Friday, January 29, 2010

What writing means to me...

What does writing mean to me?

Writing means getting up at six in the morning and heading straight to my room to write a HUGE outline for a novel.

Writing means typing up that outline on the computer until my fingers bleed (Or they grow tired, whichever comes first).

Writing means being able to take that outline and rewrite two or three times so I try not to make the same mistakes as I did in my other manuscripts.

Writing means getting started and finishing that first draft no matter how crappy it is.

Writing means sitting down at the computer desk and typing that crappy first draft on the computer and printing it out to do the most dreaded part of all.

Writing means taking a cold hard look at your manuscript and saying "This is not good enough. You can do better."

Well, that's it (For now) I'm sure I'll come up with some more sometime next week. See ya.

Friday, January 22, 2010

All about the Query Letters


Today I would like to take a moment out of my day to tell you about the one topic that seems to be hitting the agent world nowadays: Query Letters. The reason why I'm talking about this is because I'm writing query letter and the synopsis when it comes to my novels.

Or Praticing I should say.

Even though I'm still in the process of rewriting my own novel, I also praticed how to rewrite a synopsis and a query letter as well and I thought that today would be a good day on sharing some of my samples of query letters I have written over the years with you and my opinion on what I think is wrong with them.

Sample Query Letter:


I recently read your short interview in the August 2009 edition of your newsletter called School Days and you mentioned how much you wanted a story that could blow you away in voice, concept and pacing. You also stated that it’s more about the overall story than a particular theme or genre that stands out to you and I’m hoping that my 100,000 word novel ‘The electric eel bandit’ will be the story you’ve been waiting for.

Ever since Bradford became a teenager, He knew that his new mother Dr. Courtney Madison was keeping secrets about his past that only he can figure out. As Bradford decides to leave in search of what really happened to him and his parents, He realizes that searching for answers is not as easy as he suspects and ends up running into a bunch of problems along the way including having a crush on a girl who’s not from his world!

This book is supposed to be the first book in a series called ‘The Truson Super Elite Team but can also work as a stand alone novel. I have a B.A. in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago and have been fascinated with animals ever since I could remember. The partial is ready to submit at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration and hope to hear from you soon.

Dominique Gibson

The reason I wouldn't send this query letter out to Literary Agents:

Lack of Details: I agree that you should keep your query letter as short as possible and even though it creates a lot of mystery within the letter for someone to keep reading, I think that if I stated some (not all) of the probelms that Bradford is going through, The agent or editor make have some sort of idea on what's going on in the book.

The information is outdated: Like I said before, I have been writing query letters over the years and this one happens to be from last year. More than likely things have changed since last year which means that I would have to find the most updated information on the agency itself and use it in my query letter to replace the paragraph I have now (In case you're wondering, this was an actual query letter I wrote to an agent, I just concealed the name for educational purposes).

Last but certainly not least is:

The Word Count: My manuscript states that it's a 100,000-word YA paranormal romance. Since then, I've recently checked the guidelines on the word count of Young Adult novels and the recommended cut off point is 90,000 words. Since my novel is a light science fiction book, it seems to make sense that going over a 100,000 words for a YA novel is not very smart which means more rewrites.

Overall, this query letter wasn't as bad as my previous ones. I would love to show you some of the bad ones I have written over the years (If I can find them) and tell you why they're so bad (Like I did with this one). Next week, I'll talk about another process that requires your agent and editor's attention to request a partial: The Dreaded Synopsis.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Literary Agents, promotion, and staying with my novel

Hi, Everyone.

I would love to tell you guys that after reading a ton of advice from both established writers as well as unknown wirters that I'm going to stick with my current project (But I have so many ideas) no matter how much frustrated I am with this project (But I have one idea you really going to love...), I'm going to stick to it and work my way through it until the very end (Okay, see this first idea I have..).

Excuse me you guys, There's something I have to do.


There. That's better. In other news, I was reading Nathan Brasford latest entry on his blog today (Which you can always find here )which talked about the different methods of marketing your book. There's blogging....e-mails...facebook....tweet....

Personally, If my book ever sees the light of day in a bookstore I would love to get out and meet people and sign books in person rather than blog and sit behind a computer all day. I would want to get to know the fans who spend their time reading my books. I would love for them to ask me all sorts of questions about the characters, the plot, what's going to be my next book...

You get the picture right?

And in return, I would love to ask them questions about their favorite characters and what they loved the most about the story etc...

In the end, that's my answer for what I have to say on that. I'm hoping that I could talk more about another subject that peeks my interest but until then...

See ya next time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year, New Changes, and the economy

Yippee! It's a new year which means new changes for me right? Let's see, I'm still working on my first novel but I think I might be able to be finished by the summer if I just keep at it and become successful at completing it. I only have a little way to go but I have to keep going or else I'm going to go nuts and feel guility about leaving it behind.

In other news, I have this really strong urge to start on a new project while I'm still rewriting The Electric eel Bandit. I think it could be a way to focus my mind on something else besides rewriting this one project. Don't get me wrong, I plan on finishing this project even if it kills me...even if it takes my last dying breath on a hospital bed...Even if I have to climb the Empire State Building in orde to gain some type of sanity...

Okay, enough of that.

The truth? I've already started research on it and will continue to do research on it until I'm ready to let go of the research and start writing again. In the meantime, I'll keep looking for a job to stay on my feet.

Oh and by the way, THE ECONOMY SUCKS.

I've tried to find around six or seven jobs and no such luck. Maybe I'll have better luck sometime next week.

See Ya next week. (I'll probably share my research with you next week on my new project).