Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Said What?

I spent a little time yesterday working on one of my novels, tweaking up the intro a bit and as I made my way through the first few paragraphs I found a word that I used that shocked me.


Now, I know it isn't the rarest word out there, but it certainly isn't used in every day speech. At least I've never ever heard a soul actually use that word. I've only ever read it. So I got to thinking that maybe I should force myself to use that word today. At some point, I'm going to use it when talking to someone and see if they say anything or even notice. I'm not sure if they'll give half a rats-butt or if they'll just think I'm being stupid. Either way, I think it could be a fun experiment and would challenge you to do the same thing.

Find a word that you've written in your novel, but that you rarely ever hear, and try to use it today. Let me know what happens.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

If I see 1 More Vampire-Based Query Letter...

As writers, most of us are overflowing with ideas. Hell, I have a list of nearly 10 novels that I'd love to be working on right now. Unfortunately, there's no way I'd be able to spread myself that thin and produce anything of value. Oh and let's not forget that putting all our stock in one story violates the "egg in the basket" principle leaving us vulnerable to failure.

The book market is like anything else. It is not static. It shifts and shapes according to the latest trends, news or market ting schemes. Take Twilight for instance. Prior to Twilight, vampires were always popular, but never dominated the market like it does today. YA paranormal is so saturated now that one can hardly imagine how we used to live without our "Team Edward" bumper stickers and "Bite Me" T-shirts.

This brings up my point. Before Twilight, I was in the middle of a WIP that was based on...wait for it...Vampires. Now I realize that every author thinks their story is original, so I'll spare you from saying mine is, BUT mine contains a very strange take on vamipric origins that would be a key selling point in my query to any agent. That being said, do I stand a chance of getting published now? Nope. Will it be a few years before I can even begin to submit? Yep (at least). Does that tick me off? Absolutely.

See, up until then, I'd been spending all my time and effort on that one story. Sadly, when the market shifted in favor of that genre I wasn't finished with my novel. I couldn't jump on the wagon, but instead got a full mouth of dust.

So, what's the moral of the story?

If you have desires to get published for the first time, don't burn yourself by only working on 1 novel. By the time your novel is finished, you may find that the market has shifted against your favor and your masterpiece will be nothing but a paperweight on the shelf.

Does this mean you should be simultaneously writing 3 or 4 books... No. Just means that if you have other ideas, don't squelch them just because they pop up in the middle of your WIP.

Question: How many novels are on your "to write list" and how many are you currently working on?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Let's Have Some Fun

It's chapter 7 of your novel. You have one task. Connect the dots.

Your protagonist is trapped in an elevator, with a stranger, after the building just got hit by an earthquake (Point C). You know that the next major plot point in the story will be when they are broken out by a mysterious hero (Point D), but you can't simply jump right to that point. You need at least a few more pages between.

Assuming this is where you are in your story, what would you prefer to use to "fill the space" between Point C and Point D?

A. Action: Something suddenly happens, and then the characters are forced to...
B. Dialogue: Little chit chat or back and forth while the characters wait to be rescued...
C. Description: An elevator is such a unique place and you will share with us why...

IF you could only stick to one of the above (no mixing and matching) what would you choose and why?