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Posts Tagged ‘editor’

fingers crossed behind bckWell, the contest for unpublished authors was moved forward by two months, and closed to new entries yesterday. Within the coming month, the editors on staff will read through the submissions and select their three favorites. These will be passed up to the owner, who will request the entire manuscripts from those three authors. 

Wouldn’t it be thrilling if I were chosen as one of the final three?

All I can do now is make final tweaks and wait for that hoped-for call to ring my phone. 

Of course, I have begun working on story #2, along with the plot issues that come with any new project. My victim is fleshed out, I know how he’s done in. I even know who does it. And I know who is falsely accused. But I haven’t figured out the why yet. Can’t get too far into the story until that major component is created.

And so my waiting game begins…my fingers are crossed!

 

 

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sketch of question personOK… so I’ve been wrestling with my opening chapter for what seems like forever. I’ve read many writing craft books. One craft book says the author can’t mess with normal until your reader knows what normal is.

And so I’ve arrived at a quandary… how do I hook my reader [and my first reader is an agent] with the inciting incident and show my main character’s normal life at the same time?

A while ago, I attended an event at a local library called Author Idol, where the 25 authors sitting in the audience had each submitted their anonymous first three pages. The four agents up on stage raised one hand when the reader came to a place where the agent would reject the manuscript. Two agents’ hands in the air signaled the reader to stop. Would it surprise you to hear that most of us didn’t get past the first two paragraphs???

How scary is that???

How perfect does that opening have to be???

What happened to editors???

If an agent is not willing to read at least the first three pages, what hope do I have of ever getting published?

So it’s back to the drawing board. On Saturday, I’ll submit to my writing group yet another attempt at my opening. My fingers are crossed that I’m at least getting closer.

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In my inbox this morning sat an email from an agent I recently queried. She represents another cozy mystery writer in the Sisters In Crime organization, and was recommended to me by another agent.

My fingers paused above the file, not sure if they wanted to open it or not. Would I be lucky and get a hit on nearly my first try? Or would she tell me ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’ ???

After several minutes of debate, I hit the enter key and zoomed in on her words like a starving writer…only to be disappointed. Her rejection said my hook was not sufficient to interest any of the editors she knows.

Big sigh.smiley face maybe next time

I’ve been told by both my writing groups that I’ve written a good story, so I’ll be pulling down my how-to books about query letters and improving this one paragraph description by echoing the tension and frustration of my main character.

On a positive note, the only way is up!

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I key-stroked “The End” on my first mystery months ago, but continue to revise, revise, revise. Sending chapters through two different writing groups always elicits valid comments. Although the story reads easily with active verbs and definitive description, there might be a glitch with a chunk of dialogue or a mis-match of logic to previous clues. It all needs attention.

And so I’m nervous about sending a query to a publisher who requires that my novel be finished and POLISHED. Will my story ever REALLY be polished enough to submit? I’ve heard it said that we could revise our story forever if we choose to do so. At what point do we stop? I suppose the fall-back position is that even if I think it’s done, my agent–if I ever find one–and the editor at the publishing house—if they ever hold my manuscript in their hands–will have their own ideas about sections that need revision.

Actually, to put a little pressure on myself to finish the first novel, I have begun my second. Not very far in, but I know who is done-in, and who-done-it. The inciting incident has been established. I’m wrestling with the reason behind the crime. Several possibilities are floating around in my head. I just have to pick the one that seems most logical and can be justified to a degree that is believable.

Well, that’s enough moaning and groaning for this morning.

 

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