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.