Sunday, December 20, 2009
So as published/non-published writers, how irritating is it when you do your best to send the greatest query that you possibly can and then still find that you accidently made a blunder. Such a mistake happened to me the other day, and I thought it would be fun for everyone to share a blunder they made when querying agents.
Friday, December 11, 2009
This morning, I opened my email and I saw a message sent to me from an agent I queried. And of course I thought what I usually did. “Another rejection.”
I’m use to them. LOL!!
Oh, but not this time. I had a request to send a full manuscript. A full…and a synopsis.
I must tell you--well after I closed my mouth with audible snap--at that very moment in time. I was so happy I had one prepared. Even more happy when the pages fell within their accepted guidelines.
And it was so strange because I so did not want to write one. I fought myself on the matter.
“Write one,” the common sense side of me said.
“NOOOO!” my whiney self said. “I don’t wanna.”
Finally, common sense side won, and I reluctantly wrote one. And I think it was lucky that I did so.
Because one thing I always check, and I hope you all do to, is whether or not the agency says they want a synopsis. I don’t recall this agency’s website asking for one, and yet, they wanted one.
So remember, don’t be caught with your pants pooled at your feet. Be prepared with a synopsis. Have it ready on hand.
Then you can do what I spent most of the day doing. Worrying over it, tweaking it, deleting and adding bits to it, then finally save, add attachment, and hit that send button.
OH!! Then comes the fun part--opening your sent mail so that you can check to be sure that you sent the right files.
I wonder what an agent would do if you accidently sent the wrong files? A question to ponder...hmmm?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
So good luck! Here is the link http://ramblingsofawannabescribe.blogspot.com Scroll down a bit to find contest.
Monday, November 30, 2009
First and foremost, I must inform you that this is just an opinion, and it might change tomorrow. Hell, it might change within the next fifteen minutes.
One thing I absolutely hate is when people make a big deal out of a fictional movie or book. Loathe might even be a more appropriate word.
Now, I’m not talking about where people either love or hate a movie/book, but when they put things there that have no relevance at all. They take one thing and then blow it out of proportion.
An example--The Da Vanci Code. The book was criticized for historical inaccuracies. Umm…Ya, it is a fictional novel not a history book. So seriously, “DUH.”
I could go on and on. Harry Potter leads to satanic following. Seriously?
Anyway back to this discussion.
I ran across a blog saying how Twilight shows abusive relationships here http://io9.com/5413428/official-twilights-bella--edward-are-in-an-abusive-relationship
The article is from io9 website.
This is according to the National Domestic Violence hotline. Once again, I would like to say the book is fictional. Not reality. A lot of their points would not be valid if they took out the variable of the fictional character Edward being a vampire.
I am going to take a moment to counter all these claims. Hopefully putting some perspective on this.
1) Does your partner:
* Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
Edward is a vampire after all. I think vampires get to be scary. But also remember, Bella was initially scared of Edward, but not to the point of being terrified. The book repeatedly says how humans subconsciously felt the danger they were in when a vampire was in their midst. And Bella said that she knew Edward wasn’t going to hurt her. Apparently she was not too afraid.
2) * Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
"Stay away from the werewolves. I love you."
Okay, yes. But Edward knew how dangerous werewolves were, and even Sam’s girlfriend was hurt because of his lack of control. You tell me one person who knows of a dangerous place and would let their loved one: child, spouse, parents, whoever, go. At least not without a huge argument. And Bella went anyway, then Edward consented. According to the novel...Werewolves and vampires are natural enemies---like cats and mice.
Does anyone see the fiction here? Werewolves.
3) * Make all of the decisions?
I’ll admit, this one here I’m not sure. I think they both made decisions and some of them were done in a sneaky way. Fictional characters again--maybe a tad flawed.
4) * Act like the abuse is no big deal, it's your fault, or even deny doing it?
"If I wasn't so attracted to you, I wouldn't have to break up with you."
Okay, first off here. Edward was torn up about leaving Bella. I think there was a big deal about it. Another thing, I don’t ever recall anything about him saying it was her fault. As a matter of fact, I believe he blamed himself over and over. The fiction--Edward was a vampire that was worried about the dangerous world that came with his breed. Bella was human and very fragile.
5) * Threaten to commit suicide?
"I just can't live without you. In fact, I'll run to Italy and try suicide by vampire if anything happens to you."
This is one of the things that is taken out of context. Abusive people say this so the person won’t break up with them. To control them completely. In the fictional book Twilight, Edward did say something along those lines, but it was in the context that once Bella died there would be no reason for him to live.
6) * Threaten to kill you?
On their first date.
Edward never threaten to kill Bella. He stated a fact that her blood stirred a vampiric thirst that was almost beyond his control. But he did control it. His main goal was to always save her.
7) Has your partner...
* Tried to isolate you from family or friends.
Bella doesn't have time for anyone else!
Edward had no problem with Bella hanging out with anyone except the fictional dangerous werewolf, Jacob, his mortal enemy (at first at least). Now to look at this realistically, how many people, especially young people, in their first relationship go everywhere and do everything together. Especially with your very first love. There are also people with very best friends that do everything together.
Also Edward never kept her away from her father or mother.
8) * Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
Is anyone really going to tell me that you haven’t gotten mad and maybe slammed your fist on a desk? Of course, Edward is a fictional vampire that is super duper strong and can actually destroy things. So a mere human’s punch on a wall might mean hole in the wall to Edward.
9) * Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you.
Does tossing her through a glass table count?
Edward never laid a hand on Bella in anger, which is what constitutes abuse. Edward did push her into a table by accident to save her life.
You can also look at it this way. If a person is standing in the road and a speeding car is coming down the road. And a heroic person shoves or maybe tackles said person standing in the road, and that person slices their leg on a sharp rock or maybe gets a bad case of road rash. Is that abuse? I don’t think so.
10) * Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
"We're breaking up. And I'm leaving you in the forest."
He left her in the forest, but it was close to her house. Bella chose to run after him after he had already left.
11) * Scared you by driving recklessly.
The fictional vampire, Edward, was never reckless. He had superior reflexes and sight. You name me one person that never had to worry about a car accident that wouldn't be speeding. I know I would.
12) * Forced you to leave your home.
She had to run away with him to flee from the other vampires in the first movie, and she had to drop everything and run to Italy in the second.
Never forced her. Bella had to go to save her dad and herself from the fictional vampires that were coming to get her. Bella chose to go to Italy. And who wouldn’t. I’d go to Italy too.
13) * Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
Check. Even in the hospital, nothing is a big deal.
Not sure where this came from. Bella went to the hospital when he shoved her out of the way of the van. She opted not to go to the hospital when she cut her arm on the glass.
14) * Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
Well, they are Mormon... (I know, I know, cheap shot.)
I never saw rigid gender roles. There was a guy and a girl. I think Bella did her own thing for the most part. When I read this, I never thought…wow, they are putting women down. And also, if people do live in a relationship where rigid gender roles are what they choose to live in…I don’t see how that is abusive. As long as one or the other sex is not forced into that type of situation.
15) * Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
He never accused her of cheating. Yes he was jealous, and wolf-boy was jealous. Not abnormal, guys and gals get jealous of the opposite sex. As long as it doesn’t lead into violent reactions, which it did not, then I don’t see the abuse here. Even Bella was jealous of Edward’s gal pal in the other coven that lived in Alaska.
The point is not whether or not I like the Twilight Saga. These are nothing more than observations that I made because I actually read the book. It was one of the authors that I studied along with several others as I was studying the way different ways people wrote and how different POV’s were done.
I don’t care if you like or dislike a book. I don’t care if you like or dislike the author. But if you are going to make points then make them valid. Don’t make up things out of the blue. It seems to me that whoever wrote this article didn’t even bother to read the series.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Just a quick blog about finishing my second manuscript. All I really have to say is whew. It was a tough road, but not as tough as the first time.
Because of all the things that I learned from my first manuscript of do’s and don’ts.
I brushed up on the English language and punctuation during my first manuscript so I didn’t have to as much on my second. Just to let you know though, I really had forgotten a lot from high school.
I learned that writing a manuscript is not like writing a thesis. Yes, one of my beta readers of my first mss said that it reminded him of a college paper. I guess that means it was dry.
I had to learn to actually use contractions. I always wrote more formal.
I learned the writing rules.
I learned that the writing rules are not to be solely followed, but to use my voice to define the life of my mss. There is a time and place for everything. (I learned that from reading, reading, reading)
I learned not to edit my mss so much that I write my voice right out of it. When you do that, you end up with a dry mss that leaves you feeling parched. (Now I am worried about if I edited enough)
I learned there are a lot of different ways to say the same exact thing, and usually--though not always--the shortest way is the best way to go.
I learned what a query letter is, and I learned that they are really hard to write.
I learned to connect with others that have the same interest in writing as me.
I learned to take people’s advice with a spoonful of sugar, and to make wise decisions when choosing which advice to follow and which not to.
I learned to always remember that when people who have a suggestion are writing a particular part the way they would write it. So if you decide to add the suggestion to your mss, then you must write your voice into it.
I learned that after finishing my first mss, I still love writing and have already started my third. A girl with telepathic abilities, taking place a little bit in the future with a somewhat different reality than our reality now.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
My first manuscript that I completed is drier than the Sonora Desert. It actually started better than how it ended up. I wrote my voice completely out of it by following rules that other writers were nice of enough to share with me. You know the ones:
Use action verbs
Use strong nouns
Cut to the chase; don’t blab on and on about scenery and other minor details such as that. Readers today don’t have the patience.
Don’t use dialogue tags.
Adverbs and adjectives weaken writing.
And so on and so on.
You have all heard these. And I did as they said. To a T. I went through my mss with a fine tooth comb. And what did I end up with….a story that had potential with an interesting plot, but was lacking on everything else.
So, what did I do wrong? Everything. I took the rules too seriously. And that is not what they are meant for.
I am an avid reader. Always have been, always will be. But something clicked inside my head, and although I still read for pleasure, I really started to break down how writers were writing. What did they do?
I read book after book after book. And I noticed that none of these authors wrote according to the rules. Maybe they followed them somewhat, but rules that I learned were broken left and right. They used adverbs and adjectives, they used being verbs, they used dialogue tags (some almost every sentence). They did all these things.
And that is when I realized that the rules might be there, but they are definitely meant for breaking. You should keep the rules in mind, but remember that you are telling a story, and the story should flow naturally.
That is what those great authors did. They told their stories naturally with their voice.
Monday, October 12, 2009
So are vampire books done? I hope not since my second ms has a vampire in it.
But overall, my answer would be no anyway. For some reason people like vampires, and have been intrigued with the creatures for over a hundred years-- not including all the myths that date before that.
The modern vampire is a combination of things that most people want or would like from life. Let’s take a look at a few things.
They are sexy--even the ones that aren’t that good looking seem to have a pull toward them, a mystique.
Powerful--strength and the power to protect yourself and the ones you love is very important with humans.
A lot of them are rich--but even if they aren’t they don’t have to suffer money problems. Credit cards, debt collectors calling, wondering how to pay all the bills, job lay-offs: Money is a great source of unpleasant stress in a person’s life. How great would it be to not have that unpleasantness in your life?
They suffer blood lust--Is this bad? I think most people would say, I couldn’t ever kill a human being, and I agree. For most sane people it would be unimaginable to takes someone’s life. It definitely is for me. But be honest, how many of you have someone in your life that you hate, maybe someone that did something terrible to you or a person you love, have you never, ever thought that person deserves what they have coming? :D Still couldn’t do it? Animals for the squeamish people like me.
Some have supernatural powers--how many people have fantasized about reading people’s minds or influence their boss? I think that is a normal fantasy--to influence and change the world around them or to know what is going to happen so that the right words/choice can be made.
Work?--When and if vampires work, it seems they get jobs that they are really good at and really love doing. How many people work at a job they hate, but yet they have to go to work anyway to pay the bills?
The most intriguing part of being a vampire is immortality, to never grow old--For the most part, the fear of dying and the unknown has plagued mankind since the beginning of man’s history. So of course, immortality, and never having to worry about growing old and weak would be something that most humans would want.
So should the vampire books be done? Why should they be?
The whole point of fiction is to capture your reader and bring them into another world away from common, ordinary life. For them to meet fascinating people, go to wonderful places, and for them to find a world to live vicariously through a fictional character. And if a good vampire story (or any story for that matter) is delivering that, then kudos to whoever wrote it. :)
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I thought this would be a fun topic, and not only that, but something that is shared by everyone who writes, published and non-published alike. So here it is.
If you have things that you hate and would like to share, be sure to add into comments so that maybe I can compose a new list, and share with everyone.
Ten things that I hate while trying to write:
10) My husband, who usually is happy watching TV, flops over the back of the couch, arms dangling over the edge, and starts talking to me. No, that is not a bad thing for us to have a conversation (I actually like it), but it tends to happen when I am trying to write.
09) I usually tend to write at a certain time during the day, every day, and someone still calls who I have told of my schedule.
08) The only room that has the space for my desk and computer is the living room.
07) Borrowed from fellow Twitter @jillkemerer Sitting down to write and having telemarketers call three times in one hour.
06) Everything is quiet, words are finally blazing across the computer screen, then school is out for the day.
05) Just getting settled in to write and one of the kids calls because they forgot their lunch money.
04) The phone ringing. Yes, I do notice the trend. You would think that I would just shut it off, but I can’t just in case something happens.
03) The kids are all busy doing something, the husband is busy doing something, I have the living room to myself, I am on a great scene or roll. Then as if there is some form of radar, everyone is suddenly in the living room at once and turning on the TV.
02) My characters play out scene after scene in my head while I am trying to sleep, which keeps me up and then the next day, I feel too tired to write.
And the number one thing I hate…Drum roll please.
01) The scene is vivid, the characters are lively and colorful, and no matter how hard I try, the right words fail to come out as I picture it.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I know that movies change books for plot or action purposes. Take some characters out and add in additional ones.
But for Twilight there are definitely two things that they should have left in, in my opinion.
The first is the meadow scene. Yes, I know they kind of did it, but they missed it all up. The meadow scene should have been done like Mrs. Meyer had it in the book, or at least resembled it a bit more. It was a special place for Edward that was a part of him. A place where he went to be alone and enjoy being himself away from his home. And he shared it with Bella.
It was also where he moved away from Bella when she got to close, where he showed his vampiric abilities, where they first kissed, and it should have all been portrayed like the book had it.
Another thing that I think they should have kept was Edward constantly smelling her …aroma. It was important in the book to show that he was slowly becoming accustomed to her smell. Plus it brought closeness to them, that the movie was lacking just a little bit. Edward coming close to her neck and brushing his nose against her jaw line and taking her wrists, inhaling--becoming desensitized. It also portrayed Bella’s trust in him.
There are more, but now I want to talk about some scenes probably could have left out.
Edward tossing Bella on his back like a sack of potatoes and climbing trees. Did that really add to the movie? To me they could have cut it and maybe put a bit more effort into the meadow scene.
Bella and her father eating at the restaurant. I really didn’t understand why they didn’t have her fixing dinner at home. I know that maybe it wasn’t really all the important, but think about it. It showed a responsibility and need that Bella felt she had to take care of her father--like she took care of her mother. This was an important part of Bella’s persona in character development.
Okay, something I loved about the movie. I loved the fight scene at the end. That James was ripped apart and got what he deserved. Evil vampire that he was. :)
That being said, the New Moon trailer looks very promising. It seems that there will be a bit more emphasis on the Volturi, but I can see why for action purposes.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Okay, I know Twilight has been criticized for breaking writing rules. Repetition of words, zeroing in on Edward’s eyes, and more telling than showing, and so on. Is that good or bad? Well let’s take a look.
When I first read Twilight, I read it as only a reader. Yes, I was starting on my first ms, but I had no clue about all the writing rules--the dos and don’ts. So as a reader, yes I did notice the repetition of some words. Did it bother me? Nope.
What about the ongoing references to Edward’s eyes? This is my thought--Edward’s eyes were a huge part of the story, his eyes told of his mood and thirst level, how original they were, how much she loved to gaze in them. It was an important part of the story. So maybe it should be repeated. Think of it this way-- when you meet someone that you are attracted to, maybe a first love, what is it that your first notice? Most might say eyes here. When you are talking to someone, what do you look into to gage reactions? Eyes and facial expressions. It is said that eyes are the windows into people’s souls, and I believe it.
Telling vs showing: Always told "Show don't tell...Show don't tell." Some say that most readers now days have short attention spans, and we (as published or aspiring authors/writers) have to jump into action and thrills. Now, this is something that I disagree with. I don’t think that is true. I think if a story pulls the reader forward, no matter how it is written, then that is all that is required.
What do you think the first important rule to writing is? I might be wrong, but I think the most important rule is for the writer to draw the reader into a world and hold them there. And if Mrs. Stephenie Meyer did that then she did her job as an author.
Okay, I have said this, now as an aspiring writer, what do I do? I try and follow the rules.
What is your opinion? Did you like Twilight or did you not find it to your liking?
Monday, September 14, 2009
Anyway, this post is about what does Twilight have that draws fans in of a variety of ages? Male and female? And yes, I know several guys that like the book and/or series.
I was visiting someone's blog over the weekend and they mentioned about the over 30 crowd liking Twilight (sorry I can't remember whose. I visited a lot this weekend.) Anyway, they said something about it and it made me wonder why. Why is there a craze amongst the over 30 crowd--mothers, married, and singles?
And I have come up with why I think.
It is all about Edward.
Here is a guy who is super intelligent, caring, willing to do anything for the woman he loves, protective (although a bit over-protective), rich (of course, has had plenty of time to acquire money), not to mention sizzling, smoking hot hot hot!!!! Top it with being an immortal, and you got something better than a cherry on a sundae.
I will be honest when I say I have not had a real crush on any guy since my early twenties. And this guy lives within the pages of a book. Although don't get me wrong, Robert Pattinson is pretty nice to look at too.
It's like this fictional character woke a part of me that I had forgotten about.
So what about the guys who like the novel. What about it draws them in?
Again, I think it is all about Edward.
Only this time it revolves around a more James Bond thing---Every guy wants to be him, every woman wants to be with him. And they want to be the type of guy that would draw women to them like flies to sugar. :)
What do you all think? I would love to read your comments on the subject.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This last week though, with the children at school, my hubby out of town, and I didn't have to babysit, I actually got a total of 5,000 words down. 5,000 and I am thinking that is great. But then I visit other writers blogs or twitters that I follow and they do 1,000 words a day, and I get a little depressed.
I know all these other people are just as busy as I am with kids and work and real life. I just wish I knew how they do it. Where does their time come from?
And maybe it is just me.
If I really think about it. I have some time at night after the babysitting is over, the kids doing homework and what not, the hubby zoning on the television, but by then I am tired and I want some me time to read a book or maybe watch a movie.
Maybe I just need to get rid of me time, even if I am tired and worn out. Give it up and concentrate on what really matters to me, which is to finish my ms so that I can start on another.
What do you do when your day is so busy and you are tired in the evening? Do you write anyway? Do you figure out a way to make yourself time? I would like to know!!!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
So after the movie was done and I took it out of my PS 3, I started to think of a book that did the same thing. A book that I use to love when I was a child and read over and over, a book I probably hadn't read for thirty years--Where the Red Fern Grows. Everytime I read this book, and I visited the pages frequently, it made me on the verge of tears.
So what about you? Is there a movie or book that touches you?
Monday, August 31, 2009
I have different ways depending on the mood I am in. Once in awhile, I like to have everything perfectly quiet. No T.V., no music, no kids, no hubby, nothing. Unfortunately I do not get that very often. On days when everyone is home, I often go to my playlist, slip on the headphones and try and drown everyone out.
The problem with this is that the music can turn out to be a distraction too. I will find myself bopping my head to the beat, and one time, I actually typed the lyrics to a favorite song. Other times music really helps me to write. It flows into my words. On these days, my writing seems to shine. The characters. The scenes seem to be filled with life. I happen to love those days.
What about you? How is your best writing created?
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The first is a young adult fantasy. It is complete. The second is a paranormal romance. It is half way complete--45,000 words. The third is a sci-fi paranormal (I guess might be the best way to describe it)---4,000 words. And the fourth is just the beginning of a sequel for my young adult fantasy.
I know how I want to start my books. I know how I want my books to end. I have a little bit of an idea of how to get from point A (the beginning) to point C (the end), but over all, I don't have the foggiest of what is going to happen, nor do I know all of the characters that are going to rear from the depths of my imagination.
My storyline often ends up being as much of a surprise for me as it might for any prospective readers.
How about you? Do you write with no idea of what is going to happen? Or are you the organized type that has an outline that they follow?
When I finally get free time to sit down I find it rather frustrating that I can't progress any further on whatever manuscript I am working on. The words just seem stuck at my fingertips and refuse to be typed out along my computer screen.
So what do I do?
Often I will go back to the previous thing I was working on or maybe a bit further and read what I have down. This seems to help me get a direction on what I want to work on next. Another thing I will do is go take a long bath and think about my story. If neither of those work, I give up and read a book, which in turn helps me to get the creative juices flowing again. :)
As many of my writing friends know, writing is not easy. I think some people give it a shot because that is exactly what they think--"My easy peasy road to fame and fortune." But we all know that it is far, far from easy. Far--far--far. If there was a spectrum of hard to easy, writing would be a direct polar opposite of the easy mark. :)
So why do this?
I know why I did.
For years, I wanted to be a writer. I love to read, to be carried away to different situations and worlds, to fall in love with characters (sometimes literally :P ), and when I was in school, I loved to write stories and such, but I never pursued it as a career. When I was younger, I didn't have time, mostly I really didn't think I had the creativity. As I got older, I tried to write a couple of books, got to about page fifty, then would get side-tracked with kids and stuff and give up. (I commend all authors that have kids constantly pulling at their attention and still have the zing to it.)
Why now? I don't know why, but this time when I sat down with an idea, I was determined to see it through. And I did. My manuscript for KRELIS is done.
So what now?
I'm trying to find an agent for my high fantasy, KRELIS, and I have started another two books.
If you haven't published KRELIS why are you writing more? Apparently you don't have the talent to write?
For the first question--I am doing what writers do when they have a passion for the written word----Write. It doesn't matter if my first novel is published or not. For the second---maybe that is true, or maybe I just haven't found an agent that has the same passion for my story as I do, or maybe....??? I can't bother myself with that type of question. All I know, is I have stories in my head that I am going to get down on paper.
Does it matter if I get published or not?
I would love to be published. It is one of the reasons that I am doing this (only a small one though), but it is not mandatory for me to continue writing. I write because I love it.
Although KRELIS has not been published, she has moved on to other projects in hopes that one day her dream might be realized. One is a story of young witch and the other is about a girl who can read minds.
KRELIS is about a young wizard who is rather happy living on an isolated island in Known World. But one day he is propelled from being an apprentice to that of a full fledge wizard and equal with his master, Antigonus. Antigonus has a dream a hundred years in the making, and asks Krelis and his friends to go on a long and dangerous quest to collect dragon stones.
What are dragon stones?--you might ask. Dragon stones are just regular stones that form from the hearts of a deceased dragons, but when the stones are merged with the dragon's spirits, a transformation takes place, creating a powerful talismans. Talismans that have the power to change Known World.
Will Krelis and his friends be success? If they are successful will the reward be worth the price they pay? Maybe one day you will be able to know. :)
So here I invite you to follow me on my own personal quest. One of being published and sharing with you the stories that float in my head. It really isn't as scary as it sounds. :) Please feel free to leave comments, questions, or whatever your heart desires. :) And be sure to follow some of the other blogs and tweets that I do.