Thursday, January 06, 2011

Writing Elements

When we think about the act of writing, the initial creak of the laptop opening and tapping of keys are the first sounds that come to my mine. Then there's sitting down to write that first line, that first sentence that's going to set the tone for the entire story. Of course, we can't leave out the thought process: outlining, jotting ideas on note cards or scraps of paper while waiting at a stop light or in line for our cup of coffee.

credit for photo
There's so much to be thankful for, so many elements of writing to cherish, even the ones that challenge us.

When I set my mind on writing about two 1/2 years ago, I was a much different person, writer. I had no idea what this whole writing a story entailed. I just knew the multitude of ideas in my head needed to be shared. My first hurdle was realizing that I needed to learn to write. I mean, I could write but not well enough to convince an agent/publisher that I was the next Who-That? and invest in me and my work.

So I began studying the art of writing, reading and tearing apart some of the most popular authors of today's YA realm. I asked myself What makes them so That? Slowly, the fog began to lift off my horrid writing (yeah, I wrote a first YA novel of 160,000 words). But I needed more than to just study others' work. I needed to discuss it.

Despite being egregiously skittish, I began sharing my work with others. Their fresh eyes washed the dirt from my work, exposing what needed to be improved. Their advice and encouragement began to sink in--molding the new writer I am today.

When I asked my amazing Oasis Sisters what element of writing they were most thankful for, the answer was a collective one ~ each other, the YA writing community as a whole, and critique partners. It was as easy as that.

I know there's no way on this planet I would be where I am right now without those wonderful, patient writers who've taken the time to read my work and give observations on how to make my novel shine.

We're pretty private here on Oasis. When we fired up this blog, we'd decided we wanted it to be for you ~ to support you. But over the months since we've been working together, trying to support you, something happened. We've been supporting each other. Each time one of us got an email requesting material, we'd all scurry and read, helping to make that sister's work shine. Or when one finally leaped over that hurdle of outlining or finishing a manuscript, we've been there to cheer and say hooray!

Through our writing friendships, each of us has taken steps closer to fulfilling our dreams and growing in our writing careers.

The successes we've each had since working together are sure to bleed into this new year, and I'm excited for each of us and for you. We are thankful for our CPs and for you.

Do you have critique partners or other writers willing to read your work? How have they helped you become a better writer?


  1. I can't thank my CPs enough. They have suffered through so much of my crap. Here's to a successful new year!

  2. oh, yes. And those guys are my LIFE SAVERS. I love them so much. And you! You're a wonderful writer. It's a fun journey~ All the best! :o) <3

  3. I truly Love this blog and all you Oasis Ladies! It's so true without critique partners most of us would be swimming in that same whirlpool trying to find our way out. =)

    I love my CP's!

  4. My CP is my mother, my friend, and also my editor ... she use to be an English teacher and is one of my biggest supporters to my writing. But now I have a new idea for a YA book with risky material and she is less than pleased with my idea. So I think its great a site like this exists where you can find people who are like you and encourage you to better your craft. I started my own blog and since starting it the creative juices continue to flow freely.

  5. I love this post! My CP is definitely my cousin. I run all of my ideas by her first, and she reads my drafts before I send it out to ANYONE else. I value her input. :)


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