Monday, August 30, 2010

Even-keeled Optimism

The recent contest I entered at Miss Snark's First Victim's blog galvanized me to action once again. After sending out a batch of queries in January (I can't believe it's already been eight months!), and receiving many rejections, a few requests for pages, and a few more rejections, I decided to wait a little before querying more. In that time, I've worked on other projects, but I've also been busy tightening that frustrating beginning of the story and also crafting more engaging query and synopses.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sanity's Slippery Slope

For those of us who spend hours agonizing over creating a perfect one-page synopsis of a 300-page novel or the exact correct phrasing to condense an entire novel down to two paragraphs of compelling text in a query letter, I would like to introduce you to SlushPile Hell.

After hours, days, or weeks of meticulous query crafting, it's refreshing to see these horrible, disastrous queries that agents have received. First, it reminds me that what I'm writing is definitely better than a lot of queries the agents are receiving. Second, it reminds me that despite reworking the same ten sentences for the last week, I still have my sanity.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Critiquing Experience

I've been reading through the entries in Miss Snark's First Victim's contest, offering my critiques and reading what other people have to say. There's definitely a spectrum of critiquing experience out there! Sadly, I'm not counting myself at the top, either. For me, writing, and knowing what writing is good vs. what is either bad or not quite there, is very instinctual. I can't always point out the specifics of what works and what doesn't. Which is a rather large problem for a writer attempting to perfect her craft!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Getting a Critique

In 2008, Miss Snark's First Victim began hosting contests on her blog for unpublished authors to help each other out. Over the course of the week, the peers who also made it into the contest (only a limited number of people can participate) critique one another's pieces. Even better, one of the anonymous people critiquing is an agent!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Life in Motivation

Two days after my cat, Zenzo, had to go to the vet, I think we're in the clear. The (surprisingly nummy-smelling) pain killers did their magic, along with the antibiotics, and everything seems normal for Zenzo again. She's playing, she's rolling on her back to expose her belly, and she's purring. Truly, my world is set to rights again.

It's shocking to me how profoundly the health of my cats affects my general well-being. When they get sick, it saps my energy. The world grays at the edges, and my focus narrows to what needs to be done to make them better.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No Focus

I try to write every day, working after I finish. I'm a creature of routines, very happy in them. In fact, I'm my happiest when I get my allotted amount of writing time and a good work day, followed by a physical workout, then some blog and NON time, and if necessary, more work time, then dinner and some relax time. When the routine works, it works really well. I've had super efficient days that have made two normal days look like I spent the whole time slacking off.

The routine has not been working lately.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Patterns in Names

Before yesterday's post took an odd turn, I had something very simple and a little peculiar on my mind: the pattern of names. Specifically, the number of syllables in the names of protagonists. In the majority of serialized novels I read, there's a very orderly breakdown: if the novel has a female protagonist, her name has four syllables; if the novel has a male protagonist, his name has three syllables.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pattern Geniuses

I imagine that really intelligent people are really good at putting together subtle patterns from otherwise random events. I'm not talking necessarily about those who score high on the IQ tests or those who are gifted with street smarts, but those who have an intellect that lends itself well to either side of the law enforcement spectrum—con men/women or FBI agents. Seeing the details and how they connect would give you a subtle advantage, enabling you to predict future actions better.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Am Mobile!

It has finally happened! I have a laptop! Now I have instant mobility and the ability to work and write and blog anywhere in the world (with Internet access for the blogging). I'm super excited by all the possibilities, and simply by the thought of editing my novel somewhere other than at home.