Thursday, August 19, 2010

...and the Rejection Letters start trickling in.

Good day loyal readers,

So far I have sent out a total of 9 query letters: 5 for Son of Ogres and 4 for Nanuq.

Son of Ogres: 2 form rejection letters.

For those of you who are not in the know, there are two types of rejection letters you get from agents.

The first is a personalized letter that mentions your book by name and perhaps the agent mentions some specifics about the book/characters/plot that they liked, but they just felt they were not the right fit.

The second is the form letter that agents send out to writers without making any changes to the text first. It is the digital version of a big rubber stamp. I personally have nothing against form letters. It is quick to use and allows the agent to get back to what they need to do: sift through their email inbox looking for that next elusive treasure. But there are some sensitive wannabe writers who find form reject letters at the very least unhelpful and at worst a slap in the face. If their book idea was rejected, they want to know why. Was it too long? Too short? Was it the plot or the characters or the setting or ??? Was the query letter itself poorly written? How can I fix it? What changes can I make that you won’t reject it a second time? Some amateur would be writers will send a reply email demanding to know why the agent did not accept their book and telling them that they will be sorry they passed up on the next Stephen King/JK Rowling/Tom Clancy.

But I digress…

The long and the short of it is that agents only get paid when their clients get paid. If they spent all their time telling writers they rejected what was wrong with the queries or their books or whatever, then they would be broke. So in my books a form rejection letter is okay by me.

So for your edification, I am posting the two form rejection letters I got from agents this week. I am not including their names or agencies because I wouldn’t want to embarrass them for turning down the next Stephen King/JK Rowling/Tom Clancy… (:

Letter #1

Thank you very much for reaching out to me and Folio Jr. for representation. I very much appreciate hearing from you. Due to the large volume of submissions that I receive, it is impossible for me to answer every query individually, however I assure you that your material was carefully evaluated. After consideration, I regret to say that your project is not right for my list at this time. As you know, this is a subjective business and another reader may feel differently. I truly wish you all the best in finding a wonderful representative to champion your work and much success in your journey toward publication.

Letter #2

Thank you for telling me about your book, but I wouldn't be the right agent for it.

Please know that another agent is likely to feel differently and will know exactly where to send your work. I wish you the best in placing the manuscript elsewhere.

And there you have it!

Chapter Ten of RUST has been posted

Hi All,

Just a note to let you know that I have posted Chapter Ten of RUST to Below is the link:


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gave myself a heart attack this morning...

I had finished writing Chapter Ten of RUST this morning, and of course I went back to reread what I wrote in order to "brush it up" with a few minor edits. So I get to the section where Rifter is about to show the clan elder the Talisman...and I find it missing! I find a gap almost a page long has been deleted from my chapter. So I'm panicking, wondering if I accidently highlighted it and deleted because my palm brushed the touch pad on my laptop.

Umm...on a side note, before I continue on with my story: those touch pads are a pain in the hiney! When I am writing on the bus, and I forget to turn it off, my curser cursor jumps all over the page whenever my hand brushes the pad. I will be typing away merrily and all of as sudden my letters will no longer be appearing…and then I realize the curser cursor has jumped higher up the page and I am writing in the middle of a word of near perfect prose…sigh.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled post.

So I thought I had accidently deleted a page worth of story by way of the old Touch Pad of Doom! So I find myself faced with a dilemma that I am sure all writers dread: having to rewrite from memory something that you already wrote, but lost somehow. As the saying goes that lightning never strikes in the same place twice, it is hard to recreate the original prose in the same way.

I remembered some of the key phrases, but as I was writing it again I was sure I was missing some special nuances of the original text. I stared at my monitor and cursed my carelessness.

Then I remembered the blog post I wrote yesterday…

I had thought I had copied-and-pasted the text from my story into the blog post…but instead I CUT-and-pasted! My work was saved, all 340 glorious words of it. Thanking my lucky stars, I reinserted the missing prose and then saved it in IN THREE PLACES!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nearly finished Chapter Ten of Rush

So I was writing on the bus this morning and I am nearly finished Chapter Ten. I would like to offer some more insight into the mind of writer…or at least into the mind of this particular writer. As I have mentioned before I write a chapter-by-chapter outline before I start writing the actual book. But this process only takes you so far. Here is an example.

This selection comes from Chapter Ten of RUST. Our hero Rifter has arrived at the town of Clan Hearth, which has roughly ten times the population of his clan, Deep Fathom. His clan was attacked by the Quickening Spear Clan, and his clan elder, Red, was mortally wounded in the attack. Red gave Rifter an amulet which he calls the Talisman, which glows blue when touched by human skin. It is believed to be a key that leads to paradise, which supposedly resides in the highest level of the world of RUST.

In this chapter Rifter has just met elder of Clan Hearth, Lorkin, and his apprentice, Sammel. Rifter was introduced to them by Meah, a girl whom he met in the tunnels leading to Clan Hearth:

Meah told Lorkin how she met Rifter and what had happened to his clan. The older man shook his head sadly as he listened to her tale. She also told him about Red’s Talisman.

“May I see it?” Lorkin asked in almost a whisper.

Rifter lifted the amulet out from under his shirt, holding it by its leather thong.

“And it glows if you touch it?”

Rifter demonstrated by touching it with one finger. Sammel jumped back as the Talisman bathed them all in a soft blue light.

“It must surely be a sacred gift from the Old Ones.” Lorkin said breathlessly. He lifted a trembling hand up, but seemed fearful of actually touching the amulet.

“Red said it wasn’t made by the Ance—Old Ones.” Rifter glanced down at it with reverence. “He said it was beyond their ability to construct, that it must have been made by others.”

“Blasphemy!” Sammel cried out, his face reddening.

Rifter was startled by the apprentice’s outburst. The word was meaningless to him.

“Now, now, Sammel.” Lorkin put a restraining hand upon the younger man’s shoulder. “Do not be so harsh. His ways are not our ways.”

“But clearly this Talisman was created by the Old Ones. It should belong to the Temple and not be in the careless hands of an ignorant savage.” The apprentice glared at Rifter like he had just stolen his food.

Sammel suddenly lunged for the amulet, but Rifter easily dodged his clumsy grasp. Meah let out a little shriek and Mekah nearly fell off her shoulder.

“Sammel! Stop!” The Elder roared as he grabbed the apprentice by the arms, showing an amazing strength that Rifter did not expect.

“I think I’ve seen enough, Meah.” Rifter dropped the Talisman back under his shirt and turned to leave.

At this point I had no idea what to write next. Does Rifter walk right out of the Temple, with Meah trailing behind him? Does Lorkin stop him somehow? If he does, what would make Rifter stop? These were all the thoughts that were going through my head as a sat on the bus, staring at the laptop screen, my hands poised over the keyboard. Below is the decision I came to:

“Please wait.” Lorkin cried.

Rifter paused, torn between showing respect to a clan elder and his desire to get away from the angry apprentice.
“Sammel, please leave now.”

The younger man hesitated, gave Rifter a hard stare, and left the Temple.

So there ya go--a glimpse under the hood of my writing process.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Dove back into RUST this morning

After being away for awhile, I am now back in the world of RUST. I was worried that I had lost a whole chapter of that book when I misplaced my flash drive, but I found Chapter Ten whole and unscathed. :: whew! :: It took a bit of rereading to get my mind back into the flow of that world and its main character: Rifter. I think that is the same process for both readers and writers when they have stepped away from a story too long. I imagine that guys are getting a bit concerned that I will not be able to meet my goal. I still have two books to finish and I only have five months left in order to accomplish that task.

Let’s see…I am ten chapters into RUST, and I have it outlined to be twenty-three chapters (including the epilogue), so I have roughly thirteen chapters to go there. As for FLAME, I am nine chapters into it, and I have it outlined to thirty-nine chapters, so thirty to go there.

So 30 + 13 = 43…and there is a 147 days left in the year…147/43 = 3.41…or roughly one completed chapter every three and half days…

:: Faints ::