Saturday, May 28, 2011

Synopsis Skirmishes

At the writing conference I recently attended, I had one agent ask me--ever so politely--if I wouldn't pretty please mind sending her my first three chapters AND a short synopsis?? I plastered the best sugary sweet smile I could muster onto my face and purred: 

"But of course, I would LOVE to!"

Inwardly, I was secretly doing this:

And, don't get me wrong, this was NOT because I wasn't tickled pink she wanted to hear from me (cause, lets be honest, I WAS!!) but it was--nonetheless--at the dreary prospect of having to write a synopsis. 

Synopsis. This should be defined in the dictionary as: Satan's spawn of writing.

Or at least something with devil, hell or Satan in the definition somewhere...

Because I received two other full manuscript requests at the conference, I put off writing said synopsis for a good two weeks--three, if you include how I dragged my feet through this one. I figured I'd get the manuscript all polished up fine and hunky dory before worrying about a synopsis, because which is more important, right?

But after clicking the "SEND" button on Monday this week, saying cest la vi! to my lovely manuscript, and with absolutely no more excuses to exhaust, I began working on my synopsis.  

After one day, the score looked like this:


Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT bad, but it FELT that bad.

I seriously loathe writing synopsises [is that a word??]... Its such a painful process trying to condense 90,000 words into 2 short pages. Why oh why do they make us do it?!

Fortunately, its Saturday, and I think I finally have a working draft of said synopsis. Unfortunately, I don't have any proof readers. I can't use my beta readers because then they'd know the whole plot line... doesn't it defeat the purpose of editing and reviewing if you know how the book is SUPPOSED to go? 

What are your thoughts, dear readers? And what, pray tell, what do you do when faced with an opponent such as a synopsis?

Any and all battle tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Writers love to READ!

And watch movies...

At least I do.

And I'm SO stinkin', freakin', dinkin' EXCITED for this:
[Sigh]... Isn't it just so great to see the living, breathing Katnis plastered on the cover of Entertainment Weekly? Mmmm... I think so! Can. Not. WAIT for this to come out!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Genre Jumping

This weekend, I went on a date with hubbs (eek!) and we saw this:
And although I heart Johnny Depp, what stole the show for me was this:
Those two had such great chemistry! And now, I'm completely obsessed with writing a story about these:
But besides the problem that a mermaid story line is not even REMOTELY close to the genre that my YA pre-dystopian political thriller, Keepers of the Flame, falls under, I might also be competing with her:
Who said in an interview I recently saw, that she wanted to (or had already started, I can't remember) write a book about mermaids.

This world is so unfair!

Ms. Meyer is about to do to the mermaid world what she did to vampires... which is, to say, that she made it almost impossible for anyone else to write about the topic without seeming like a copy cat! [Not that I don't love your books, Steph, I just wish you'd give us other poor souls a chance!] I suppose its time for me to use those freakishly awesome dead-line writing skills I recently discovered (see post below) and get my idea written before the world is graced with sparkling mermaids to compliment Edward's glittering veneer.

But what are your thoughts... is it okay for me to write a paranormal YA book about mermaids when I've already written a pre-dystopian YA political thriller? Do you think an agent would pick someone up who has such different tastes in genre? I really can't help it, you know... my tastes in writing are as varied as my tastes in reading. I have story ideas for practically every genre! But I'm obsessed with my mermaid idea at the moment... I'd love to hear what you all think about my dilemma!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The thing about Deadlines...

This weekend I finished with some MEGA revisions on my ms. This mega revising started two weeks ago and was inspired when a certain agent at the writing conference might have sort of said he wanted to see my ENTIRE ms in two weeks (deadline: May 23). Upon hearing said news, I FREAKED. Both because, well, I just got a full ms request from an agent (which rocks) and two, because I was in the middle of some major revisions on said ms and didn't know if I could have a respectable product by that time! But, with two weeks til D-day, I decided to gird up my loins and get 'er done.

To give you an idea of just HOW mega these mega revisions were...

Word Count, May 7th, 2011: 105,000 (yes, I know, lots of fluff) 
Word Count, May 22nd, 2011: 90,000 (much less fluff)

HOWEVER, as impressive (and I mean impressive because... lets be honest... I'm COMPLETELY amazed myself!) as it is to see a 15,000-ish word difference in a two week span, wait until you see what's next...

Number of Words taken out of MS: 36,000

Which, you savvy mathematicians have already figured out means that the number of words I put INTO my MS was roughly: 21,000... in 2 weeks, mind you. Just 2 weeks.

Folks, that's a 51,000 word count difference. Can I get a "WHOA NELLY!!"?!

Most of you smart people out there who visit my blog are writers, so you already know this, but for those of the un-writing few that frequent this site, 51,000 words is enough for a novella... or a mid grade novel... and its only 30,000 words shy of a respectable YA novel word count!

Its seriously amazing what you can accomplish with a deadline. Who woulda thought? 

But before I end with you thinking I'm totally obsessive compulsive about keeping track of the filthy left-over take-out material from my manuscripts, let me explain! 

Sometimes, when I'm writing and I decide that a big chunk has got to go, I don't want to just cut it out completely because there might be something I can use from that hunk-o-junk later on. Hence, most of what I cut from my manuscripts, I put in a separate "extras" or "take out" file until I'm ready to delete it permanently. I started doing that this time, but when I noticed the word count getting so high?

Well, I just HAD to let it keep rolling. Wouldn't you?

It makes for good blog post material. Muhahaha ( :

But if you think what I did was impressive (yes that's your cue to applaud and pat me on the back)... you should hear how my friend Lauren is killing herself right now. She makes my mega revising look like, well... to use a well-beloved cliche: child's play.

And yet--unlike me--she still has time to update her blog... [hangs head in shame]...

Go Lauren!! Woot, woot for deadlines!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Um, NOT writing related, BUT....

...Still SO cool:
But I guess since the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Bar Exam was the reason for my blogging/writing hiatus a couple months back anyway... maybe I CAN consider it writing related! I'm just so excited and relieved to have this off my back. Thanks to my friends and family for your unfailing confidence and support through that whole ordeal ( : You guys are the best!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hot Bliggity Blog!


I just got this fabulous, fiery, hot smokin' blog award from Miss Barbara Kloss, a talented up-and-coming YA writer!
Now, I'm not entirely certain whether this is an "Ohmygosh you're blog is SO freakin' hot!" kind of an award, or if it's a "Wow... like seriously? Please, just BURN that thing already!" award.

But since Barb is pretty freakin' awesome herself, I'm gonna go with the first one (fingers crossed!)

Either way, it definitely means I'm getting more traffic on the blog, and I like the idea of that. The more the merrier, I say!

And, as tradition dictates, I'm supposed to pass this lovely award onto a few of my own fav blogs.

First, to the lovely Sylvi Baker, who while not currently a writer herself, is without a doubt, my biggest fan. She supports me in everything I do and I swear, has gobbled up every single draft of my novel I've ever thrown at her. Hopefully this award will help the traffic on her own starter blog!

Next, to Miss S.L. Hennessy, my awesome writing and critique buddy in the Houston Writer's Guild. She writes some fab. YA literature about modern day teen super heroes. Go Lauren!

Third, to my awesome adopt-o-mom, Terry Lee-Rosing. She's another of my my Writer's Guild gurus and she writes such fantastic stuff! This isn't her book blog, but is still oh-so-awesome. Maybe once she gets a blog for her writing I can switch out the links. Love you, Terry!

Fourth, to Vickie Motter. There is a high level of likelihood that she has already received this award, because she's a fantastic literary agent herself with many, many followers. But because I'm a constant stalker of her blog, I wanted to recognize her anyway.

And last, to Tiffany, my newest follower. I don't know you very well, yet, Tiffany but I absolutely LOVE your book and can't wait to see you succeed in the literary world!

Thanks to all you awesome fellow bloggers who give me lots of fun posts to read when I'm taking a break from my own writing, help me out with critiquing, and are just, well, awesome friends! You're the best!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Woot, woot! All caught up!

Read the new and improved chapters 1-4 under the 'Sample Chapters' tab! All material is caught up to date--including a never-before-read [Houston Writer's Guild members excluded] chapter with the oh-so-hunky Gabe and his snarky side-kick Colby.

Happy reading!

P.s. Colby would be really peeved to hear himself called the "side-kick." Don't tell him I said so...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Houston Writer's Conference

I had an absolute ball at the Writer's Conference this weekend! Got to attend lots of fun seminars and hang out with other geeky writers... what could be better? (Perhaps a day lounging on the beach of some remote island, but we won't go there...)

Me with Ms. Christie--ignore my disheveled
appearance, my friends failed to warn me
before snapping the pic!

There was one writer in attendance that I particularly enjoyed. Her name is C.C. Hunter (others of you out there might know her as Christie Craig). She mostly writes adult books, but recently made her debut in YA with her novel, Born at Midnight. She was such a fun person to be around! Christie is a self proclaimed story teller. And believe me, its the truth. I attended two of her lectures and she had me falling out of my seat with laughter one minute and breathless with anticipation the next! I adored her! And was particularly inspired by her journey to becoming a writer...
Christie with her very large box of

Contrary to popular belief, not all of us have it as easy as Ms. Meyer and her sparkling Edward, who managed to rake in all of 5 rejections, 4 no responses and 1 acceptance for her ms (we curse the ease with which she entered the literary arena!) For most of us, the publishing world is, for lack of a better word, BRUTAL. And until Saturday, I thought I knew a thing or two about the brutal publishing industry. But after hearing Christi's experience, I realize that I'm sadly inexperienced with rejections. Christie grew up in Alabama, dropped out of high school in the 10th grade, is dyslexic and couldn't even spell the word "writer" when she decided she wanted to be a writer. But she was a story teller and she knew what she wanted. Today, with over 10,000+ rejections under her belt, Christie Criag (C.C. Hunter) can now boast over 13ish books and over a thousand articles in print.

Is that persistence, or what? This woman is my new hero!

My friends and I also had the chance to meet the acquaintance of several authors, editors and agents, including Chuck Sambuchino, author of How to Survive a Garden Nome Attack. We sat across from him at dinner during which my friend and Chuck had a battle of the nerdy movies contest. I was, of course, WAY too cool to know what they were talking about, but Lauren, on the other hand.... I kept telling her she should stop while she was... well... not so far behind, but alas! She wouldn't listen! But no worries, Chuck was happy... her lost $5 bet paid for his drinks.  

One exhausting, fun-filled, writing weekend later, I'm back to business as usual: stuck behind my beloved lap top (who has served me well but is sadly starting to die) making some revisions on my book. Also, my meetings with agents went well, and I may or may not have more information on that to come later... (cue suspenseful music!)... stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Glass Case of Emotion!

So this weekend I'm attending my first writing conference... EVER. The conference is hosted by the Houston Writer's Guild, and, I'm not gonna lie... I might be just a little bit nervous. Excited, yes (lots of juicy writing tips, hooray!) but nerves too. Plenty. Why, you ask?

Because I'm meeting with 2 agents and an editor to discuss the possibility of representing my book.

Can I request a cone of silence?

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I'm in a glass case of emotion!!!!

Okay, now that all that hullabaloo is over with... I've never met with an agent face to face before. I'm queried more than my fair share. Believe me. I have. But pitch in person? Haha. No. This is a first.

But I figured I needed to start. I read somewhere that agents get most of their represented material from writing conferences and referrals. (Which, incidentally, I had no idea, by the way. No wonder all my query letters were getting sent back...) And since the odds of me getting Stephenie Meyer to refer me to her agent are slim to none, I figured I better up my writing conference attendance.

But honestly, I have no idea what to expect. It sorta, kinda feels like a job interview... but not the kind I've ever done. Not that I'd be worried if it WAS a job interview... I did 3 years of summer sales in college, so charming an interviewer? THAT, I can do! But an agent? This is uncharted territory! I have no idea what to expect. Will they talk back? Ask questions? Interact with me? Or will they just say "Okay, your 10 minutes start now... go!" What should I wear? How should I act? Its all so new and scary... [whimpers]...

So anyway, for any of you savvy writers out that who HAVE met with an agent face to face, I'd love to hear advice! Tips. Words of Wisdom. Fortune cookie messages... Really, anything you can tell me about the process would be most helpful. I'm totally flying by the seat of my pants here!