Saturday, June 28, 2008

Love Joss Whedon

Just a quick entry to say I love Joss Whedon (you all know that already) and I can't wait to see his latest project with the ever-fabulous Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris:
Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Its my hope that this latest endeavour will prove yet another cult hit for Whedon, meaning he will be able to bring it out on DVD so I can buy it and watch it over and over and over, the way I do with all other things Joss Whedon. The man is brilliant, I only hope I can achieve a smidgen of his ability to create.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Slow on the Writing Front

Nothing much to report today, no major events, writing related or otherwise.
Its been about 6 weeks since I sent my manuscript the The Agent. That is, the agent who is number one on my list, my dream agent. She's supposed to get back to me within 10 to 12 weeks, so I've probably got about another 6 weeks to wait. It feels like its been forever already. And I'm desperately trying to ignore the voice in the back of my head telling me that if she wanted it, she probably would have already got back to me by now. I'm not going to listen to that voice until I get word from the agent herself. I'm keeping up with a steady stream of submissions, I've got about 8 out at the moment, ranging from one page query letters to several pages or chapters. And I've got a list of a further 10 agents to send out to if I don't manage to pick up an agent out of the current pool of submissions.
On the blog of The Agent, she had a entry the other day about what she's looking for at the moment. She stated that she's looking for a really good romantic suspense, which is what I've sent her! Ok, so mine is not so heavy on the suspense, it's layered with action and of course the developing relationship between the characters. Its the first in a series and although each book is going to be self-contained in that it covers one couple's story, there is a connecting story threading through all the books, which will be tied up with the final book. I can't tell you how much I hope someone agrees to take it. I know I'm biased, but I really think I'm on to something here!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rules Aren't Made to be Broken

I was over at bookends once again and there was an entry there about rules in the publishing world, about how some authors want rule upon rule upon rule; they want someone to tell them the specific formula for success so that their book will be published. While other authors flaunt the rules, claiming there are too many rules, too many variations of those rules, and believe that without all those stifling rules, their work would almost certainly find publication.
Its very interesting, when you think about it. Personally I follow the rules, or my interpretation of them, because the rules are there to make things easier on the agents who are inundated day after day by hopefully authors who each believe their work is good enough to be published. Some of these authors are full on fanatical and don't take rejection well. For all of us writer's griping about agents and how they treat us so insensitively, I have to say that I'm not with the crowd on this one. I wouldn't trade places with an agent for anything. Sure, their job is rewarding, but it's also extremely hard. To me, whipping up a manuscript is no trouble and something I love doing, but I can't contemplate having to judge people's work day after day, especially when many of theses so-called professional authors don't bother following the guidelines, or think they're above the guidelines, sending work you don't represent, sending work that's a long, long way from publishing standard, and then getting pissed off and slagging you all over the Internet when you tell them no.
I have a lot of respect for agents. And as with everything in life, I've had some good experiences and some not-so-good experiences, but I don't let that influence the whole. This is the career I decided I wanted in on, I don't expect things to come easy, I don't expect any special treatment, I don't expect that everyone will love my work the way I do. I do expect to be given the same chance as everyone else and that hard work, discipline and dedication will eventually get me over the line where others have long given up.
I find it strange the way a lot of people approach this business. Yes, I can understand how they might take things personally, since writing often involves making yourself vulnerable, putting yourself out there. But if these people are serious about making a career, I don't understand how they can't see that taking everything so personally, sending rude letters to agents who've rejected them, not taking on board any criticisms or guidance from those who know is going to get them exactly no where.
I could go on about this, I've met a lot of the writers I've just described above, but I think I've said enough.
All that really matters is that I continue on my own journey in the right way.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Not MySpace

So, I like totally joined MySpace, coz, like, it's so like totally awesome.
On a more serious note, yes, I did join MySpace today even though I'm not a fan. I guess I'm just trying to cover all the bases. Once I'm published, people are going to be looking for me I suppose, and I want to use all the tools available to promote myself, to make myself somewhat accessible to the readers. The powers-that-be say that when you become a published author, you need to be able to market yourself to an extent. I'm happy enough to do that, but I'm also a bit wary of the, shall we say over-zealous fans who might want to become my next best friend. Don't think I'm being paranoid, I know of other authors its happened to.
MySpace is not all bad. I did get to subscribe to Nathan Fillion's blog, even though he hasn't posted since December. But still, interesting. I wonder who else I might be able to find?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

News to Me

Just popped in to say I found this while I was aimlessly wandering the net the other day:
WEbook
The powers-that-be are saying its going to do for the publishing industry what American Idol did for the music industry. I've had a good look through the stuff already on there and can now honestly say I empathize with agents and editors. Oh boy, was there some crap on there. Of course, there's also some good stuff on there, but a lot of crap. I guess it's like those people you see on Idol who totally think they can sing but in reality can't even hold a note. Well (not to be harsh), some of these people totally think they're writing the next New York Times bestseller, when in reality they can barely string a sentence together. Where's all the (going on eight) years of hard work they've put into this whole writing career? They think they can just whip up a manuscript and they'll hit the big time? pfft! Whatever.
On a more serious note, I wonder what agents think of this possible revolution in the publishing world. I have to admit that I've half considered joining up under an alias and starting something on there, just to see what might happen.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Its Going to Get Old Fast

Not much to report today, except for another rejection. This one was quite similar to the last, the agent wrote back to me herself saying that there was nothing wrong with my work, it was good to read, the characters were interesting, over all it was well written, but she just wasn't excited about the premise, and I deserve someone who is going to be passionate about the idea. That said, she didn't see any reason why I wouldn't eventually find someone to take me on.
It seems I've come up in the world. So far I haven't gotten one "dear author" form rejection. Unfortunately I can see the sparkle wearing off this particular type of rejection quite fast. Its great to hear an agent say your work is good, but I need to find the one who's going to say "your work is good and I love the idea!" Because if they all say "I don't want it, but don't worry, someone else will take it" then eventually there might not be anyone left! I've believed in myself and its gotten me this far, I just have to continue on and keep hoping that the next one will be it.
In other news, after the past few weeks of copious writing, I've done nothing this week. So I suppose I'd better get back to it. I really like the idea of having another complete manuscript in the near future.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

On a Roll

I don't have much to say today, apart from the fact that I've reached the 23,000 word mark on my WIP. That's right, I've written 11,000 words in the past 4 days. How did I do it? I have no idea. When the words are there, I just have to get them down. I'm sure that at any point now I'm going to reach full burn and then I won't want to look at the manuscript again for at least another two months. But I don't know that for sure. Maybe I'll continue this way and in a couple of weeks I'll have another completed manuscript. That would be an achievement and a half!
In other news, I was very excited the other day to find someone on the internet selling seasons 1 through to 6 of Smallville for $100. What a bargain! Since at the moment they're selling brand new for about $60 each, I was really excited about it. Anyway, I'm sure it's not that exciting for anyone else! Better get back to writing.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Right Direction

I got a rejection yesterday, and I was so excited!
Ok, that might sound totally insane, but let me explain.
It wasn't just a form rejection, the agent took the time to write back to me herself (This is a different agent to the one who requested more material a few weeks ago, I have written to a number of different agents).
She said that there wasn't anything wrong with the sample I'd sent to her (her agency's guidelines asked for a cover letter, synopsis and first couple of chapters), in fact it was quite good. Unfortunately she didn't feel she could offer me representation due to the fact that she didn't feel strongly about the overall premise. She went on in closing to say that in her opinion she didn't see why I wouldn't find someone who would be passionate about the project and subsequently offer representation.
How can I feel unhappy about that? Sure, it would have been my dream come true if she had of felt strongly enough about the story to take it on, but what it tells me is that I'm definitely on track and heading in the right direction. Surely one of the agents I've written to (or will write to, because for every rejection I get, I like to send out another letter to someone else) will be excited about the story and agree to take it on.
In other news, I've written 12,000 words of the second book in the series. Its coming together quite well at the moment. That leaves me with between 83 to 88 thousand words to write, so I suppose I should stop daydreaming about getting 'the' news and get back to writing.