OCW Conference

I promised to report on my experience at the OCW Conference. Initially the goal was to find an editor who would want my novel. As the date approached I saw that I would not complete editing my novel in time.

I did a lot of the hard work, as I had intended. But something was missing. At the conference I found out what it was.

I did not show my novel to anyone nor did I pitch it. But I consulted with my coach and a mentor. What I learned was very helpful.

I learned, first of all, that I am writing “women’s fiction,” not a “romance,” as I had thought. In women’s fiction it is the story and issues of the heroine that drive the book, not the romance.

For me coming to this understanding was huge. It meant I now understood why I could not accept some of the recommendations of my critique partner. It is alright for me to do the things I want to do, and feel I need to do.

I also dug deeper, with the help of my coach, and refined the underlying message of my book. I now have greater clarity about how to proceed with my writing.

Several people encouraged me to stay with my novel. One author remembered my characters from the time I shared my story with her last year and she is particularly waiting for me to finish the book.

At the conference I found something I needed and for which I did not even know I was looking. Now I can’t wait to see what my book will look like by the time the next OCW Conference rolls around.


10 thoughts on “OCW Conference

  1. Wow, the conference sounds so exciting. I can’t wait to hear more about it. We will get together for tea after the dorms are ready for the beginning of school. I have a gift card for tea. It can be used at either of three places called Traeyeakes.
    1501 Marine Dr. White rock
    101 2636 Montrose Ave Abbotsford
    23170 96ths. Ave Fort Langley
    You mentioned a new tea house you wanted to visit. Is it one of these?
    Again, I am so happy you had souh a good experience at the Work Shop.

  2. This is exciting! So glad you found the wording that clarifies your genre. I’ve heard the word “label” used almost as if it were a dirty word. But I have learned how helpful it is to have names for things, and good definitions. May you move forward, letting your female character drive the action, and may we enjoy it in print soon!

  3. Tina, thank you so much for sharing what you learned. You’ve also helped me with the book I’ve been working on (well, not for a few years, but it’s there somewhere!). I thought it was a romance – but like yours, it’s a woman’s fiction. That little clarification makes a huge difference. I know exactly how that “clicked” in your mind – for it did the same for me. Fantastic! You’ve blessed me immensely!

    So now will you be moving forward? How on earth do you find time to do that and blog at the same time? 😉

    Glad you had a good time at the conference and that it was beneficial for you!


    • So happy to hear this was helpful to you too. Yes it makes a huge difference.

      Blogging and doing other writing can be challenging. I just finished a couple of children’s articles I plan to submit. I know as writers we are not supposed to be all over the map, but I think it may take me a little while to define what it is I do best.

      Thanks for stopping by. All the best with your novel.

    • We must get together soon! Can you believe it’s almost a month since the conference? And it feels even longer.

      Yes, it was a good investment. I am amazed to have found such a supportive group of writers. But I need to look around and see what is offered in the lower mainland. I think I’ve heard there is a writers group in Surrey.

  4. It sounds like your writing voice has been found, Tina. I like how you described the distinction between woman’s fiction and romance. The former sounds more intriguing and (dare I say) respectable.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Women’s fiction is allowed to probe and take the time to go deeper than romance. It doesn’t use sex to hook readers and I like that about it. Yes, you might say it is more respectable.

      It’s amazing the difference now that I know I am writing women’s fiction. I do feel I have more freedom to write with my distinct writing voice.

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