Sunday, February 8, 2009

Writing Update

Thought you all might be interested in knowing that two of my manuscripts bombed in a contest. Okay, I don't know how they did yet, only that they didn't final. In the words of my dear writer pal who shall remain nameless, "Wah!"
But don't worry. My skin is thick and I'm well aware of how subjective a contest can be.
Thus, armed with that practical knowledge, I press on with revising Bad Boy's Redemption.

And guess what?

I've gotta do some research! Exciting stuff too. Since my heroine is a PI, I have a few questions for someone in that career. One lucky (or unlucky) detective will be getting a call Monday morning from an aspiring novelist.

Have you ever needed to talk to a professional about a subject/character in your book? What was the most exciting research you've ever done?

31 comments:

Kristen Painter said...

Sucks about the contests, but they're always a total crapshoot.

Most exciting research? Hmmm...I called an architectural salvage yard in NYC. I know. Kinda boring.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I was a PI for awhile, so feel free to email me and ask questions. Of course, that was about 10 years ago, so my info may be out of date. :)

Janna Qualman said...

I have! I called a neurologist's office, spoke with a nurse about multiple sclerosis. I had a base knowledge (my dad has MS), but had to fill in some blanks through a professional. And for my current WIP, I wait for the answers to questions I posed to an ATF agent(Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - kinda like the FBI). I'm eager to learn more about that!

Good luck with your call Monday. And Angie - how cool!

Emily Cross said...

aw research - either you love it or hate it! and i'm sorry to hear about the contests - alot of these things can be so subjective though so don't worry.

anyhoo, sorry if this is a bit 'plug like' and out of the blue but i've started a writer's forum where people who blog and are writers can network with each other and discuss everything to do with writing.

http://thewriterschronicle.forumotion.net/forum.htm

Its just starting out - it'd be great if you could drop by and have a look.

thanks

emily

anita said...

Jessie, you are a BRAVE soul hanging your pain out to dry for all to see. Heh.

As you well know, I bombed, too. So I second your "Wah!"

*snickering and chagrinned*

The coolest research I've done so far, I'm still doing. It's for my angel / gargoyle book and I've had to research circus life and sideshow people. They are a VERY interesting and brave lot.

Go you with your revisions and the new WIP. I LOVE the title, BTW! :-)

Jen and Kev said...

Jessica: So sorry about the contest. I am 'wahing with you' as the Apostle Paul said to do.
Blessings on "Courting Maggie." Is this your fourth book? You are amazing! Do you ever sleep?
Love,
Jen

Nancy J. Parra said...

Oh, *hugs* on the contest. They are a lottery, really.

I once tried to contact the Boston Public library for info-but they never called me back. Luckily you can find out a lot on the internet.

Have fun!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Boo-Hoo! I hate rejection, but it makes me come back fighting for recognition! Hang in there! Don't give up!

Most of my stories come from my life experiences. Haven't done much research, but thinking about writing a non-fiction book and will have to put out some calls for help.

Jessica said...

Kristen, that's not necessarily boring. :-) Thanks about the contests. I agee.

Jessica said...

Angie!!!!
I think I did read that you were a PI. If I think of any questions, I'll e-mail you. Right now, my main one is what kind of technology they use, if it's just normal stuff like a phone camera, or if they have any super cool gadgets.
But I was wondering if you need a degree?

Jessica said...

Ooh, I hope someday I get to interview ATF. That's SO cool! YOu must have an exciting plot. :-)

Jessica said...

Hi Emily,
I checked out your blog/forum and it looks great! I don't have much time to participate in stuff like that, but maybe some other commenters will?
Anyways, congrats on being so focused when you're only 21. That's awesome!
Thanks for stopping by.

Jessica said...

Hehee, Anita.
Not brave, just whiny. LOL
Circus people would be interesting. Imagine having a physical difference, something that sets you apart from everyone you see, and flaunting it for a career. But flaunting in a good way. They are courageous. I'm afraid to go out when I get a cold sore. Again, very not brave.
:-)

Jessica said...

Thanks Jen! You can give me a pedicure too, if you want. LOL Just kidding. :-)
I do sleep, actually, alot. I'm one of those people who need her nine hours at night. Yes, it's my fourth manuscript. Writing usually happens at naptime. I'm very scheduled so I usually have an open 1 1/2 slot every day.
So I'm amazing, huh? *blushing* I'm really not. Hope your writing is progressing well!

Jessica said...

That library! Stinkers. Yeah, the internet is an incredible tool. It's usually my first move. Thanks for the hugs Nancy. :-)

Jessica said...

Donna, I've heard that writing gets better the older we get because we have more life experiences to draw from. I have to agree. Right now I haven't got many, but maybe someday...
So you're going to do non-fiction? Go you!

Kathryn Magendie said...

A good "metaphor" or parallel to contests is to watch shows such as American Idol, or Top Chef -- etc....

At any rate, I've no exciting stories to tell! I once called a rock climbing place because I was writing a story about a guy who was always afraid of everything and at the end he decides to climb the rocks at Arches state national park.

Once I emailed a psychologist who specialized in people who hear voices - he works at one of the "top universities" and had all these papers out and about and etc - he was really nice and helpful....and it was for a story - Im' not hearing voices (much) *Laughing!*

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Sorry to hear about the contest, but you are sooooo right--it's so subjective!

Research--I mostly do mine via the internet, including e-mailing specialists who are willing to give of their time to answer specific questions. It's amazing how helpful people will be even for an unknown like me. So many blessings to be thankful for.

Jessica said...

Hi Kathryn,
Speaking with a psychologist who deals with people who hear voices sounds absolutely fascinating!

Jessica said...

Eileen, you're right when you say people are helpful. I once called a lawyer to ask about drunk driving penalties and minors, and he was SUPER helpful. So very nice. It is a blessing, that's for sure.

Debra E Marvin said...

My gosh! I just saw your word count bar on the new book. Amazing!

I get so frustrated when you inquire by email to someone and they don't even bother to say, sorry I can't help you. I think, as writers, we'd love to be able to help someone with their research.

I have an idea about inspirational categories in contests. Unlike the others, where you are hopefully getting a historical-loving judge in the historical category, for instance, the inspirational category has a much wider variety of sub genres. That does make it a little more subjective I believe.

Jessica, you are obviously doing everything you can to move forward as a writer, so put the contest thoughts aside and pat yourself on the back. Perseverance!

Jessica said...

You're right about the subgenres, Debra. Inspirationals are lumped together, historical, suspense, womens fiction, all judged under one heading. Oh well. :-) Thanks for stopping by and the encouragement. I appreciate it.
Of two judges, out of 100 points, one gave me a 92 and the other a 59. LoL How's that for subjective. Hehee.

Sarah said...

I'm writing about a missionary in Uganda. I've been in contact with a friend who spent two summers there as well as doing TONS of library and internet research.

Research--most definitely NOT my favorite part of writing.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I commented this morning, but I don't see it on here. Maybe I forgot to hit the "Send" button. LOL!

Sorry your constest entries didn't get picked. I've only entered one contest and bombed out.

Although my novel is not "Amish fiction," I do have several Amish characters. One of my friends read an earlier version of my manuscript and suggested some changes relating to those characters.

I was surprised by her knowledge, and asked her how she knew so much. She told me she grew up Amish and was fluent in PA Dutch. Here I had an expert, and I didn't even know it.

Blessings,
Susan :)

quixotic said...

Sorry your contest entries didn't get picked. Sounds like you are in good spirits though.

Have fun with your research. That's one of my favorite parts of writing.

Jessica said...

Hey there quixotic! :-) (don't know your real name, lol) I am in good spirits. It helps that those are two older manuscripts. They're not so near and dear, ya know?

Jessica said...

Sarah, that sounds pretty fascinating. Are you targeting a specific publisher for your story?

Jessica said...

Susan, I hate when that happens. Trust me, it happens to me often!
So cool about your friend. Maybe even providential?
:-)

Sarah said...

Nope, not targeting anyone in particular. I've had this idea for a book since high school.

Dara said...

I haven't done too much research yet but I look forward to it--I'm probably going to need to the aid of someone who knows Japanese though, as a good chunk of the info will probably be written in that language :P

Jessica said...

You're writing a book in Japanese???? Oh my goodness. Or do you mean you're researching and the books are written in Japanese? Either way, go you.