Sunday, 17 August 2014

I always feel a kind of nervous excitement and I'm all jittery and restless when I finish writing something. For the last two weeks I've been rewriting and expanding an old fairy-tale of mine. I didn't want to start anything new and big that would require massive amounts of research, brainstorming and inspiration right after I completed such a long and laborious work on my fantasy novel but I found that I simply can't NOT write. So I decided to dust off my ideas for fairy-tales and short stories in the meantime. Now that I've finished the fairy-tale, I'm going to attempt writing a romantic short story set in Victorian London, which is something that I've never done before. I also have an idea for a short story set in Regency, so maybe I'll write it down after this one.

I'm afraid that my style is too complicated and old-fashioned for a fairy-tale for children, though. I should have been born in Regency or Victorian eras. I would fit just fine there. I wouldn't even have to curl my hair, because it curls naturally into perfect locks - I kid you not! Anyway... I learned that if I try restraining myself to simple words and short sentences, I start suffering from literary constipation. I do think that it would make for a nice picture book, because the imagery is quite fine, but I'm afraid that if I try finding a publisher for it, I will be asked to make it not as wordy and convoluted, which will definitely kill the spark and render the story dry and uninteresting. On the other hand, maybe they will want me to expand it some more and write a short chaptered book instead? I think I'd love that.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Rejection №1

And here it is! My first rejection letter for my new book. I really hate that :(

Dear Author:

Thank you so much for sending your query. We'd like to apologize for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter. On average, we receive nearly 500 email query letters a week and despite that, we do read each and every query letter carefully. Unfortunately, this project is not right for us. Because this business is so subjective and opinions vary widely, we recommend that you pursue other agents. After all, it just takes one "yes" to find the right match. 

Good luck with all your publishing endeavors.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

I believe this stage of revision is complete. He-he. Judging by the time of this blog post I managed to do it by the end of the week. In truth, it's already the 4th in my country :D

Monday, 28 July 2014

This week I'm planning to finish revision, sent off copies of the book to my beta readers and (finally!) start sending out submissions. Wish me luck!

UPDATE: I've gone through 120 pages out of 219 of the book by now. I didn't count on excessive heat and the fact that it seriously impairs my productivity but I still have three days till the end of the week to reach my goal!  I've also sent out my first query for the book. Just now. I'm quite excited about it, of course. It feels like I've never done it before. But it's a new book and a new opportunity!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Is it just me or does writing advice dumbs down books?

Maybe it's just me but when I read writing advice like "cut it short so that the reader's attention doesn't drift" and "make it simple" and "show don't tell" it all sounds to me like "readers are so stupid - you have to spell it out for them or they won't understand". It's like we have to dumb down our books for readers to get them. But isn't it a bit insulting? Don't we underestimate the readers when we do it? And what's wrong with adverbs, anyway? Can't people paint their own picture in their mind of what the character is doing if we use them instead of spelling out everything? They're not stupid. If anything, I think we should make it more challenging. I, for one, love a book that challenges me. I like adverbs. I like passive voice. I like long, complicated sentences. My favourite (world-famous, best-selling, loved, admired, worshipped) authors love them too and their readers and legions of fans don't have problems with any of it, because, in the end, it's The. Story. That. Counts.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Revision progress report

I was on a roll last week. I revised a very big piece and added a number of new pieces too. In fact, I'd written so much I couldn't read out the whole thing to my CP, because we ran out of time. I did stumble eventually at one particular part that I have reservations about, though I was quite happy with it upon writing it. But there's something off about it and I'll have to work on it to find out what exactly, because I can't put my finger on it at the moment, and make it right. A couple of days ago I had a sudden itch to start querying agents with my fantasy novel and the only thing that managed to stop me from rushing unprepared headlong into the process was the necessity to compose a synopsis as it is required by one of the agents on my list I want to query first. Thankfully. I promised myself that I wouldn't rush into anything with this book. This is it. The real thing and I want it to work. I want to make it right. But I do get occasionally fidgety and itchy, because I just want to give it a shot and see how it goes. Will it work? Will it at happen at last? Will I get an agent? Funnily enough, you almost believe in the possibility until you open your mailbox, skim through the email and feel your heart drop to your feet when you see that they will just have to pass on. The good thing is that I did write a synopsis! But my first attempt was quite deplorable and I didn't dare send it off for fear of ruining my chances.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Revision progress report

I'm quite happy with my revision progress this week. I've completed revising the second part of the book and I have a much smaller portion left. At the moment I'm writing a completely new scene that I decided to add. I've also decided that my YA Fantasy project will most probably be a trilogy. I have definite titles for the other two books and a number of ideas that I would love to explore, delving deeper into the world that I've created and bringing out the best and the worst. I'm also looking through a list of agents at AgentQuery and I'm astonished by the number of agents who still won't accept email queries. What are the chances of finding an agent? What are the chances of making it big?