Finding My Story a New Home: Part 2

Update:

I had to cut ~3200 words from a short story to meet the word count limits of the magazine where I’m submitting.  I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, but it ain’t fun.

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It wasn’t bad at first. It was actually pretty easy. There was some questionable content that had to go, so that was at least 1k. Easy.

Then I had to start cutting lines I really like. Really, really like. I had to keep telling myself, I still have the original story saved. It’s not like it’s gone forever. And this is necessary if I want the story to have a shot. It didn’t make it any easier, but it gave me a push at least.

The last 200 words or so… absolute hell.

But I did it. My grand total is now… 5938

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Finding My Story a New Home

I’ve spent days–no, literally days–researching different literary magazines. Let me just say… whoa.

First of all, who knew there were so many? Well, probably everyone.

There are many factors to consider when you’re looking to submit your writing: print vs. online, word count limits, reading periods, reading fees, accepts reprints or not, circulation size. It’s exhausting.

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Short version:

I have three short stories I’m trying to see in print. One of them is new, so I have virtually no restrictions and many places to chose from. I sent my first attempt last week. Fingers crossed.

My second story is a reprint, but it’s average length and “literary” so I have some options here as well. Sending my first attempt this week. Fingers and toes crossed.

The third one… you have no idea. #thestruggleisreal

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Continue reading

I’m an Emerging Writer Again! Pub Credit #2

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement.

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My story, “Dad’s Room,” will be published in Maryland’s Emerging Writers. This is my second pub credit and my second year in this anthology! I’m super proud of myself. This story took a lot out of me and was certainly a departure from what I usually write. Plus, it was one of those, “I don’t know where this is going” kind of stories, but apparently, I made it work.

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While my first short story acceptance remains one of the coolest moments in my life, this time is just as sweet. Speaking of, either this week or next, I’m submitting my first short story (my first pub credit) to an online magazine. I’d love to see that one in its entirety. I feel like I owe it to my MC, Seth. That’s weird, but I don’t care.

More details about the 2019 Maryland’s Emerging Writers Anthology to come!

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EDIT:

It’s here! My Short Story is Officially Published!


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy writing!

If An Agent Called Me, I Would Die

Happy Writing Wednesday! Here’s a glimpse into the insanity that is my writing life.

If you’ve spent some time here, you know I’m querying a novel. The process is so slow I’m not going to remember where I saved the document if an agent requests it. Know what I mean?

I get that agents are busy, but since I’ve been stalking querytracker.net like it’s my job, there’s one agent I submitted to with an average of 100 days to respond to a query. Um.

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I’ve been pretty lucky so far with my wait time. And although rejections sting, it’s nice to get it over with. For the sake of my pride, I’ve decided not to share my exact numbers with you, but when something worth sharing happens, I’ll be sure to post it. I will say, my first rejection this round hurt like hell, but they’ve gotten so much easier. #thebrightsideofrejection

I have a problem I’m trying to convince myself is not a problem. My book is too normal. When I started it, #ownvoices wasn’t a thing. At least it didn’t have hashtag. But now that’s all you see. My cast isn’t the most diverse–because the setting isn’t. It’s a small town, not NYC. And no one has any defining disability or anything. Had I known when I started writing this that I would try to get it published, I would’ve thrown something in there. But that’s the thing. I feel like so much media now is just checking off boxes. Like, let’s see, Asian? Check. Interracial couple? Check. Homosexual? Check. Anxiety disorder? Check. #forshame

The other problem I may have is the heat level. I mean, it’s probably PG-13 at the most. Sexy time scenes are not in my arsenal. I know there are agents out there who would like my book, but I don’t know where they are! I just wish I could send them a collection of Matt Bomer gifs, and say, “By the way, this is Mark Peterson.”

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Wait. What was I doing? I’ve been looking at gifs for the past 20 minutes. Continue reading

January 2019 Writing Update

I’m wondering if the way I feel about what I write is how parents feel for their children. You love them. But they also make you question your life choices.

I swear, depending on the day, I either think, you know, this is pretty good or why did I write this?

Yesterday, I was super pumped because while agent stalking, I found two agents that seem perfect. I was reading one #MSWL, and my story has all the things!

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Then today, I remembered I am one of a gazillion people with the same dream. *sigh* There’s such a fine line between being pessimistic and realistic. Know what I mean?

I’m about 95% finished with this current WIP dissection. By current, I mean, final. Because it has to be. However, I’ve already returned to chapter one because I’m obsessed and can’t leave it alone. My biggest obstacle I’m facing? My opening pages. I’ve managed to cut out some crap from earlier drafts, but I wish my chapter one was as good as say, chapter 12, for example? 😀 The beginning of my book has always been my least favorite part. If I could send an agent something from the middle, I’d feel so much more confident. Grrr. Continue reading

Extremely Impractical Writing Advice

I will flat out tell you that I’m not a writer to emulate. Granted, I think I’ve shared a few worthy tips throughout this blog. But as far as my own process, I’d never suggest it. (I’ve been working on the same WIP for 10+ years and have only written two short stories in the meantime. #goals) Thing is, it has worked for me. That’s what I tell myself.

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Previous Writing Advice Some May Deem Impractical:

-don’t set word count goals. ever.

-don’t set writing goals

-stay far away from NaNoWriMo

-don’t write when you don’t feel like it

-adverbs are absolutely necessary

-never give up on a project

Which leads me to my most impractical writing advice to date.

There is no such thing as spending too long on a single project.

 

If you’re already saying, “Yes, there is” hear me out. Continue reading

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

For the Procrastinating Writer: Font Match

Yes, fonts.

I’m assuming since you’re here, you’re already procrastinating and most likely avoiding your NaNaWriMo project, right? Well, I’m here to help give you something to do, which, in the long run, will benefit your novel and make your characters rounder. At the very least, it’s something to do that’s actually related to the world of your novel.

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I was online–shocking–and I came across a particular font and thought Whoa, that’s exactly how Tyler would write!

And just like that, my afternoon was shot.

You may know of this website, but it was new to me:

www.dafonts.com

a magical place with a gazillion fonts to download

So many fonts, people! I decided I’d try to match a font to each one of my characters. Why? Why not?! Listen, my characters in particular are more real to me than actual people, but if that’s not the case with yours, you may want to try this out. A person’s handwriting says something about them.

Do they write in all caps? Do they use a dark, thin line or a skinny one? Does it have loopy, swirly letters? Does it slant one way or the other? How large are the letters–in relation to each other? Is it neat or sloppy? Do they dot their i’s with hearts?

I managed to find fonts that match my characters pretty well. I actually mention two of my characters’ handwritings in the novel itself, so for Mark and Tyler, I already knew what to look for.

Here’s what I’ve found:

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So if you need something to procrastinate with, there you go! Or if you think knowing how your characters write could flesh them out, there you go! Either way, have fun! It’s strangely addicting.

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11/12/18


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy font matching!

Don’t Like NaNoWriMo? Try LaNoRevMo!

November 6, 2018

Last year around this time, I posted about how I don’t understand NaNoWriMo or why anyone would put themselves through such a masochistic exercise. And while I still feel this way, I’ve decided to use the writing buzz in the online air to my advantage.

As you know, the writer in me has been in hiding, and it’s been difficult to coax her out. But lately, I’ve been feeling inspired, namely because of everyone talking about writing, and word counts, and outlining, and coffee shop sitting, etc. So, I made up my own little exercise for this month.

Presenting: LaNoRevMo

which obviously stands for Lauren’s November Revision Month.

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While everyone else is writing, I’ll be deleting, rearranging, and condensing. I’m giving my novel an overhaul, in a last ditch effort to make it into something worthy of an agent’s eyes. I’ve already started this process, and I’ve made some headway. 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!