Monthly Archives: December 2010

Taking a Quasi-Break

I decided to take a break from querying my first manuscript to agencies for the rest of the year.  Since most agencies are unofficially closed or partaking in necessary ‘house-cleaning’ duties until the New Year anyway, this is probably the best time to take a break, if I’m ever going to take one.

But I’m hoping that with the start of a new year, agencies (and publishers) will embrace a more accepting sentiment and give a closer eye to us writers who strive to be authors.  But that brings a conundrum to mind: with the constantly changing market, the advancement and popularity of ebooks, and the government discussing placing higher taxes on said ebooks (taxing literacy, I should say), will that force publishers and agencies to be even more selective on new clients (and potentially even current clients)?

Rumors, innuendos, whispers, and interpretations of the publishing industry by the media and the government makes it extremely difficult to answer that question.  All I can hope and pray is that readers’ desire for more great fiction- the incredible stories, compelling characters, and beautiful voices of the authors- will remain vibrant and unquenched, enticing them to buy/support/read more.

But at the end of the day, that would all be icing on the cake.  Because the heart of any cake is the sweet and fluffy center- the knowledge that I love to write.  It makes me feel better.  It makes me feel more like myself.  I feel as though I’m a better wife, better mother, better friend, better woman- better person.  And of all the ‘vices’ in this world, I think writing is a pretty productive one.

Enjoy the New Year everyone.  Keep writing forward.

Putting a Scene to a Vote

Debating where my heroine in an upcoming manuscript I’m brainstorming discovers the horrible news that her love interest is dating her rival.  So I thought I’d ask for some help and put it to a vote!  Let me know what you think.

Facts to consider: My heroine’s love interest is a former teammate (friends for many years) but he is currently casually dating the heroine’s rival.

The hero doesn’t know the heroine has romantic feelings for him (he always dreamt of dating the heroine, but felt she was out of his reach).

How does she find out the horrible news that her secret love interest is dating her enemy?

A) At a restaurant, catching the two on a date (as she gets take-out)

B) At the pool during diving practice (all three are springboard divers)- they come in to practice together

C) At a movie theater, catching the two on a date

D) At an awards event featuring his accomplishment, with the rival on his arm

Let me know what you think.

Stay Motivated

With the holidays in full swing (Christmas just a week away) creating a barrage of distractions, travel arrangements right around the corner, and the stagnant responses from agencies still pending, its hard to stay motivated to keep writing every day.  On the half-finished manuscript file sitting on my desktop that stares at me every day screaming, “Open the file… write more… finish me!”

As well as the third manuscript I’m still brainstorming and writing notes about every week into a battered journal.  Fine, if I’m stuck on the incomplete manuscript and I’m blocked on ideas for my next one, what’s an aspiring author to do?

Name it- the distractions are endless.  Eat, clean, run errands- all in between chasing after my two-year-old around the house.  And when he naps, maybe I can get some writing done.  Perhaps on the blog!!! :)  Yes- there’s the answer for motivation!

Get things off my mind, loosen my fingers on the keyboard- which will all hopefully clear the way for motivation to finish something!

What about you, readers?  What distractions do you feel yourself being pulled to, instead of writing your manuscripts or submitting to agents/publishers?  At least I know I’m not alone in this condition.

Day in the Life of an Aspiring Author

Querying and submitting to agents is a long, arduous, and nerve-wracking process.  I finished my first manuscript (contemporary romantic suspense) a few months ago after years of writing, and another year of revising, editing, cutting, splicing, and crying.  (Emotions run rampant around these pieces of my soul on paper).

Then I started the massive undertaking of finding a literary agent.  I’ve read so many self-help books and tips on publishing that I believe I have the basics down.  Now its down to the nitty-gritty in getting my query letter noticed among the thousand of queries agents read every day.

Most agents aren’t looking for new authors to sign right now.  “Our agency is currently occupied by catering to our current list of clients.  Please check back with us next year.”  I’ve read this tag line on so many agency websites.

For those agents who are considering signing new talent, the competition is brutal!

I’ve sent out 45 queries over the last several months, and have received back 15 rejections.  However, I did receive one agent’s interest, and he asked for my first 3 chapters.  I was physched! Made my Thanksgiving complete!  After a month, I received a devastating blow- another rejection from my most promising prospect.

Granted, this industry requires an extremely thick layer of skin.  But that was hard to swallow.  I appreciated that he responded with a few tidbits as to why he passed on my baby- excuse me, manuscript.  I’ll try to learn from them.  But really the only way I can keep moving forward is just to keep writing.  Not only that, but keep writing what I love.

I’m looking forward to my first Writer’s Conference in February.  I hear that is an excellent way to learn, network, and potentially find at least an intro to an agent.  Its intimidating, but I’m anxious for it.

Needless to say, I also entered a bajillion contests over the last few months as well.  I’m waiting to hear back from several.  Including 1 contest in which I won a consolation prize of a critique of my first chapter.  That was back in October and I’m still waiting.  But that’s normal for this industry.

Pain, anguish, and infinite waiting is normal for this industry.

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog!  I’m brand new at this, so hopefully it won’t become just a place of my ramblings that only my electronic self will read.  Although this would be a great place to keep track of my memories, since I’m more forgetful than I remember being!

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