Friday, April 30, 2010

Real Life Example of Agent Subjectivity

We hear all the time that the writing business is subjective. It's true.

I wanted to share a huge lesson I learned while querying my first book. Two agents gave me detailed rejections.

Rejection #1

Unfortunately, I didn't find Prue to be a likable character. She sounded childish and was too curious and trusting

Rejection #2

While I enjoy your writing style, and I think you have a nice, strong heroine...,

That's right, my fellow bloggers! Opposite opinions. Are you surprised? Don't be. Agents and editors are readers, just like us.

This is why it's so important to weigh a professional's advice carefully. With the first rejection, the agent invited me to resubmit if I reworked the heroine, I decided not to for various reasons. I went with my gut and although that story is shelved for a while, I'm now confident that it's possible for others to like my heroine.

Do you have a real-life example of subjectivity to share? Have you ever gone with your gut and ignored advice? Did you regret it? Or not?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jessica is Copying Wendy and Jeanette

Thanks to Wendy and Jeanette for your Question posts. If you've already asked this in the past, I'm sorry for taking your question!

Today I was thinking about art and how writing compares. That's another post.

For this one, I was wondering about all of you. What medium for a painting would you choose? Watercolor, acrylic or oil?

What would your main character choose? Why, and what do you think this preferences says about you or your character?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lesson In POV

Point of View is something writers need to be aware of. I've heard the "rules" but the more I read the more I realize we can write however we want if it's done well. By well, I mean everything from clear to engaging.

Here's some types of POV.

Omniscient: Like God. The writer tells the reader things the character couldn't possibly know, so it's an all-knowing type of point of view.

Third person: Using the pronouns "she" or "he". Sensory details, thoughts, etc. are experienced through one character's pov at a time.

Second person: Using the pronoun "you". I don't see this very often.

First person: Using "I".

Those are all extremely simple examples from me. For better details, check out this article at Fiction Factor.

What POV do you write in? Which are you most comfortable using? What genre is your favorite to read, and what POV is the norm for that genre?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

News in the Blogosphere

Congrats to Julie Jarnigan who just made her first sale!

Nancy Parra did a great post on e-books and traditional publishing.

Katie Salidas breaks down the steps to self-publishing based on her recent experiences. Interesting stuff there.

Today my sisters and I are going tubing down the Rainbow River! Pray we don't meet up with any hungry gators. *grin*

What are your plans? Any dangerous adventures involved?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This Ain't Project Runway...But It Could Be

I love watching Project Runway, a reality show about clothing designers. The designers are assigned a project and by the end of each show models walk the runway in the designers' outfits.

The outfits are then judged by industry professionals, including Heidi Klum.

It never fails to amaze me how the designers react to their finished products. Probably about ninety percent of the designers think their clothes are amazing. Perfect. They're always pleased. They don't usually see the flaws.

In so many ways I'm reminded of writers with our novels.

Have you ever written a scene that felt perfect, only to have someone rip it apart? Can you see the flaws in your work? Do you ever worry about your ego getting in the way of your craft?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Voice Niche

Sometimes, we just have to find our place.

I have always loved actor Hugh Laurie as the character House. Everything about him fits his character; his looks, his voice, even the way he cocks his head. He just fits. When I saw him in an older movie as a different type of character, I couldn't place him. He's a good actor, but with the show House he's found the perfect niche for himself.

This is like our voices. Once we master craft and storytelling, I think there will be a genre in which our voices shine. I know of two writers who were midlist mult-pubbed authors. Then they each tried writing a thriller. They're both bestsellers now. I know of another writer who wanted to write suspense, but didn't really break out until she embraced her inner comedian.

Sometimes we need to make sure we've found the right fit for our unique writer's Voice.

What do you think about this? Are there authors who seem to write better in one genre than in another? Has anyone ever said that you write a certain genre or tone well?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Reading Outside My Genre

I recently read two books outside my genre and found them very helpful in terms of writing craft.



The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber.

I liked the writing in this book and thought the pace moved quickly. Although the romance didn't draw me in, I was impressed with how the author used omniscient pov. Writers are encouraged to use deep pov, but this book showed me that it's not always necessary for a great, fast-moving story. This book was a good example of a plot-driven book, I thought.










The Dark Man by Marc Schooley is Christian Speculative Fiction, a genre I don't read often. I was completely impressed by it. Loved the writing and the pacing. The story intrigued me and I found the premise very believable. It's set in a futuristic type America in which our basic freedoms are gone. One of the intriguing things about the craft in this book was how Schooley used pov. There was a mix of omniscient, third and second. For example, the characters are most often written in third pov, but their thoughts were in second pov, no italics. I'm not sure I've seen that style often but it was pretty effective once I got used to it. I also loved the romantic angles of the story. I'd recommend this book to a lot of people.

So I've learned a lot from reading outside my genre. What fiction outside the norm have you read lately? What did you learn from it?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sausage Fingers and Other Things That Make My Mother Laugh

My stories don't always make my mother cry.

Before she mentioned that my very sad contemporary romance made her cry, Mom told me on the phone that there were several parts where she laughed.

Laughed?

I think I scratched my head. Paced my kitchen. Lost focus on how I should respond. Desperately tried to think of what part of that story could have possibly been funny. I threw out different scenes that were lighter in nature. I tried to dig for information as if I hadn't just been completely befuddled by her comment.

And then...jackpot.

Here's a sentence that made my mother laugh:

Greg Seaward grabbed at the contract from across their table at Denny’s, his sausage fingers quick to flip through the folder in search of Alec’s check.

Apparently the description reminded her of what a melodramatic child I'd been.

Has anyone ever told you that you look like someone you don't want to look like? Have you ever had a contest judge or reader give you a comment that left you puzzled? Were you able to use the opinion to your advantage?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When My Mom Cried

It was nerve-wracking to let my mom read my manuscripts. When she read the second one, I waited and waited to hear what she'd say.

Then she called and told me she cried.

I was floored.

What a compliment! I know she's my mom and that her viewpoint is going to be different than a more objective reader, but I was still flattered and I still smiled.

Who do you let read your work? What kind of comments make you smile?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Leaves the Color of Limes

Florida is beautiful right now. Everything is vibrant without the melting heat that will arrive in a few weeks. We had a great time in the Keys. Here's some pics of the boys.
I can't wait to visit everyone today!




Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gone Again

I thought I'd be able to get back to the blogosphere but there are too many plans afoot! Plus, at the end of the week we're going to the Keys! Woohoo!

I hope you all have a lovely week and I'll be popping in when I can, hoping to read good stuff going on in your lives!