Wednesday, April 1, 2009

*Sniff, Sniff*

I smell a flame war. Bookends has opened a can of worms. On the blog Ms. Faust has opened a posts to talk about #agentfail. I haven't done anything today because I'm reading the train wreck IP. It's sad really, because Faust had good intentions. Nothing like a few bad apples to turn a learning lesson into a cluster%^&*#.

What do you think of #agentfail?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Best Advice is Probably The Worse Advice

At least when it comes to changing your voice, but there is a difference. Breaking grammar and punctuation rules because you are unaware of them vs. breaking grammar and punctuation rules for voice reasons. A friend of mine recently received copyedits that changed all her fragment sentences. This would have been a very gracious gesture if this copyeditor wasn't changing her voice in the process. Despite the ironclad grammar and punctuation rule to create complete sentences, using a fragment can get you deeper into the character's head without using first person.

This is just one example when writing style is used to create voice. And when that voice irritates the hell out of somebody else.

The flip side of the coin is when your writing style confuses the reader. I've been known from time to time to write a run-on sentence. I'm also a very big fan of the em-dash. This can make for WTF? sentences. Changing my writing style to shorter sentences that brings on clarity has been trying. I feel that is cripples my voice. I don't write or talk in short sentences BUT the need for clarity can override voice.

Or does it?

How does knowing the rules help or hinder your voice?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Okay, I'm Just Rude

On the RWA Industry Loop a woman asked what was the etiquette when you received a rejection letter. In essence she wanted to know if you were supposed to send a thank you note back.

This simple etiquette never crossed my mind. It has nothing to do with sour grapes--just a little--but the agent/editor has already said no. My first rejection I wanted to crawl in a corner in die. Not only that it was a form rejection. My writing didn't grab the editor enough to warrant a genuine response. *sob* The next one I received just kind of ripped my heart out even though by then I was jaded. And then my next query resulted in a sale. Trust me, there were plenty of thank yous to go around with that offer.

The concensus is to not respond for a form. Maybe, respond if there are specific comments, revision requests, or if you have anything else please do send.

What's your take? Has it changed over the years? And, why?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Product vs. Art

Clear cut answers bores me to tears. I like to discuss things were I'm just as likely to be right as I am to be wrong. So this week I want to explore if you think your books are a product or a work of art?

*For purposes of this discussion I'm not talking about the creative process. The sit your butt in chair and write the story. That's another bag of apples.*

Personally, I think when I put my book out there it's a product. With my book I am supplying the market with a demand. I want to get paid for supplying the product. I also consider myself a small business. *So small you have to find it with a microscope* But still a business. I have to make decisions that is best for the business: what is the best publisher to go with that will provide my book with the best outlet. What review site is going to get my name out there to as many readers as possible.

Where to do you stand? All business? All art? Or something in the middle?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

See even I can learn something new. When I started this blog I thought everyone should have the right to there opinion. Now the flaw in that is I wanted people to hold my same opinion.


Now how have I changed my mind. Well after reading the comments in the flame war I came across this question:

The only question I have is regards to when is it a good time or place to speak about your bad experiences. So many times I’ve come up against “you’re unprofessional” for saying MY experience was bad. When is it okay to say it? Where is it okay to say?

The answer, which opened my eyes:

I think speaking up is a matter of personal preference. At the time you think is right, when the topic is essential for you, and at a place you think you will be heard. If you have issues with your publisher that are important to you and you think important to others (other than “I don’t like my editor because her hair is blue”) you have a right to bring them out publicly. It’s your experience. You can’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

The answer sums up what I've been struggling with myself. It really does come down to personal choice.

To speak or not to speak, that is the question. What's your answer?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

And Another Flame War Begins

Very interesting post going on at Dear Author. First, I have a thing for brainy woman, and that is Jane of Dear Author. She speaks legal.

Anyway, the post started off just mentioning that Ellora's Cave, big erotic publisher, was suing Borders. And then the owner showed up, and then her attorney, I presume her attorney, and then all hell broke loose.

Grab a drink and popcorn, you might be there for a while.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Writing Process

For a while there I thought I had mine nailed down. I get the first line and then I'd write the story like a maniac. And then the next book came along and I stalled out by chapter three. I became more cautious of writing down that first line. I figured if it came back to me--like the old adage goes--then it was meant to be. Of course, that worked only once and then I found myself plotting out the first turning points. Of course after a longer while that didn't work.

So, now I'm on the brink of finishing an unfinished ms and seeing that this process is going to be different, again. Starting smack-dab in the middle of the book doesn't excite me as opening up a blank document. I'm going to have to fall in love with the story to care enough to get to The End. I'm going to have to find a way to get my characters out of limbo.

Strange, but it's the reason why I love writing. Each book is another challenge. What worked before sure as hell isn't going to work again. I hate the same-ol-same feeling. But, I can admit it's irritating to find what works for this book.

So, tell me, do you have a different writing process with each book or has it stayed the same since you first started writing?