Saturday, August 28, 2010

Multiple Projects

Here's me going through some pros and cons of working on more than WiP (Work-in-Progress) at a time:

Pro: If you get stuck on one project, you can move on to the next for a little while, and so forth and so on.

Con: You might confuse elements, characters, etc. of one story with another.

Pro: Diversity keeps things interesting.

Con: Jumping from project to project doesn't encourage self-discipline.

In the end, I think it comes down to personal preference. A body's got to chose what works for them, not necessarily what works for someone else.
__
I'm curious as to what others do and what they think on the matter. Feel free to share and discuss!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When Queries Attack! Take Five

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a literary agent such as yourself must want to be in possession of my book, "Coercion."

If you like it, esteem it and think very highly of it, then write to me in a manner that promises me many particulars of an engagement--of the novel kind. If not, you are too hasty, sir. Do not say "After reading your novel for little under an hour, I could say with full certainty that you are the last author in the world whom I could ever be put upon to sign."

I shall wait for your letter. Your response should enter my mailbox this evening or never.

I have always been and always shall be... yours.

Author

Friday, August 20, 2010

You Had Me at Hello: Solutions

- "Edwin wasn't dead."

Umm... that's mine. It's from the first draft of "Shift," a paranormal romance. Yeah, it's probably going bye-bye in the edits since it's not true to the tone of the book. I would be promising one thing and delivering another. Not cool.

- "Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf was powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed."

One word: Exhausting.

Persuasion by Jane Austen, however, is one of my favorite books. It took me several tries just to get through the first chapter, though. It's run-on/wordy, it's full of punctuation errors, it's trivial... In defense of it being trivial: Sir Walter is a very trivial character. It suits him well. And it sets the stage nicely for his practical daughter Anne to enter... later.

The only reason I kept reading was because it is a classic. Any other book, it would have gone back on the shelf.

- "'Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,' grumbled Jo, lying on the rug."

As a writer who has had rules drilled into her head from writing books screams "They opened the book with dialogue. Ahhhhh!" 'Hem. Truth be told, this sentence from Little Women by Lousia May Alcott wouldn't hook me alone. When the other sisters chime in, however, with their own desires, I see a promise of sisterly bonding that is delivered in the rest of the book. This entices me a little.

They're a tight-knit bunch, but the first sentence does not make me glue my nose to the book. Yes, I am a fussy reader. It took me a year to get through this classic, and I like it... not as much as the next book, though.

- "The Opera ghost really existed."

Hooked. It's short, sweet and it sets the tone for the rest of the book, a close account of the mysterious Opera ghost and his doings. Gaston Leroux delivers in his horror novel "The Phantom of the Opera."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Had Me at Hello: Take One

Is it just me or has this blog turned into a bunch of spoof/spam query letters? What? You think I'm probably procrastinating, putting off something I ought to be doing. Why, not at all O:)

On a side note, look out for random lightning strikes.

I want to play a little game. It's called "You Had Me at Hello." You get the first sentence of a book. That's it. Would these entice you to keep reading? Be honest. Some/one are/is mine, some are not. All are Public Domain (or mine) so we don't have to worry about pesky copyright infringement nastiness and figuring out Fair Use stuff.

Here we go: "You Had Me at Hello"...

- "Edwin wasn't Dead."

- "Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf was powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed."

- "'Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,' grumbled Jo, lying on the rug."

- "The Opera ghost really existed."

___

I'll share my own thoughts later in another post. Bonus points to those who can name the story and the author without Googling.

Friday, August 13, 2010

When Query Letters Attack! Take Four

Once upon a midnight query,
I was writing, weak and leery,
For a WiP that I had left to rot inside my drawer.
Suddenly there came a blinking,
And I felt my heart to sinking,
Sinking as it had never sunk before.
'Twas an ad and nothing more.

The blinking then kept to persisting,
And I looked down the long, long listing,
Picked out your name from twenty score.
Your pic looked like a wrinkled raven,
And I thought you'd give my novel haven,
Haven from the world of those sans agent.
So at once I sent out to you my query,
You said that it was weak and weary(some)
And that you had seen 12 dozen of this sort before.
Only this and nothing more.

So here attached is my last query,
And I'm sorry if it makes you weary,
Wearisome as much as you have said before.
Here it is. I offer nothing more:

Attachment____

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When Query Letters Attack! Take Three

Hello, Agent, sir or miss,
Please do take a look at this:

Would you like to read my book?
Would you read it in a nook?
Would you read it in a chair?
Would you read it anywhere?

It's full of twisty turny plots
I use commas--and full stops!
I am the Queen of Literasity
Oh, please, oh, please won't you read me?

If you don't read, I think I'll cry!
If you don't read, I think I'll die!

If you read it in a nook,
I'll sign each and every book!
If you read it in a chair,
I'll sign it in my underwear!

I conclude, dear sir or miss,
Thanks for your brief look at this:

*Files attached Virus Scanner2.0___No viruses detected___WARNING: STUPIDITY DETECTED! Open and read at your own risk.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Before E, Except After... I Forget

Misspelling just got dangerous: Look

"We had Grandpa for dinner." - Poor grammar. Poor Grandpa!

"A panda eats, shoots and leaves." - Faulty punctuation. Deadly consequences.

___
Challenge: How many typos did YOU find in this blog post?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Answers to Book Title Challenge

Master of the Bling - Lord of the Rings

The Ghost of the Musical Drama - The Phantom of the Opera

Dusk - Twilight

Tom and Dick's Brother Clay-Worker and the Warlock's Pebble - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Haughtiness and Discrimination - Pride and Prejudice

Scarlet Pimpernel's Christian Name Stone Wall's Surname and the Medalist Contenders in Global Sport Dating Back to Ancient Greece - Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Continuance Apparatus - The Time Machine

The Unseen Male - The Invisible Man

The Small Rodent-Catcher - The Moustrap

A Yuletide Song - A Christmas Carol

Small Adult Females - Little Women

Fight and Serenity - War and Peace

___
I hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What's in a Name?

A book by any other name would read as well, but would anyone want to pick it up?


-Master of the Bling

-The Ghost of the Musical Drama

-Dusk

-Tom and Dick's Brother Clay-Worker and the Warlock's Pebble

-Haughtiness and Discrimination

-Scarlet Pimpernel's Christian Name Stone Wall's Surname and Medalist Contenders in Global Sport Dating Back to Ancient Greece

-The Continuance Apparatus

-The Unseen Male

-The Rodent-Catcher

-A Yuletide Song

-Small Adult Females

-Fight and Serenity

__
I'll post the answers in a few days.