Thursday, November 19, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

If it isn't obvious by this point in time that I've hit my "oh, my God I suck as an author" point, well I have. I recently read a blog post by Nathan Bransford an agent who is also a published author. In this post, he talked about how horrible it is to be in the waiting stage of getting published. You're constantly waiting with baited breath for a response. Then, when you finally get one, it's most likely a rejection.

I try to keep in mind that statistically only one out of twenty say yes. The story is: I already had one yes that turned out to be an eventual no and now I'm beating myself up. I keep thinking "if only my first few pages had been more XYZ." So, now I'm progressively going back to the drawing board and rehashing my book (AGAIN).

It's not too bad. I have about six new beta readers and one of them has already given me some very excellent feedback. I'm excited about these new readers because they are all in the age bracket I'm writing for. Plus, at least half of them are die-hard urban fantasy/paranormal fiction readers and two are grammar/literature people.

In addition to my new betas, I'm changing some minor plot details. I'm tightening up a few loose ends and I'm giving the book a couple of new scenes and two new chapters. In the interest of space, I'm cutting out a couple of scenes and chapters as well. The book has a new beginning and a new ending.

I'm changing the title from That Which Lies in Darkness to Lies in Darkness. It's more marketable that way.

In addition to all of that, I'm also going to rewrite my query. I figure there is no harm in trying a different approach to the market. I'm flirting with pitching as young adult, but I can't really see teens understanding some of the concepts and I don't want angry parents thinking I'm converting their children into some cult. We'll see.

My special project for Black Friday is to write a kick-ass summary for the book and maybe, if I'm not dead by the end of my summary, I'll work on a proposal. I'm a little apprehensive about both of these projects. I've never been very good at streamlining detail. I'm known for my ability to retell an hour long movie over the span of an entire day. As for the proposal-well, I haven't written one since Grossman's publishing class and I'm not sure I came out with a glaring understanding of the subtlety of book proposals. But, at least I'm willing to try.

I'm also completely convinced that I need a laptop, a web page, and a vlog account on YouTube.

I'm doing this all while I still have queries floating around and yes, I still consider my book complete. I'm under the general assumption that no good writer ever really lets any one of their pieces get published without that voice in the back of their head saying "I could have made that better" (even after they just spent a year of editing to make it better). If an agent or publisher doesn't like that philosophy I'm not sure if I want to work for them. A writer is always improving and I want someone who understands my desire to grow as a writer and story teller. Plus, I can't see anyone who is in the business getting ticked off at my desire to become more marketable.

Meanwhile, I'm still on strike from both reading and listening to books. I think it's helping. But, I'm suffering from spending far too much time networking with other authors. Now, I want to read their work. Oh well, guess my TBR stack is going to get a lot larger this winter.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Comics, breaks, and music

I've decided that I need to take a break from listening to my audio books. I think they are infecting my ability to concentrate on my own writing. While I've come up with a number of promising story ideas, it will not help if I can't dedicate myself to actually writing any of them. I think a small part of this inability has something to do with being a little jaded with my efforts to find an agent. So, while trying to raise my spirits and focus positive energy in the direction of queried agents, I'm going to listen to lots of happy, upbeat music instead of wallowing in the success of other Best Selling authors.

I also have to announce that I'm addicted to Goblins. I don't really know why. I just found it when I was doing some research for one of my book ideas, started reading it and couldn't really stop. I'm not a gamer, but I'm dorky enough and have enough gamer friends that I can appreciate the humor of this strip. I recommend it.

Side Note: I just decided that the girl that sits next to me at work reminds me of a skinnier, less pimply version of Marigold from Questionable Content. Except the girl at work is obsessed with RoosterTeeth and not Yaoi.

Anyway. I'm focusing on The Blood Heritage Cycle for the next few weeks. I spent a couple of hours yesterday doing some proofing and major editing of the first book, Blood Foundling. I have most of it written, but I want to tighten it up and make it completely stand-alone. To do that, I have to have a major conflict resolution for Gwyn and I can't quite decide what that will be. I'm thinking of including some sort of major victory for the Mystereen Legion.

I also spent time clarifying the plot of the second book, Crossed Blood. I have quite a bit of this book written and I think it's going to end up being my favorite book out of the Mother Blood Series. It has a darker, more psychological turn to it and Gwyn is old enough that I can approach some more mature content. The major conflict resolution centers around the final end to the war and a final end to her relationship issues (maybe...).

After some deliberation, I think I'm going to expand the Mother Blood Series to four books instead of three and I'll probably do the same for the Child's Blood Series as well (one for each of Gwyn's children). I'm excited to be working on Blood Heritage again, it's been my little pet project since high school and I think, after already writing so much for Will of the Fallen, I'll be able to approach this with more experience under my belt.

P.S.-I want the shirt in the picture and the Concept/Art belongs entirely to Tarol Hunt. Yay Tarol!