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.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Soft Hook?

The Read ... I chose a Southern cozy, was supposed to add another example of a soft hook from my to-read pile: Elizabeth Lyn Casey's Sew Deadly.  Only when I read it,  I considered the opening a "hard hook":
"She wasn't entirely sure whether it was the pull of the mahogany sewing box in the window or a much-needed respite from the endless barrage of curious glances, but either way, Elkin Antiques and Collectibles seemed as good a place as any for a momentary escape."

The opening sentence/paragraph was wordy ... but indicated a need for escape ... a hard hook to me.   A good example of a minor problem needing a solution that leads into the greater problem of the book.

I settled back to immerse myself in a Southern town full of wacky characters and a murder to solve.  The murder happened with the police chasing the wrong suspect -- the newcomer librarian who escaped into the antique shop to avoid the curiosity of the townspeople as a matter of fact.  Only problem:  While the librarian had been decently drawn, the people around her seemed more like cardboard cut-outs -- even the love interest seemed a cliche of the quiet, shy type of guy.  I kept reading for the puzzle which contained some nice twists but give me a Charlaine Harris mystery any day, even *shudder* Teagarden.  Sew Deadly is on the trade pile, as is its sequel.

Sour Grapes? ... Still looking at the Nashville Relief auction [Link for fun stuff] and grumbling about getting squeezed out of my bid at the last minute.  But, there's another story lurking in the bids:  how interested [desparate?] writers are to get an agent's attention.  The personal critiques are going for hundreds of bucks ... probably about the same amount as going to a writer's conference if you have to travel -- only you get a guarantee of a 25,30,50 page critique and sometimes a personal phone call.

Maybe I should have bid $300. after all.  Nah, I'm not that desperate ... yet ...  Nah, I'm just too cheap.  Anyway, the local food bank can use some extra money too.

Progress ... or is that avoidance?  Have done nothing with Voices all week.  Have revised chapters of Demons and submitted a chapter for critiquing.

Have re-read the ending of Emma without finding much to change.  Maybe, I should start submitting it.

Then, I opened Vengeance (the prequel to Dark Solstice) and started revising the novellaManaged to chop about 100 words out of it (mostly adverbs and "to be" forms) -- even though its under consideration, having made the first reader's cut.

Vengeance might be trying to tell me something about pacing.  Once back when I wrote non-fiction regularly, I did sell occasional pieces of fiction.  Thinking back on it, I remembered noticing that the pieces I sold sort of galloped along without lagging on any particular character or situation.  My short non-fiction did the same thing.  Vengeance moves -- even though I used some archaic constructions/wording.  [Hey, its high fantasy with SF undertones (the influence of genetic drift on a society.)]

Is it obvious I'm getting antsy about submitting again. ... I do have two flash fiction pieces that might find a home. ... dilemma continued ... 

What do you do when you think you should be submitting something to someone ... and maybe have nothing to submit?

Trivia ...  another funeral today ... Sorry, it's a memorial service.
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