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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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good Writing Advice

Hi, says she as she peeks into the computer screen.

Know I haven't been blogging.  Kept meaning to, but I was frantically trying to get a manuscript ready to pitch at the Northern Colorado's Writers conference, held last weekend. 

For all my efforts, "Troubles" is still languishing in never-novel-land at 55,000 words. I need to add the villain-viewpoint in to increase the suspense. Plus, there are other plot points to revise into the manuscript. What? Most important, I need to keep Linden sitting on the fence until basically the end.

That realization is sort of  Novel 101, but it just hit me up the side of the head. There are so many things to fix in "Troubles" that it makes me tired to just think about them.

Fortunately, I was saved from an empty pitch by a rejection for "Dark Solstice" the day before the conference. 

Background: I have slloooooowwly been submitting the Dark Solstice manuscript to a few small e-publishers. Have gotten a couple of personalized rejections among the form ones. The main criticism? Mostly they wanted romance, even when they say they took plain fantasy. "Dark Solstice" deals, partly with what happens after the "happily ever after" crashes. A "No. No." for romance.

This time around I got a long letter about the shortcomings of the manuscript, and a colossal "DUH" moment. So, when I pitched "Dark Solstice" as a political novel of economic change and genetic drift, I was surprised to get interest instead of a startled deer expression. The agent wants three chapters and synopsis. I'm now madly writing a new first chapter with fewer introduced characters.

Most important, it opens with Mariah and Linden fighting ... rather than have the estrangement be part of the background. Since the estrangement is one of the key elements in this section of the series, you would of thunk I would have figured that out before in my many revisions. 

Nothing like feeling more than a little silly.

 #

Always like to see anthropology applied. In this case, Desmond Morris' work on human intimacy. Jenny Hansen, over at Writers in the Storm, blogs about  Using the Twelve Steps to Intimacy in your writing. -- I think this can be used on several levels, not just for the development of sexual relationships. Of course, I'm referring to the first couple of steps.

The people over at Chiseled in Rock, the blog of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, came up with a great interview with Karin Chaplin, the Tween/YA editor at Harper Collins. A lot of what she says puts the "Market" in perspective, but some of her comments apply to being an effective writer, period.
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