Wednesday, December 16, 2009
My brother has been trying to help me meet up with New York Time best-selling author, Brandon Sanderson so I can talk to him about my work but that hasn't panned out yet. Apparently my brothers girlfriend works for Winn Sanderson, who is Brandon's dad, and he was willing to meet me and personally introduce me to his son and that would have been fabulous but Mr. Sanderson(the elder) lives in Idaho which is quite a drive. I don't know that we'll ever work that out but it would be super cool if we could. I really appreciate their efforts on my behalf.
I've been having some discouragement issues but that does go with the territory. In my writing group I have a friend who got Stephenie Meyer's agent, Jodi Reamer to represent her a few months back and she(the friend, not the agent!) recently told us that she has a three book deal with a well-known publisher. That's great news for her! I am thrilled for her and also kind of jealous...can't help it. She deserves her success though, for sure, and has been at this longer than I have. Also another friend from writers group that has been querying was telling me she'd received three rejections or something but they were on partials and fulls. I haven't even had one request! UGH. I'm up to 10 rejections out of 19 sent and I know, I will and should, have a ton more rejections(because I nee to query WAY more). I just wish I'd at least get requests for partials.
I find it harder to get rejections from agents that didn't have sample pages or chapters than those that did. I mean, a query letter really doesn't show much about my writing style even though I've taken lots of time trying to perfect it I still have no idea if it really conveys my story. If they read sample pages or chapters and just don't think it's for them it's a lot easier for me to take cuz I get that. I got a chance and didn't wow em. That I can deal with cuz no, not everyone is going to love me and I'm aware of that. Oh well, who really knows. Most of the rejections I get I don't mind so much, but I have a list of "dream agents" and when I get one from one of them it inevitably makes me a little sad. This is a process and I'm sure it will be full of ups and downs and more than a little self doubt. Writing is subjective and it's impossible to be objective about your own work. I just sincerely hope I'm not that author ten years from now still beating a dead horse when I really have no talent.
I do believe I have talent though. I really, sincerely, believe that I can write and that I'm good at it. It's all about timing and finding the right person at the right time who can see that too! Keeping a positive attitude and forging ahead with Flash, which will be marketable and I'll know isn't being rejected because of word count is a positive step for sure!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
|From Drop Box|
Just a hint about my new project. It's set fire to my soul again and I love when that happens! I started writing a new story, Flash, on Thanksgiving day and it's filling the pages at a rate I can't believe! It will be far easier to get an agent with this story in my opinion. It has no market questions, it's a definite YA crime drama or thriller and it will be complete at no more than 70K words, probably 65K is quite do-able on it. I'm excited because it's an awesome story and has been so fun to write so far!
As for Hourglass (renamed Rewritten), I'm taking a break from it for a while. I need it. I've decided a few things for sure though about it. #1 it's not a YA. No more going back and forth on it and I'll only query agent's who are interested in adult genre or both. In fact, I think I may even age my MC's up a little. Ally may go from 19 to 21 and Grant from 21 to 25. It's BIG news for me but I think it's best for the book and might actually help the story. It would still be perfect for the New Adult/Post Adolescent genre but it just isn't YA and I'm ok with that, finally! It;s only taken me seven months! LOL
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I've been wondering if my title was the right one for awhile now and this morning I think i decided it isn't. I'm thinking of calling it, Rewrite. I think that is more compelling and really says what the book is about in so many ways. What do you think?
If I never have a book for sale at a book store I can still be thankful that I enjoyed my life, my kids, and my writing even if no one else did and that's the important things when you lay your head on the pillow at night. I have so many blessings! Happy T-day! :D
Friday, November 20, 2009
I got this survey here and thought it might be fun to do, so here goes! If you do it on your blog please post a link in my comments! I'd love to read your responses! Or just answer it here in my comments!
1. Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter?”
I'm a pantser. I get a great idea and build on it. generally I have an ending in mind but that doesn't mean that is how it will actually end. Sometimes I sit down to write and by the time I've finished I'm shocked at what my characters have been up to! They definitely have their own spirits and lives. I'm only gifted with the chance to help them tell you who they are and I relish it!
2. Detailed character sketches or “their character will be revealed to me as I write?”
Again, being a "pantser" my characters let me know who they are as I write their story. I usually have a basic idea what they are like but they often surprise me with their reactions to situations I write them into.
3. Do you know your characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts before you start writing or is that something else you discover only after you start writing?
I would say that I do know what they are facing in advance, at least at the core. If surprising things happen though that can change but generally it only tweaks the original ideas.
4. Books on plotting – useful or harmful?
I've done a lot of research on everything related to writing and publishing and I've learned a lot but I've also found that the more I read the more conflicting opionions I find on whatever I'm researching. That's made me end up more confused than I was to begin with. I think there's a delicate balance here. I listen to my gut and hold on, hoping for the best. I use the knowledge that makes me feel strongly. It's a lot of trusting myself and what my intuition says to do based on what info I've gleaned.
5. Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work?
I love to write and the characters and stories won't shut up in my head so I tend to be more teh itch follower, to the point that my daughters and hubby worry they may be going to school/work naked if I don't get my stories out!
6. Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time?
Both. There've been times when I've been manic about it, really on a mad writing groove, so to speak. My kids think I'm nuts and I probably am but I LOVE when I'm writing in one of those grooves. It's primal. There are other times when I just write without the manic groove.
7. Are you a morning or afternoon writer?
I write whenever I can. Generally that's early Saturday and Sunday mornings, evenings after my kids are in bed, and preschool days when all of the kids, including the twins are gone.
8. Do you write with music/the noise of children/in a cafe or other public setting, or do you need complete silence to concentrate?
I MUST have music. I don't mind noise because that is my life but that said when I've been in a manic writing groove I've wanted all sound except the music to cease. My kids talk to me and I say, "Shut it! I'm writing here!!!!"
9. Computer or longhand? (Or typewriter?)
10. Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One?
Yes, but that doesn't mean when I get to the end it hasn't changed.
11. Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write?
No. I write what comes to me and what I feel passionate about!
12. Editing – love it or hate it?
I loved it in the first round but now....I'm kind of sick of my book because I've read it sooooo much! I'm finding it difficult to finish the edits. I've fallen a little out of love with the book I'm editing but I when I'm in it again I remember why I loved it to begin with.
13. Why do you want to write?
I can't imagine doing anything else. I love it and the stories won't let me not. It's a love of mine and I couldn't stop if I wanted to.
14. Do you want to publish your work? Why?
Yes. So much. I love my stories and love for other people to experience them and love them as well. It will be so humbling and amazing when that can happen!
15. Do like to write alone or do you like to work with others?
Alone. I do like my critique group but I don't think I could collaborate. My head knows what it knows and my heart agrees! :)
Friday, November 13, 2009
Still editing like mad and really wishing I could be done with it so I could write!!! I need fresh material inteh worst way!!!
Monday, November 2, 2009
I sit here feeling a little fluttery inside because about half hour ago I wrote an email and hit send. I've officially sent out my first query letter! OMG!!!!! Somebody grab my heart and put it back in my chest! It's done and can't be recalled. I have a positive outlook but I don't have high hopes. You walk a line there but I think I'm good. I really don't expect anything out if it but I sent it and you never know. I'm just proud to have done it! :D Tomorrow I hope to get some writing in on my NaNo WIP (work in progress) and do some more editing on Hourglass...not to mention laundry and kids and cleaning and well....you get the idea! Ok....going to bed. Heart still beating erratically! WOW!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
After much weeding "JUST" is smaller! I feel better about that. Now I'm trying to figure out why "Back" is so prominent? I know why "like" is. It's the similies. I find this whole wordle thing very interesting. It's actually very helpful to the editing process because it shows me what words I need to check into. So, I'm going back to work still working on edits but I've got a clean 50 pages and a query letter ready to go! I did remember that I need to write a full synopsis and apparently I should be scared about it but I'm really not. I know my book so it shuoldn't be terribly hard to summarize it. Maybe I'm missing the boat? check out www.wordle.net to get your own word cloud! It's dandy!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
So, Nathan Bransford, literary agent extraordinaire, used this website with his contest and it was super cool so I did it too. Thanks Mr. Bransford! http://www.wordle.com It generates a word cloud based on the frequency of words in a passage, manuscript, poem etc...
So, I copied and pasted my entire manuscript into it and this is the image it produced based on word usage in my MS. So yeah...remember when I posted about weed words? I do. Guess why? JUST! Oh yeah...my old friend really wants recognition! I love that! Not. So anyway, good times. It's actually some very interesting feedback. The good thing is that he copied and pasted his entire comment section with over 2500 first paragraphs and "Like" was the biggest in all of those so at least there I'm not so weird. Well, at least not in that one way... ;)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Dawn is an enemy to me. I consider it little more than a silent, unrelenting monster I can’t hold off. Morning sneaks in like a thief, stealing the only peace I have left, the obscurity of night. Every new day I wake to the same cutting reality, the same wounds. Still, the days pass like an endless blue stream. Sometimes they rush and sometimes they creep. The villainous sun shines in through my window, without fail. I fantasize about pulling my shades down, blanketing myself in the comfort of my bed and pretending I don't see the blinding light of day. Then I could stay forever lost in sleep and dreams.
TO BE CONTINUED....
What do ya'll think? I have rewritten the first page so many times I can't even count them anymore but I think this one will finally stick! At some point I have to just say I'm done editing!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Yesterday I went to author James Dashner's release party for his book, The Maze Runner. It's so exciting for him and it was great to be amongst the excitement. I couldn't help wishing and hoping that someday that will be me and that gave me renewed motivation to pick that manuscript up and GET IT DONE! It's funny, I used to think the book was so good but now I'm super sick of it because I've read it sooo many times! But I've got my goal to meet and it's important to keep it in perspective. So, I'm recommited! Yeah for me! My three other works in progress just need to wait till I get the edits done on this book and a first round of queries out!
One other fun thing, while we were at the release party, one of my daughters, 9 year old Emma came up to me with a book in hand saying "MOM, MOM...we HAVE to get this book!!! I love it!" In her hand she had an autographed copy of the lovely and talented Shannon Hale's book: "Rapunzels Revenge" It was fun because Shannon happened to be sitting on the ground reading t o her children and Emma thought that was super cool! Also, my 11 year old(well almost) Celia was startstruck by James Dashner. It was so fun!
I hope to join the ranks some day of published authors!!! Congrats to James!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
What do you think? Comments are very much welcome and requested! This may be my only chance in some cases to get an agent to even request a partial of my manuscript so it has to grab you and make you wonder enough to want to read the book! COMMENT away!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Allyson Hales is a level –headed and goal oriented 19 year old, living in the beautiful state of Virginia among oceans, forests and mountains. When her fiancé is killed on the way to their wedding, she’s plunged into a deep depression and isn’t sure she’ll ever recover.Then she meets Grant Pierce, a young, time traveling, detective, who starts appearing in her dreams, essentially rewriting her past. With Grant in her life she envisions a very different future than she’d ever imagined.But Ally doesn’t know Grants secret or that falling in love with him, she’s made herself a pawn in a war as old as time, pitting good time travelers against dangerous ones.No matter how much Grant loves Ally and may fight to protect her he fears he can never give her the future they both yearn for.class
Comment away!!! I need the help!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Also, I have another project in the works, currently entitled, "Text Me, I'm Yours." This one will most definitely be for the YA market. My protagonist is 16 and she acts it. I'm liking it so far! I think it's an interesting idea and it's been good to write so far...
Still planning on sending out 15 query letters by months end! WISH ME LUCK! (and a tough skin) I'm gonna need it! ;)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I completed the rough edit on Book One on labor day at 2 AM! Now I need to print it out and edit with a hardcopy manuscript and pen. Just a few more edits to go but I've decided to really focus on the first three chapters so I can get my first round of queries out. Then I wait for rejection or representation (I can dream!) while finishing the edits and writing Book Two....I can't believe I'm doing this!!!! I'm working on a query letter and it's almost worse than writing the book! It has to be perfect because it's my into to potential agents...STRESS!
Friday, August 28, 2009
As far as repetition goes the problem is two fold in my manuscripts. First of all, I always say something and then repeat it another way. I do this by the paragraph! Frustration. Also, word repetition. Last night the word "door" was used in a 4 sentence paragraph a total of 4 times. :/ That's stellar writing!
Next, I am forever telling the reader what they already can figure out for themselves, which is pretty much faithless writing on my part. I don't trust that I'm a good enough writer to describe from my text something so that the reader gets it. I will say, for example: "Sammy's face went white. His eyes were as wide as bottle tops and his body trembled. Obviously, this scared him." #2 sentence isn't even kind of needed. We get that. Sigh...
And last...last are "weed words." Weed words are the superfluous words that pop up all through your manuscript. They're pesky, common and aggravating. Well, those aren''t the words. That's what the words are. LOL Ok...done trying to explain that. My weed words are "that," and "just." ie: I just really need to tell you that you are driving me crazy and you need to stop, stop, stop it!! Wow, there are so many issues with that sentence I don't know what to do! I went all out with it though. Here's how the sentence should be written: I need to tell you; you're driving me crazy. You need to stop it! Although really, that: stop, stop, stop it, could have to do with characterization and might be OK.
All of this is stuff I've learned from writing but I have to say also, I can't stress it enough, If you want to be a serious writer, an "Author", GO TO A WRITERS WORKSHOP!!! Seriously. GO! Chapters 1-15 of my book were written pre- BYU Writers Workshop and I can definitely tell. There is a glaring difference between those chapters and the post-BYU Chapters I'm doing now. My writing improved so much over that week I thank heaven every day I went. The pre-BYU chapters took hours and hours to edit. I had to restructure almost all my sentences and clean up all the three above mentioned issues. The chapters I'm working on now are pretty quick edits.
Ok, well, as I've been editing I have discovered so much about writing. But I'm happy to say that I'm editing chapter 19 now. There are 28 chapters so I'm getting somewhere! Hooray! Now all I need to do is not think about the 4-5 more times I have to edit it after I'm done with the rough edit...
Oh - and one more really silly thing but when I wrote the word "Author" above I felt like herald angels were singing and it was neon lit and spotlighted. Do you think that makes me weird in any way? Oh, never mind, better not answer that one. And anyway, I know the truth.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Just now after a 5 day recess I finished book 1, Hourglass. I am super excited about it! I rewrote the ending 4 times and I think I am finally happy with it. Well, outside of editing when I will probably rewrite it again. Now I need to print it all off and actually read it from page 1 to page 234. It will be interesting to see how it all flows. When you write you write chapter by chapter and it will be fun to actually read it all the way through...Anyway, today is an exciting day!!! Book 1 DONE!