Monday, May 31, 2010

Do you find it difficult to revise your work?

I used to find it really hard but it’s slowly getting easier. At first I would be tearing my hair out in despair thinking ‘OMG!?! What am I doing? I suck!’ but then I would come across a really good passage. So good I could seriously believe that little elves snuck in and did it for me.

Now I can revise it without too much drama. When I start to have a ‘tense’ moment I put it away for five and do something else. When I come back to it, it never seems that bad and I can see how to re-write it. Re-writing is such an important thing. Every newbie has to realize and accept that nothing is perfect the first time. Sure parts of your story will be! And other parts won’t. The ability to re-write and make it better is absolutely essential to get anywhere with your work.

All I need now is a few in-depth critiques, though finding a brutally honest person who’ll read it and respond in a timely manner seems almost impossible *sigh*. So far I have one who’s been an immense help (thank you Sally!) and a couple who are still WIP but giving good points (thanks Hayley & Natalia) so I’m just waiting for the one guy who’s reading it to get back to me. Patience is a virtue….right?

And while I’m thanking people for their current amazing help, Siany you are the best! (anyone who listens to my constant ramblings bout all this deserves a medal *grin*)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The great e-book debate

Joe Konrath is all about e-books and the opportunities they give newbie writers – or writers who haven’t found the success they feel they deserve.  His blog is truly inspirational and every time I read it I can hear one of those voices in my mind chanting ‘do it, do it’.  It’s really exciting to think you could have your work available to the public that easily.

But I really, really want to see this on the book shelves and e-books are only about 3-5% of the entire book reading market… though that said it is a large market so 3-5% is a lot of people. 
So it leaves me feeling a little torn.  Am I wasting my time seeking a literary agent and a publisher?  Should I take the plunge and go the e-book way? 

At the moment I can’t help but hesitate.  BirthRight is exceptionally precious to me and I really would like it to reach as many as possible. 

So I will continue to seek representation – at the moment.  

Friday, May 28, 2010

It just takes one

In this business of trying to sell your story the thing you have to keep in mind is that it just takes one.

One person in a position of power (i.e. publisher or editor) who likes your work and believes in it. That’s all.
And that’s what I have to remind myself when I receive another no.

I've sent out around thirty queries and received back nine no’s and two requests for partials. The no’s I forget – I let them go, obviously the agent wasn’t a match for me. The partials thrill me! But then I got one back today in which the agent felt it wasn’t a fit for them. It was rather frustrating. But you only want an agent who loves your work!
So I’ve re-written my query letter (third time’s a charm) and I’ll send it out to five agents a day for another week. Onwards and upwards!

The steps

After reading my last post I thought it'd be a good idea to run through 'the steps' you need to take once you've finished your manuscript.  Or at least the steps as I see them (opinion - not law)
  • Make sure your manuscript is finished
  • Decide what genre your manuscript is (you may have done this earlier - but double check anyway)
  • Write a synopsis - here's a helpful link and you can read mine if you want another example
  • Write a query letter - the easiest way to learn about query letters is to go through my list of favourite blogs.  Most have articles dedicated to query's.  Think succinct and catchy
  • Start looking online for Literary Agents (see my links list!)
  • Read their FULL bio's - you don't want to send a fantasy book to an agent who only works with non- fiction etc
  • Set up a table so you can track who you've sent queries to, when you sent them and what their response is.  This stops you from sending to the same agency twice (usually a big no-no unless their site states otherwise)
  • Through out all of these steps be polishing your manuscript.  Do this continually even when you think you've done it - read it again
  • Get someone who is big on grammar/spelling/punctuation to edit it.  This could be a friend or even your old English teacher (suggest it as a project for their class *lol*)
  • TALK IT UP! Tell everyone you know and more that you've written a manuscript and are trying to get published.  It's often said 'it's not what you know but who'.  You'll be surprised at who knows someone - I continually am
  • Write a blog (HA! Your turn now ; p)
  • Once you have a selection of agents you believe would be suitable, then send them your query.  Don't send a mass generated e-mail, make sure each query is personalized and adheres to their submission guidelines (everyone is different)
  • Keep working on your manuscript! Don't sit there chewing your nails waiting for responses, do something! If you can't face your manuscript again then write something else or read a different style of book to broaden your own style
  • When you get a response for a partial, reply promptly and do EXACTLY WHAT THEY ASK
and this is as far as I can take you... at the moment *grin*  Stay tuned for my next installment of the steps!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another freaking step!

This is probably a common feeling for people in my position.

I’ve just finished my first novel, I’m nearly (just past halfway!) through the final polish (or at least till I decided to read it again *sigh*) and now I discover while researching on how to appeal to a literary agent (other than the obvious – writing a kick ass novel) that they like it if you are ‘known’ on the net and have a ‘following’.

Thankfully further research confirmed this means people read/want to read your site not the creepy preaching to nutters and arranging mass suicides type of following…
Which is great! Cause that would have cut some ambitious plans of mine rather short.

My ambitions plans? World Domination, naturally..

On a more serious note ; p I’d really love to get my novel published. Hell I’d love to see my novel on the big screen because it really is totally awesome!! Of course I would say that I wrote it.
However the critiques I’m receiving so far are promising and I’m on the hunt for at least two more viscously honest readers (don’t tell me it’s nice or you like it – give me details *roars*) while I also hunt for an agent.
Who knew book publishing was so f$@%#^g complicated!?!
Seriously writing the book was the easy and enjoyable part.
The next steps though.. Tedious, frustrating and challenging – thankfully I thrive on a challenge.

So follow me and my forays as I attempt to take the world by storm!