Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coyote Con

I heard about this digital conference on Twitter and decided to register. (If you're interested in learning more, please click on the icon to the left. Registration is open throughout May, but some special sessions are sold out.)

The diverse panels appeal to me. Examples of sessions I hope to participate in are "Envelope Pushing Concepts," "Writing Mentally Ill Without Getting It Wrong," and "Querying and Synopses." Because I'm participating in a writing challenge (possibly two), and editing Death Sword in May, the weekend schedule of these panels won't impede my writing schedule. (Now, if I can just go without sleep and convince my DH to bring the coffee maker into my office...)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Revising and Preparing for Derby

In my last post, I talked about how writing is like preparing for the Derby. Today, I'd like to go a little further and discuss how revising relates to the Run for the Roses.

Every year about this time, tracts of land in Jefferson County are mowed. This is how we know Derby is around the proverbial corner. The city wants Louisville to shine and sparkle for the bevy of out-of-town guests.

Writers do the same with their manuscripts. A first draft is often rambling, verbose, and generally just plain bad. So we take out the red pen or blue pencil and start cutting. We mow down sentences that don't add anything. We even cut entire chapters if they drag our beginning. Info dumps? Hacked away. And we keep doing this until we have a shiny, clean manuscript we can send to our critique partner. Even after a book is accepted by a publisher, we'll still be asked to fine tune it.

Revising a book isn't a one-time deal. Maybe the city of Louisville can get away with mowing grass once a year, but we writers don't have that luxury. A book left unrevised doesn't get submitted. And no submission means no publisher contract. And no publication means no chance for sales and (hopefully) that coveted best seller list.

Happy Writing and Revising!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why Writing is Almost Like the Derby

If you're from Kentucky or enjoy horse racing, no doubt you've heard of the Kentucky Derby. Today is Thunder Over Louisville, touted as the largest fireworks show in the country. I don't know if it creates the biggest traffic snarl in the country, but wouldn't surprise me.

What does the Derby have to do with writing? We both train for the final outcome. For Thoroughbred owners, it's that coveted Derby win. For writers, it's our book reaching number one on the bestseller charts.

Those same Thoroughbred owners work with trainers, jockeys, the racing commission, veterinarians, etc., to pull off a successful race. Writers don't work in a vacuum, either. We have critique partners, editors, publishers, cover artists, etc., helping us on our journey. Team effort.

And now, because I've been remiss about posting lately, a few updates:

Death Sword, the short novel I mentioned earlier, was accepted by Lyrical Press for publication in early 2011. I'm excited and nervous. My husband and I still haven't celebrated. We're waiting until it's actually available. (Yeah, we're pragmatic like that. LOL)

Needless to say, I'm working on the preliminary round of edits. Luckily, I don't mind revising. I'm the type who can slice and dice my manuscript. No word is golden. And even if it is, I can always use it elsewhere.

Finished my synopsis for Serpent Fire, the second book in the series, tentatively titled The Angels of Death. (Death Sword is the first book.) Next, I'll break the synopsis down into detailed chapters. My goal is to have a first draft written before July 31.

I've two other books I'm plotting, and which I'd like to write first drafts this year, too. Both are urban fantasies/paranormals and involve angels, including the Grigori. The one good thing about working multiple projects is one doesn't have time for writer's block.

Meanwhile, debating about attending Hypericon this year.