Monday, July 30, 2012

First draft done... now reading hibernation!

I just typed my favourite two words into the end of my WIP's document:


It's not really the end, of course. According to my usual way of writing, this thing needs MASSIVE overhauls. But that's for another day. For the next two weeks at least, I'm going to read, read, read. No writing, just getting back to my roots. Every writer is a reader first. I need time to remind myself of that. 

Also, I'm in danger of being crushed by my TBR pile.

My Bad Writing

Every writer has stories they wish they'd never written. Stories so silly, so ridiculous, so embarrassing that they would forever tarnish the writer's reputation if they were made public. You know deep down inside that these stories were important to your development as a writer, and maybe you have good memories of writing them, but you know... they're bad. They're just bad.

I'm no exception. I have utterly, completely ridiculous pieces in my dark writing past. Fanfiction, poetry, original stories... I've got it all.

And, in an effort to not feel quite so stupid about it, I've decided to share it with the world.

Well, not all of it. Most of my bad writing has gone to the great paper shredder in the sky (i.e., my computer crashed or I stupidly deleted it, thinking I'd never want to read this crap). But I do have a great deal of it, and I thought it might be a fun blog project to share some of it and write snark-tastic reviews of my own stuff. Feel free to laugh at my ridiculousness -- I'll be joining you.

Stay tuned for the first instalment, coming soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Querying frustration and perspective

Sorry for the radio silence lately. Summer is the most crazy, intense, ridiculous, busy period at my day job, so I've been feeling kind of swamped in that arena. I'm also busy reading a lot, writing a brand new WIP, and planning my trip to London (60 days until take-off!).

Also I'm querying right now.

This being the second manuscript I've dug deep into the query trenches with, I came into it with some preconceived notions of what the experience might be like. Last time, summer-fall of 2010 and a little of 2011, I got fewer than five form rejections in total. I got many, many full requests and quite a handful of partials. I had an R&R that was a very close call. I eventually stopped querying because I lost faith in the manuscript and it felt like a full connection was never going to happen.

Fast forward to summer 2012 and a brand new manuscript that I'm absolutely in love with. Enter the gorgeous, snappy, much-fawned-over-in-QLH query letter. I've got a high-concept, super-original premise (if I do say so myself). I was expecting the same kind of reception as my last MS.

But... so the opposite.

Two requests out of twenty queries sent. It feels kind of like a punch in the gut.

I don't want to complain, because I realize there are people who send hundreds of queries and never get a single request ever. I'm so, so grateful for any amount of success I ever get. But it just goes to show that you can't expect instant success, and sometimes that realization is tough.

There are a couple things going on in my brain right now.

Thing 1: "*whine* Why don't they like this one? It's sooooooo commerical and hook-y and omg, if I saw a book in a bookstore with this premise I would just, like, DIE!"

Thing 2: "I should just give up and crawl into a hole right now."

Thing 3: *cranks the Alanis Morrissette and sings bitter unrequited love songs to the publishing industry at large*

And as embarrassing as those things are, I know they're irrational. I know everyone feels like that every once in a while, and even if I were to snag an amazing agent and book deal, I would still feel those things sometimes. In this industry, those feelings are inevitable.

And after I've felt all the things and finished slapping myself for being so silly, I start to think about it rationally. Sure, maybe my first month-and-a-half of querying hasn't been mind-blowingly awesome, some awesome things have come of it.

1) Four agents remembered me from my past manuscript (and one of them read only a partial almost two years ago) and were happy to hear from me and enthusiastic enough to invite me to query them again in the future.

2) I've gotten replies from every query. In just a little over a month. That's amazing.

3) The two agents who have requested so far are AWESOME and I'm beyond honoured that they want to read my stuff. I would be ecstatic if either of them offered rep.

So, author wankfest over. I'm going to put my nose to the grindstone and keep on querying. And keep writing.

Always, always keep writing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Discussion: Finishing books you don't like

I've seen a lot of people on Goodreads and elsewhere mention that they have unbreakable compulsions that require them to finish every single book they start.

This boggles my mind. I have no problem DNFing a book I'm not enjoying. If it's not wowing me at the halfway point, the last half probably won't wow me, either. I move on until I find something I love.

How about you guys? Do you force yourself to read till "The End," even if it kills you? Or do you give up when you're feeling your eyes start to glaze over?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Remember my Wanderlove review where I talked about how much I yearned to travel again?

Well. Guess what I booked?

A ten-day trip to London with my Mommy for September!

:D :D :D

A big part of the reason I'm going is to research some of my work (A BRAVER THING, which I'm currently querying, and my new untitled WIP, which includes some England settings as well), and also just to satisfy my travel itch and hey, London is a cool place. Mom (a very nervous traveller) feels better about going there than going to France, where we originally wanted to go, because at least then she can speak the language.

ANYWAY! I'm just so excited. You can count on a big post all about it (with many pictures!) in approximately three months ;)

Now I'm off to go listen to "London Calling" on repeat...