Friday, December 2, 2011

An Update and get my Query outta here (and onto an agent's desk).

Just a note about what's been happening. I stopped querying for about two weeks. I wanted to go back in and rework the first page.
I read HOOKED by Les Edgerton and got crazy inspired to slash my page of any extraneous exposition.(as much as I held the belief, the story needed the info upfront to grab an agent and/or reader). "The important thing is that what you open with presents a question that the reader will want to answer."
You want to get the reader asking questions. Lead them, delicately, and then hook 'em Danno. I Highly recommend this book.

Looking in on it now, it reads crispy, clear and, gosh the pressure. That first paragraph may be all you get--it's got to sing. You think with my singing experience I'd be able to do this easily. But I spent two days (half-days) staring at that first page. Moving things here...moving there -- Um, what if that was just the biggest mistake I've ever made...I'd better put that back. Take this description out, not another adverb -- The pressure.

Yes, the advice to put your work away and go for a walk for a few days or weeks is sound. When you return--those quiet voices are clearer to hear over all the doubt that sets in from over-thinking things.
Singing as in improvising, and I do sing Jazz, must come from the intuitive heart. Letting go and allowing the creation to flow. Space and time are serving necessary. Hard for an impatient, nervous girlie like me. So this work is Very good for me. I am learning many ways of being, even by the process of trying to become published.

I have to mention.
I did get HOOKED free, along with STORY STRUCTURE ARCHITECT by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, GETTING THE WORDS RIGHT by Theodore Cheney, and HOW TO BE A WRITER by Barbara Baig.
Someone posted a link for all these FREE books. And I put them on my iphone kindle app. If I find the link again I'll post, if the special is ongoing. I retweeted when it came down the line. Another reason to follow me on Twitter--I like to Share.

This weekend I will (to) work on Book #2 in the AbeGale Force series. I'm loving it--it surprises me and it's getting a little creepier than the first. The other characters are having their chance. But it's still in Abegale Anton-Shale's voice.
Oh--another recent development is: I'm now a proud member of SCBWI. YEAH!

Eventually I will have blog post on a regular schedule. Thanks for stopping by. And Congrats to all those participating in #NANOWRIMO. You did it!
May the words always be with you.
Enjoy the weekend.

11 comments:

Kelley said...

Oh query letters and first pages :) Good for you for stepping away. I have an issue with that so my 'stepping away' means that I'm working on the next one while I give the last one some time.

If you find that link I'd love to see it! :)

Tracy said...

I LOVED LOVED LOVED Les Edgerton's Hooked. I recommend it to anyone who writes! After reading his book I pulled a sentence out of the last chapter in my ms and made it the first line of chapter one. I went on the cut a lot (wow, a lot) out of chapter one and it's all the better for it!

Do you follow Edgerton's blog? You can find it here: http://lesedgertononwriting.blogspot.com/

What did you think of his position on character descriptions? He's probably mostly right, but it's a tough thought to wrap your head around when you're writing. :)

Kudos to you for continuing to strengthen your ms! (I'm walking away from editing for a few days, myself. Editing overload!) ;)

Tracy said...

PS, C. Hope Clark just made a post the other day about openings too. You'd probably like it! :)

http://hopeclark.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-fiction-day-toss-opening.html

Karen lee Hallam said...

Tracy. I'm posting here. Thought email went directly to blog.
thanks for reading and commenting. 
If I remember correctly Eadgerton doesn't care for physical descriptions of characters. This reminded me of John Steinbeck's take on describing characters.
While writing, I felt the same. I don't use description of any character aside from the mc's description of her friend's peculiar landlady, which is about one sentence. 
 Descriptions I've used are related to how one moves or say, a reaction to something. 
Gosh. I have to look up John Steinbeck's actual comment. Sorry I can't ring it off my head. 
But yes. I agree w Eadgerton, since I found myself doing this anyway. 
Probably stems from my disappointment of other people's character descriptions, ruining their character, I've already imagined. This is a reason I strongly dislike photos for book covers. Blah. It's like a prepackaged meal. I'll go for an illustration any day. 
And thanks for the blog link on openings. I will definitely read up. 

Good luck w you time away from editing. 

Sorry if incoherent here. I'm on phone typing. 

Karen lee Hallam said...

Any thank you too Kelley, for visiting.
Didn't see your post untill just now.

Steping away anywhere is good. Even into another WIP. Best of luck and patience. :)

Ninja Girl said...

Hey Karen!
That sounds like the same process I go through. The tweaking and rearranging and just overall re-thinking the query. For me, it's one of the most difficult parts to get it just right, and I'm always a little nervous that I'll short change my story/not sell it as good as I should. But, you know, I WROTE it so I should be able to sell it, right? :) Anyway, I hope you come up with that magical perfect query and knock those agents' socks off!
Good luck,
Ninja Girl
P.S. And thank you so much for tweeting about my review. That was so nice and unexpected :D

Kelley said...

Thanks for the book recommendation <3 a newbie follower

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Query letters are rough. :P I'm glad you're stepping away for a little bit and going back later. It really helps.

And thanks for stopping by my blog! ;)

Monica B.W. said...

I wish you luck for when you go back out querying again!
And I think it's always wise to do what you're doing!
And thanks so much for stopping by my blog the other day! It was nice to see you there!! <3

Karen lee Hallam said...

Thanks you all for visiting.
I got two partial requests last week.(nice holiday pick-me-up) One email submission and the other, snail mail.
I couldn't believe I was running through the rain trying to catch up to a bus, because I was at the wrong copy center on 6 ave. Ah...this is the way stories are made. I grined, bared it and met a very kind bus driver, who let me pass with only half fare on my metro card.

Haven't been active blogging--but I'm coming back. And coming back to visit ALL of yours......here i go...

Tracy said...

Hi Karen,

I've been wondering what was up in your writing world, and planned to leave a comment asking where you were in the process. I was thrilled to see your "update" comment about receiving requests for more info. That's great! Please keep us posted! :)