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Success Stories

Joao
user 6301147
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 5
Announce your successes here with pride!

Tell us if you've finished your first draft, polished another version, learned something important, found an agent, won an award, or been published.

Only one rule: it must be something you worked on during these meetups :o)
Ben
Ben...
London, GB
Post #: 205
I think most of the regulars know I completed the first draft of my technothriller in the write-ins.

I started it during Nano (http://www.nanowrimo....­) in November. It's a straightforward deal: you have no life for a month (write-ins almost every evening) in exchange for getting 50k written. The success rate is pretty high (they keep quiet about the divorce rate).

Of course, after such a mad endeavour, you want a break from writing afterwards, and you get out of the habit. By the time I could face the prospect of writing again, the cobwebs on my keyboard had grown into a sizeable arachnid-based civilisation. The time-consuming process of issuing my eight-legged tenants with eviction notices and arranging demolition of their apartment blocks meant that my writing pace between then and the formation of this group was best described as sporadic.

The two things that got me writing again were the purchase of an iPad and this group. The iPad got me using odd bits & pieces of time to write. A short tube journey. Ten minutes waiting to meet a client. That kind of thing. The combination of a genuine 10-hour battery-life and instant-on meant I could be instantly productive in any bits of dead time that came my way. And, of course, the silent peer pressure of write-ins.

I was doing Million Monkeys (http://millionmonkeys...­) on occasional Monday evenings, but this was 'a custom more honoured in the breach than the observance.'

The frequency of the write-ins of this group meant I got my momentum back. I decided to spend a few weeks doing a mini-Nano, getting to as many write-ins as possible to get the novel finished. I now have a completed first draft of 108,000 words and a waistline one size larger thanks to Costa's plentiful supply of junk food.

Now that I'm into the editing stage, I've swapped the iPad for a laptop the size of Surrey so that I can use the excellent Scrivener (http://www.literature...­. I have a couple of friends reading it, and am hoping we'll still be on speaking terms when they've given me feedback. If they hate it, I shall do my best at write-ins to sob quietly into my Earl Grey.
Damien
user 12111690
London, GB
Post #: 16
Hey Ben, congratulations for finishing the first draft. I have recently reached that point myself (88k). I hate editing (can be tedious) but I know how important it is to make everything more readable and to make sure everything adds up.

At the one meet up I attented (a little while ago) I had edited half of my story. Right now I'm tightening the last three chapters and recently bought the "Writers and Artists Yearbook 2012". There is so much information to sift through but it's all very interesting.
Ben
Ben...
London, GB
Post #: 206
Congrats to you too, Damien. Yes, the editing stage is a lot less fun than the writing. The most tedious bit in my case is the story was originally taking place over three years and now I need to condense that to about one year, so I've got to find every reference to a date (actual date, X months earlier, Y weeks ago, etc) and figure out the new timings.

But it's all part of the deal ...
Joao
user 6301147
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 6
Finished the second version of a not so short story of 9500 words. A humorous adventure set in current day Paris. Its been through the critique group wash and given a new ending. It was inspired by something interesting I saw happening in Paris and because I needed to take a break from my novel. So this was a good way to keep writing. Most of my writing time came from commuting to/from work and the Write Together sessions. Next I am going to give it to a reading group at work (for more feedback) and look on www.ralan.com for a market to publish it on.
Ben
Ben...
London, GB
Post #: 207
Congrats, Joao. There are few feelings in the world quite so fine as typing 'The' and 'end'. :-)
Tray M.
user 10271724
London, GB
Post #: 9
Yay! That must be such a lovely feeling, good luck!



Ben
Ben...
London, GB
Post #: 209
I'm delighted to say that I now have an agent for my technothriller!

Tanja Howarth, who represents Patrick Suskind and PD James, as well as several German thriller writers. Of course, a contract with an agent is only the next step, but she's a very successful agent and I'm the first new author she's taken on in three years, so I'm very optimistic.
Joao
user 6301147
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 12
Congratulations! That's a huge step forward and a major achievement in itself. Must feel great. I wish you the very best for the next part of the journey.

Can you tell us a bit more about the process, what worked and didn't, and any general advice for others who are trying to get an agent?
Ben
Ben...
London, GB
Post #: 210
Thanks, Joao.

As for sharing my experiences, sure. Let me get as far as a publishing contract and maybe we can organise an informal talk for anyone interested in the process?
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