Friday, January 28, 2011

Cutting The Fat

Song Of The Day: It Ain't Easy By Tupac

My mother has a saying. She says that you have to peel back layers to get to the bone. What this means is cutting through everything extra to get to what you want. I am finding out that this is so true when it comes to editing a manuscript. I have a serious problem with word count. I am the 100,000+ queen. I think that I am physically incapable of writing a book below that number. But I have to because the word count guidelines for YA have narrowed a bit. For the past two days,I have done something contrary to my writing style. I am trimming like mad. I am removing adverbs left and right. I took out entire chapters and then blended them in elsewhere. I am chopping and screwing this book to death,lol. I will die clutching this MS in my cold hands as I try to get it down to 100,000 or less words. Sigh.

Writing is easy. If time and life cooperate,I can knock a novel out in six weeks. But editing and revising is real work. It is when you spend so much time with your book that you actually get tired of it. But it is necessary. My old nemesis,the query,is easier! Still,the dreaded E&R has its pleasures. I am finding out new ways to write and discovering that chapters sometimes need to go. Also,they might just fit somewhere else in the MS. Now I am at 108,433. I have more to remove and I'll probably rewrite parts of the book.

So,I'll turn on my Pac,pull out my red pen,and trim some more. The goal is a book that bedazzles whoever reads it. A book that looks like my Nana in her Sunday best aka dressed down,ready for praise,and bringing glory.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dealing With Rejection

Song Of The Day: Chain By Switchblade Symphony

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about rejection. She was quite upset because she received a form rejection. I didn't quite understand why. She is of the opinion that an agent should offer feedback as to why they rejected the query. Jigga What?

I don't get all chopped and screwed about rejections. Sure,I've only received about five so far.  But that's because my query was absolutely horrid. Before ROLY THE GODDESS was kind enough to critique it and show me where it needed help,I was so proud of my query! After all,I had spent hours working on the accursed thing. But looking back at it,it sucked. Even if I wrote a sparkling query that made everyone who read it sigh in ecstasy,someone would reject it. Maybe I am more demented than most aspiring writers but I simply don't care about rejection. I really don't. It is an occupational hazard of this business. It's not as if the agent is shrieking; Nicola,you accursed wench,begone with this wretched book! Summon the popo's!

They aren't. Maybe my book is too similar to something they are already dealing with. Maybe they don't want a YA paranormal. Maybe they just aren't interested. Whatever the reason,I keep it moving and stay smiling. Some agent will like it one day. Perhaps I am a disgustingly cheery Goth. Now isn't that a strange combination?

But I am always positive. I know my books will find a home. I don't dwell on rejections. Nor do I believe in going online with other writers and moaning about rejections. That is a never-ending circle of bad energy feeding off of itself.

Every writer gets rejected. That's why pursuing a writing career requires a thick skin. My dream agent is out there. I feel it. So,when I get those R's,I silently send a thanks to the agent for considering my query,delete the e-mail, and in the words of Jay-Z,it's onto the next one.

Blessed Be

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Query Hell

One piece of paper. 250 words. This should be easy for me. I can easily knock out 4000 or more words in one night for my novels. But this thing defeats me. The blank paper mocks me. I want to drink. Worse,I want to cry.

Because no matter how many times I write it,they suck. I simply SUCK at query writing. I look at my fellow writers and I turn into a hater. I am so jealous of the wonderful queries that they create. I want to write a query that makes an agent faint from joy. I suspect that they cackle with glee and pass my wretched query around the office for laughs. I once sent a query out to an agent with this lovely greeting:

Dear Agent,Whose Soul Shall Be Mine.

Now some poor agent probably thinks I am a Satanist. Sigh. I know the damned thing is needed as an introduction for my book. I know agents want them and it is a skill that I must master. But they drive me crazy. Queries reduce me to tears!  I have dramatic hissy fits and my brother rolls his eyes at me. I write one,read it,and then delete. I do this about a hundred times. Then I cry some more and eat a dark chocolate bar. Tis a sad sight!

But fraidy cat writer never won fair agent/book deal. So I go back to my drawing board and start over. There will be more tears and outright howling. But I will get it done. I may be a quivering and half-mad wreck,but as the Goddess Of Writing is my witness,I will write a terrific query!