Saturday, January 30, 2010

Agent Search: Week 1

Well, friends, here we are at the end of week one of my agent search. Granted...there's still technically Sunday, but things have finally stopped being quite as tedious and un-blog worthy as they were an hour ago (yes, things changed just that fast).

This week, counting tonight, I sent out 11 queries to various agents. The official start date was January 26. I received my first response an hour ago. It was a form rejection from a query I sent out two days ago. While the rejection hurts, I still remember that I have 10 other queries out right now, plus a whole slew of ones I'm planning on sending throughout the coming weeks, months, etc. Also, I'm happy that I at least got some response, instead of being ignored.

When I haven't been researching agents, making lists, and sending out queries, I've been working on my other writing projects. I have a fantasy trilogy I'm trying to get started (slow going) and I'm also trying my hand once more at historical fiction with a novel about Titanic, an event I was completely fascinated by when I was in late elementary school. It's one of those things that I haven't fully grown out of and I'm still fascinated by it and the drama that surrounded it. I can't help it, really. So I've been juggling those two projects for the time being.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On a Roll...

...And, no, the answer is not "butter". Thanks.

The reason I'm on a roll is because (drum roll, please) I finished writing another novel. That's right, friends...the first draft of "Child of Roses" has been completed! Overall, I'm pretty happy with how the entire thing turned out. Even the epilogue turned out better than I'd hoped. I did, however, have significant trouble finding that one perfect ending sentence. This resulted in me letting my main character ramble on for a paragraph and saying some things that probably didn't need to be said. Whatever. That's what revisions are for.

Now, you ask...what am I working on? Allow me to share that with you. It's finally come time when I feel ready to begin querying agents. I have a handful of (relatively small) things to fix in "Nor the Battle" before I go and embarrass myself (I'm a big fan of first impressions, don't judge). Once I get those little things fixed, I'll start. I already have something at least resembling a query letter...and I need to do a synopsis. Seriously, I know I've drawn out this step, but that's because it terrifies me. I can feel it's time. I can't hide from this forever.

In the meantime, I always need to be writing SOMETHING. That something is me trying my hands at a YA fantasy trilogy. That's right. I'm trying, not only fantasy, but a trilogy. And I thought it was a good idea to give myself 5 different protagonists, who each get the chance to tell the story from their own point of view. Crazy? Probably...I'm more convinced on this fact the further I get in the process for this new project. But I think it's going to be fun. And it's something I can keep my mind on when revisions on "Nor the Battle" start getting to me.

So that's the world right now for me. Keep checking back, and I'll keep you up-to-date on the agent search!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lists and Accomplishments

In case you're wondering, I finished that chapter I was dreading last night. It took me disconnecting from the internet for a few hours to get anything accomplished. At one point, my younger sister asked how things were going. The conversation went something like this:

Laura: Having fun?
Me: Not really...
Laura: You don't like writing your novel?
Me: I just don't like writing this chapter.
Laura: Maybe if you turned off the TV...
Me: Then I'd play Solitare instead.
Laura: You're weird.

Yup, that's pretty much the relationship between Laura and me.

So that's my accomplishment--finishing that chapter. Things are going to get so much better to write from this point onward, I'm sure of it.

Now you might be wondering...but what about the lists you mention in the entry title? That answer is quite simple. I'm compiling a list of literary agents to start querying. I hope to do that soon. I know "soon" is a very vague time-frame, but right now "soon" is about all I can work with. I'm also trying to find a full-time job and I'm working on losing weight, so my attention span for finding a firm time-frame for the agent hunt isn't so great. So, "soon" it is.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This is how much I don't want to write this chapter...

I've been procrastinating all day. In fact, as I write this, I'm still procrastinating. And this time it's not because I don't know what to write or I don't know how to start the chapter. I've already started the chapter, I know how it's going to go and I know what I need to say.

But I don't want to say it.

Honestly, this is the first time I've been this fearful about writing a chapter. Maybe it's because this particular main character I've already tortured more than any other I've ever written. Maybe it's because I know this is really going to SUCK. I'm afraid to find out the reactions to this particular moment of the other characters. I'm afraid to make my main character hurt more than I've already hurt her. It's probably going to take me the rest of the day to get over this hump, but get over it I shall and then both my main character and I will be able to move on. That will be a glorious moment, but it still doesn't ease my fears about this chapter.

Let's see...what have I done this afternoon other than writing this chapter? I've read other books, watched bits and pieces of movies airing on TV...I've checked Facebook and Twitter so much that there's nothing new anymore...I've checked my email copiously (in case you're wondering, there's nothing new)...I've watched multiple shows on Food Network. I talked to the Girl Scout who stopped by our house while my mom was ordering cookies. I looked on ebay for fingerless gloves. I remembered that I own fingerless mittens from high school marching band, and went on a hunt for those in the basement. I read some more. I decided I REALLY needed to chew some gum, so I needed to find that too. I decided I was cold and needed to go find my sweatshirt blanket and slippers. I went and poured myself a glass of sparkling water, which I then spilled on my writing desk, so I had to clean that up too. I've wandered around the house.

Every so often, I decide to write another few sentences in the chapter before I choose to check Facebook again.

I'm pathetic.

I'm sure this chapter will get written eventually today...or tomorrow...and when that happens, I'll feel so much better. But that doesn't change how much I DON'T WANT to write this chapter. As much as I KNOW this chapter has to happen, I still don't want it to. So I will now go and stare at my Word document again, perhaps write another few sentences, and then resume watching Food Network.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year...More Writing

Hi, friends! Happy New Year and welcome to 2010! I've decided that this is the year I'm going to get an agent and move forward on the whole publishing-a-novel thing. Yup.

My new favorite way to write, which I just discovered a week ago, is to take my laptop into my bedroom, light a scented candle, blast my playlist while my iPod is plugged into my iHome, and write for a few hours. Not only am I creating my own private writing oasis doing this, but I also can completely block out the rest of the world. I can just curl up with my novel and write a couple chapters. With all the snow right now in Ohio, it was nice yesterday to spend the evening doing that. I successfully managed to make my main character's life significantly crappier, and then I made myself feel better by finally letting her fall in love (which had been planned since the beginning, but it felt like I was being nice after putting her through hell and back).

I never cease to be amused by the reactions I get from my family and non-writer friends when I do something that seems random, but really just has to do with my writing. For example, a couple months ago my dad learned the importance of not being sarcastic or funny with me when I'm having a mental breakdown/mood swing because of something I'm writing. The most recent amusement for me was when I asked my mom where the medical dictionary was. She found it for me and then asked me what I wanted to look up. I figured honesty was best, so I told her...I needed to find information on head injuries for my novel and google was making my life difficult at the time. I think I freaked her out. BUT, I found the information I needed, so freaking out my mom was a small price to pay.