23 January 2007

"Don’t Let The Old Projects Go…"

The ones you started and never finished. The characters that really took off but the story didn’t, or the story was interesting, but the characters fell flat.

I have this Hero and Heroine I wrote about a couple of years ago. I was aiming for a category romance and they were different from your typical H/H. They were real, from a not so great neighborhood, and both had survived tough times. The only problem was that I was told the Hero didn’t have some awesome job and he wouldn’t appeal to editors. He was your average joe, with a good heart, and basically an interesting plot wasn’t enough. The Heroine was a tough, young single mother who struggled to make ends meet. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything dynamic about the two and as you can tell the life problems too real and not romantic enough. This was their downfall.

I never finished the book, but I think about them every once in a while. Sort like taking out an old mental photograph and reminiscing about old friends.

Maybe one day when a opportunity presents itself, I’ll bring them out and write about them and give them their happy ending. 🙂

This is just a reminder not to forget about those old projects, you never know when you’ll be able to give them their chance down the road.

22 January 2007

"Bookmarks, Biz cards, Stickers…"

These are the print items I’ve been researching for the past month. And let me me tell you, it has not been easy.

I want a standard price, good customer service, and of course, good product.

I went through the whole, do I want to design these items myself or hire someone?

I hired someone to give my sticker design an urban feel. The artist did an awesome job. But finding the right price for printing them has been tough. I found a good quality sticker shop, but do I really want a 1000-1500 stickers?? I think not. I’m currently speaking with someone I know in town for a quote. The only thing is, do I want to pay the price for 300 when I could get 1000? urgh!

My friend sent me a link for bookmarks for a good price, and she used them before so I know I can rely on this business. I’m probably going to design the bookmark myself. I have several examples to study from and since I may be paying a little more for the stickers it will save me money. Good thing I have that graphic design background!

Biz card:
Same goes for the biz card, I’ll be designing it. I’ve done so in the past, and because of the great prices for the website, I’ll be ordering from the same shop as I’ve ordered the bookmarks.

Okay, so now I just have to design the the bookmark and biz card…and wait to here about the sticker prices and then I’ll be in business! It’s all about finding the time…;)

19 January 2007

"Looky Here"

Not much to report other than I’m still beefing up my latest partial. Aiming to get it back to my agent the beginning of next week.

And looky what I got in my inbox! The image of my full cover flat. Every time I look at it I sigh. haha!

One more step closer… *Sigh*

18 January 2007

"The Communication"

I guess I’m still on the blogging-about-agents kick because I was reading the latest entry on my agent’s blog about communicating with your agent, and aha! Blog topic. 🙂

When you first sign with an agent, it’s really easy to email your agent a lot. I know I did, but Kristin has always been really understanding about it. In fact, I think she calls it the “needy stage” of a new client. She had written “relax” in response to many of my emails our first year. haha! We writers are a sensitive lot. 😉

In order not to feel like you’re emailing your agent too often regarding your submissions, ask upfront the agent’s strategy on updates. For instance, I’ve learned my agent usually lets about 8 weeks pass on my submissions before she checks on status with a pub house. So if I haven’t heard from her after that time, I can feel comfortable sending her an email regarding the status. I also know a usual time frame she takes to read partials and full manuscripts. The longer you are with your agent, you both will learn how each of you work.

Now, I’m going through another new experience–or needy stage!–with my first release and I have a lot of questions. *sigh* Questions I never even thought to ask before…such as promo I’m doing on my own before I’ve chatted with the house publicist and how independent stores are able to order a small quantity of my books. Blah, blah, blah. I’m telling you, the questions never stop!

This leads me to about asking general questions…

If I have a quick question, I can usually count on hearing from my agent quickly. If I know my question is pretty meaty, it can take a bit of time to hear back in order for her to write out a detailed email. I haven’t felt the need to call her much because I live by my email, and the same goes with my editor. She told me upfront she’s more comfortable communicating through email, too. If I did feel I needed to talk to my editor or agent, I would feel comfortable setting up a conference call instead of calling and hoping to catch them at a free time.

Now, if your agent is ignoring you completely for weeks that has got to be an awful feeling and after you made all attempts to speak with him or her and the agent still does not return your messages, it may be time to part ways. I have heard many times, it’s better to be without an agent than to be signed with the wrong one. 🙂

17 January 2007

"3 Things To Sharpen"

I know I’ve been pretty blog-lite lately. No, particularly heavy posts. No, profound deep thoughts. heh. Well, I’ve been revising a new partial to send to my editor soon. I had wrote 3 chapters and a synopsis, which I am so awful at–syns really are tough for me. Seeing the whole picture isn’t how I do things. I always see in steps…one scene, then the next. Imagine how hard it is for me when I’m at step 20 and I have to see all the way to step 200. So this week I have been revising some thoughts my agent gave me to give this partial more…oomph.

When writing in first person, I tend to get a little narrative instead of just showing. Show don’t Tell, Kelly. One of the first writing tips I learned when rewriting my first novel, but when I’m in a character’s head it’s so easy just to write what I think is on her mind. So then I have to go back and revise and see how I can show something instead of telling the reader about it. And these Show-Don’t-Tells can be so subtle, I’m not even realizing I’m doing it. Just one little line…one little thought from the character…can be a tell that could be stronger shown. Just like now, I’m trying to tell you what I mean, when I should be showing. ;D

The Mood of the scene. I tend to get descriptive. Plainly descriptive. I can tell you what something looks like to the character but what I also want to do is add some emotion or mood to the atmosphere or scene. Give it some depth.

These are the 3 things I am working on to sharpen the partial. Shaping up the syn, working on the show-don’t-tell, and adding more mood.

yada, yada, yada. 😉