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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sometimes We Writers Have To Change It Up

I'm happy to report I am finally getting back into a writing groove.  And it feels great! Now that I've had some time away, I have been re-evaluating.  I began querying SHARDS OF GLASS at the beginning of this year, and all I've received so far is standard rejections.  I'm of the opinion that taking a new look at the query letter or the manuscript itself never hurts, especially when no agents have shown enough interest to even offer a bit of advice.

So being of that opinion, I took a fresh look.  More than ten months have passed, so I'd say that is a sufficient break away.  The query itself isn't a problem, I don't think.  But there is one major setback.  The word count.  *sighing while wiping bitter tears*  The best fit for SHARDS is YA.  And 90K words is long.  There are exceptions of course.  But I really believe in this story and want to see it published.

I shared my struggle with this story about a year ago here.  Getting the word count down was a nightmare.  And part of my writing style is to let the story write itself.  This is where I have to change it up, hence the title of today's post. 

Last year, I tried to remove Part I in an effort to reduce the word count.  It didn't work.  The story, mainly the dynamics between the FMC and MMC, suffered.  So I put Part I back in.  However, in a more determined effort to get this story right, I have cut Part I off again.  And off it shall stay.  Making that decision wasn't easy.  I love that part of the story.  But taking it off cut my word count to the 67K range, which is much more acceptable for YA.  And now that I've come to terms with that move, the story doesn't seem to be suffering.  I'm anxious to get it in the hands of some betas though to make sure. 

I've done some more editing and revising; I had to with Part I gone.  And this evening I plan to finish editing and revising the final 40 pages.  Then I will be seeking betas.  I'll see how that goes before beginning another round of queries.  And while taking care of SHARDS, REKINDLE has been put on hold.  I'm anxious and ready to get back to it, though. 

So there's my current writing dilemma.  I'm curious about all of you.  What part of your preferred writing style/technique/etc have you had to change? Even if the change wasn't permanent, please share below. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NoMoReMo, AW November Blog Chain

This month's Absolute Write Blog Chain brings you NaMoReMo (National Mock Review Month).

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, write a mock review of a writing project that you have done or would like to do. Make sure to either give a brief, one-sentence description of what the project is or work it into the review somehow. You can review anything (poetry, prose, collected blog posts) and in any way you like (funny, serious, Dadaist).

Be sure to check out my fellow AWer's reviews.  They are posted below.  Enjoy!

Follow the Trail by C. F. Pence is the ambitious romantic tale of Adria Hall, a Bostontonian elite who flees the only home she knows after finding her fiance in an indecent position with a former friend.  Heartbroken and humiliated, Adria takes shelter in the West with long time family friends who own and run a general store.  Adria is immediately hired to help, and it is her duties at the store that bring her face to face with Drew Scott, a local cattle rancher who looks down on the inexperienced city girl who doesn't belong.  As Adria attempts to embrace a life she knows nothing about, she bonds with a girl who turns out to be Drew's sister.  In predictable fashion, Adria and Drew develop a mutual attraction as they continually stumble into each other.

Although Pence started with much potential for a good love story, the focus is lost among her attempt to bring mystery and tragedy into the mix.  Drew leaves to "follow the trail" of ruthless cattle thieves who committed a despicable murder while Adria is left behind to comfort a sudden widow.  And the trail is long.  Indeed, it is so long that it becomes hard to tell if Pence is writing a romance or a western.  Quite frankly, Follow the Trail just isn't good enough to be both. 

The writing blunders are frequent and jarring, but perhaps with more practice and a sharp pair of shearers Pence can shape this story into something worthwhile.  For now there is too much chaos, and the road to the tidy bow at the end takes too long to travel. 

Now please check out these:
Ralph Pines
dolores haze
writingismypassion (you are here)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let your voice count ~ go vote!

I'm not ashamed to admit I hate politics.  That being the case, I am so ready for this presidential election to be over.  On the flip side, I strongly believe in exercising our right (and responsibility) to vote.  I think it's a shame that so many people don't vote; many people don't think their vote will make a difference.  I understand that sentiment, but I do not agree. 

I think regardless of how we vote, we are still saying something.  And perhaps I'm too naive, but I can't help but think we can still get the attention of the candidates.  What if every person who was legally allowed to vote did, but none of them voted for the candidates presented to us? Would the candidates care? Would the two main parties care?

Of course, I can't expect people to agree with me.  There are plenty of people who without a doubt want Obama; there are people who without a doubt want Romney.  And there are still people cheering for the underdogs.  All that is fine.  Everyone has a right to choose a candidate, and the simple fact is not every candidate can be elected.

But personally I am tired of feeling like I have to vote for the candidate that isn't as bad as the other guy.  You know what that says to the candidates? They don't have to be good or preferred; they just have to win.  I think that's a shame.

I should probably point out I don't have a lot of voting experience.  This will only be my fourth presidential election.  However, I would like to point out something else: not once have I been in favor of either of the candidates presented to me.  The guy I root for never makes it far past the primaries.  Oh well.  Truthfully, that probably just means I'm in the minority.

Regardless, I will be voting tomorrow because I still have to believe that "we the people" have some control.  Hopefully, we can agree on that much.