Saturday, June 20, 2009

July 1k-a-day Challenge

The last few months I've been editing my book and other projects have sat in their respective piles on my desk, untouched. Well, edits are almost done (I think) and it's time to plug away at a half-completed manuscript. I'd like to have it done by the end of the summer, but how to stay motivated....hmmmm....

Enter Tami with a brilliant idea. And so we've come up with a way to make our summer - and your summer memorable and productive....mayhap even profitable (you just might sell your book one day!).

Sure, you could hang out at the beach and read a great book...nothing wrong with that. But why not WRITE one. If you've been looking for some inspiration and Nano seems pretty far away - then we have the challenge for you!

Similar to the contest we held in November 2008, this July YAedge is hosting another 1k-a-day shot of adrenalin directly into the heart of your writing.

Tami will be posting the rules shortly.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Editing for a Reason

I know the title of this post is obvious. OF COURSE you edit for a reason, but let me elaborate. Before submitting my query to agents, I made several passes of Lost and Found. My two crit partners went through the whole thing, including a few chapters more than once. When all was said and done, the whole thing had been read and edited five + times and the beginning probably close to ten.

Since the first edits, I’ve queried many agents, getting a few requests for partials and fulls. One agent last week asked for a two-page synopsis and the first 30 pages of the manuscript (as I blogged about last week). Luckily, she got back to me right away since I was on pins and needles. She loved the premise, thought the writing was good, but said that the pacing was too slow. If I would cut the book (which was 83,400 words) “a lot” she would love for me to re-query.

Considering her letter, I had to agree. Despite going over the beginning several times, I could cut it down and get to the point. The pacing wasn’t fast and I didn’t get to my conflict soon enough. It’s funny how you can view something so different when someone points out the obvious.

Now I’m working on trimming it down to around 65,000 words (which would be around 18,000 shorter). The task is tough, yet in the end, even if the agent who made the suggestion doesn’t want to take myself and the book on as a client, I know that I will end up with a better book.

Remember when editing, get to the conflict as fast as possible. Grab the reader from the start and don’t let go. Read the first 30 pages over several times. Are there plot points that you never integrate into the rest of the book? If there is, cut it and get to the point. Readers want to be pulled in from the first word, not the fiftieth page.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

True Blood Season 2: 1st Episode Highlights

“The following program portrays graphic violence, coarse language and nudity.”

Look out folks…another season of TrueBlood has begun. As I type this, I’m watching the first episode of TrueBlood, Season 2. I thought it would be fun to keep track of the highlights. The show is a guilty pleasure of mine, so this is my first attempt at TV

What a beginning. One bad guy in the dust and another ?? comes to the surface. Okay, I've only read the first book in the Charlaine Harris series, so I might make some laughable assumptions here, but I'm going to catch up on the novels this summer...'cause I like being in the know. If you missed the show, stop reading now as I'm sure to give away a few spoilers.

Gotta love this series. It’s all heart. Or not – what a way to start off, with a con artist hoodoo woman’s heart ripped out of her chest.

HA! The Vampire Bill recycles…that’s hilarious. Yet another reason I love this show. The subtle humour, the dialogue rife with double meaning, the character’s with their weaknesses, quirks and hard-nosed stupidity – plus the religious zealots, Fellowship of the Sun, are a bonus.

Yeah! Lafeyette is alive…but ewww…the bucket scene was not necessary.

Great scene where Sookie questions Bill and Jessica's relationship...the girl/vamp makes a face....hello - "Old!" We now have teen angst and all the complications of a step-mother/step-daughter relationship. Complex and bitter. Let’s hope, for Bill’s sake, he manages to get Jessica under control.

Jason…oh, good lord, Jason. He’s so clueless, so lost - attracted to the shiniest rock in the dirt. Then two steps down the road – another shiny rock beckons. Instead of vamp blood, this season he’s getting his fix from the zealots…figures.

Sam as a little wee puppy…cute. Hmm….that lady’s bad news, me thinks. And there she goes smacking down her minion. Yup, bad news all the way. (Was anyone else as surprised as I was when that guy, Carl, actually spoke?)

And the dirty old uncle's body is found. How interesting. No marks to identify Bill, thanks to the fishies.

“I’m tired of charring my ass on your backburner.” – nice line, Sam.

First hint of Sookie's talents here, as she possibly “glamours” Jessica into giving her and Bill some time alone. Kind of Bill to point it out to us.

“God damn you Bill Compton....” Sookie says and the line could have finished with " had me at I-killed-your-dirty-old-uncle."

Enter sex scene. Whose gonna bleach those sheets, I ask you? Who?

Back to Lafayette and his dwindling group of chained victims – one second I’m laughing at Eric getting his hair streaked…and then he’s tearing a guy limb from limb - OMG, even in foils, he’s NASTY!

My friends, it’s going to be a fun season.