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  1. Can't begin to express how excited I am for you Helen. "The Call" is peak moment, and I'm so glad you've got the perspective to realise what it means and enjoy it to the max!

    Looking forward to cracking some champers when we're next together and "wetting the baby's head", so to speak.


    Louise Cusack

  2. Congratulations, Helen. Your success is well deserved. I'm so excited for you. Champagne for when we next meet. I'm so happy for you.

  3. Wohoo Helen – absolutely AWESOME news! Can't wait to follow your progress in the next steps and then buy and read your book.

  4. Hi Helen, totally agree about having support from CPs and groups. It can take a while though finding the right fit. But when you do – yahoo. It's wonderful that you've all been together for so long. That in itself is something to celebrate.
    Merry Christmas
    Jane Beckenham

  5. Sounds like you've developed a great network of support. People on one's side are so valuable in those hard moments that happen in writing and fun in the celebrating ones. Of course, Cp's are also worth their weight in gold. Particularly when they happily read something they've read a million times before (by the way, thanks *grin*).

  6. Helen, having trusted critique partners is an important part of the writing process. I agree. Without honest feedback there is no room for improvement.

  7. Support and motivation are key, together with the valued input from critique partners. The network of the writing community is an incredible bonus.

  8. Your new idea sounds really intriguing! I agree about starting new things. Am so over the revs I'm doing at the moment and can't wait to throw myself into something fresh.
    Interesting that you've become a plotter too – do you think that's one of the things that made the final difference for you!?

  9. Yay for a new, fresh shiny idea! Must be nice to have that outline and know some potential pitfalls have been headed off before you start.
    You aren't scared it will take away some of the excitememnt? I guess 5 pages leaves you a fair bit of how they get there room!!
    Good luck!!

  10. Plotter v's panster . . . I certainly think it's helped me become more productive Rach. The book that was accepted by Special Edition was done without any plotting at all, though, and wrote itself in a couple of months. In saying that, it's since had many, many revisions/edits/re-writes etc, including the last lot of revisions for my editor. The biggest difference I see now in myself as a writer to where I was a couple of years ago is approach – I mean, I made a commitment to think of it as a business and read every SSE I could to understand what the editors were buying. I knew the line I wanted and entered RWA chapter contests where the final judge was the SSE editor I was aiming for. After a few finals I got the request for the full MS. After that it was a round of revisions and then acceptance. From the time I first wrote the book to the call from my agent it was two years. Now I'm discovering that plotting is helping me stay on track and keep up my productivity. H 🙂

  11. I think as we grow as writers, we learn that there is a need for at least some specific plotting otherwise we get ourselves in a 'fix' with our story and chracters tearing off doing stuff we have to haul them back from. But then, of course that could be a good thing too!
    Good on you Helen for developing your plotting skills. (Am envious!) Plotting for me is hard graft, i love writing the characters' backstory, but the actual plot/GMC of the book can be a struggle. Oh, well, i'll keep on ploding and plotting. What's that saying about the snail – getting there in the end!


  12. It's so great to hear that reaching the first stage of your dream (cos I'm sure there are even bigger things ahead) is all you hoped. Happiness is to be treasured.
    Yay you!!

  13. Good on you Helen, what a fabulous dream. Having spent the last month or so in deep edits, and the last 12 of those days working 15 hour days to get it back to the editor, i'm now dreaming of sleeping LOL

  14. Interesting post!
    It's hard not to get caught up in numbers… and I guess that won't stop on the other side of the publishing divide. But it's simply a fact that writing/reading is subjective and not fair.
    Life isn't fair either, why should writing be different?

  15. Great comments Helen! You are certainly someone that has figured out the contest business but I do have to say, you are also thinking like a professional writer. Comments we get in contests are certainly the same thing as the reviews we get as published authors. We have to learn to work with the good and the bad. Yes, there will be bad reviews. Does this mean you writing isn't good? Not necessarily. It might simply mean you had a judge that just didn't connect with the writing. Dust your self off and move on. Still, you don't want to ignore those comments. There might be a nugget of truth hidden in those words of doom.


  16. This is great advice, and I think once the shock wears off about getting such horrible feedback, the writer will take something positive out of the process, realizing that the journey is like a steep mountain to climb, but once you get to the top of the mountain it would have all been worth it. And as the cliché goes, what doesn’t break us can only make us stronger, and I think this is a great philosophy.

  17. I’m hearing ya. The story I just sold was rewritten completely for M&B and then rewritten again for Carina. I was sick of it by the time I subbed it but now that I’ve had some distance, I do think it’s stronger for all the revisions. Like you, I’m hoping to go back to an old romance and rewrite it soon.

  18. Good attitude! It’s hard to change stuff that feels DONE. But usually it turns out better for the blood spilt getting it that way.

    This business isn’t for sissies…