Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. I've got nothing today, so have a tiger playing with a ball, and enjoy your Thanksgiving if you celebrate it!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Edits, unexpectedly not as painful as previous encounters

I've noticed that people don't talk much about the editing process. When I was in academics, editing was absolutely the worst part of the process. People were mean and rude. Every comment was designed to question everything from your writing, to your methods, to your understanding of science in general. It wasn't pleasant.

Someone once called my work an "Unholy Conjugation." 

Yeah. That was constructive feedback. There were worse comments, more hurtful comments, and they went to live somewhere in my mind. So when I waited for my edit letter to arrive, it was more me waiting for the explosion to go off in my heart.

As much as I cared about my science, I care about my novel so much more. I didn't know if I could handle being ripped apart like that again. I expected editing to crack me open and pour out the broken little bits that were left of me. But when the letter came, I was pleasantly surprised. The suggestions: professional. The demeanor: helpful.

I was more than prepared to cry my eyeballs out (I'm a cryer, what can I say), but so far, it has only been things to make my manuscript stronger. I guess things have plenty of time to go straight to hell in a hand basket, but it's already so much better than all my other editing experiences.

In every profession there are parts that aren't the best part. The parts that everyone sort of scowls at, like how shoveling manure is part of owning horses. I was expecting to hate taking the feedback and turning it into something bigger, and that just isn't the case. It's great. I wish I had some more time, but hey, deadlines are something I do too. Also, I'm a writer. The more time a writer has, the more fiddling they're gonna do.

Right, and now it's back to work. And like I said, people don't talk about the editing process, so if you have questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. I'll respond by email if you have your account linked, and if not, response in the thread.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG - The Waiting and Worring Never Goes Away

Oh my, another IWSG has snuck up on me and I'm late! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, this is my
birthday week. Cruise on by the Ninja Pirate Cave and thank our host Alex and this month's co-hosts LG Keltner, Donna Hole, Lisa Buie-Collard and SL Hennessy!
So what am I feeling insecure about this month? Waiting. Specifically, that the waiting and worrying NEVER GOES AWAY. At every step of the publishing process there's waiting. You could grow old waiting in publishing.

At the query stage, you wait for a reply. If it's early in the query stage, you wait and wait, and then the rejection comes. Later in the query stage* you wait for a reply, get a partial request, send it back out then wait for a response. Then, if things are going well, it gets bumped up to a full. Then guess what happens? If you answered "I take a drink," you're my kind of writer.

The thing that's hard to see from the query trenches is that the waiting doesn't magically end after you're done querying agents. And worse, the worrying doesn't go away either. After you have the book deal or the agent, the worrying cranks in to crazyland. I don't know about everyone else, but when I query, there's a hope that it'll work out. I dream about it going well, but it's pretty abstract. Once there's a contract in hand, the Sagittarius gets real.

As in, before, in the querying stage, that was just warm up, because holy Scorpio, the Sagittarius is on fire and I don't know what the Capricorn I was thinking when I was worried about those queries.

Yeah, I had that moment.

It wasn't pretty.

Worse, it was a really big wake up call that everything every writer with a contract in hand had said was true. It's crazy when you're playing for keeps. Did I vary my sentence structure enough? Do I use the right peel when talking about bananas? Did I boil my characters down too much and make all my prose lifeless, tasteless drivel that sounds like something Ben Stein would read in an out take for the Ferris Bueller's Day Off extended, special edition DVD?

Right, deep breaths.

So, while I didn't like the idea that the people who came before were totally on to something, and that maybe the waiting would magically resolve itself, NOPE. I am not the exception. The process is going for me exactly how it went for all those before me (great, I can't even be unique in my meltdowns???!!!).


Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Brief Retrospective

My birthday is right around here somewhere, and I have to admit, this last year has been pretty interesting. I've had successes and failures. I've written books, moved my family, and things are...

Well, this is publishing, so things are about where they were last year. Some prospects faded, some bloomed. I guess that's the way life goes. So on to the recap.

My [age redacted for public safety reasons]th year in a nut shell:

The big thing was selling my first book. That was definitely a highlight. I also had my first full request (prior to that), and I'm not gonna lie, I spent a somewhat embarrassingly long time in the query trenches before I got a full request. 

Close calls left and right. I've never had so many close calls in and out of publishing. It was the year I was *this* close.

And then there was my first full request ever. I'm not gonna lie, it was sort of embarrassing how I'd never had a full request prior to the one I got this last year. I really felt like I should have managed to get someone's interest up earlier, but up until that point I'd had a handful of partials. It was quickly followed by more requests, a very gratifying response.

I've had a new IRL job, and while that's been a big bonus to things like steady pay, it's been rough pounding out the words (I'm a whopping 500 words into NaNo, but I already knew I wouldn't be able to write the whole pinata in one sitting, but more on that later).

I've had some success from an unlikely protagonist: a gnome hunting dog.

I grew my first giant pumpkin.

All in all, not a bad [age redacted for public safety]th year.

Okay, so it's not very giant. Still, I grew it.