Monday, November 30, 2009

All wrapped up

Hallelujah the revisions are done! And just in time. My editor contacted me today to inform me she would be ready for my ms this week.

There are only a few minor details (spell check and chapter titles) and then it will be off to the very- expensive- hopefully- worth -all- my -money -editor. I don't know how long it will take for her to do a first read through, I know that some of my first readers were able to finish the book in about ten hours. But since she is a professional, so perhaps even that first read through will take longer. To be honest I want her to rip through it the first time, to catch the excitement and to be drawn into the characters lives.

Ah well, time will tell all and I will be passing on all the information here for good or for ill. Or mediocre. Or painful. Hmm. Lets hope against the painful part.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trashing Others Work

There have been some conversations lately between me and a few of my writing group friends about a very interesting phenomenon. We all have seen the great success of writers such as Stephanie Meyer and Christopher Paolini. They both have come from relative obscurity to major fame and fortune in a very short time. Kudos to them both and all the other writers who have had great success.

But, not everyone is as nice as me. One day while searching through Facebook for a page on fantasy writers I found a page dedicated to hating young Paolini. The members of the group(who by the way were all "authors") trashed his writing style, story line and his character. And I have had personal experiences where minimally published writers have trashed Ms. Meyer stating that her writing was no good at all. Yet they are both National Best Sellers. How can this be?

It seems to me that these people who trash others work are just jealous, that would be the easy assumption. I think though that in trashing someone elses writing these people feel like they are the better writers, albeit undiscovered. And I think that people are forgetting that most readers aren't reading from a literary point of view, they are reading to enjoy the story and get swept away in the adventure and romance.

So I am going to put this out there right now. I am not writing a work of literary genius with hidden meanings and deep metaphors. Get ready to trash my work because it is a rip snorting adventure meant for nothing more than a great escape from the doldrums of life.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Query Gaffs

With my ms undergoing revisions, I don't have very much to report on in the way of query letters, rejections(which of course won't happen the next time around), requests for material and so on. I have however had some interesting experiences when it comes to getting feedback from agents. Allow me to elaborate.

There was the instance where I received a rejection and along with the polite decline of my ms and attached to my email were two stories. Now, neither of them were mine, both looked to be the first chapter or portion of a chapter that two individuals had sent in. This made me wonder if any portion of my ms ended up on someone else's rejection email. And no, neither story was all that good.

Or there was the time that I had a request for the first 50 pages of my ms, which coincidentally I had already sent in. The request was rather snotty so I immediately went to reply(didn't want to irritate them further) and saw that not only was my 50 pages attached at the bottom of THEIR email they had sent me, they were replying to me off of my original query that had my first 50 pages of my ms attached as per their request. Hmm. Perhaps some new glasses?

And then my favorite was the very detailed rejection letter from an agent who had requested my ms. It was a good page long, detailing why my ms wasn't what this agent was looking for. Only one problem. The name of the manuscript onthe letter was not mine. Turns out after a few back and forth emails that this agent uses this very detailed letter as their form letter to make it look like there is more put into the rejection letter than there really was and he had forgotten to change the name of the ms in the form letter. Oops.

So what does this tell you and me? Agents are human, they mess up and make mistakes just like the rest of us and sometimes there is nothing to do but laugh, particularly when receiving rejections so goofed up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time to Write

I have been going over my notes from the Surrey Conference last month, re-reading my favorite workshops, hoping to re-tap into the motivation that I came out of the conference with. Don't get me wrong, it's not a writers block that I am dealing with, more of a "everything-gets-in-my-way-and-won't-just-leave-me-to-my-writing" sort of deal.

I would love to stay up late, write into the wee hours of the morning, except for the early wake up call to go to work. And for me, work is pretty physical, wrestling with horses all day is not something you want to do, or can do on minimal sleep.

So. Besides quitting work (one day, one day) I just have to figure out where I have the most time to set aside. Fifteen minutes here or there even would be a great start. But to be honest, I love my marathon sessions. Anywhere from three to eight hours is perfect.

I have a deadline coming up, which really is a good motivator, but even better is that I think I can use the deadline to coerce a certain husband into taking on a few more domestic duties, thus freeing time for me. Hmm. Husband + Laundry + Dinner = more time for writing initially, possibly less time later as I sort through the laundry and have to do more workouts to make up for the multiple meals of Chinese take out.

Like everyone else, I guess I will have to figure out the magic formula, when I do, I'll be sure to pass it on. Hmm. Maybe it's something like Husband + vacuuming + dishes. It does have its possibilities. ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PR and the Radio

Just a quick update before I get back to my revisions. I have no money now, which means of course I have made my last payment to the free lance editor I have hired. My computer keeps shutting itself off in the middle of my work for no apparent reason (my laptop is my writing computer which has saved me from mental breakdown of thinking I would lose all my writing) and I was on the radio yesterday.

The writing group I am a part of, Writing in Progress, had a spot on the local radio to promote our group. Wendy, the lady who started the writing group, asked me to go along with her for moral support. It was about a five minute blurb with the DJ asking us questions and us struggling for words. Writing is one thing, speaking is a whole other ball of wax. Actually, I thought Wendy did quite well for all her nervousness. It was me struggling to find the right words. Of course.

One of the major pluses of the radio spot is that the DJ invited us to come back as soon as any of our group gets published. Hopefully that will be me in about 6 months. But only if I get on my revisions, speaking of which...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


The next few days are going to be nothing but, well, revisions. After the conference in Surrey, I came home with a lot of ideas to help tighten up my novel, to make it flow just that much better and overall to make it far easier to publish right out of the start gate.

I hope that by the end of the week my revisions will be done or very close to being done. Which means I may not be writing on my blog much this week. Unless of course I get totally stuck and writers block takes over my brain. In which case you may see me writing on here every couple of hours to try and un-stick my mental block!

After the revisions I will be doing a last couple of read throughs with my trusty first readers (yes Suze I will be asking you!) and then I will be ready for my free lance editor. So why, you might ask, this sudden push towards perfecting my ms? At the conference I was fortunate enough to sit down with an acquisitions editor who works for Tor/Forge, the largest publisher of Sci-Fi and Fantasy in North America. Short story is she would like to see my ms. As soon as all my revisions are done. No pressure, no pressure at all :)