Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Query Critiques

I put my query letter up on Nathan Bransford's query critique forum and got some really excellent advice on how to shape it up.

I highly recommend this for anyone who has sent out a few queries and not gotten any bites. It's one thing to see what other people have done and model after them, or see what mistakes they've made and try to avoid them. It's antoher thing to actually do it. I also feel that this query thing is very subjective. What appeals to one agent, may really bother another one. Therefore, I'm trying to keep the essentials of my query the same, but customize it based on what I can find out about agents.

Anyway, it's amazing the responses you get when you seek feedback. I'm overwhelmed by the time and care these people seem to put into their responses. I'm trying to contribute to the community by making my own suggestions for people, but I don't feel like I'm very good at it. It is really interesting to see what other people are writing though.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blogging Slacker

I've been a big slacker on my blog for the past week. What I've really been doing is pouting, questioning myself, beating myself up, and trying to get my head back in the game.

This is a tough business, especially for someone who suffers from low self-esteem and lack of confidence. I've never been a great fan of rejection (really who is?) but I think I'm more risk averse than most people in that area. So I'm trying to take a more targeted approach to querying agents than some people might. I feel like my query letter and my opening needs more work, so I'm going to focus on that before I send out any more queries. But I found a cool new site. href="">. Should be a good way to keep track of my queries.

I'm also working on a synopsis, oh joy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm Back

I'm bak from St. Louis. Really great conference with a chance to meet a lot of neat people. I got some good feedback on my first 500 words, which confirmed what my sister and I discussed earlier. So now I have some work to do on my opening few chapters. I think I need to deconstruct them to bring them more in line with the ending.

I learned a lot at the conference, and once I finish my re-writes, I'll be ready to submit to the agents at the conference.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Another Day Another Revision

Actually it's been a while since I did a revision and I really need to tighten up the manuscript for my trip this weekend. I'm going to St. Louis this weekend to a writers conference. But I'm caught up in the big swirling time suck called LOST. Yet another new character has been introduced. Oh my. Now what?

Another critique group meeting coming up Thursday. Always exciting to see what everyone's come up with.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Need My Hour Back Please

I do love it when it turns to daylight savings time and it stays light out longer, but I'm just not in a position to be able to lose an hour right now. And I know, I know, I'm going to get the hour back in the fall, but I really need it now, please? Can we just have Melissa time for me? Please?

Never mind. I'll just have to deal I guess. But really I have so much to do. I never make things easy on myself. I finally got around to purchasing my domain name for my web site, but now I have to try to design the thing. After looking at dozens of writers web sites, I decided the first thing I needed was a logo. I don't want to use any of the stock logos or page designs that are out there. I've already found too many blogs that have the same background. So I came up with this elaborate scheme for my logo. It involves me doing all of my own artwork, and I think I may have mentioned that I can't draw... So that leaves me with using paper, which I think worked out really well for my trailer.

Anyway, the labor that goes into this kind of thing is unbelievable, but there you have it. That's how I do things.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Query Crazy

I'm back at the query process again. Attempting to find agents who are a good fit for my work, and craft a query letter to meet their individual requirements. I'm tyring to follow a strategy that I've seen online. First to make sure the agents represent middle-grade, duh. But also to send out a few queries at a time. If I don't get any kind of positive response, then I need to go back to square one and try to figure out what the problem is.

So I picked three more agencies that I think would be a good fit. But if they don't feel the same, then I have to accept that and move on. All three agencies are asking for 3-4 weeks to review my query. What a waiting game this business is. But now that I'm done with that for the night. I can get back to more fun.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Attention To Detail

I have none. That's right none! I'm reading over all the corrections my critique group partner made on my MS and I'm thinking, how did I miss that? It's crazy that I can go so carefully through a MS and still ahve so many mistakes. I guess it's true what they say that you can't see your own errors. I'll use that as an excuse. It sound good at least.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And The Winner Is...

I've talked a lot about writing a book, and the steps I've taken to get the book published.  But sofar I haven't talked about the book itself. I was inspired by the Academy Awards to make a movie this weekend.  I wanted a movie that I could put on my blog, and future web site to introduce my book ZOMBIE RABBIT. As I've said, I can't draw, and I certainly couldn't film a zombie rabbit, so I had to use something that I could do.  My options where to knit a rabbit and then zombify it. Or make one out of paper.  I went with the second option.  It was pretty fun.  Now I just have to fiture out how to get it attached.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Finally Friday

I'm wishing my life away again, praying for the weekend, counting down the hours till I get out of this HELL that sortof pays my bills, but not really.

Last night we had another great critique group meeting.  (Although we had one slacker that didn't show up.  Some twaddle about computer problems...  We all talked about her behind her back.)  I'm kidding of course. We did really miss her.  Lucky for me I've already read her whole MS twice. 

Everyone seems to be making real progress on the MS which is encouraging. 

I'm reading Sin and Syntax.  It's actually quite hillarious, but trying to explain to my co-workers why I'm laughing outloud about a chapter on adverbs.  They just don't get it, and frankly many wouldn't know an adverb if it came up and slapped them. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Love it When...

I pick up my mail and get a rejection letter from a submission I sent out over a year ago.  You just have to laugh about stuff like that.

I passed out copies of my book to my bookclub members.  They are so supportive of me.  I'm really lucky to have such great friends.  Especially ones that have middle-grade kids.  Ha ha. 

Also just watched last nights episode of the appropriately named LOST.  At least they killed off a few of the randoms that got added this season.  I'm still completely lost though. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

On Sequels and Drawing

I really liked this post by Nathan Bransford regarding writing sequels.  This lets me off the hook for writing a sequel for Zombie Rabbit right away.  As much as I love Milo and company, I really want to work on something else before I tackle their next journey.  It's funny though, I never start out even thinking of a sequel, and then often times a sequel just occurs to me.  It almost seems like in MG you have to have some type of sequel rolling.  Kids like to revisit familiar characters and places.  Anyway, I'm not too worried about it.  Find an angent, sell the first book, then worry about writing the sequel.

Drawing, painting, and now add photoshopping to the list of thing I can't do.  I thought I might be able to photoshop me a little picture of a zombie rabbit, squirrel, cat, etc... to put on a web site, but no not so much.  Maybe I'll try paper, stamps, etc...  That's something I at least have a clue about.  Actually that's not a bad idea.  I'll have to get to work on that.  But not until Friday, I have to finish my MS critique for my critique group partner tonight.  Tomorrow night, book club # 2.  Wednesday night 3rd Grade Musical for my neice and Thursday night critique group.  I better get out of cyber land and get busy.