Updates sporadically.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

And then, there were sequels ...

So you know that moment when you're finally back in love with your novel, and the end is in sight and you're nearly weeping with joy, and then --- you remember.

You have a sequel to write.

Not just a sequel. No, that would be too easy. You have a whole series to write.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sorry for the cry-icorn

Sorry for the cry-icorn, everyone. I was overly ambitious this morning and hit the gym at 6am. Which is apparently way too early for me. The result is that no amount of coffee will make me funny enough to post today. Unless that amount of coffee is north of the 2 pots I've had. In which case, blame my kidneys -- they're limiting me.

Your regularly scheduled posting will resume on Thursday.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Burning bridges: because every author needs to f**k up at least once

All of the submissions guidelines say it. All of the how-tos on query letters tell you. But do you listen?

No. Because you're excited. You're ready. So what if your novel is missing a hundred pages and a climax, denouement and conclusion? You can whip that up in a couple of days after you get the request for a full. You want to submit now.

For the love of god, don't do it. Just -- don't.

My first query was a NIGHTMARE. No really. Probably the stuff that makes literary agents wake up with cold sweats in the middle of the night. I spend a lot of time on QueryShark. I have a general understanding of what these poor people go through.

And why was my query such a nightmare? Because my story DIDN'T HAVE AN ENDING.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sometimes other people are right (even when you really don't want them to be)

Accepting criticism is hard, y'all. Accepting uninvited criticism when all you were trying to do was show off how awesome you are is pretty much impossible.

Look, it's not my fault I yelled at my partner. Here I was, minding my own business, and he just up and critcizes my writing. Total d-bag, am I right?

Okay, so maybe I wasn't actually minding my own business. I mean, I was actually reading him a passage from the novel. But still -- come on, right? What was he thinking? What, suddenly reading a passage out loud of the novel you're editing is just an open invitation to criticism? I guess that I missed that memo.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

When did I become Herman Melville?

Let's not get it twisted. I'm not saying that I wrote Moby Dick. I wasn't exactly attempting to achieve a novel that expansively surveys the human psyche and obsession, compulsion and sexuality, etc. ad nauseam.

Not that I don't love Moby Dick. I do. I love Moby Dick. If you don't like it, you're probably wrong. That book is awesome. But Melville is not what I would call an author with a strong voice. If you haven't read it, go read the beginnings of a few different chapters. It's like the whole thing was actually a collaboration of 20 different authors who couldn't work together. Maybe Melville had split personalities.

Or maybe he just read too much.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Confession: I don't know the ending either

I have a confession.

As confessions go, it's kind of a doozy for a writer to be laying out 55,000 words and two years into a novel.

I confess: I don't know the ending, either.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Schmantastic List of Fantasy: Fantastic First Novels

Welcome to the first installment of the Schmantastic List of Fantasy. There will be a new list posted the first Thursday of every month. Because I love you. Definitely not because I'm trying to stretch out material by making an update that has minimal effort with maximum content.

I would never do that to you.

In the spirit of Schmantasticness, this first list is going to highlight some truly awesome first novels by some great modern authors. Because if there's anyone who knows just how schmantastic publishing a genre novel is, it's them.

So, without further ado:

The Schmantastic List of 7 Fantastic First Novels by Modern Authors


Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo: 30 days; 50,000 words; 100,000 plotholes

NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month, the catalyst for this whole adventure. The premise is that you have thirty days during the month of November to write a 50,000 word novel. If you succeed, you get a big pat on the back, a discount on a t-shirt, and the self-satisfaction of knowing you (kind of) wrote a novel.

Congratulations! You wrote a novel that is still
20,000 words short of being publishable!

December. National Holy-Shit-This-Is-Puke-On-A-Page Month.  This is the month where you have 31 days to re-read your novel, to edit it and make it wonderful.

Instead, you take 1 day, get about 10 pages into the mess, and then try to resist the urge to drag and drop the whole damned thing into the recycle bin. And then empty the recycle bin. And then burn your computer for good measure.

Seriously, did you even write this? You don't remember ever typing the sentence "his knee bounced like it was full of kangaroos that had just eaten a bunch of Mexican jumping beans". Wait, was that really a whole chapter about the character picking up an eggplant in the supermarket? Did you really end the whole thing, "And then he woke up and it was all a dream"?

What is this unholy monstrosity that you have created?

And then you set the whole thing aside.