Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Numbers and New Year's Resolutions

Well, I dont have much writing news, as I have been taking a break for the holidays. It always makes me feel somewhat guilty to stop writing, but honestly, it's just too hard. So many people around, and when I manage to sneak off unobserved to write, I feel like an alcoholic sneaking off with a bottle of wine or something. So I get the guilt either way, only if I try to write, I have assorted other people to answer to, not just myself.
So I've read a bit of my writing, a little proofreading of my more immature stuff I wrote a long time ago, but I haven't been writing. But soon, soon.
So I thought I'd do my agent quest totals so far. They don't look very encouraging, I know. But it's a long hard road, so I'm sticking with it a little bit longer. Here's how things stand now.
Query letter revisions: countless, but I've sent out 3 different versions, and I have a new one for after the new year starts.
Query letters sent via snailmail: 5
Query responses via snailmail: 2
Queries sent via email: 23
Query responses via email: 5 (all canned)
Requests for partials: 0
Requests for fulls: 0

Yes, it looks quite sad. But my goal for the new year is to query all the agents on my list (60ish) for fantasy, finish my YA book, and query the agents on my YA query list. Oh, and I'm sure I'll need a new, thicker skin for Christmas next year, so someone put that on their shopping list please.

Happy New Year All!

Monday, December 20, 2010

And it's on to the next one...

So I finished my book. Now what? Do I begin to polish to a shine all the pages of my last seven books? Do I reread them for obvious things I missed, loose ends and discrepencies? Do I pine for my characters gone by? Do I begin the dreaded sentence by sentence passive verb/"that" purge? No. I'll tell you what I do. Not what 'real' writers do (because what the heck is a real writer anyway, and what do I know about them?) but what I do.
I start writing the book that's been hanging out in the discreet brainwaves somewhere obscure enough to finish my other series but still prominent enough to annoy the crap out of me.
No idea where it's going, but I have the idea planted pretty well in my brain by now. So here goes nothing. Or who knows, maybe something.

Drumroll please...

It’s finally done. Yes, I mean the whole series.

After six months and a few days, numerous plot-holes, a few close-calls on the nervous breakdown front, it’s finally over. After many nights that would have turned me into a pumpkin if I’d been Cinderella (dammit, I’m not), many more nights of writing past the decent bedtime hour of anyone past the age of twenty four, after a few sleepless nights. After stalling, hitting holes in the road, holes in the story, holes in my brain; after getting depressed, elated, angry, hopeless, frustrated, stuck, unstuck, stuck again, inspired, down, up, around and sideways. After three extra books, many new and unexpected character hijackings, and even more chocolate bars, I’ve finished my last book in the series. I did it! I did the impossible and wrote and entire series, beginning to end, tied up all the loose ends (I hope—*biting nails*), brought the whole thing to a point where I was finally ready to push those babies off, wave goodbye, put the basket in the stream, and let the current take them away to their fate. Goodbye all you vampires, good bad and ugly. I’m finally done, ready to move on and wash my hands of you.

I am finally, finally, at peace and feel the story is done, or at least my part in it. I can walk away with a smile.

Or at least start revising.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Getting out of a funk.

I really only have one good tip for this. Get off your butt and write. Sometimes you write something really amazing (or at least you're tempted to think so at the time) and it makes you feel all better. Or at least marginally better. And then you feel all shiny and happy and prolific, or maybe you just wrote three pages but it fit two really great pieces together that didnt quite turn smoothly--kind of like cartilage. You need those pieces of cartilage for your story to flow. And then, even if you only wrote that 3page piece of cartilage, at least you know your two really great scenes now flow smoothly from one to the other.
When I get depressed/hopeless/think what's the point, I'll never even find and agent, let alone a publisher, the last thing I want to do is sit down and write my story (after all, it's probably my story's fault that agents tend to ignore my queries, right?) But if I suck it up and force myself to write, I generally feel a little better about my story at least, if not about my prospects.
Speaking of, I should probably go find some more agents to annoy...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

writing while intoxicated.

tonight i plan to have a drink, and do some serious writing. unfortunately, all i have is lemon vodka (dont even know WHAT i was thinking when i bought that) and it goes with...well, nothing i have. but i dont think i'll be feeling all that picky when i sit in front of a blank screen until my eyes cross and try not to write the yucky stuff i know is coming up next. ah, well, bottoms up i guess.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

this calls for a stiff drink

Well, I think I've figured out one of the great misunderstandings of the writing world. People always say great writers are drunks because it inspires/unleashes their creativity--see Hemingway, Thomas, Poe, etc, etc, the list goes on and on. But I think maybe it's the search for an agent that inspires such raging binges. At least I know the urge would be mutually shared among most of the writers I know. And I have to admit, you need a strong stomach and a ego of steel to deal with the rejection.
At first, I didnt like the whole, "if you dont hear from us, we're not interested philosophy" of agencies. Now I"m reevaluating my opinion. It's like a mercy-killing. I think I'd rather not hear back and forget I ever sent the query than get the standard rejection, or worse, the personal and non-standard rejection letter. Sent from an Ipad, no less. Ouch. After reading that one, I pretty much wanted to go down to the liquor store and buy a fifth of whiskey. I didnt. But it might have made taking the rejection a little easier.
So, I dont know about the whole writing thing. Maybe it's just 'not meant to be,' or maybe that's an easy way out, and what I really mean is, I'm not sure I'm cut out for the whole business. I mean, if I have trouble with this, the other parts will only get worse. I'm assuming so, anyway. And who wants that? So in my discouragement, I pushed my last vampire novel aside and started writing something else. But only 11 pages of it. We'll see where this goes. Maybe it will turn into something, or maybe it will go into another folder of all the other books I've started and written from 1-80ish pages of before I lost interest. I have good ideas. They just don't always pan out into a story. Sort of like this whole writing thing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

blogger betrayed me.

so i had a facebook badge on my blog, and somehow i inadvertently took it off, and now for some reason i can't figure, i can't get it back on! it's not offered as an option--i can only add gadgets. Damn you to hell, blogger!!! I need my FB!

Friday, December 3, 2010


So I finally heard back from my friend the editor. And on Tuesday, she will officially be MY editor. I think. I hope. If I can afford her. And even though I was told by an agent that vampires are so yesterday. Apparently I missed the memo that it's all about angels nowadays. But come on, bad guys are way more fun to write about.
Well, that's about it. Got to get back to editing so I can get my draft to my editor. (You can't see it but my eyes are rolling).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


So I've read my first vampire book maybe twice. mostly i just want to read the story, and make little proofreading and gramatical corrections (how my spellcheck didnt catch WEKK when i meant WELL is a mystery i will never understand). but now i'm getting a real editor (i think) so i dont want to send her an embarrassingly bad first draft! so i'm trying to reword pretty much every sentence...or a lot of them anyway. i had no idea that my mind had such a passive voice! sometimes it can't be helped and i just have to leave it, but seriously, i got so tired of seeing the word WAS i WAS about to scream!
when i'm first-drafting, i mostly just want to get the story down. i dont pay much attention to things like word choice or verb choice. Sometimes i can't think of the exact word i want to say, so i put in the closest one i can think of and go on. the goal in the first draft is just to get it all out there and hope it turns into some kind of plot--i just want to say this is what  happens, what he did, what she said. i find the place i need least editing is in dialogue--i want the characters to speak naturally, not worry about using passive voice. but in the prose, i am bogged down by it. trying to change a paragraph with 2 WASes per sentence in every sentence is a frustrating experience, let me tell you! and very very slow. i get caught up in reading some dialogue that moves the story along so quickly, and before i know it i'm so caught up in the story i realize i'm not editing at all, and i have to go back half a page and get all those WEREs and WASes. i can't exterminate them all, but i do my best. it is a slow arduous progress. And no, i dont care if my blog is passive voice!
my last word on the subject: DIE WASsy WASes, die!!!!