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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Getting Together One-to-One

This has been one strange year, hasn't it. At the beginning of the year, I was scheduling writing conferences, sending out submissions, signing up for book fairs, planning on vacations, and attending my weekly and monthly critique sessions. 

Then the world turned upside down.

Conferences and book fairs were cancelled, 

Critique meetings stopped. 

Even my vacations went by the wayside!

What we could and couldn't do evolved and changed. Now we're in a Brave New World with shades of Nineteen-Eighty-Four and Atlas Shrugged. I read those books years ago and thought they were mere speculation of creative minds. Now the plotlines have me wondering where we'll be heading next.

Ah, but there are positive notes for living in the 21st Century. We have the internet to connect with each other without being in person. We have video meetings! I've now done those with my office, my critique partners, and recently a pitch meeting and workshop.

The only problem with a video conference is you can see what everyone is doing. If they leave their monitors the meeting host sees that. They also see if you're paying attention. You can chat with others in your group as if they were sitting next to you, only your snippy remarks will be seen by all. So we become good students and do good eye contact. 

This past weekend I attended a workshop that was hosted by a publisher and we "met" with some of the editors. They discussed cover design, what makes readers buy,  and the type of books submissions they'd like to see. 

Then we discussed COVID and how it's affecting writing. That got a little messy. For those who write historical or fantasy, you can write as you've always done. But what if you write contemporary? 

Who will want to read about the Covid Epidemic two years from now (the length of time it takes for a manuscript to be acquired and brought to  print)? Will it be better or worse in that time frame? If you're writing contemporary do you just ignore all the Covid guidelines and act like 2020 never happened? No clear consensus was given.

So, I throw it out to you. How do you think contemporary novels should be written? With the Covid Back story? Or don't mention it at all?

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