Monday, June 30, 2008

more partials - WOOHOO!

Current tuneage: White Wedding - Billy Idol

So I got another request for a partial this weekend. No matter how many requests I've received (21) or how many have then been rejected (17) I still get childishly excited every time one comes in. Like dancing-around-in-my-chair-and-singing kind of excited. Full requests often require a mini dance marathon around whatever room I was in when I got the good news.

That's really about all I have for the day, but I felt the excitement was worth posting. Vacation time is looming, so there will be fewer posts than usual this week.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 27, 2008

an organized mind is next to godliness

Current tuneage: Leavin' - Jesse McCartney (I just can't help myself)

Happy TGIF!

With all of these projects going on at once, staying organized is my number one priority. With the first novel, I know exactly who I've sent queries to, who has partials or fulls, how long they've had them, when I expect to hear back from them, who's declined representation and why (if there was a reason). I'll know the same information for the second and third novel as well as the short story (except for the short story it will be which literary magazines it was sent to).

So I have literally become O B S E S S E D with Excel spreadsheets. I have one that helps me keep track of ALL of my projects at once. I would be totally lost without it!

Ok, well I'm too distracted with the short story I'm writing at this moment to write more, but I'll be back on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

it's a good day for writing

Current tuneage: It Ain't Me Babe - The Turtles

Well, it's been awhile since I've written anything and I blame it on a few other projects I've been trying to work on as well (did I mention I was a multi-tasker?) But I'm back and fully focused on my main three projects.

Quick update: an agent that I sent a partial to LAST June finally responded. She wrote back a personalized letter (which I'm sorry to say isn't always the case) that said what she liked about the first three chapters, what she didn't like and even her favorite line. It's always hard to add another rejection to the pile, but I try and remind myself that she merely wasn't the right agent for this particular book. If she's not enthusiastic enough to represent me or my novel then we probably aren't a good match. I'd much rather wait around for the right agent who just loves what I write and is sure she can sell it to a publisher than get an agent quickly who is only half interested (or not at all) just to say I got an agent. Thankfully, this wasn't even one of the partials that I was still counting on, so I still have two partials and one full out. **fingers crossed**

My third novel which I'm in the middle of outlining is kind of at a standstill. I think there's always a few months in between finishing one book and starting a second one where I really don't feel like taking those first few steps. I'm still learning, so all I have is my experience from finishing my first one and starting my second, but there was about a 4-5 month period where I really didn't do much writing. The interesting thing about this break is that, while I'm not really into writing another novel right this second, I'm fairly involved in writing this short story. I've decided not to bother with the outlining. After all, we're talking about an average of 7,000 words (depending on which literary magazines I'm going to send it to) and that seems like so little when compared with the average of 80,000 that I've been writing for the novels. So I'm going to give it a go. I suppose if I get stuck or confused or lost (which is entirely possible) then I'll start an outline.

In the meantime, it's getting ready to rain outside and I can't think of a better kind of day to get a lot of writing done. If only I could sit on a screened-in porch with a laptop and watch the storm come in... now that would make for a perfect day :)

Friday, June 20, 2008


Current tuneage: Memory - Sugarcult

Sometimes all it takes to get a story rolling in my head is one line. Let me just give you an idea of what I'm working on for this short story:

"That's the problem with dead people, you know. Sometimes they just don't stay dead."

My favorite part about a line like this is the multitude of directions it can be taken. I have half a dozen ideas swimming around in my head already and am pretty excited about trying out several of them. In some of my upcoming postings, perhaps I'll share a few so you all can tell me what you think.

In the meantime, have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

frustrated and empty

Current tuneage: Parallel Universe - Red Hot Chili Peppers

I have to admit, I feel very uninspired today. I can't seem to focus on anything in particular and it's frustrating me. Some days are certainly harder than others and this one seems to be one of those.

Hopefully I'll have more to write tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

multi-tasking like it's my job

current tuneage: Pardon Me - Incubus

So I talked a little bit yesterday about how I've begun outlining for my third novel. In the meantime, I'm researching for my second novel before I begin writing the second draft. I have stacks of books at home on forensics, how detectives and police forces work, and the nature of sociopaths and serial killers among general research on how best to rewrite a novel. Every night I try to skim through at least one of these books, highlighting and dog-earing pages so that when it actually comes time to rewrite I can locate the information I need as quickly as possible. Occasionally another idea to add or change to that novel comes to my head and I'll add it to the ongoing list.

So that's two projects I'm working on.

I've also recently decided that it couldn't hurt to try and publish a short story in a journal. It's supposed to look good in a query letter and it gives me yet another thing to do while waiting to rewrite the second novel, to hear back from agencies that have my first novel and for more ideas to come to me for the third novel. As if I don't have enough going on already.

Project count: 3.

But, my passion is clearly writing and the more I write the better I seem to feel. I've always enjoyed reading more than one book at a time, so why am I surprised to find that I equally enjoy working on more than one writing project at at a time? If nothing else, it keeps me on my toes and improves my writing, which, in the end, is all that matters.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

outlining isn't for sissies

Current tuneage: Anything For Love - Meatloaf

Today I started outlining my next novel. Before I actually started writing novels I swore I would never outline. It was too organized too neat and perfect for the creative type. So I just began writing... and writing... and rewriting when I'd go off on some crazy tangent... So I started taking notes in a separate document. Just to keep my thoughts straight and to jot down ideas when they came to me for later chapters. Pretty soon the list grew and I decided to organize the list... and so was born the outline.

I'm sure my outlines look nothing like what your teachers and professors taught you to do in school. In fact, I think if anyone other than myself looked at one of my outlines (especially some of my previous teachers and professors) they'd run screaming. To the outsider they look disorganized, jumbled, uneven and overwhelming. To me, they've become a godsend. I'm able to go back and change small details without having to rewrite nearly as much. Of course, rewriting still needs to be done. And I have another document specifically for large things I'm probably going to change during one of many proof rounds once the initial draft is complete. But when an entire part of your storyline changes halfway through writing the novel, the outline makes it much easier to organize and make sure you keep on track. Even if that track goes down a different path than the one you originally intended.

Monday, June 16, 2008

genre? what's a genre?

Current tuneage: I Will Survive - Cake

I've been thinking a lot lately about what kind of genre I'd really like to stick to. The first novel I wrote would probably be considered commercial fiction or chick lit, the second is a little closer to mystery, but still commercial... probably not quite enough suspense to be called "mystery". Taking into consideration the fact that only two agencies so far have requested to read the whole manuscript, I guess I shouldn't be getting ahead of myself. I would certainly be happy regardless of the genre I became published in, however, once published do I box myself in to that one category or do I write what I want to write and let it be categorized where it may?

I try to keep thoughts like these out of my head during the writing process. I'm sure it only hinders whatever creativity is magically flowing at the time, but it's hard. I do tend to find that the busier I am, the more strictly I have to keep to a schedule, the more productive I am. It's when things are slow that these negative, non-productive thoughts tend to accumulate.

So one of my experiments this week is to try and keep myself to a stricter schedule. Hopefully this way, I'll able to get more done in less time.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Current tuneage: Jump Around by House of Pain

Fridays always seem to find me anxious and not nearly as focused as I'd like to be. My brain feels like it's already checked out for the weekend, so why should the rest of me be any more productive? Most of those writing books will tell you to keep a schedule, writing so many hours or so many pages or X number of words a day. And while I agree that writing daily certainly makes writing easier, I think it's pretty tough for the creative-type to keep to silly schedules. At least for me. I prefer to write as much as I can. Some days that means I get multiple chapters done. Others, it might only be a few sentences or none at all. I'm sure as soon as I'm lucky enough to be inducted into the world of published authors I'll have to push myself a little harder to meet deadlines, but for now it's not a concern. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the luxury of being able to take as long as I like to complete a project.

"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action." - Frank Tibolt

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

beginning again

Current tuneage: All Over You - Live

Today was one of those days I woke up thinking it was Friday... only to have it still be Thursday. That's just never a good way to start a morning. Luckily, by the time I'd made it to work, I remembered that I already had an inkling of an idea for my next book. That meant I wouldn't have to spend the morning brainstorming for ideas. Because let me tell you a secret: I hate brainstorming. I know, I know. I write for a living and for pleasure, brainstorming should be my thing. It's not.

So I begin the process all over again. Each time I start out writing a new project it's like having to open myself up and let all of my emotions spill onto the paper (or the screen, if you want to be literal). It's utterly exhausting, frustrating and tedious. But exciting all the same. Really, there are no words to describe what it feels like. Even for a writer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

first post ever

Ok, so I'm new to this whole blog thing, but a college graduate should be able to handle it, right? (Thanks to Indiana University for the degree!) Bear with me as I learn how to make it look a little prettier, but for now, I'm pretty pleased.

Updates? Well, for those of you following the developing story on my hand, it's not broken (whew!) In fact, the ugly colors are nearly gone and I've spent the last two and a half days typing furiously with little or no pain.

Thanks in part to not having worked on it since last Wednesday, much of the furious typing went towards finishing novel #2! The first draft was officially finished yesterday and it's absolutely killing me that I have to restrain myself from beginning the rewriting process. But in the meantime, I'll keep myself busy with my new blog and perhaps a short story or two.

My first novel is still being shopped around to different agents. Two agencies have partials (just a few sample chapters) and another just requested the full manuscript on an exclusive basis (!)

More to come soon!