Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wow it's been long...

I haven't blogged in about three weeks--eek! I try to be better than this.

It's just, there hasn't been too much to say. I'm querying, but I really am keeping all of that stuff to myself for the most part. I don't want to discuss who has a partial of what with the whole world, because it's really just my business. Not that I mind when other people share, but it's not my way. I'm secretive and weird. Always have been!

I felt compelled to blog, though, get this piece of joyousness. I guess I'll just summarize what I'm working on at the moment. First, there is Unthawed. I'm not doing much with it right now, a few little touches, and as I'm typing this, the lovely Andrea is giving me suggestions to fix my least favorite chapter, and I like her suggestions, so I may have to work on that sometime soon. Then there's Ignited, which I am rewriting completely from scratch (for the most part). I made a pretty outline and everything. I don't think trying to query it afterwards will be a good idea--my characters are now in their early 20's (aka the age no one wants to read about, apparently) and I'm pretty sure that even though it technically could be a stand alone book, it would be crappy without being a series. So, two things right there that would make it near impossible to snag an agent with. But I'm having fun, and that's what writing is all about. And item #3: my untitled WIP. This is going slowly for several reasons. 1) present tense. I like having it in present tense, and I think it'll be a good tool for this particular story, but I've never done it before, so it's tricky. 2) I have a little bit of a lack of focus, I can admit it. 3) This is technically urban fantasy, but it's like 97% urban, 3% fantasy, so it's a little out of my normal realm. I don't like writing about the real world! 4) I keep having conflicting ideas about where to go with it, despite my beautiful outline. It ends up the same no matter what, but there are a few different paths I can take, and I want to think about them all before I get too far in.

So that's all. The excitement of my writing life.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The things you learn

I meant to blog yesterday, but I didn't. I haven't been very productive today, so I think blogging is the least I can do.

First of all, congrats to Kody Keplinger on her book deal for her debut novel, The Duff! For more info on that, you can go to one of several different blogs. And since I don't think I ever said so (on my blog) congrats also to Kirsten Hubbard for her deal for the super amazing Like Mandarin. You will all be missing out on some major awesomeness if you don't buy both of those books when they come out.

And in unrelated news, Michael is exactly fifteen months today! Not like it's a birthday, but since I happen to be blogging today, I might as well mention it. He may be starting the terrible twos early. But it's alright, because he's very adorable while he does it.

So, on to the reason I actually meant to blog: I finished my editing, and am about to start querying Unthawed! Prepare for a long winded explanation of all the fun things I figured out for myself while writing/editing this beast.

Rewriting: not just for parts where the plot needs to change. Alright, so I haven't been under a rock, and I was aware that rewriting existed. But I had never before thought to rewrite something just because it didn't quite work for me. There was one chapter about a third of the way in that I felt was just not giving off the fear that it needed to. The characters had just stumbled into a situation where they should've been terrified, but they were way too calm. I tried editing the scene I already had, adding in more fear from Emma, the MC. But I still wasn't happy. And then I realized something.

If I hate the chapter, how can I expect anyone else not to?

So I made a list of the important things that needed to be revealed in the chapter, set aside the original, and wrote it completely from scratch. It's so much better now.

It's true, you can cut a lot of words without those redundant sentences. I had plenty of them. Sentences that drove the emotion home just a little too hard, sentences that stated the obvious. My manuscript went from about 72,500 words down to about 68,500. Part of that was cutting some unnecessary chunks, but I definitely think I cut at least 2000 words just from getting rid of useless words or sentences.

First chapters don't always come out like crap. I usually have a huge problem with first chapters. I'm never satisfied with how my first chapters come out. But after all my revisions, I actually feel happy with this one.

Imagery is awesome in the Arctic. I may have had too much fun changing my cliche type sentences (eg. butterflies in the stomach) into not cliche sounding descriptions that drew from Emma's arctic surroundings. It's surprising how much untapped imagery there is if you give it a lot of thought. Which is something I'd never bothered with before.

I have the best beta readers in the world. I could not appreciate them more. Everyone who read this for me is so amazing, and it would not be what it is without them. *Hugs beta readers* Anyone who tries to polish their writing without the help of super awesome people like these is insane.

So that's about enough, although there are probably thousands of other things I could say. I'm excited to start querying, and no matter what happens, I love this story and I'm glad for the last few months I spent working on it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

(tiny) Teaser Tuesday

So yesterday, I had a little milk related incident which has made my keyboard awesome and sticky. I think I need to rinse it out with water (as suggested by the internet), but the idea of putting more liquid into it scares me a we'll see.

Anyhow. If you read this blog regularly, you know that I've been editing. And now I'm finished! Working on my query and my synopsis a bit today, and I'm hoping that by Thursday or Friday I can send out my first batch of queries. It's pretty exciting!

So enjoy a tiny snippet. I know it's not much of a teaser, but it's all you're getting.

[teaser gone!]