Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
But yesterday I stumbled over my own personal kindred spirit. A woman that enjoys her work, is able to laugh at the horrible query letter, and even offers love and support to first time authors. I will not disclose her name for she is mine. All mine! Actually, I won’t release her identity just in case I don’t win her heart as she has won mine. I won’t offend the poor sap who gets stuck with me as I prattle on about the moment that I realized that the periodic symbol for Iron was “Fe” and that was also the nickname of the main character in my book (Fee) titled Iron Obsession. It was a proud moment. A real face palm experience. I digress.
I was so impressed by this woman’s site and her personality that I instantly started crafting my first query letter. Not to send – oh no – it is not time. Just a chance to play with it and see if I am able to sum up why you should read a 300 page book in about two paragraphs. AND – She does not ask for a synopsis. Did I mention that I love her? For those of you who are not familiar with the author’s arch enemy, the synopsis – let me summarize. (That was punarific!) A synopsis is when the agent or publisher asks an author who has spent months and most often years perfecting a 70,000+ word piece of art, something that has required them to ignore friends and family and washing dishes to create, and summarize it in about, umm, five pages. All of it. Even the cliff-hangers. Even the secret BAM at the end. (Shakes head.) I understand why. I understand it is often needed – you know the whole “so many books, so little time” thing. Doesn’t mean you have to like it. We write them, because they ask for them. And if it gets the manuscript read – then so be it. But not her. She wants the first 30 pages of the manuscript. If impressed, she asks for the whole enchilada. Love her!
So, now I’m off to research other agents. What? Can’t put all your kittens in one basket! Kittens get up and run away.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Well, let me start at the beginning...
On December 31, 2008, I sat up in the bed and looked at my doting husband and said, "Wouldn't it be cool if someone wrote a story about DragonCon? You know, playing on the idea that some of the fantasy exists there was actually real?" And instead of saying - "Woman, you're nuts!” he said, "That is a pretty cool idea."
I continued getting dressed and let the idea dance around a little more inside my head. By the time I arrived at the office, I had pretty much laid out the outline for the first chapter minus character names. When I arrived home that afternoon, I read him chapter one. And so the journey began.
While working full time, going to school full time, and still being a pretty decent mother (who am I kidding, I rock!), I wrote the bulk of the novel in about 4 months. The idea became much more than a book about DragonCon and more a love story that was plagued with obstacles while maintaining a humorous tone. My logic - laugh or the world will kill you. And in this story, oh does it try.
I had heard of this horrible thing called, shudder, writer's block, and I knew it was coming. I feared it for the beast it was and was terrified that it would come and rob me of my story. The story that I desperately wanted to share with others. At the end of the four months, the ideas began to slow and then trickle, and then be tiny little thoughts rather than what was once mind-blasting, must get to keyboard, pull the car over or I will write with my teeth balancing the notebook on the steering wheel, breakthroughs. It had arrived. Or so I thought.
Let me back up. I write mosaic style. Although I started at the beginning, I didn't write chronologically. I start with an outline, and I then write what I feel. Put the scenes on the page as they come to me. I think I finished the ending before I wrote chapter 4. When the ideas stopped coming, what I thought was that horrible creature that I dreaded was actually a mostly complete story.
A month later I decided to start at the beginning, begin my first read through, and connect the scenes. When I finished three chapters, I then inflicted them on three people who so lovingly volunteered to read and critique what I had wrote. This has kept me on track by holding me accountable. This brings me to where I am now....
I can see the end of the book on the horizon. It is within my grasp. I have seven more chapters to clean up and send out. Step 2: Actually correct my horrible grammar and punctuation. Once that is complete, then it is time to dive into the deep end of the agent pool hoping to find my mythical creature to swim along side of me as we deliver Iron Obsession to the world.
But first, finish the next seven chapters! Hope you join me on this journey.