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Showing posts from July, 2008

Positively Green

Does anyone else feel green with envy that they're not at the RWA conference????

On a side note, today's my oldest's birthday. Four years old. Boy, time flies. He's so precious!

Anyways, maybe I'll go to the conference next year. This year I'll just read people's juicy tidbits.

Plotting Vs Pantsing Part 2

Plotters seem to have it made.
If they plan things right, which they probably will based on their wonderfully organized personalities, they'll have fewer revisions than a pantser. Plus, they have this great road map to follow.
Sometimes I get stuck and don't know what to write next, or I'll write myself into a hole. People who plot ahead most likely won't encounter this problem during the writing stage. Plus, plotters tend to do a synopsis first so that gets rid of one nasty chore right away.
I'm taking a synopsis class right now and as painful as it was, now that I've got one for my wip I'm actually feeling giddy.

If this is how being a plotter feels, then WOW.

Plotting, however, can have it's dark side. The characters may try to escape the beautiful plan you've made for them. Or you might get bored with your story, but now that you've sweated and plotted you may feel that you have to follow your own guidelines.

Ha, the only people who think writing …

Plotting Vs Pantsing Part I

Plotting and Pantsing.
As soon as I discovered these two styles of writing, I knew what I was.
A fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. (pantser)
No plotting ahead, no charts. And now I'm discovering- no external goals. (yes, I know my punctuation is off but have no clue the right way to do it, lol)
So today I want to talk about Pantsing. Not that there's much to say. You pretty much sit down and write. For example, in my current wip it started because of a first line. Actually, the protagonist was already in a previous manuscript as a friend, but when I tried to think up her story the first thing that popped into my head was the first line.

"If there was one thing Rachel McCormick hated more than breaking into a client's house, it was getting caught."

And then I wrote.
Another manuscript started when I saw that Love Inspired had created a historical line. Immediately I saw a young woman on a train, heading to an uncle's house, when a dark stranger sits down beside her…

Rejected

I've been watching my inbox for weeks now, waiting for agents' replies. I have about eight queries out. Yesterday one came back.

Rejected.

At first there was the sinking of my hopes, but then it was followed by relief. An answer at last. Time to target my next unsuspecting agent. Hehehehe, I actually like this part of the game. The thrill of the hunt, I guess.

The rejection letter confused me. I'm pretty sure it's a form one because I addressed a particular agent and received a Sincerely, The Agency reply. But then the letter said the plot didn't resound with them. I like to do Thank Yous on personalized rejections but can't figure out if this is one or not.

Oh, well. Time to send out another query.

Emotion in our Writing

Yesterday a wonderful author and beautiful woman passed away. I did not know her, have not read her stories, and yet when I heard I felt grief.
Not for her. She's in heaven, dancing on streets of gold, as her husband wrote. I feel for her family and actually cried for them.
When my husband heard me blubbering, I felt embarrassed and reined it in. But sorrow shared is healthy. Many cultures encourage the verbal expression of grief. Remember Dancing With Wolves? When the heroine's husband died, she cut herself.
Of course, I'm not recommending that. I'm just saying that grief should be expressed. Which leads me to my topic.
Sometimes new writers, including myself, think we have to spell every emotion out. But while in real life deep expression is good, in writing it can actually weaken the readers' empathy for the character.
While reading Sushi For One by Camy Tang, the reader realizes something horrible happened to Lex, the heroine. The author never spells it out or goes …

Guest Blogger Tina Gray

Today Tina Gray (A. G. Howard) has graciously accepted my invitation to be a guest blogger! I'm so excited. This is a really nice lady that I met through reading an agent's blog. You can check out her website and read an excerpt of her novel. It's wonderful!

So . . . here she is!


When Jessica asked me to do a guest blog, I was so excited … and flattered! Then I realized, Oh, that means I have to come up with something to write about. Hmmm. I have a hard enough time doing that on my own blog. Pretty sad, considering that I am a writer. But for me, it’s a lot easier to conjure up new characters in unique settings than it is to write about the everyday mundane world I live in.

That’s why I write, to escape the ordinary. Interesting, as that’s the same reason most readers read. In fact, honestly, I think we’re all in this to be entertained. But from an author’s perspective, the writing side of entertainment—although fun and rewarding—doesn’t come without its share of work.

Which l…

Adorable

Why does a writer need an agent?

Check out this adorable video by Candy Gourlay!

Vacation by Jeremy Shipp

Well, I just checked out the excerpt on Amazon.
Very catchy. Anything that has to do with the search for truth interests me.
And the dialogue in one paragraph is what really pulls me in.
Good job Mr. Shipp.
Hope you sell millions. ;-)

Bizarro Fiction

Ever heard of it before?
Neither had I, until I saw Jeremy Shipp's place on MySpace. And he's just had a book come out called Vacation. The cover is great, really makes me wonder what's going to happen. I have to head back to his site and check it out.
If you like weird/bizarro stuff, this is the place to go. I've never read other stories in the genre, but I did read his Monkey Boy story. Jeremy Shipp has a very nice style of writing. Despite my disinterest in the genre, his short story about Monkey Boy pulled me right in.

Just a warning to any romance readers I have: His stories are NOT romance.

lol

To Agent or Not To Agent . . . .

My husband is a realtor. People try to slim his commission all the time. A percent makes a noticeable difference in a paycheck but some customers are so obsessed with paying him less money that they don't seem to consider he's supporting a family. And that his commission is his paycheck. It's not a tip. It's what pays our bills.

Sometimes on the net I've read people saying you shouldn't begrudge agents their commission. I totally agree. And find it hard to believe that some people think an agent doesn't deserve 15%. Whoa, that's crazy to me.

The fact is an agent is a professional foot in the door. Someone who studies the market, knows the right peeps and stuff. I certainly wouldn't know how to negotiate a contract. I don't know how much of an advance is right for me.

Okay, I take that back. Something in the six digits works for moi.

lol, Just kidding.

Anyway, most agents have editing or publishing experience. So if you snag one, you've automatica…

Eating My Words

As was pointed out in the comments section, it's not always great writing that creates a successful book.

Duh, Jessie. :-) Of course I know that. There's lots of books I've read where the writing was okay but it was the plot or characters that kept me turning the pages.

Welcome to the world of imagination. A good story will always have you turning the pages. But what defines a good story? Great writing? Vibrant characters? A fresh plot?

Ahhh, the land of subjectivity. It's a beautiful place.

Check out the comment section of my last post if you're interested in why a book might become a national bestseller.

Thanks Tina!