glitter_n_gore: (midori sours)
This was inspired by this blog post on Word Thief, about NaNoWriMo and throwing in the towel--and then later reclaiming said towel, but only after a substantial amount of time had passed.

This being November, I'm sure there are quite a few writerly types out there trying to crank out their 50k by the end of the month. Last week, I was still one of them. But you know when I was talking about being a "panster," as opposed to an outliner when it comes to new projects? Well, turns out I do need a little bit of structure.

Here's what happened... )
glitter_n_gore: (underworld)
Happy almost-weekend, folks!

I have one more rejection under my belt, and now all but two of the queries I sent out have responses of some kind. Them's pretty good odds, and a very quick turnaround, which makes me happy, even though all I have to show for it is a "maybe." (So far.)

More doors will open once I get this synopsis hammered out. I've pared it down to four pages. It needs to be shorter. It needs more voice. I haven't gone overboard with character-naming, and I've trimmed out a lot of scenes. It's almost down to the bare essentials, and once it's as good as I can make it, it'll go into the ringer for polishing, and then hit the submission process.

My new goal, because I seem to respond well to goals with dates on them: Have 6 submission packages, synopsis included, in the mail by March 31st. It's coming right up, but the plan is to have this polished by the end of next week. After that, it's just a matter of double-checking individual guidelines and putting stuff in the mail. No problem, right? (Deep breaths.)

So, that's what's going on with "The Carrion Girl."

In order to keep myself sane, and to keep the Work to Fun ratio nice and even, I've decided to feed one of the plot bunnies. This is the story based on Sleeping Beauty that I was playing around with a while ago. It took quite a different turn than I originally envisioned, but I like it. I'm calling it "Lucid" for now, as in lucid dreaming, and it's a young adult horror/urban fantasy. I'm still fuzzy on the difference between those two sub-genres, but it's dark and weird and all my characters are teenagers. I have 7,000 words so far. (Fifteen pages.) And I'm attempting to format it correctly from the get-go this time, so I don't have to waste all that time reformatting before I submit it anywhere.

Wish me luck!
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
Did you know that February is National Women in Horror Recognition Month? Because it is. I am watching the Oscars right now, and couldn't be more tickled to see so many genre films in major categories this year. That's just awesome. I haven't seen Black Swan yet, but I sure hope Natalie Portman gets to take home that Best Actress award.

As for me, I officially achieved my resolution this week! I have exactly six queries out to literary agents, which is what I said I'd do by March 1st, so I'm technically early. (Yay!) I still have more to send, but not until I get that synopsis hammered into perfection. I have a draft, so to speak, of said synopsis, but it's just brain vomit at this point and needs serious polishing before I can show it to a professional and be able to look myself in the face.

I have heard back from exactly three of the agencies I sent stuff out to. Two of them said "No," which of course is fine because it's expected at this point in the process. One of them, however, one of the BIG ones, and a super-top-top choice for me personally, asked to see my full manuscript. I flipped the hell out when I saw that request--I'd prepared myself for a sea of "No's," and maybe a request for a partial, but not this, at least not so early. I went spazzing around the office, telling everyone, "GUYS, THEY WANT TO READ MY BOOK!!" at the same time trying to remind myself that I haven't actually gotten an agent yet, they just want to look at the work and see what they think of it. There is still nothing set in stone at this point, and anything could happen.

But, guys, they wanna read my book!!

That's the big news right now, so there's not a whole lot else to say. I did start working on another one of my WIPs. It's going in a totally different direction than I thought it would, but the good news is I have an end in sight. That doesn't always happen to me, but having a conclusion to write towards sometimes helps. Fingers crossed, folks.

My goals for this week are to wrap up that synopsis and get more queries out. Wish me luck!
glitter_n_gore: (sleepy hollow)
This is just an observation on my part of the way my brain works. I'm at, not so much a standstill right now, but I'm stuck nonetheless. "Writer's block" operates differently depending on the writer. Since my main project currently has been editing The Carrion Girl, there's not a lot I need to do with the story itself--the plot, characters and major events are there already. I'm just cleaning it up and trying to make it sellable. That's not the problem.

The problem is the five thousand other ideas bopping around in my head begging to be written at the same time. I've seen those things they call 'writing prompts,' designed to get those creative juices flowing, or to just plant an idea that will grow into a larger work. Ideas are never a problem for me. So far, there has never been a moment when there aren't at least three different ideas vying for my attention at any given time.

Right now, I've got about seven. There's The Carrion Girl, of course. Then there's my other WIPs--Dusty, Doppelganger, and Hoppers. So that's four already. Now I have another one about a witch coven living in a suburban neighborhood bordering the coastal wetlands; another that's a modernized re-imagining of my favorite fairy tale, "Sleeping Beauty;" and another that'll probably turn into a series pieced together from the salvageable bits of my trunk novel, Dragon House.

You can't scatter your focus and have the resulting work turn out well. You just can't. You have to give a WIP your energy and attention if you want to make it shine. Which is what I've been trying to do with The Carrion Girl lately--make it shine. If I could only shut off that jabbering muse, this'd be so much easier. A few fellow writers have told they'd love to have this "problem" of mine instead of not being able to think up ideas. Believe me, I don't think this way is easier.

By the way, I'm not trying to complain here. I do like that as soon as I'm done with a given project, I have several more that I can pick up immediately and get right to work on. It's important to have backup projects to focus on once you start sending out submissions or finishing up drafts. This is just an observation.
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
Hello there!

Most of the folks reading this already know me (I think), but as this is an introductory post, I'll introduce myself: My name is Laurel, alias "Rhoda Nightingale" in most internet places, and I am a writer. I started this blog for the very simple reason that most published authors--and many amateurs, like myself--have them, and since I blog a lot about writing anyhow, I might as well make it official. I also wanted to create a space where my friends and family can keep track of what I'm up to, since I can't make myself do the FaceBook thing no matter how much they nag me. (No offense, I just can't stand the format.) Apparently there's a widget that cross-posts everything here to my Wall, so I'll see if I can figure that out at some point.

So, what am I up to right now, writing wise? I have two prominent WIP's cooking simultaneously--that's "Work In Progress" if you don't know the vernacular--one further along than the other. "The Carrion Girl" began life as a NaNoWriMo experiment, and I liked the result so much I decided to keep it and flesh it out properly. It's still only 50k at the moment, which is on the slim side for a real live novel, so that's why I'm putting it through a second draft. I'm three chapters into that process, and I think I've worked out a way to get rid of the godawful purple prose introduction/prologue thing I opened it with. (You have to start somewhere, right?) The premise is a twenty-something young man is driving his girlfriend home when they get stuck in a traffic jam, then quickly waylaid by zombies. It's not what you think. It takes a sharp left midway through.

Then there's "Doppelganger," which is significantly darker, but just as much fun. This is one is about a young college student who joins a rock band that turns out to be fronted by someone who's not quite human. I wrote an outline for it first, which I almost never do, so it has a very different shape in my mind than most of my projects. I already know exactly where it's going and how it's going to end. That's....unusual for me. It's an odd feeling. But good, I think. My biggest concern with this one is not rushing it, because there's a horror anthology taking submissions until October 31st and I really really really want to send it in, but I don't want to sell it short by trying to churn out something too quickly.

Lastly, I'm on acne medication that's drying me out like whoa--my arms from elbows to wrists are all dry and scaly, an account of getting sunburned in my car of all places. I mention this because it's giving me mad plot bunnies for a novel that I trunked a year or so ago. I showed an early draft of it to a cousin, and she mentioned something that I realized only several months later was absolutely right: I had too many creatures, too many storylines, and too many characters for one book. However, one of those characters is a young girl who's part dragon, and I imagined her with scales on her arms, from elbows to fingertips. She has to wear opera-length gloves to cover them, lest anyone find out her secret. I think I might have a way to write a story just about her. Or maybe do a series. We'll see how that goes.

That'll do for an introductory post, won't it? I'll be back to report my progress later!


--L

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