Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Rules = GUIDELINES!

When I first started writing I was so green that besides grammar rules, I knew NOTHING of writing rules, which means when I started learning about the craft of writing and just how many rules were actually involved in writing a novel (I was in the process of writing Prayers to Russell), I was completely overwhelmed and even put my writing on hold for a while because I felt they constricted my "voice." I mean, who would have ever thought that rules like "no adverbs" existed? And I can't say "she murmured?" I have to always she "she said?" And what's this "show vs. tell?" There are many more where these come from.

I read so many posts on forums and agents' blogs (and even learned in a webinar) how big of a deal these rules are, and got the impression that, basically, anyone who thought they were good enough to "break" the rules, was a rookie who didn't know her/his stuff. That totally turned me off from the publi…

Hiatus

Image
I know it's been a while since I've updated anything on here and it's because I still don't have any updates. With everything going on lately, especially the baby coming, I think I've come to the unsteady conclusion that I will take a break from pursuing a writing career for the time being.

After realizing just how much work and effort it is once you get published (and I'm holding to the positive notion that I will eventually if I keep submitting), it just seems in my family's best interest that I should wait so that I actually have time for them. I don't know how, while still having kids and nursing, that I will be able to hit up all the events I'd have to be present for if I was published, etc., and still be the mom/wife I need to be. If and when I get published, I want to be able to actually devote time and attention to it.

So though I will not stop writing and writing some more (because let's face it--I can't stop), until I know I am past …

The Latest and Not So Greatest

It's been a while, but there's been nothing to report in the world of my writing "career." I wish it was a career. Right now, unfortunately, I'm coming to terms with the harsh reality that it might always just be a hobby. I've really backed off the submitting and agenting process quite a bit the past few months, owed in part to my pregnancy and all that comes along with it. I haven't had much desire or drive to push it further, thanks to utter physical and mental exhaustion.

But even as I have stepped back, I have given more attention to perfecting not just my most recent manuscript, but my last one as well. I like to think the step back has been good, has given me a more crucial eye as I focus on the material itself and not the stress of getting agented. I've read and studied a bit more on the craft of writing (still learning and always will be), which helped me go back with new things to look for and new objectives when revising.

Over the last few mon…

Plug, plug, plug...

It's been a while since I have posted anything about my writing, mostly because it's been a slow process and my thoughts have been anywhere and everywhere. I'm still in the querying process for November Rain, and fear I always will be. My train of thoughts with this one is: "At what point do I give up and move on?"

*I am also thinking of changing the title. A book title says everything, and lately I feel November Rain might be a little...emo. Anyone have any suggestions??

I don't want to give up because I feel it deserves representation, and mostly, publication. But at what point do I need to think realistically? It may be a great story with a moving theme and great characters, but what I'm finding is it's just not big enough. I have received some very nice rejections from agents (though most have been form rejections) who have stated that they thought on it, it sounded like a good story, but due to the high demand and busy schedules, it wasn't so…

Synopsis: check

Well, I'm at the point now where I have finally written my synopsis to my liking (thanks to a late, unforgiving night last night...toped off with a sick child. Two hours of sleep. It doesn't feel too great). It still isn't in it's perfected, tweeked state, but the flow and the content is finally where it needs to be. I'm still in kind of a dilema because it's pretty long. It's still within average and acceptable length to editors and agents, but it's pushing the limit, and shorter and more concise is always better in these cases. However, with a story like November Rain, that isn't plot-driven but more character-driven with a slowly unfolding plot, it's difficult to write it short and concise, yet still entice someone into believing it's a beautiful story. In staying true to it's theme, I feel as though I included everything that should be included (prose and content alike) to illustrate the proper feel of the story. And that'…

As Finished As Finished Can Be

Image
Just finished my revision! Yay! (This picture seemed fitting somehow, seeing how it's titled November Rain). I feel like celebrating somehow. Maybe I'll eat some ice-cream tonight. Wait. I always do that. Maybe I'll wait to do some celebrating once I get everything else done too, like my synopsis and letter (still dreading it). And even more celebrating when an agent actually takes my stuff into consideration (I'm crossing my fingers). And then even more when it sells to an editor (it may be a dream, but it's possible!). And then the ultimate celebration can come when it's actually published. For now, this is just a tiny step in the beginning, leading to every other step that takes me to the top.

That paragraph was incredibly pointless, I know. Anyway, I am so extremely satisfied with the finished project. Overwhelmingly so. I sure hope I'm not just in a dreamlike stage, thinking it's better than it really is, because I can honestly say I am very proud o…

The Length of a Novel, Practically. :)

I'm working on my last revision before my manuscript is ready for any agents who might request it (I can only hope, right?)--meaning, after all the times I've revised it, this has been the most engrossing, the most time consuming, and my eyes have been more "critical" than ever before. Having that attitude, it's amazed me how much I have found that hasn't sounded right (grammatically and otherwise). I've ended up changing much more than I initially thought. My intent going into this revision was to make it as absolutely perfect as possible, to view it as a critical outsider, nitpicky and looking for any reason it might fail.

Something I've learned is to trust your gut. It's taken a while for me to learn that and even to recognize my "gut" when I feel it, but I think I've got it down and know now that when something doesn't sound right, it's probably because it isn't. So I looked back on all my past revisions and recalled t…

Recommended Read

Image
Just got done reading Pat Walsh's 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published & 14 Reasons Why It Just Might (longest title in history, right?). I found the information harsh and abrasive, but above all, extremely helpful. In order for a writer to take themselves seriously on the road to authorhood, I think it's necessary to view all the brutal sides of the publishing industry (including all the annoying, knit-picky reasons you most likely will be rejected--because you almost always will). Throughout the book I recoiled at his "jerk" attitude towards writers (even through my giggles at his humor), but his points were very valid and it made me want to strive harder at putting in all the effort necessary to make myself stand out in the "slush-pile" against all the thousands and thousands of submissions agents and editors receive every year. The book had a strange way of making the less-worthy writers feel like crap, but the dedicated writers feel lik…

Querying, Querying, and More Querying

Unfortunately nothing new to report here. I've sent 5 queries (about a week or so ago) and have gotten back 4 rejections, which I hoenstly expected. So, what I've really been focusing my time on lately has been re-vamping my query letter and synopsis, because I know it can always improve. I feel that though writing prose for my story comes easily, it is SO extremely difficult to write a good query. I have mixed feelings about the query process. I know it works for most and it's completely necessary for agents to sift through the good authors, but it's frustrating because I don't feel a query letter properly portrays the author's writing ability. Query writing is a completely different style than writing a story--one I find completely difficult. Argh.

But I've gotten helpful books from the library and I've been working on getting it just right before I send it off to more. I strongly believe in my story, I love it, and I KNOW there are others ou…

Movin' On Up

Okay, so THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED ME TWEAK THE SYNOPSIS (especially Steve...HUGE help)! I think it's where I want it, and so this week I am planning on getting to the nitty-gritty process of searching for appropriate agents and submitting my query letter. Writing the synopsis was the hard part, so I'm not too concerned about the rest, since I'll just plug that into each letter I write--with personal touches to each agent, of course. So wish me luck!

Oh, and here's the final draft:

Raegan Fairbanks refuses to move on with her life after the death of her husband—even a year later when a most unexpected mediator unites her with the mysterious Lucas Cross. Raegan and Lucas can’t deny their distinctive connection, but only upon learning they share the same dark tragedy does their bond cosmically fuse.

Lucas, the unrivaled soul with an empathetic ability to heal Raegan’s grief, guides her through the torturous healing process. In pulling her through denial and c…

Mini Synopsis...updated!

First off, I want to thank everyone for the input! Each and every comment was extremely helpful and I've taken something from each one. I can totally see the benefit of writing forums and groups now. But who needs one when you have amazing family and friends to give honest advice? :)

Anyway, as I said before, it was my roughest of drafts and my purpose for posting it was the NEED for outside opinion. So, in taking everyone's criticism, it helped me view it from the outside and do a little reconstruction. THANK YOU! I left most of it the same, except moved around wording here and there, according to what I felt was best.

I have to say that writing synopsises are like death to me. Hate them with a passion. How do you scrunch a 300+ page novel into three paragraphs and entice the readers without revealing too much at the same time? Ugh...it's a difficult process.

Anyway, I want to address a couple comments I got about confusing sentences, etc. I have tried rewording a few of…

Mini Synopsis

So, this is the first and roughest draft of my mini synopsis for November Rain. Again, I'll emphasize roughest because usually the first words coming to mind need plenty of work. I'm putting it out here for opinions, so please comment and let me know what you think--if it's enticing enough or needs work.

Imagine going to the book store, pulling a book off the shelf, and reading the inside flap with a brief blurb describing the book and trying to pull readers in. Thinking of it that way, how does this measure up? Thanks again for everyone's feedback! Oh, and if you're curious as to the feel of this novel, in my imagination I'd like to think it would appeal to those who enjoy Nicholas Sparks and like novels--boldly stated. :/

"Raegan Fairbanks refused to move on with her life after the passing of her husband—even a year later when pulled to the mysterious Lucas Cross by the most unexpected mediator. Raegan and Lucas can’t deny the special connection drawing t…

The End...I think.

I finsihed my final edit last night...I'm pretty sure, I mean. I'm also pretty sure I'll be going back and making more changes because that's how I am. I can't seem to find satisfaction in the finished project. But for now, it's as good as it's gonna get. So for now, November Rain is done! (Still not even 100% on the title, but it fits.)

I'm also unsure about the first few chapters or so. Not too sure how it's going to be taken, if the way my characters meet is silly, or unfitting for the rest of the book. I've been going back and forth so much. I re-read it and I absolutely love the book, but the first bit I still question. I love the idea, but as always, my problem is--will everyone else?

Well, okay....so I'm realistic enough to know not everyone will. But hopefully, some people will. The people that have my taste. But as I've been working extremely hard lately on not worrying about what anyone else might think, I know it sho…

All Good Things Come To An End

It's late and I should be getting to bed, but I'm too excited just yet. I had to blog that I just finished my novel! Once I got back in the groove the other day, the rest flowed out and I realized I was closer to the end then I thought. So, even through my exhaust tonight, knowing I only had the epilogue left, I had to finish.

Now, one more final read-through and edit to make sure it all fits, and I'll be done!

Next, the grueling process of querying. Gulp. Not so fun...

Bump in the road...

It's late and I'm tired, but because I haven't written anything in a few days, I feel the need to write something...anything. I'm stuck in my novel. I've reached a spot where I have ideas, written some, but I can't go further until I figure out whether I really want to keep things or not. Feeling stuck makes me feel unstable inside. LOL. Things have been flowing so smoothly that it's throwing me off to feel in a rut. I think sometimes my mind is so crammed with ideas and the constant flow is bound to jam sometime. Maybe a few more days without writing will get me back on track. Who knows?

Sometimes I just wish I could step outside myself, sit back and read what I've written as me (because I know my taste), but as the me who hasn't written the story and doesn't know it forward and backward, behind and front. It's hard for me to say if it's really good, if people (people who like the same things as me of course) will actually like it--or if…

Full of thoughts...

Feeling alone most of the time in my bubble of writing, I decided in order to release the pressure that seems to build, I'd blog about it--about all the struggles I experience, my insecurities, confusion, thoughts...basically anything that has to do with my measly writing career. I'll save the other stuff about my kids, etc., for my other blog--my other blog I rarely update. :/

The writing community is a big and scary world and I feel completely inadequate to take it on. However, I am bound and determined to follow the dream as long as my family life allows me to do so. That's the trick--not getting swallowed in it. There are so many times I have to audibly reaffirm to myself that "I am a mother and wife first, a writer second." Sometimes I blur the line, and it's that I'm desperately trying to work on.

It's hard when you have something brewing inside you, a story you have to release, and you feel like if you don't you might self-combust. As with an…