Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's in the Details.

So, my daughter read my novel recently (she's currently reading Jenny Storm's DIXIE DUST RUMORS) and she had a lot of questions. Especially since I left a bunch of things unresolved so I could write a sequel.

While I was driving her home from basketball yesterday, we spent the whole time talking about my characters. She wanted to know why so-and-so did what he did, and how things would change in the next book. She is actually emotionally invested in my characters!

That's the best news a writer can get--especially from their own kid!

And I was making stuff up as she asked me, stuff that isn't necessarily in the book, but background details that make my characters who they are, and motivate them to do what they do. I have an entire notebook filled with backstory on my main villian, and the world my characters exist in.

It's a lot of fun. And it makes it SO much easier to write out the story!

Unfortunately, since I will be on the road for the next two weeks (starting next week) I won't be doing much writing at all.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

I reworked my query. I think it is infinitely better. I even got the stamp of approval from two of my writing friends I trust.

SO--what now? I am awaiting responses from four agents, but they are those "if you don't hear from me I'm not interested" variety, so I am thinking after two weeks (in one case, three) no news is bad news.

Time to move on.

I read an article sent to me by a friend that says a lot of agents are "sitting" on material because of the economy, or passing entirely on good stuff. A friend told me today she suspects they are sticking to formulas that work, and not taking risks or really looking at new ideas.

SAD. Then again, my fairy story isn't really THAT unique as far as the subject material. Just the idea. I hope.

If only I can get someone past the query! That is the key.

I'm not ready to give up, yet. It took me twenty-seven tries the first time!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Some Days...In this Business...

You feel like this:

"Nuff said.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I HAVE to write.

A fellow writer posed this question on a writing forum I frequent: "Why do you write? Do you do it because you have to, or want to?"

I thought about that. Truth is, I am compelled to write. It's a great outlet for me, because things get awful crowded in this brain of mine, and getting them out onto paper (or into a computer) helps relieve the tension. I don't technically "have" to write, because my husband supports our family very well, but at the same time, I HAVE to write, because it's just my nature.

I get grumpy when I'm in a writing lull. Or if Life gets in the way (as it does sometimes) and since I'm not on a deadline, the writing suffers. Sometimes it gets ignored for weeks, or even months.

Not lately, of course. Ever since I decided to "get serious" about getting an agent again, I've been writing/editing pretty steadily. Ever since I completed my first NaNo last year. That's when my writing turned a corner.

Hubby still sees it as a "hobby." He's very supportive, but until I start making some money with it, he will only see it as such. I can't blame him. I have a full-time job at home, with four very busy kids, and a house that unfortunately, doesn't clean itself. And I'm not super awesome at balancing the writing and my stay-home duties. (insert sheepish grin, here)

But writing is just as much a part of me as, hair or my big toe. I need to do it. Even if I never get published, I'll always write. (Okay, that sounds really pathetic!) But I will.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Love to Shower.

So, I've been mucking out my basement storage rooms as of late, and I've been taking a lot of showers. Cobwebs stick, you know. And, yeah, when you're sticky, sweaty and dusty, you just need to shower.

ANYWAY, the shower is the perfect place to get "inspiration" I have found, several times over, because the mind is relaxed, you're doing mundane things like washing your hair, and thoughts take over.

Generally, Writing Thoughts take over, for me. I've thought of the BEST story ideas in the shower. Yesterday, while I was showering for the first time (I had two yesterday) it came to me: The entire plot of my sequel to the Fairy story on submission. I got out, dried off (good thing for my computer) and hurriedly typed five pages out. Single spaced.

I have an outline for the sequel. From start to finish. I just need to write it. I have already written 20K from the first book (that got chopped because it was too long) and I know how I'm going to lay everything out.

Just finding the time to do it. That's the tricky part. I will be taking my HP Mini with me to all the swim and tennis practices this summer. I'm giving myself a deadline of September First.

I am actually pretty excited! All because of a shower...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I admit it, I use a Thesaurus when I write. Especially if you're writing a 70K+ word YA novel. With a lot of dialogue. Mine tend to be dialogue heavy, and you can only use "asked" and "said" and "replied" so many times. You have to be tricky. You have to eliminate those words altogether, or think up something ELSE. And when you're writing a big long novel, sometimes you find yourself repeating words. Sometimes. And sometimes it's not a good thing, because sometimes people catch the overused word--sometimes they're forgiving, and sometimes, well, I think you get my drift. Sometimes. ;-)

Hence, the need for a Thesaurus. I rather like mine. It's tattered and dog eared has diet Coke-can stains on it, and I probably need to buy a new one, but it's my friend. Especially when I'm EDITING. I have a nifty trick (I'm sure all writers do this but I'm giving myself kudos for thinking of it all on my own) where, when I go through a manuscript, I highlight a certain word throughout the manuscript with the "FIND" option. (In my case, I love "WAS," "LOOKED," and "THAT.") And I find all the instances, and make changes. With my handy Thesaurus.

I have decided to switch gears, and let my SOPHIE story rest for a while. Since I have my Fairy story on submission, I might as well get going on the sequel. I already have a good chunk of it written, and I've outlined most of it. So, I should work on it while the characters are fresh in my head. I've been thinking about them lately, and they've been acting out scenes for me, especially when I'm laying in bed at night trying to SLEEP... (you gotta love that!)

But I need to get my durn basement storage cleaned out, first. THEN I'll work on them. I can write in my head in the meantime. And my laptop is right next door if I need to dash over and get something down before I forget it.

Better get going!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Forest for the Trees.

I've been researching a LOT of agents lately. I have little file folders about each one, on my pc, where I've copied and pasted all their pertinent information. Their submission guidelines. What they like to rep. Interviews on blogs and websites, etc. etc. So, when I go to query an agent, I have a little file of information I can use to draw on and fashion my query after (well, personalize and "tweak" anyway).

Yesterday, I stumbled on an agent I had written down, but not researched. The more I read about her, the more a big ol' lightbulb went off in my head: She's a great fit for your story!

The problem with that is, all I can do is query her, hopefully wow her, and cross my fingers/pray she is intrigued by my story. She is one of the agents who doesn't respond unless she's interested. (Frankly, those are brutal, because you have no idea how long "long enough" is before you give up on said agent, but some a**holes ruined it for us polite folk, so she doesn't respond with a rejection.)

ANYWAY, I am very excited about this one. She is AWESOME. I queried her last night, and I've got every finger and toe crossed. In the figurative sense. Literally, that would be quite uncomfortable.

Maybe you could cross a few fingers for me, too!