M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Secret to Writing Bestsellers Revealed: Parnell's Formula and More

How to Write Bestsellers:  The AW Water Cooler yielded a golden nugget of wisdom for writing success today.  "If there's ever a passage that smacks of 'good writing', you must ruthlessly delete it."

This insight comes from Rob Parnell's blog "Easy Way to Write" [ http://easywaytowrite.blogspot.com/2...r-formula.html ]  **  I laughed so hard, I'd follow him in an instant -- if I could have discovered how.  [I don't like subscribing since I really don't check my emails that often.  --  Have I ever said here that I hate computers?]

To be serious, he gives a great modification of the snowflake prompts.

Addenda:  Contests are sprouting like weeds.  Guess Spring's coming, and bloggers wants more traffic.

1)  Chuck at Guide to Literary Agents is offering all you people with a potential best seller a chance to strut your your YA or adult paranornal urban fantasy romance stuff to an agent.  See: 
then, look for the Lucky Agent Contest.

2)  Then, the Dark Wyrm has a link to a contest to win an electronic reader:    http://tiny.cc/wsUPv  

The Read:  Finished Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper: Terrior last night and went to bed early.  The big revelation:  Pierce had snuck three plot lines into the story:  the disappearing miners of magical fire opals,  the kidnappings/killings of poor children for the one item of value their families' possessed, and the replacing of the "ruler" of the thieves of the Cesspool.  All three center around Beka's learning to be a "Dog" aka cop.  Pierce accomplishes this all masterfully using a modified "police procedural" structure.  The villains' plots collapse when greed pushes them beyond their capabilities.

I won't mention the usual YA line of an adolescent discovering their strengths and weaknesses.  Hate to inflict another sequel on you, but it's coming.

Progress:  It's the 30th or 31st or something.  The last day of Emma dinking -- with the manuscript.  Starting tomorrow, I slap my hand if I even think of changing something -- unless a person in publishing power (agent or editor) tells me to change something.  I can still modify my stupid query.  

The query has to be stupid because the six agents I sent it to, haven't jumped and asked for fulls ... or even partials.  Don't give me any excuses about the agency review time lines not expiring.  Two agents already sent form ejections of my 'best selling baby'.  -- Note I'm not saying agents are stupid for not grabbing it.  The fault is mine.  I didn't grabbed their attention by hitting their interests.

[Truth in Whining:  Previous queries have elicited a few partials which were eventually rejected.]

Now for Maren.  Was feeling a little smug about my "first" chapter -- until I did the critique class with Victoria Hanley (sponsored by the Northern Colorado Writers).  Hanley told me my first chapter was "underwritten".  I needed to expand it, basically into two chapters.  At least, she didn't say my weird opening was trash.  [She's too polite a person.]

Sigh.  I didn't leap into March with my defining chapter drafted and ready to complicate Maren's situation -- recovering from a coma after causing a massive explosion when she entered my never-never California gold country world.

Trivia:  Have to pay the unwanted bills today.  They're clamoring downstairs in the box, waiting to be sorted and paid.  Then, there's the checkbook that needs to be balanced so I know how much money I have available to spend.  --  I think I prefer to sink back into Maren's world.

** I tried to tinyurl this, but it didn't work.  Sorry.

1 comment:

Patricia Stoltey said...

That Rob Parnell link took me to a You Tube film about orcas. I do believe trying to get published is a lot like being attacked by a killer whale, but I'm betting the Parnell blog is somewhere else. LOL