Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I'm thrilled (and terrified) now that my manuscript is in the hands of my editor.

People talk about great opening lines, but I have a feeling that many great opening lines only seem like that after they've read the book. A strong opening paragraph is more important in my opinion, and it has to be followed by some fairly intriguing reading to keep the reader's interest. So the first chapter usually gets most of the writer's attention.

I was lucky with this book that the first chapter came to me in a full vision. That's not how it usually works for me, but this time, it was like watching a great anime film full of action and sound and chaos. Lovely. It's not as if I could simply transcribe what I saw onto paper though, because in film the initial characterization is purely visual, taken in by the audience in seconds, but in a book, it has to be written out, which slows down the action. And this book is pure action.

Kelley from Sterling Editing did a sample edit of the first five pages, which are the most important pages when it comes to selling the book. She focused right in on the weaknesses. Reading her comments was an Aha! moment for me. Yes, I knew about those problems on some level, but I either didn't want to deal with them or thought I could slide by. Hah! Do I want to slide by? No. Not really. This is why editors are so important. It's also why I'm so excited to be working with her. She can't fix my problems, but she can point them out and suggest changes for the better.

It takes a thick skin to be a writer. You have to be able to take criticism of your work. What good is advice if I'm going to get huffy or defensive? None. And my writing won't improve. So the little diva feelings get tucked away somewhere safe and comfy so they won't get hurt, and I get on with honing my craft. It's weird to be excited about exposing my work to criticism, but I'm looking forward to more Aha! moments. I'll let you know as this progresses.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Taking A Positive Step

There are writers who have complete faith in their work. I'm not one of them. Okay, I have faith in my work, but not so much in myself. As a result, I often give up before even trying. This is a bad thing. Never be the first person to say no to you.

I told one of my beta readers that I was going to try to find an agent for my current novel and sell to it a New York publisher. But then I started waffling and settling for less before I got started. Ugh. She told it it was my decision, but I could imagine the tone of her voice. I can disappoint myself, but not someone else. So I got a backbone and recommitted to my original plan. I'm taking positive steps.

I'm not a leap first, ask questions later kind of person. I'll study a problem for a while before making a move. Other than a lack of faith, my problem was that I was overwhelmed by the task of finding an agent. The logical solution was to get help. I read a lot of advice but that wasn't enough. So I'm talking to Sterling Editing about a line edit of my novel, and if we work together well, I'll sign up for their other services. Even though we haven't started, committing to this action makes me feel a lot more optimistic. A little faith goes a long way.