Angela Goff

Writer. Teacher. Potter. VisDare Creator.

4 Ways My 1st Page Hit Back

For while the ways of art are hard at best, they will break you if you go unsustained in by belief in what you are trying to do. – Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

Several years ago I stopped calling myself an Aspiring Writer and decided to take my dream seriously. Not long after, I ran across the above quote in a book of Cambridge Lectures called On the Art of Writing. Though small, the book was a bit daunting to get through, but this quote stuck to my ribs.

I copied the quote on a notecard. Because that’s what Real Writers do, yes? We find inspiration quotes about writing and we champion our ideal.

A few years on, that quote is still a much needed reminder. Right now I’ve got it taped to my bathroom mirror.

I say this because I am currently in my NINTH rewrite of The Blank Mara.

Nine. Yes. Starting over from scratch. Each. Time.


Above: Glimpse of my first page, as it was about a month ago. Needless to say, it has changed DRASTICALLY since then. Also: Pinterest in the background, giving oblique references to the plot.

I’m taking the time to point this out because of something valuable I learned during my Manuscript Academy workshop this past May. The focus for that one week, online class was to tighten up my first page.

I’d already had my manuscript out in queries for almost two years so I thought, why not? Let’s tighten up that first page. Make it really shiny.


It turns out that the class highlighted more than just the issues with my first page (which is no doubt what the Manuscript Academy gurus intended). Here are four things I learned about myself as a result of that class: Continue reading “4 Ways My 1st Page Hit Back”

The Decision in Which I Pay $25 and Promise to Scare Myself

Today I did something that I’ve long considered doing, but haven’t been brave enough to do before.

It surprised me too, because this Scary Something was now in my budget, unlike most writing conferences, online classes, retreats, etc. My budget currently lives deep in Hand-to-Mouth-Feeding Territory, probably wearing old potato sacks and being held at gunpoint in an Old West ghost town somewhere.

But that super-tight budget has also been the convenient excuse to Not Do The Thing That Needs Doing – which, for me, is: Getting a better grip on how I approach my manuscript.

Because honestly? It’s time one of my Idea Babies learned to tie their own shoes and strut their stuff, dangit.

Result: Today, I signed up for an online class with The Manuscript Academy.

If you haven’t heard of it, The Manuscript Academy is a somewhat recent offshoot of the long-running Continue reading “The Decision in Which I Pay $25 and Promise to Scare Myself”

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