Archive for September, 2012

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Spiders and Writing

September 25, 2012

Last week a horrible spider bit my daughter. The bite grew large and ugly until I took her to the dermatologist. They put her on antibiotics and ran a culture.

Surprise.

No big bad Charlotte hanging from a web in the rafters bit my girl. She had a staph infection.

Way, way worse.

Fortunately, the antibiotics kicked in, and it’s gone. But when related to writing, it made me wonder. What happens when our writing goes from bad to worse? No magic pill can make it all better. Instead, a writer is faced with the daunting task of a major rewrite.

Editing one’s work is crucial. Asking someone else to revise is wise. And rewriting it for the ninety-ninth time can redefine the piece. However, there are occasions when a small rewrite becomes a giant staff infection. Not only does a character need developing, but also the plot may be weak and subplots non-existent. It happens. And UNLIKE a staff infection, it should. Your writing is your journey.

Rewrite and make the boo boos better.

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Quotes

September 19, 2012

 

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.

–Joan Didion

 

Our consciousness is fed with other consciousness.  The way we make decisions, our likes and our dislikes, depend on the collective way of seeing things. That’s why selecting the people you are around is very important.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Have you ever observed that we pay much more attention to a wise passage when it is quoted, than when we read it in the original author?

-Philip G. Hamerton

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What do you do when an agent wants to see more?

September 9, 2012

You query. You get lots of requests from agents who want to see more of your work. What to do?

First, congratulate yourself. Seriously. This doesn’t always happen. Even previously published authors can get turned down. So, if more than one agent comes sniffing at your door, pat yourself on the back. Something has gone right. It might be your query, it might be your first chapter, or it could be the whole dang package. Just celebrate.

Second, rank the agents that have asked for more of your work. Who is your number one choice? It’s important to realize that  you do have some say in the matter. Choose your top two agents and send them an email telling them you have other agents requesting material (but only say this if it is true, never lie). Hopefully, you’ll hear from the agents quickly and can set up a phone conversation. Prepare for the talk just like you would a professional interview. Make a list of questions and be ready to talk about yourself and your writing. The phone conversation can be telling. You’ll either hit it off, or you won’t. From there, you can make a decision and decide who you want to represent your work.

Sadly, the agents who’ve requested more information may say no. This happens. Don’t break every pencil in the house. You had a nibble, and that alone is worth something.

Keep at it. Keep at it. Keep at it.