If You Want an Agent, Write YA?

Any underlying snark you may pick up on while reading is completely unintentional.

Listen. There’s something that’s been bothering me, and now’s the time to talk about it.

Why is it that every person who shares a “How I Got My Agent” story is a YA writer???

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Before you think I’m exaggerating, I did a simple google search: how I got an agent. Nine out of the first ten results were from YA/MG writers. NINE! (Not to mention, one of those results was a post highlighting the agent stories of 10 YA/MG authors. So, yeah.)

The only result that offered any hope to me was a Writer’s Digest article with a list of author stories. You know how many of those were YA/MG? Guess. Out of the first thirteen I read (I had to stop out of frustration), eight, one of which being a picture book.

And there’s so much sci-fi/fantasy stuff! Where are the normal people doing normal things? That’s my jam. Why isn’t there a place for these books? Agents, hello? Continue reading

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Writing Wednesday: I’m Waist Deep in the WIP Love-Hate

Well.

I started. I’ve been dreading looking at my novel again. (Why? Find out: Writing Wishes, Not Writing Goals). I’m in the process of listening to it. It’s just better that way. And I’m on chapter 20, which is about halfway.

It’s been interesting, for sure.

I think I’m going to write a post about dealing with first chapters–not advice, just venting–but for now, I’ll just say, my first chapter is pretty bad. Why didn’t anyone tell me this? Oy. I mean, at least it’s not like it’s the first thing an agent sees. OY.

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Luckily, things got a little better and I could listen to this thing without cringing. For a few chapters… Continue reading

Writing Wednesday: Yes, I Cut the Words!

It’s Writing Wednesday! On Thursday! It happens.

I was going to skip this week, but I wanted to share the amount of butt that was kicked by me. Worst. sentence. ever.

 

So here’s the deal. I’ve been on a quest to submit my short story to an online publication willing to accept something not only hella long, but also with a portion previously published. I’ve managed to find three. Yay! (Well…two were “yes” and one was more of a case-by-case basis kind of thing.)

About twenty days ago, I got the go-ahead from two of the three. (One of them said yes about a month ago.) So what have I been doing? I didn’t start the epic trim until about three days ago. And before that, I spent many hours trying to wake up my writer brain. First, I had to find it, then basically beat it into submission. I watched too many YouTube videos to count from different AuthorTube people I like. I needed inspiration. But the good news is, I’ve managed to cut a grand total of…2,101 words! That is major for me. My story is now sitting at 9k, which is still pretty long for a short story, and it may pretty much send me directly to the slush puppy pile. But that’s ok! I still consider this a victory. A) I actually did what I set out to do! and B) Cutting words is so hard for me! I hate it. I thought there was no way.

So, despite what happens with my story, I look at this as good practice for when I tackle my novel revision. That’s my next project. Oy vey.

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Side note: did you know you have to have a cover letter with a short story submission? Yeah, you probably did. I did not. So there was another hour of my life trying to figure out how to write one.

For most people, sharing how you cut 2k words is far from blog-worthy. For me, this represents the first step of my return to the writing world!

The real return this time. Not like last month. False start–something like that. I mean it this time. I’m ready! Finally.

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Also, sticking with what I said last week, I’m still going to avoid goals and stick with wishes. There are things I hope to accomplish. Hope to. We’ll see what the next few months bring.


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy writing!

 

Writing Wishes, Not Writing Goals

Hello, writers! A writing post? But it’s not Wednesday. Yes, I’m aware. I’m late, as usual.

I’m back with another unpopular opinion that I’m currently embracing. Much like the “don’t write when you don’t want to” mentality, this topic might be seen as horribly unproductive advice. But hear me out.

As the title suggests, I’ve decided to have writing wishes this month. No goals for me. Nope. Maybe it’s self preservation. I’m not sure.

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The problem with goals is that they come with overwhelming feelings of failure when you don’t meet them. You start the month with these grandiose ideas of all the writing you’re going to do, knocking out the revisions you’ve been putting off, diving back into the Twitterness of it all. But the first week goes by. Then the second. And when you hit day 15 or thereabouts, you think, well, I can’t start now. I’ll try again next month. You failed. (This may have something to do with the lack of a panic monster in this situation. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go here –>Procrastination Explained. But not (perfectly) solved.)

But imagine if you had made wishes instead. If you fail to make a wish come true, well, that’s to be expected, right? It’s not a failure at all, and you can approach the next month without feeling like you’re an unsuccessful, lazy wannabe. And just think. If you do happen to finish a writing wish, then you, my friend, are doing amazingly well this month. Wishes rarely come true, after all.

Not sure if I’ve lost you yet. It all makes sense to me.  Continue reading

Writing is Hard: A Random Writing Rant for Your Writing Wednesday

 

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Writing. Is. Hard. I don’t mean the actual writing. That’s hard too. But I mean everything that goes along with it.

There are two kinds of writers–and plenty of sub groups and variations, but we’ll stick with two. 1) The good ones. The ones who write lots of stuff. Whether successfully or unsuccessfully, they’re writing. All the time. Daily? Perhaps. They have a portfolio full of stories, poems, novels, scripts, all of the above. I don’t know. Some finished, some not. 2) The ones who were great that one time. These are the people who write very little, but what they write becomes super famous and sends them on this incredible journey–but without the talking animals.

And then there’s me. The ones who write one thing, obsess over it for a decade, and fail to move past it.

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Let me explain. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have written one novel. One. I started it in 2007…08? Crap. A long time ago. I don’t have drawers full of other stories. Partial stories. I don’t even have a second idea for a novel, let alone something worth reading. I just don’t know ifI could write another novel. So instead, I obsess over what I do have. Granted, I haven’t looked at my novel in months. Many months. I need to query. But I’m starting to think I’m running out of agents. Can you run out of agents? Can enough time pass when it’s acceptable to re-query agents in the hope they have forgotten you? My goal was is to see what shape this novel is in, now that some time has passed, and attempt to make it so amazing, people will lose their freaking minds when they read it. Dream big.

So there’s that.

Plus. I have one short story to my name. One. (I have this other thing…but it’s depressing and so NOT ME, and I would not feel comfortable sending it anywhere. At least, not with my name on it.) So I’ve spent the better part of not one but two afternoons scouring the net for a place to submit this story.

Yes, my story was recently published. ( Available here. :D) However, I would be forever living in the clouds if I could get the entire story published somewhere. Ideally get paid for it. Ideally something in print. But I’ve come to find that’s hard to come by. I’ll take what I can get. I have two roadblocks here. 1–the word count is hella long. Though I am considering a sizable trim. Lord help me. 2–no one wants published work.

But I decided to just go for it and email several places to ask if they would consider a story that has an excerpt published. I’m pretty sure published is published whether it be a sentence or 500 pages, but it can’t hurt to check, right? In fact, a few months ago, I emailed three magazines, and one of them said to send it in. Even though their guidelines specifically say “no published work.” So there. I had to try. Next week, I’ll let you know how I faired.

ETA: One said no.

Not to mention there’s this whole other part of the equation. Actually being accepted. But one thing at a time.

Why not write something else? I’ve come to realize something. Similar to having one novel and one short story, I have one voice. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone does. But no. Although one narrator is a 26-year-old woman and the other is a 12-year-old-boy, they have the same voice. A sarcastic one. A bit of a naive one.

Pretty much my voice.

So if I were to write something else–anything else–that person would have the same voice.

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You know what I just remembered? Of course you don’t. I’ll tell you. I, in fact, did start writing another “thing” a few years back. And if there were ever a sarcastic character, it’d be Susan. See what I mean? It’s just hard not to write me. Or some version of me.

Enough rambling for one post. I’ll leave you with this. I have a super awesome day calendar that you may or may not have seen in one of my popular posts: Motivational Word Wall, Anyone? I’m not one for signs/things-happen-for-a-reason, but having this quote pop up yesterday was not lost on me.

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If you’re still reading, know this. I’ve always seen this writing life as having peaks and valleys. Right now, I’m in a valley. But considering just last week, I was at a hella high peak, I have hope I won’t be in this valley too long.


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy writing!

Motivational Monday: Can I buy some?

You know, it’s funny. I started these Motivational Monday posts with a clear purpose in mind: to find inspiring quotes, videos, etc. to share and to hopefully help give anyone reading a little boost in the creative department (or the just-plain-living department).

But on this particular Monday, I’m feeling as if the motivational well is dry. Like drought dry. Spitting dust dry. Yeah, it’s dry.

I’m faced with yet another set of changes to my manuscript that wouldn’t be much work necessarily, but would be emotionally draining. Cutting lines, although still painful, has gotten easier over time. And maybe losing a description or two is no big deal. But I’m contemplating a massive restructuring of the beginning chapters. Yikes. And crap. And really? REALLY?

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What Now?

So…I did it. After one final pass, I shed a proverbial tear and put I’m Only Me away. I guess I didn’t realize how much time I actually spent mulling over that document, because now that it’s over, my days seem super long. o.OImage result for mic drop meme

I have two beta readers lined up. *I think.* My plan, after reading their gushing reviews of course, is to take a fresh look at my query and start sending that baby out. Obviously, I’ll keep you posted.

Aside from losing a chunk of my daily routine, I have nothing to post on Twitter. Oh, waah, waah. It’s true though. I’ve been posting pretty much daily since January to each day’s hashtag games. Twitter is like instant feedback. You know within a day how a line is received. It’s not 100% accurate and means nothing in the great scheme of life, but it’s just sorta nice. haha. I could still participate, true, but I’m afraid if I go searching for lines to post, I’ll end up diving back into the novel to edit again, and I don’t want to! No! I’ve finally reached a stage where I can say, I’m finished! (That is until the betas are done. Sigh.)

There is a simple solution to this problem: WRITE MORE.

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That Inner Voice

Everyone has one. That inner voice.

Sometimes my inner voice is a bitch. “What are you doing? You’re not good enough? This is terrible. You should be ashamed.”

Sometimes my inner voice is my biggest fan. “Wow, great sentence. This is definitely getting published; don’t you worry. You’re an awesome writer.”

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Overusing the Participle Phrase

Apparently, I like the participle phrase. And also adverbs, but that’s for another post.

It has come to my attention that I use participle phrases way too much. It’s my 853rd pass of my manuscript, and this time, as I read it aloud, again, I’m noticing so many of my sentences have the same exact structure. And I freaked out. I freaked the hell out. My first thought, of course, was, How did I not notice this until now? Then I thought, Really? I have to go back again?

Let me give you some examples so you know what I’m talking about.

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