The Page a Day Writers Group

At Long Last By Trish Wilkinson

Posted on: April 26, 2013

I’ve learned there’s something to Gladwell’s assertion that it takes 10,000 hours to become a true expert at something. It’s taken ten years for me to develop a series idea for a teenage Latina who’s inherited a super-sized sense of touch called El toque de la mente, or The Mind Touch, where she feels objects and movement from a hundred yards, even through walls, and she senses people’s lies. In a symbolic sense, her ability represents how she views the world and herself. I revised the first book, TAKING CHANCES, seven times – and then tossed it. There was a certain amount of mourning before I accepted the manuscript as a necessary, sturdy set of training wheels to prepare me to write MIND TOUCH, which is a thousand times stronger.

     In this story, fourteen-year-old Olympic hopeful, Maria Cipriano, steals away from L.A. on a bus with a friend to Guadalajara, Mexico to confront her deadbeat dad. What she discovers there might kill her and her friend killed unless she can get her Mind Touch to stop randomly wandering outside her head – and she can escape the family members who want her dead.

     After receiving feedback from four accomplished writers in two different writers’ groups and revising like crazy, I’m finally happy with the story structure, three-dimensional characters, snappy dialogue, tension, intrigue, fast pace, sub-text, foreshadowing – all the things that make a story a blast to read. And I’m getting fabulous responses from the few young adults from various cultural backgrounds that have read the manuscript.

     My latest task is to see if I can find an agent to represent me by the end of the year. I have friends who have been successful in self-publishing, and I’m a copywriter, so I know something about marketing. I also have connections with school districts, librarians, and Accelerated Reader since I was a teacher for twenty-three years. But I want to see if I can go the traditional route first. I really value the synergistic relationship writers and agents can develop to establish successful careers for both of them. I’d love a partner in crime. If I haven’t managed to find an agent to work with by the end of the year, I guess I’ll look more seriously at the self-publishing route.

All that business stuff aside, has it been worth all the time and energy I put into Maria Cipriano, her friends, and her crazy family in Mexico? You bet. The second story, TWO FEET, NO SHOES takes place in Los Angeles and is about six months away from a badass revision. The bottom line: there are no shortcuts for getting good at this writing thing, and I’m really glad I put in the necessary time and energy to reach the place where it gets to be the most fun.

Happy writing!Image




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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!


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