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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Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Lure of One More Chapter

The Read ...
Loved Rebecca York's Day of the Dragon as it lured me to read one more chapter .. long after I should have gone to bed.  When your life's a time crunch, it's hard to do all you want to ... and that includes reading.  Seems the last two books I read were easy to put down.  Oh, they were interesting enough to pick up again.  But, when it came time to go to bed, I had no problems picking up a bookmark.

So, what was different about Day of the Dragon.  After all, I hadn't bought the previous book in the series even though I think I've read most of the books in the Marshall's [a family of werewolves who are fighting to form more supportive relationships with their women -- and a way to save their children from death when they reach the age to change.] world.  Well, the action begins at the begging with a couple of goons watching the arrival of the love interest/archeologist who might or might not have answers to the were-dragon main character's past.

The action picks up speed when the goons try to kidnap the archeologist, who strikes a magical chord in the "dragon's" soul [not unexpected a romantic suspense paranormal].  From there, the book takes on a cat-chasing-mouse-game with the dragon saving the archeologist from one danger, only to fall in the another deeper pit.  The real plot turn comes when, after the first villain is defeated, another more dangerous villain appears on the scene.  When a writer creates complex characters who are fighting to stay alive, you just gotta read another chapter.

Web and Other Stuff ...
 To pitch or not to pitch.  I'm going to the Northern Colorado Writers conference in March.  They've got my money.  I have no other choice, besides I want to go.  I'll be fun talking to my various friends and meeting new people who are interested in writing and understand how I spend much of my day.  But I'm wondering if I want to bust my behind revising one of my completed manuscripts to pitch.  For those of you who have something ready to pitch at whatever conference, you might look at agent Janet Reid's blog on the difference between a pitch and a query.

Most people do their pitches after they've written the book.  Can you guess I do it backwards?  I tried using the pitch to set the structure of my last WIP, and it worked for Voices of Ghost Creek (Kaffy Anne).  It's too early to see if it helps with Hidden in Plain Sight (Maren).  -- While a pitch is short, it also focuses on the main character's primary problem.  A useful tool in staying on track while letting your creative juices flow.

Once your pitch interests someone, you have to send them a manuscript.  Publishers and agents may want to have submissions look a certain way.  But, do you know the generally formatting criteria?  C. A. Marshall, a freelance editor, gives writers pointers on How to Format Manuscripts.

Haven't been spending much time twittering or on the blogosphere.  I've been spending my time looking for YA/tween publishers, but can't raise much enthusiasm for the process [even though I should be marketing There Be Demons].  Why not query an agent?  --  I'm thinking my main attitude problem is bubbling to the surface.  I don't like to jump through other people's hoops.  Amusing myself creating stories about characters than interest me is another can of worms -- because you never know which way they'll wiggle even if you stay on track.

Progress ...
Have the action outlined for three chapters of Maren ... and came up with two villains I didn't know existed last year when I gave up.  The book that's working is the back story in the previous attempt.  Figure that one out.

Also trying to revise and post another installment of the post-Rebellion Half-Elven stories, a Renna's Tale.  Tentative title:  Pulling the Dragon's Tail.  You'll see how successful I am when I write the Monday Half-Elven blog.


Trivia ...
My growling corner is looking more and more attractive.

In the meantime,  I think I'll be only posting this blog once a week, close to the week-end.  For some reason, my "mind-flow" is changing back to mornings ... and I need that time to create ... rather than diddle my time away on the web.  --  There I said it.  I've tried seriously for a half year, but I just can't get very enthusiastic about social networking.  I've always been the type to have a few close friends rather than a million best friends.

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