Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Advice

Perusing some of my most favorite blog sites, I stumbled across some extremely pertinent information, at least pertinent to my life. For those of you who don't know, I am in the middle of revising my ms in preparation for sending it off to the slaughter I mean agents and editors.(Sorry, couldn't resist!)

This ms is the first in a proposed series, but it can stand alone. So often I have read in advice columns and articles that it is vital to have the whole series written PRIOR to having sent your submissions in to agents/editors. Now if you are in my boat, where the series is 8 books long, that is a lot of writing to do before I even know if it will be sellable.
But in this aforementioned blog and agent addresses this particular problem and I am SOOOO happy now that I haven't written all eight books. The overall advice was---

1. Write one book at a time that can stand alone

2. You second book should have nothing to do with the first, should be a different story altogether, not the next in the series. In other words, don't write all eight books until you have sold the first one! This also gives you a second book in case your first bombs which is altogether possible.

3. Don't scare off agents by querying thusly "This is the first book in a series of eight, there is no other way this can be done and no way any of the books could possibly stand alone, don't worry you will love the cliffhangers!"

All this means is that the outline I have for book #2 in my "proposed" series will stay as an outline for a while. It also means that I can start fresh on a new project which I must say is kind of exciting. I am thinking about starting a new book with the characters and general story line from my short story "Cursed." Unless a better idea pops into my head. ;)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Best Books Ever!

I have been thinking of doing a more interactive post, something that everyone can get in on at least in a small way, for some time. Visions of contests, prizes and rengs's (a poem written by a large number of people) floated through my head. But, I have no money to hand out prizes, and most people are too busy for goofy blog post contests. Simplicity is best.

Which is what this is, simple. What are you reading right now and what is your favorite book of all time? I just finished Yasmine Galenorn's book Bone Magic. It is the 7th in her Otherworld series and is a lot of fun to read. I would not recommend it for teens as it does have a fair bit of adult content. And at the moment have not started anything else, though I have several unread volumes on the bookshelf to choose from.

Coming up with my fav. book of all time is a wee bit harder. There are so many to choose from! But I think that at the moment, the best book I have read in a long, long time is Mistborn by Branden Sanderson. Very well written, very original and a great story and memorable characters.

Now it's your turn.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A whole lot of sweat.

I just read a great article in the Writer's Digest Jan 2010 issue that struck a resounding large bell inside my thick skull. This article is called Inspiration vs. Perspiration. To paraphrase it, "Perspiration leads to inspiration, even though that seems counter intuitive." Okay so that was a direct quote. But it makes a very good point. As writers so often (At least this goes for me) we seem to think that a novel, short story, thesis, essay or poem will just spring into our minds in it's entirety while we write feverishly for a week straight and from there it will go directly into a publishing house because it is so profound and pure.

Yet this is far from the case in most instances. Yes, we may start with inspiration, an idea, phrase, sentence or character. But from there, the perspiration begins. This has definitely been a huge hurdle for me as I worry about the next book, novel, idea and character, forgetting that a great deal of my previous work only started with inspiration and finished with a great deal of perspiration, cursing, rewriting and time.

No matter what it is you are working on at this moment, I would encourage you to take 10 minutes to read this article. It might just give you the boost you've been looking for, it certainly has done that for me.

On a side note, my first set of revisions for my editor are done and I have sent off the ms to her tonight. Fingers crossed everybody! :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I have a week left to finish up revisions for my editor. One week, only a small amount of revisions, very little of my day job taking up my time and a plan as to how I want the revisions to go. And yet....I am concerned.

Pressure is good, it makes me work, deadlines are better but only if they are imposed by someone else. My own deadlines come and go and I just make another one. That is the problem with this particular scenario. My editor didn't actually say I HAD to get the manuscript done by the end of January, just that it would be a good idea. Which means that this deadline I have is more like one of my own. Hence the concern.

Oh, I am sure that it will get done, just not without some serious sweat equity the night before I should be sending it off. Cramming, it is what I do best. But one day, maybe when I'm a grown up and writing for a living it won't be like this. Maybe, just maybe I will be able to make and meet my own deadlines.

Who am I kidding? This is part of the whole package for me, the last minute changes, the "Ah crap am I going to be able to get this done on time?", the cursing under my breath and typing till 3am. It's not a style for everyone, but it works for me.

Most of the time.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Holiday Brain Drain

Oh thank goodness the holidays are over. I do believe that most of my motivation and drive to write was sucked out of me along with all my cash. Now that's not to say I didn't do any work at all. Can you imagine the sheer number of new characters developing in my head with all the family members showing up, the fights and grievances between them, the drama, tears and laughter? Fodder, large amounts of fodder for stories, characters, plot lines, quips and conversations was all handed to me on a silver platter next to the turkey and cranberries.

All names will be changed as family/individual quirks and nuances are deposited into a story line, I wouldn't want my family to realize how often they are a part of my writing world. But for those of you who know my family, you may be able to pick out the familiarities. Actually, I am sure you will be able to.

With all the family milling about, there is always someone who sets something on fire, spills the punch, breaks the porcelain or as in our families case, pop Grandads boil on Christmas day. Yes, you read that correctly. How could there not be something there to use for a far fetched scene in a yet unpublished story?

Poor eating habits over the holidays induced a number of wild and fantastic nightmares, I say fantastic 'cause where else can you SEE what the world you are about to create looks like before you even set pen to paper?

So although I didn't ever actually write anything this Christmas season, I was busy penning notes in my head for a later date and time.

But now I am getting the creative juices flowing once more and I am finding myself a bit lost, with all this new fodder, it's hard to know which one to choose. One idea stands out, way out. It starts with a large boil being drained....hmmm....I wonder if I should put up the video of that for a little entertainment?