When I woke this morning (at 4:30am) I could not move fast enough to find out anything about the direction of the votes. Now I have to own-up to a slight knot in my stomach as I found out that … Continue reading
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Wow September the 8th, I get to this part of the year and it brings to mind that the year is about to enter its fourth and final quarter.
My birthday is in just over a week on the seventeenth and although this once filled me with wishes and expectation when I was younger, it now makes me look back on the last twelve months and take account of what goals I have made. What I have accomplished and even more so, what I have not accomplished in the last year.
For one, I said I would have sent my manuscript out to an agent. And buy and large I suppose I did, only it keeps coming back complete with rejection letters. I wanted to start a new novel, Not a sci-fi but a crime thriller, and that is on its way. I’m at least a third of my way to finishing the first draft. I’m very excited about this one. Its fast and gritty, with honest characters that are filled with many conflicting values and principals. Its great to write about bad guy turned good and god guy turned bad. They say the secret to a good book is conflict, and inner conflict is even better it is also a great motivator.
Its no secret that I’m a great sci-fi fan but the crime thriller genre is a page turner for sure.
The novel’s called, “The Promise” it follows a father and a promise he made to his wife sixteen years earlier. He is bad guy turned good. The only thing is a bad life has a habit of coming back, wanting its flesh even when you have no more to give. The promise he makes is about his daughter who has just turned sixteen. She has no idea what her father once was, where he made the money they live by today. How will she cope with the idea of living off blood money?
I really do love this one, and I hope so will the agents and publishes when its finished.
In the mean time my other novel “Purple” is still out there awaiting representation so any up and coming agents fancy a read and I haven’t sent it you then please don’t be shy.
A friend of mine was on his annual holiday and by chance bumped into an agent at a hotel bar. The conversation moved on to my friend telling her that he knew someone who was trying to get published. (Thats me he is talking about, incase you were wondering.) She told my friend the same as every writer out there knows. They have many thousands of query letters and synopsis per month and it all starts with the query letter, if thats ok then its the synopsis and if their still reading then its the first fifty pages or so and if you are still in the running, then they request the full manuscript. And even then you are likely to be rejected. Its a numbers game, a mood game. For instance if the agent had a bad night and had had enough of sci-fi then the next sci-fi novel would not get past the query stage.
In the end you can have the best query in the world and a synopsis that would bring tears of joy to the eyes. A manuscript that any full time author would give his right eye for. Your query can still be binned at the first glance.
I try not to take this as a negative but to reassure myself that if I keep sending them out and keep writing more, then one day it will be my manuscript that the agent see’s, and that day they were looking for a manuscript just like mine.
I have made big improvements in my personal life, finically and emotionally. I look forward to what I have to come in this next year, who knows what may come.
It got me thinking that if we KNOW this will happen to the human race, then should we not be making concrete plans to find other places in the universe, and go there. (The story of Noah comes to mind. The only difference is that we maybe capable of avoiding our demise.)
They say that ninety nine percent of creatures that have existed on earth are extinct. So are we being premature to begin planning so we don’t go by the way of a swollen sun.
I must be clear that the sun will not take us for about another 5 billion years. So we do have time on our side.
May I offer this for thought, that we should maybe eradicate starvation and human suffering before reaching for the stars. Can a race expect to survive on other worlds when it still cannot fix such fundamental problems such as these. I’m no fundamentalist and I except the role of nature and evolution in our lives. Its just sometimes I watch the news and see things happen in the world, that make no sense to the evolution of our species.
There is a miss interpretation of the mayan calendar, that all ends december 2012.
A phrase comes to mind, ‘everything that begins, must end’ so the calendar could not run for all time and they who made it had to make a point to stop it somewhere.
The time is 07:46am I received an email last night from a popular podcast show called The Writing Show. It’s hosted by Paula B and she informed me that she will be looking at my book in her next show. The show is posted today and because it’s in America I’m not sure what time. I have checked twice already. They are a few hours behind and I have no clue as to what time zone she lives in.
Oh he’ll I’m nervous, its that someone else is reading my work with a critical eye. I have listened to Paula B’s podcast for years now and very much respect her view, I even look forward to listening to it because I know it will help me with the book. Still the nerves are here.
You will be able to find this podcast at http://www.writingshow.com or on iTunes it’s labeled as slush pile workshop 22.
The time is 8:22pm I have now listened to the podcast and before I give you my update I thought I would explain why I time stamped the post. Why not post the bit above this morning then post this update? Well because I think i wanted to keep it together and I like the format it’s like a diary of today’s events. And who wants to keep getting emails that I’m posting every two hours.
Back to the podcast, Paula B read my chapter and that was strange in its self. I have listened to her read other peoples writings for years. She was kind with a large scoop of honesty. In brief my story is good, my plot is good. It’s very cinematic. These are some of the good points that she talked about on the show. The main point was copy edit, copy edit, copy edit.
I have to say that this does not come as to much of a shock, I must be the worst speller in the world and punctuation, well I’m still on that learning curve.
In my defence I wrote the first chapter to Purple back in 2008 and I have learnt so much since then. I suppose my challenge now is to bring that what i have learned to the book and stop being lazy. Give it a listen and by all means give me your opinion especially with the word tw*t (for a full disclosure of this word listen to the podcast) as this seems to have a different meaning in the states and I think I may need to change it.
I awoke this morning with a vision that my book was not finished. This is obvious as I’m only one 5th of my way into the A Nation lost. Then it must be my first novel Purple. Some people tell me they rewrite there books eight even ten times before feeling a little satisfied. I have only done this five times. So I have made myself a promise.
Is that in the down times when i am slow on words for A Nation Lost, I shall rewrite Purple chapter by chapter page by page.
I am strangely excited by this, can I make the prose tighter? I know I can. Can I make it flow smooth? Yes.
Should i just leave it and move on, Am I a fool for trying this? Maybe but I have learnt so much going over my stories and my novel that I can only believe that this is helping me be a better writer. After all this comes from within us. In the end it is us that have to say we are finished.
This is one of the biggest shell we say surprises I have had since I began to write fiction. For instance when I wrote the hundred and fourteenth word and that word being ‘END’ I was not aware of the amount of work that will go into this fictional journey. I have been over the manuscript at least four maybe five times each time thinking this will be the final time. Then I find myself picking it up a few weeks later and bang it’s crap again.
Second and third draft, I would say spelling was an issue. Third draft was more more plot holes. Now I have started the next novel to this story, and I now find I have a problem with the way I wrote the point of view of the first book. I wrote first person in the first book, my narrator is third person. This I’m fine with, its the amount of each that is the problem. for instance in the first book I think I was more narrator and less first person. where in the second I’m edging the other way.
I suppose the question I’m asking is this ok considering these are different books or do I try and keep the same flow throughout all the books could this be my inexperience speaking? Could this be the show don’t tell thing? but surly you have to tell sometimes.
I may need to go have a cup of tea and sort these out, it seems my mind maybe running away again, it’s small grey and round, very wrinkled probable throbbing too, if you see it running down the road, please don’t tread on it, I need it.
You know some times it’s not that I cannot find something to write about, its more that I have too many subjects, and trying to pick one is like walking into a bakery wanting a cream cake and there being an large selection of your most loved cakes.
In the end you take to many at once and kill the treat or forget it and walk out.
That’s the great thing I have noticed and the worst thing I have notice about having an interest such as writing story’s. There is just so much out there that it can be hard to pick one thing to say.
So i will pick one, query letters. I have sent out my query letters for my novel Purple.
Two are still to come back. A month has gone and all the others have come back with form rejections, one had just been signed in pen saying ‘not for us’
I do have a plan, yes a plan and people who know me would probably not be surprised at that. The plan is to hit all the UK agency’s first, because I’m from the UK and that makes sense to me. Then the US and so on. After going through the writers year book i was shocked at how few agency’s applied to me. Thinking it a doubting task at first but then that there was not many to choose from.
I have to wait for all the replays from the ones I have sent out.
90 days is what I’m told is the normal cut off. So two more months to wait. In the mean time I will develop something or not, who knows. 🙂
I would like to know if anyone has not had a reply from an agency or what’s the longest you have had to wait. That would be interesting.
I have been a bit of an idiot, yes that’s right a right royal idiot.
“why, why tell us?” you may be asking.
Well as you know I finished my first novel a couple of months ago and have since been sending query letters and chapters out to agency’s.
That all said I have not been writing!
“so what” you may interrupt
If there is one thing I have learnt about writing fiction, and I say fiction because that’s what I write this may also apply to non-fiction. That is you must write everyday to stay in the mood. I have numerous ideas for story’s and most are of novel length but am idea in the mind is just an idea and worth zilch until on paper or in computer in my case.
So last night I started by writing 455 words of my next novel. It’s not a lot but it’s a start.
( I also slept like a baby last night, seems that when I write I sleep better, so even more to be happy about)
First of all, hi and thanks for all the emails on the last post, it did seem to get people talking.
I thought it about time I had an update on my novel. At present it’s gone through a number of rewrites, in which I mean I have deleted some stuff and added some stuff. Seriously it seems that each time I go through the manuscript I make more to fix on the next rewrite and how can I keep missing spelling mistakes it’s like someone waits until I have finished and places new spelling mistakes where the old ones were.
Anyway enough of my shortfalls. I finished work on Friday and decided that this would be the weekend that I do my query letter and synopsis. And like a good boy I did. I finished a one page query that can be adapted to most agents, I also completed a 556 word synopsis, including the surprise ending as every help book or web site shouts this at you to do. I even managed to sum up the 103,000 word novel in a 73 word tag line. So haven’t I done well. I do have to say sorry to my wife Joanne as I did keep throwing paper work at her, on her one day off “oops” I have even pre dated the letters to give me a deadline as to when I will have everything ready.
My novel is a science fiction thriller. This is not good in the world of publishing. Of all the agents web sites I checked only a few excepted science fiction and when looking into there recent published books I found very few that were science fiction. So this could be the time when perseverance has to win through. It’s the adversity in life that makes us improve our work.
I’m going to start with a selected 7 agents and wait. Then depending on what happens with them I will move on to the next ones.
I will keep you updated if anything happens. By the way the dead line is the 17th of September. So there you go I have to send these off now. Incedently the 17th is all so my birthday.
I thought it was about time I updated everyone on my writing progress. As it stands I have a number of, shall we say projects going on. Main one being my novel currently called Purple. a 104,000 word monster of a book. (for me) After saying that it truly is the most satisfying thing I have ever done.
Also I have written many short stories and have four more novels started, more outlined. Also I’m thinking about having a go at a stage play, just need a bit more research on that one.
Purple is in its third draft and doing well on feedback so far. I’m still finding spelling mistakes and plot holes. the iron that is revisions is doing a great job of smoothing them out.
Thanks again for the emails, I must be feeling good today I’m full of thanks. I might as well thank my family members who have commented recently. some great comments and surprise’s. It seems that I have many Budding writers in my family and shows me where I get my love for writing from. my father was a published poet he also has written six children story books. I have a cousin who is an editor and a aunty who has written her own novel. My brother writes poetry that would make any man laugh and cry. My uncle has released two self biographies, you can get them on amazon called John Carter.
Recently I have found that my brother-in-law is starting a short story, another cousin has gone down the creative writing route know doubt she can teach all of us a thing or two.
I suppose I’m trying to say that we writers seem to be modest by nature, and it’s only when we begin to talk about what we do that we find out how much we all have in common.