogging. Otherwise - Vin and crew - F Yes, indeed. I'm ready.
Enjoy summer and the emergence of more movies. I need to get back into the theaters.

J.Q. Rose said...

"Relaxing editing" made me chuckle. Actually, I love to edit. Slashing sentences, finding the exact words, tightening up those awkward run-on sentences....Yes!
Love Ryan Reynolds.
You're smart to blog once a month in the summer. Enjoy the season!

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm the same as you for how long I let a first draft sit. Happy June!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I hope Bodyguard 2 is a hit. I loved the first one. Happy IWSG day, Alex.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm so like you. My first draft is torture, but I love revising. I'm glad I'm not alone in not enjoying getting those first words on the page.

Bish Denham said...

I have so much trouble editing... wanting to do it... finishing.

Chemist Ken said...


"By the time I finish a first draft, I’ve completely forgotten how it began, so I usually start in on revisions within a couple days."

Ah, one of the few advantages of being a slow writer.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hilary, not until the fall? Wow.

Jan, same here!

Lynn, good luck with the redesign.

Catherine, hope you get out to see it!

Kathy, please do.

Natalie, you're not alone!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm usually up for one of those The Conjuring movies, and I still want to see A Quiet Place Part II.

Hope your summer is full of good things, Alex!

Stacy McKitrick said...

It's been so long since I finished a first draft... but I believe I wait at least a week. And I used to enjoy editing, until my current WIP. The revisions on this one aren't all that fun. Of course, my mind could be elsewhere. It's not like I don't have a lot going on. :D

Nick Wilford said...

I'm not sure I'd put relaxing and editing in the same sentence, but I know what you mean. It's nice to have something to work with.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm kind of the opposite - the first draft is the FUN - wouldn't count editing as relaxing!

Lee Lowery said...

I can't wait for the second Hitman's Bodyguard movie, no matter how bad it is. It should come as no surprise that Sonia Kincaid is one of my all time favorite characters, given her aplomb with the f-bombs.

Have a great summer!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, even I find editing very relaxing. And like you, I too forget the first few chapters by the time I'm done writing the first draft of the story :) I try to write the first draft very fast, getting the entire story out.

Enjoy your summer. Stay safe.

PK HREZO said...

lol to The Conjuring and political statement! How true. I'm the same way-- I'm excited to see how I started the story off by the time I finished. And hey do you ever start editing and adding in words or thoughts then get a little further and realize you already said what you just edited in? :p

Mary Aalgaard said...

What a difference a year makes. Suddenly, everyone is busy, traveling, doing events that they put off. It's good, but overwhelming. Great question this month for writers. Enjoy your summer adventures!

Gwen Gardner said...

You don't let the grass grow under your feet, that's for sure! LOL. But I'm like you, by the time I've finished, I don't remember half of what I've written.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

All this traveling makes me a bit unsettled. A friend just died only days ago, and his wife is in I.C.U. We may be a bit jarred in three weeks by an upswing in Covid. Like "The Devil Made Me Do It" jab. Until "the Disaster Movie" Year of 2020, I usually wrote on two novels at a time, researching both -- the researching usually gave me an idea for a third. Happy rest of 2021!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ken, one of the only advantages!

Stacy, you do.

Lee, no surprise there!

Rachna, you get it!

PK, yes!

Roland, hopefully not as the numbers have really dropped.

kaykuala said...

In the case of prose, Hank writes a couple of chapters before editing. May not quite forget that way. In the case of poetry, it is editing and correcting as you go along.

Hank

cleemckenzie said...

I hear what you're saying about "relaxing editing." It is just that.

Jacqui Murray said...

I'm looking forward to Hitman. The prequel was hilarious.

Sarah Brentyn said...

I've never heard editing referred to as "relaxing" but, hey, that's great. And only a few days? Nice! I was wondering what other writers do and loved that this month's question was about that.

Enjoy your summer. ☀

talklady said...

My husband and I seldom attended movies pre-lockdown, but are eager to do so now. It
'll be our ultimate expression of freedom abandonment of fear - as well as support for an industry which suffered very hard times. We also hope to attend a play, if our local theater rebounds!

Birgit said...

Hey, even in blogging I forget what I wrote at the beginning and I definitely can forget what I just read. The anthology contest sounds like fun. I wouldn't mind seeing the 2nd film which is a cash grab but sounds like lots of fun with some great actors in it. I love Ryan Reynolds. I hope to see many films as we bought a ton of DVD's and must now watch them...I will be 105 before I finish. Hey I am 57 today!! Enjoy your summer and stay safe.

JEN Garrett said...

You are so lucky! I usually have to put it away for at least two weeks before I forget how it started. That's my novels, though. For my picture books I remember how they started, but it usually only takes a couple days before I know what I need to fix and why.

Carrie-Anne said...

I need at least a few months before starting revisions, unless there's a deadline. If I started too soon, I'd miss a lot of obvious mistakes and typos because I hadn't enough distance from the manuscript.

Olga Godim said...

I love editing too. Much more than writing the first draft.
I think I might enjoy The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. The title is funky though. The two possessives in a row offend my grammarian's eye. I want to wince. Couldn't they come up with a better title?

Sandra Cox said...

"By the time I finish a first draft, I’ve completely forgotten how it began" I love it and can so completely relate:)
Have a great one.

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

Now that I've grown accustomed to accessories like Roku, I can't imagine waiting in line for popcorn, soda, or not being able to pause for pit-stops ;-) By the way, just watched F8 this weekend at our cabin in the mountains. Action-packed with fast-car carnage that makes demolition Derbys look like swap-meets ;-) Really good!
At this point, I'm re-visiting rather than revising, hoping to lessen the blows and tighten the prose for the re-draft ;-) Had the question been, "Do writers and editors wear different hats?" My answer would be a resounding "Heck, yeah." That's why I usually allow time in between.
Happy June!

Melissa said...

I'm like you sometimes. Work keeps me from my WIP so long, I can just start editing.

I'm thinking about the anthology this time. Glad to see you guys are finally tackling the romance genre.

J E Oneil said...

Well, there's clearly nothing to tempt me back into the theatres this summer. Totally bummed about you only updating once a month, though. We'll miss you!

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

I have no idea how long I let drafts sit. It's another thing I never pay attention to.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hank, I'm proof some forget!

Talklady, go enjoy and save our theaters!

Happy birthday, Birgit!

JEN, that made me chuckle.

Olga, I still say the cash-grab one is better.

Diedre, I'll let you know how F9 is.

Melissa, you were one of the writers we had in mind - please enter!

Thanks, JE.

Jennifer Hawes said...

So much to do this summer! The first day we're out of school and I have 10 extra people in my house. I hope to see a movie this summer in the theater.

Juneta key said...

Lots stuff and I am looking forward to the new F9. Happy Writing.

Jenni said...

I've heard other people say the same thing. Once you get to the end, you can't remember the beginning. I'm with you on editing being easier. It's the creating something out of nothing that's the hard part.
Enjoy your time off this summer!

Fundy Blue said...

I totally understand too much to do, Alex! LOL! I hope you get to squeeze in a little chilling. Take care, my friend!

Loni Townsend said...

My books are so flipping long that by the time I reach the end, the beginning was way too long ago for me to remember. :)

Liz A. said...

I'm with you on the editing. I would much rather be editing than getting that first draft done.

Beth Camp said...

Love the honesty of your comment that by the time you finish a first draft, you've forgotten how the story began. So begins revision. I'm not sure I find revision relaxing, though. More it seems like another way to immerse my way into the story so it meets my goals. What a diversity of responses this month. May your summer stay calm and cool -- and healthy!

Lynda Dietz said...

Even though most of the writing I do is shorter things like blog posts, I do like being able to wait a bit before rereading and editing. There are times I'll revisit something I've drafted months ago, planning to just polish and publish, and wonder what in the world I was thinking when I wrote the draft. As for books . . . I do love the editing part, of course, and prefer to wait a bit between editing rounds so I have a fresh eye for it.

Truedessa said...


I write poetry so I edit as I go along. Sometimes, I will put it in draft and look at it the next day, make any changes or just delete it.

Enjoy your summer! I am thinking of taking a long break.

I hope to get to the theater soon.

wishing you joy and inner peace....

Shannon Lawrence said...

Looking forward to the Hitman and F9. I should really be over the F&F movies, but I like me a mindless action flick.

L.G. Keltner said...

I hope you have a wonderful summer!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Relaxing edits? Wow. I wish.
Thanks for the email today. I obviously needed a reminder/kick in the pants. :)

Steph W. said...

Relaxing? Maybe one day!

Diane Burton said...

I enjoy your snarky comments on movies. Always right on target.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

That question assumes revisions are the hard part. Interesting. Not at all my experience. It's the drafting that sits and sits and sits. When I've a full story drafted, I'm under fire to finish it.

I hope you're faring just fine, Alex.

Lidy said...

Liked the Hitman's Bodyguard so definitely willing to give the sequel a try. Other than that, think I'll wait for the Black Widow movie in July.
I might be in the minority but when they capitalize on a franchise they capitalize. F9? So that means there's one more movie to go before it's done?

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I love editing too! So much easier!

J Lenni Dorner said...

Hitman's wife and F9 are definitely on my to-watch. The first Hitman movie was hilarious.

I'm still making my visiting rounds for today's IWSG posts. My computer thought it'd be a great day to "update" and then stop working entirely for several hours. Literally, I'd boot it up, the wheel would spin, and then it'd shut off. I couldn't even get to DOS.

It's okay. It's working now. It almost got thrown out a window though.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I liked the first Conjuring movie and the spin-off, "The Curse of La Llorena". Other than those two, I couldn't get into the series. They seemed to be rehashes of the movie that came before each in someway. Or maybe it was too franchise-oriented for me, I don't know. I just couldn't get into the rest of the series.

We all need that break at one time or another, so I think it's good that your easing on the posts to relax some during the summer.

Denise Covey said...

I love editing and do enjoy doing it for others, too. Enjoy summer. We're about to go into winter. Love it. Our summers are too hot and humid!

Pat Hatt said...

Well forgetting the start is a good reason to jump back in lol F9 should be fun.

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for hosting another great hop. I love your comment on F9, very fitting.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jennifer, that's a lot!

Lynda, as an editor, you better love it!

Shannon, they are just so much fun.

Tyren, it happens!

Robyn, exactly!

Lidy, probably one more!

J, sorry about that.

Arlee Bird said...

I'm not sure I'd call editing "relaxing", but I don't see it as particularly stressful either unless I'd be under some kind of deadline that had to be met.

Hopefully we can all have a great productive summer. Anything should be better than last summer although on the whole last summer wasn't all that bad under the circumstances--not for me at least.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

emaginette said...

The scene where Salma and Samuel's characters fall in love was incredible. Gives a whole new meaning to love at first sight.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Anna from elements of emaginette

Helen said...

When I've finished writing I want to go back and read what I've written and then, boy o, do I find mistakes (1) and confusion(2) that needs cleaning up. :)

Nilanjana Bose said...

Editing is not my fav job so I do tend to drag my feet over it :)

Have a lovely summer!

Tara Tyler said...

Loved your comment on Hitman’s Bodyguard - which I enjoyed and expected a sequel, just for the characters alone I’m excited =D

Glad you’re going to have a busy summer and hope it’s good busy!

Tara Tyler Talks

Rhonda Albom said...

I am just starting a new project, a suspense book. It's a new genre for me and I never finished my first book as my critique group changed it so much I didn't like it any longer. This one, I have been writing and editing, but after reading this post, I am going to try charging through the story and then returning to the beginning to edit.

Mason Canyon said...

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard editing as being relaxing before. LOL. Some interesting movies to see.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I had to laugh. I’m learning to like editing (and to feel like it is writing), but it has taken me years to get to this point. So your description of drafting as pain and editing as relaxing felt backwards to me!

Magic Love Crow said...

There's always so much to do in the summer, isn't there? I totally understand! Thanks for sharing the movies!
"By the time I finish a first draft, I’ve completely forgotten how it began!" LOL! Take care and big hugs!

Botanist said...

LOL! For me, "relaxing" and "editing" just don't belong in the same sentence! I enjoy the process of the first draft and wish I could just hit "publish" at that point.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm going with F no. I'm so tired of those movies, but I can guarantee my men will want to see it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rhonda, give it a try!

Rebecca, I'm just weird that way.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I enjoy creating new stories. My problem is that I edit along the way, which makes it tough to finally get to the end. Once I get the story, though, I like to "clean it up" with editing. No. It's not easy. We haven't started going to movies. Not sure when we will return to the big screen. All best to you, Alex!

Liesbet said...

Hey, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one thinking editing is easier and more relaxing than writing. I have yet to put a first draft aside with the intention of looking at it again with fresh eyes.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard has a great cast!

Have a fantastic jam-packed summer, Alex!!!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Alex,

I hope all is well. For me, I usually wait a week or so, but lately weeks go by and I hardly write. TRYING to finish the second draft of my WIP. Three years and still plugging away. UGH. The first draft took me about a year or so because it is a memoir/biography, so I had to get all the details from the person whose story I am writing.

Enjoy your weekend!

Sandra Cox said...

'Because The Hitman’s Shameless Cash Grab was too obvious a title.' Ha:)

Mary Kirkland said...

I'm looking forward to another Conjuring movie.

Melissa said...

Your email is bouncing back so I'll leave this here.
https://follow.it/features-and-pricing

They have a free option, and I think it allows unlimited followers.

nashvillecats2 said...

Sorry for the delay Alex, I did send you an email but it bounced back on all my emaill addresses.
Loved the ppost as it's good to see what is going on in the world except all the bad things.

Had my second shot yesterday(Friday 4th) so hopefully can get out and about soon.
Take care.
Yvonne.

H.R. Sinclair said...

I can't believe it's summer already! I set a book aside for a couple of weeks in-between reads.

mail4rosey said...

I want to see Cruella. I didn't know F&F had a new movie. We'll probably go see that one too. I feel like there was something else coming I wanted to see, but I can't remember what it was!! School's out here now, it was such a good school year. You might remember I quit my job last year (but my mom got sick and Covid hit, so I asked for it back!). So glad... the pay's not great, for sure, but it was the most rewarding work year of my life! Now, I'm ready to relax a bit before I start summer PDs. Maybe that will mean taking in a movie or two!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Liesbet, not just you!

Sandra, glad it amused you.

Melissa, thanks.

Rosey, hope you get your movie fix.

Debra Renée Byrd said...

I'm so excited for F9. I wish detractors actually watched the movies to see that they're actually good.

Editing relaxing?! lol It's addictive...relaxing? I'm not sure haha.

Sandra Cox said...

Have you watched Sweet Tooth, produced by Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey, yet? I loved it. It may be a little 'sweet' for you. Let me know if you do and what you think about it.

Susan Kane said...

If F9 had a waiting line stretching around the block, I would be in that line, maybe with a tent.

Patsy said...

I like to write something else between novel drafts. Even if it's just a short story, it gives me a bit of distance and hopefully lets me be slightly more objective.

Weaver said...

I'd gotten used to the Rock being in the F movies ...

Deniz Bevan said...

I think it's amazing that you find editing relaxing! I know it's fun making the book better and the words sing, but I always find it a slog because I'm so worried my story is going to suck!
I need to channel some of your relaxed attitude :-)

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Ooh, I didn't know there was a new Conjuring. I love the first two movies. Thanks for the head's up!

As for first drafts, I used to let them sit for six weeks or so, but I don't have the luxury anymore. As soon as one draft's complete, I start on the rewriting/editing, before sending a polished copy on to another editor, the publisher, or my agent.

No rest for the wicked!

Have a great summer, Alex. :)

kimlajevardi.com said...

I thought I commented already. So weird. I tend to let first drafts sit around a month. Enjoy your summer groove, Alex!

DMS said...

This time I have been putting away chapters as I write so I don't look at them. That way when I get to the end I can go back and hopefully it will be "fresh" for me to do more editing. I tend to edit and edit and edit as I write- and I am trying to take some of that out of the equation. :)
~Jess

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, enjoy your vacation :)

mail4rosey said...

Finally saw Cruella. Not bad. I didn’t catch on to the twist so that’s good that it wasn’t 100% predictable. The actors were good.