Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cooling my Heels...

As I am impatiently enduring this cooling period, trying my danged hardest not to look at, work on, or even think about my book, I have been busy!

I wrote a short story. It's a little melodramatic, but I am going to send it out anyway to various magazines and journal. New dream: to be published in OSC's Intergalactic Medicine Show. I also sent out a bunch of old poetry to mags/journs so we'll see in a couple weeks what comes of that.

Besides writing and submitting, I've been brushing up on writing technique and theory. At a nearby antique mall I found some fabulous books on the subject for great prices! Been reading those in between my regular spec fic (namely Karen Miller and now Lois McMaster Bujold). They've been suuuuuper helpful in bringing old info to the front of my mind and introducing wonderful new stuff too! When I finally break my vow of abstinence and resume my work on Thorn I will be locked and loaded for a full-on, take-no-prisoners revision assault! Ha!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Challenge to Self

Right now I'm all about increasing my chances of publishing novels. One way to do that is get published in a magazine or journal. So I'm gonna try a submission-marathon: write two or three short works and then submit my way down this list:

Godspeed, Self.

Bad Writing

Check this out: a movie in which a wannabe poet interviews famous writers, who all discuss the difference between bad and good writing, what it takes to be a writer, etc. But its only being released in NY! I wanna see this.

OSC Workshop

I just joined OSC's online writer's workshop (that's Orson Scott Card, folks) for several reasons:

1) the users provide excellent feedback on writing
2) the users seem dedicated and consistent
3) I love OSC (or, more accurately, Ender Wiggin)
4) it isn't completely flooded with users, like most online workshops/forums

Plus, the experts encourage it.

It's actually a pretty cool setup, not too fancy, not too ambitious. The users are friendly, honest, and actually give feedback (so hard to come by on other sites, despite what they advertise!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Elevator Pitch, My Nemesis

They said I had to write a three page summary of my book. I said, "How in the world?"

They said I had to write a one page summary of my book. I said, "Impossible."

They said I had to write a one-sentence summary of my book, and I ran.

The elevator pitch is supposedly the one-sentence hook you put in your query, the one golden chance you have to catch an agent's or a publisher's eye. 

That's a lot of pressure to put on one little sentence!

Here are my first four feeble attempts:

1.    Apprentice gardener Miles, who has loved Princess Rosamelia for as long as he can remember, never dreamed he would find himself at her side on a perilous quest to rescue her kidnapped sister from the villainous Balfor, whose plan to awake an ancient evil could destroy their world.
2.    Miles Alduin, a young apprentice gardener, is thrown into a dangerous quest with the princess he loves and the prince to whom she is promised, in order to face the ancient evil that threatens his world, entangling them all in a web of prophecies and powers they never dreamed existed.
3.    The peaceful world Miles has always known as an apprentice gardener is destroyed the day Princess Brianette of Thorn is kidnapped, and Miles, together with the runaway princess whom he loves and the prince to whom she is promised, must face ancient evils, ominous prophecies, and foes he has not yet imagined to save her.
4.    Miles is torn from his life as a simple apprentice and entangled in the affairs of proud princes and lost princesses, mad kings and ancient powers, never dreaming that the greatest evil to be unleashed on the world is himself.

Now how in the world am I to know which to use? If any of them???

pretty much amazing picture

I found this on a random browse through Elfwood one day, and was stunned by how exactly it portrays my mental image of Miles and Rosamelia. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I want to find this artist and have her do my cover art. 

where am I now?

At this stage in the process, I have just finished the manuscript of Heiress, the first book in the Thorn Chronicles. I did a rough proofread and immediately sent it out to readers. (BTW, still need more people to read the draft and give feedback! Go to to sign up). 

While I wait for feedback from readers, I'm working on creating a list of agents to send queries to. That's a lot of work! There's so much out there, and so much of it is scams. So I'm trying to equip myself with the knowledge to know who is a real agent and who is trying to rip me off. This website had a lot of good info on that:

Once I start getting feedback, I'll make necessary revisions to the ms and once I feel the story is perfect, I'll do the fine-comb proofreading, checking grammar, spelling, etc.

Is this the right order of steps to take to publication?

I hope so; at any rate, I'm open to learning more. I've been dreaming about being a real author since I was four, and this is the closest I've ever been.

But still so far to go!