Thursday, April 29, 2010

Crazy Week ie Excuse of the Day

So now I'm in the thick of a crazy week. I'm through the pre-school musical, and one book club, but have another book club tonight and the six year old birthday party Saturday. Hopefully I can knock out a lot of work on Friday, 'cause I'm really fired up again.

I'm reading Scene and Structure, I know I said I wasn't going to read anymore right now, but I swear this is a really good book. Plus, I finished my fun reading and both book club books so I should be able to bang this one out on the tread mill tonight and tomorrow night.

I'm still hoping to start querying again next week. (Sometime next week)

Monday, April 26, 2010

One Writers To Do List

Well I have to put "Send those damned query letters off" first.
I really, really, really have to do this. Yes I do, Yes I do! But it's so much easier to stay in my fantasy world.

Then I have to get on this twitter thing and figure it out. It still makes no sense to me, there has to be something I'm missing.

Then I also have to get this blog in better shape. I know no one really wants to read this crap.

Oh and I still need that web site? Hmmm how likely is that considering the above issues????

Then I have to finish two more books on craft that I want to read right away, and try not to get sucked into putting anymore "must read" books on my list.

I'm also working on a critique for a new partner.

I also have one pre-school musical production and two book clubs to attend this week.

Plus I have to try to work off the 10 pounds I gained when I allowed myself to eat more than 600 calories more than I burned for a couple of weeks in a row! That should only take about 3 months of double workouts. Can anyone find the justice in this.

And then there's this new novel that's niggling at my brain, trying to get out and drowning out all other thought.

Oh, and did I mention that I also have to work 40 hours a week, at my "paying" job.

Oh hell! Why can't I transport myself to one of those planets that have like 300 hour days?

Friday, April 23, 2010

To Compete or Not To Compete

I'm noticing that a lot of the "big blogs" hosted by the "cool agents", etc. are having contests lately. So what I'm trying to decide is this. If I have an agent on my "radar" list, and the same agent is judging a competition, should I enter and through myself into that hat, or should I query seperately and try to stay out of the fray?

That's what I'm trying to decide now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hooked Again

I just finished "Hooked: Write Fiction that Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them go" I blogged about this yesterday as well. This is a great book, not only for beginnings, but for writing in general.

The point is that if your begining is not good, no one's going to see anything else.

He also interviewed several prominent agents, and editors to find out what they look for in first pages, and what causes them to reject. Very insightful.

I highly recomend this book for anyone who wants to improve their writing, especially their opening. And if you don't want to have the best possible opening then it's unlikely that anyone will read any farther in your story.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm Hooked

I'm reading another book on craft called Hooked by Les Edgerton. It's really well written and clear and gives some really good pointers on how to write an opening that will "Hook" your readers and keep them reading.

At some point, I'm going to have to finish reading, and start querying again. I just want to make sure I have the best possible story.

I got some good pointers on developing:
1) An Inciting Incident
2) A Story-Worthy Problem
3) An Initial Surface Problem
4) The Setup

I'm going to do a couple versions of the opening and see which one some of my readers like the best.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Book vs The Movie

I just got through reading "How to Train Your Dragon" by Cressida Cowell and absolutedly LOVED IT! It was a great story, excellent humor, a terrific read. And I know, I know, I am a middle-aged woman, but I LOVE Middle Grade. In fact one of the best things about being a Middle Grade writer is that I have a great excuse for reading so much MG. Anyway, this book was fantastic.

I also went to see the movie with my neices and nephew. I also LOVED IT. Darling movie, great animation, wonderful plot. Everything was amazing. I can't wait to see it again.

So here's the rub. Except for a few character names, locations, etc. the book and the movie seemed to have very little relation to each other. I was very puzzled by this. Mainly because the plot of the book was SO GOOD and would have made such a great movie, I'm not sure why Dreamworks decided to change the plot so drastically.

I've only read this first book in the series, so it's possible, that the movie is actually a compilation of several of the books, I don't know. I'm just glad I saw the movie first. There's nothing I hate more than reading a book that I love and then seeing the movie and it's so far off, I don't even recognize it. I usually hold off on reading books until after I've seen the movie for just that reason.

I mean some alterations for time I can understand. Like Harry Potter for instance, I've enjoyed all of those movies, even though they had to make necessary cuts for the sake of time. But this story would have fit into a 90 min format with very little alteration.

I loved both versions, just not sure why they changed so many things in the movie.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back to The Zombies

I'm finally picking up some momentum on my story again. I needed to take a break from it for a while so I could get a fresh perspective on this. Hopefully this will make it better.

What I really need at this point is a fresh copy of my work. I've made so many revisions and changes to it, I don't know what's what at this point. I really need to get on the stick now though and get it done.

On another note, A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to my very talented critique group partner who got a request for a full MS from the agent she pitched to at her conference. I'm so proud of her!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Introducing Characters

I'm having a rediculously hard time re-writing the beginning of my manuscript. Espeially the part where I introduce some of the key secondary characters. I was never really happy with the way I introduced them in the earlier version, but I'm struggling with how to get them to come in naturally now that I've made changes.

I'm also vacillatin on POV again! I'm thinking about writing it all in Milo's close third, with a few chapters in Farley's close 3rd POV when Milo's not around.

Must keep writing, get something on the page, work it out, wha wha wha!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pitching To an Agent

One of my critique group partners is going to a conference this weekend where she will have a chance to pitch to her ideal agent. What a nerve wracking experience that is, but what a wonderful opportunity.

I had the pleasure of hearing her pitch, helping her refine it, and working with her on it. She's going to do great. She's very genuine and passionate about her work, plus she has a unique talent. It's what I call the "chubby cigar". She has a way of combining words that present a masculine, yet playful feel that is utterly new and very engaging.

She's also dedicated to improving her craft and more than willing to revise, revise, revise. So if the agent doesn't take her on now, it's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Interviewing Milo

I started interviewing Milo again so I could really get a feel for his language and his character. He's a funny little rabbit. I wish I had the skill to really bring his great sense of humor and his humility to his story. I'll keep working on it though.

I'm thinking about posting some of the interview here. He really has a lot of funny things to say.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The First Five Pages

I had a busy Easter weekend and didn't get a chance to update my blog so here's a summary of the last few days in the writing life.

We had a great critique group meeting Thursday night. Everyone's MS are coming along really well. We all acknowledged what hard work writing is, which is an important realization for everyone to come to. If all writers would become part of a critique group and start treating writing like the serious business it is, there would undoubtedly be a lot fewer crappy MS out there gumming up the works.

I picked up another book on craft this weekend called The First Five pages, by Noah Lukeman. It focuses on getting your book ready for submission. I think this is just what I need to get ZR shaped up for my next round of submissions.