Friday, June 24, 2011

ThrillerFest part deux

I try not to cover the same topic twice, but I just can't help myself.  I'm way too excited about ThrillerFest, CraftFest, and AgentFest.  I'm excited to go to New York again, where I haven't been in years.  I even went shopping today to get a new outfit in which to pitch agents.  Can you tell I'm thrilled?  (Pun intended again.  And the rules of comedy say I have to make the same joke three times if I make it twice.  Don't say I didn't warn you.)

But I'm also petrified.  I posted my query on a PitchU Pitchfest, but couldn't bring myself to record a pitch. Instead, I've been practicing on my husband.  I think he's getting tired of hearing about CODE.  Or maybe he's tired because our girls keep sneaking into bed with us in the middle of the night.  Could be a combination.  Who knows?

The query review went well, though.  The agent to which I directed it was interested, so yay!  Now to go through the manuscript one more time and make sure it is beyond perfect.  (Yeah, right...)  The enemy of great is good enough.  So it's not good enough.  Not today, anyway.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm going to THRILLERFEST!

I'm so thrilled!  (Pun intended.)  I was able to switch a couple of shifts, and now I've got the ability to go.  I'm working the night before, but so what?  I'm going to be in the same hotel as Ken Follett, Diana Gabaldon, Michael Palmer, and R.L. Stine.  How freakin' cool is that?

But this also means the clock is ticking.  I've got to finish my revisions before I go, so I can pitch agents at AgentFest.  I need to practice pitching so I don't sound like an idiot.  Heck, I've got to come up with a pitch.  Easier said than done, right?  And I need to research which agents to pitch.

Looks like I've got a lot of work to do.

Friday, June 17, 2011

They say you have to kill your darlings...

But I never realized it would be so difficult!  After receiving some feedback this week, I decided that my novel needed a major revision.  Suffice it to say that my word count will go down, but the quality will go up, and it needs to be done.  The only problem is, it means cutting some scenes from the point of view of my teenaged girl.

Now, don't get me wrong, she's just a character.  But I like her.  I mean, I realllllllly like her.  I like her voice, I like her spunk.  I don't know if that will come through from another POV.  But it needs to be done.  So I'm killing my darling, getting rid of Jess's POV segments, and rewriting them from the POV of my main character.

It's hard to do.  It means I'm going to have to re-imagine some scenes.   I'm also going to have to get rid of the segments from the detective's POV, which will prove even more difficult.  He's the one who figures out who the bad guy is and rushes to save the damsel in distress.  Lucky for me, my heroines have a lot of pluck and can get themselves out of trouble.  They don't need the man to save them.  So it'll all work out.  It's just going to take some doing.

Guess I'd better get off of my blog and get to work!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Submitting is addictive

I feel like I'm on something (which I've never really been, by the way, I just imagine this is the way it feels).  My heart palpitates, my palms get clammy.  My breath comes in short bursts, and I sit, poised over the keyboard, preparing to hit "send."

Yes, submitting is like a drug.  Querying has the same effect, but not as extreme.  I don't know what it is about it that makes me feel so weird.  Could be that I feel like I'm putting my life (and life's work) in someone else's hands.  Could be simple nerves.  Whatever it is, I'm starting to like the feeling.

That's kind of scary.   I know I come from a line of addictive personalities, so I've never let myself do much that could lead to an addiction.  I drink rarely, I've never done drugs, and I won't let myself gamble.  But querying and submitting?  If I want my book out there, I don't have much of a choice.  And I do want my book published.  I really, really do.  So I'll keep querying, and I'll keep submitting.

And I'll keep feeling the rush.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Being impatient

This query process is NOT for the impatient, which makes it a tough fit for me.  I've been delaying gratification for my entire life, and now I want what I want and when I want it.  That's not the way this process works.

Take, for example, a request I got today.  It had been almost two months since I queried this agent, but I'd written her off long ago.  Then, low and behold, a request for a full today!  I'm over the moon.  I'd be beyond thrilled for her representation.

So what have I learned?  Yes, you may ask.  I've learned to tread more slowly.  I've learned that this process moves at its own pace, not at mine.  And I've learned that I need to be methodical when it comes to getting published.  What am I going to do?  I am NOT going to send out the submission today.  I'm too tired after a night shift, and I want to do this right.  I'm going to wait (yes, that's right, WAIT) until at least tomorrow.  I'm going to go over my manuscript with a fine-tooth comb.  Again.  I'm going to check my resources on manuscripts and their submission.  Then, and only then, I'm going to submit to this agent.

And then I'm going to have a glass of wine.  :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Forgot to post my new, improved first page!

Thanks to everyone for their comments.  This is the first page I entered in the contest:

     The woman lay naked on the old barn door, arms tied out from her tiny body, making her look like she was being crucified.  Her long blonde hair coiled under her head, which was taped down to the rough, splintered boards beneath her.  A tube snaked into her lungs and fogged with each breath.  She struggled with her bonds.  Spotlights had been hung in the corners, and the beams focused on the woman.
            Her scrubs were piled in the corner, white coat crumpled on top.  A young man bent over the coat and pulled off a pin.  The diamonds that created a shape of a bone sparkled in the bright light of the barn.
            He pocketed the pin and went over to a box in another corner of the structure.  He pulled out a brown bottle and a scalpel.  He placed a surgical mask over his mouth and nose and walked over to the woman.  She screamed against the tube in her throat.  No sound emerged.
            He stood to her left side.  She squinted in the bright light shining down on her.  He opened up the brown bottle and poured the liquid onto the woman’s left side.  The woman’s breast and chest were stained amber under the solution.  He reclosed the bottle and set it aside.  Hoisting the scalpel, he examined the blade.  The woman squeezed her eyes shut.