Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Hooker Crap-O-Meter
Yes, I'm one of the many who is fascinated with the HHCoM. Not only by Miss Snark's comments but also by the comments of the snarklings. This is an educational process that most writers would pay good money for.
How many writers haven't toiled over that all-important query letter only to have no freaking idea if they'd gotten the hook right? Even if the agent accepts sample pages, that hook is still important. And for agents that don't want sample pages or synopsis, it is crucial. You've got a manuscript of about 80,000 words and you have less than a page to get an agent interested enough to want to read a few pages. That's pressure. That makes actually writing the manuscript seem easy.
So, did I subject myself to Miss Snark and the Snarklings? Of course! I sent my entry off with eager glee. Where else could I get so many informed opinions as to whether I'm doing it right? And for free!
So, Miss Snark didn't hate mine. She didn't say it sucked. There were parts of it she didn't think worked and parts that she liked. Her comment didn't say whether she will request pages. I had several comments that were pretty much all positive.
That was good. A writer works in a vacuum most of the time, so to haul out your work and show it to others is always a little scary. I mean, what if you're the only one who doesn't htink your baby is ugly? But when you get the compliments, the "I'd like to read more of this", it's great. It makes me want to neglect the housework even longer and write more.
But first I need to work on the hook. I need to get it just right because it's going in the mail to agents in January.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Thrill of Beginning
The best thing about struggling through the end of a book is looking forward to the next project. I don't know about other authors, but I always get at least one idea of what I want to do next during the writing of a current project. If the writing is not going well, I gets LOTS of ideas and have to resist the urge to toss what I'm struggling with and switch to one of my bright, new idea.
My current ending has gotten delayed a few days due to real life, but I should be finished by the middle of next week. Then I'll save the manuscript, back it up to several different places and forget about it.
Then the fun begins. I'll start researching my next project. I already have a rough idea of the premise. So I'll spend a couple of weeks, maybe a month, researching all kinds of things.
Than it's back to the current project. Enough time will have gone by that I'll look at it with a fresh eye. I'll be thrilled when I find a particularly good passage and horrified at some of the crap I wrote.
It's all part of the process.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The bitter end.
I'm there. Well, almost. I have just a few more scenes left to write on my current manuscript. And I've reached that point where I'm pretty sure the entire thing is a piece of crap. I've evidently used up any small amount of talent I might have ever possessed.
I know how the book ends. I know who lives and who dies and who's happy or sad about that. I'm not thrilled with my scenes. They seem rushed. They seem stiff. I wrote a three page scene that is almost all dialog.
And I don't know how to wrap everything up. Character wise, I mean. Because I can't just say what happened, I need to give some indication of their futures. The characters can't just look at each other and say "Well, there you go. We're done."
Endings have always been difficult for me. No idea why.
The manuscript that is littering some agents' desks right now didn't have a decent ending until the final-final-final edit. Then it just came to me. And it also left it open to a sequel. Which is good, but also bad because it would be a bitch of a book to write.
The good thing is that no matter how much I hate every thing I'm writing right now, I can change it all when I revise. And revise, I will. Probably more than once. But first I get to write the last few scenes, and put it away for a few weeks.
That putting it away part? That's what I'm looking forward to right now.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Welcome to my blog. Hopefully, I'll be posting every few days.