Monday, October 12, 2009

Another day another book on writing

Sorry to all my knitting friends, but you are just going to have to live with more posts on writing for a while. At least until Nanowrimo is over. I'll *try* to sneak in a few yarns here and there that talk about food or woolly goodness if I can.

This weekend I sat and made my way through Your Novel Proposal: From Creation to Contract by Blythe Camenson and Marshall J. Cook. It has an excellent chapter on writing synopses which I totally SUCK at (all of those agents who are reading this and might be considering my book(s) please disregard that last statement) primarily because I tend to become way too wordy or I fall into the "then she did this and then she did that and then they all died." I think my challenge for today is going to be to actually write a real synopsis of one of my books.

I was most impressed with the use of real and fictional examples of query letters and synopses. It was helpful to read synopses and pitches for books that I had actually read rather than books that are either on my "to read" list or that I had never heard of (or that don't actually exist). I keep reading the chapter "Handling the Wait - and the Rejection" over and over. That I think is truly the hardest part of being an author. At least a new, yet-to-be-discovered author. I obsessively check my e-mail account and the spam folder (just in case) and double check to make sure that I actually sent what I was supposed to. I mean what if I only filed the follow up letter in my drafts folder or what if s/he is really writing back, but Gmail is considering that all important letter as spam? It's hard not to worry. My favorite "analysis of the silence" is "They haven't stopped laughing long enough to put the rejection slip in the envelope." I keep reminding myself that I write for my own enjoyment. Publishing will be the icing. It's good cake without it, but it would be more the sweet with.

As far as my most recent exercise (to write about a vampire without eluding to vampires). Well, that went miserably horribly fantastically badly bad bad bad. No, really. I'd post it, but I'd be too embarrassed. I'm going to try again, though. Of course the entire writing exercise wasn't a waste because it did help me rewrite a portion in my third book that I wanted to remain ambiguous as to who was speaking. It did help me find key words that one character would say and another not. So I can't say that trying to write vaguely about vampires was futile. I have yet to find a writing exercise to be completely wasted. Sometimes it just doesn't reveal itself immediately.

Next up is the book No Plot? No Problem! : A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty. First step is going to be digging it out of my daughter's hands. She's glommed onto it and is considering attempting NaNoWriMo herself. I think her biggest concern is character development as she has mostly written Harry Potter FanFic up to this point where characters have already been created for her. Cheer her on, though. I think she has some marvelous stories in her head to share. The problem I foresee with two writers in the house both competing for NaNoWriMo is that we will be consuming far too much caffeine and no housework will get done. There's always December, write? Uh, I mean right?

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