Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Writing Advice

So I've been trying to decide what direction to take this blog. Should I focus on writing? Reading? The publishing industry? Maybe a mix of all of them? I feel a little silly dishing out writing advice since I still consider myself a newbie but  I have learned a whole lot over the last year or so.

I figure today I'll share one thing I've learned about writing... If you don't need it, get rid of it. If a word or chapter or paragraph doesn't add something to your work then it needs to go. Certain words are 'filler words' and are usually good candidates for this. Those words include 'that' 'was' 'suddenly' 'instantly' and a whole host of others. Of course these words do service certain purposes but the trick is using them sparingly. When you really REALLY need them.

And if any part of your writing doesn't progress the plot or the characters it's not a good idea to keep it around. Unless you have a very good reason.

So that's the first lesson i'm sharing on here. Edit your own stuff before you send if off to another set of eye. And cut out any word that might distract them from how good (or bad) the rest of it is.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Here's my query

So I've been working on my query on and off for months now. It's nowhere near perfect but it's slowly getting better. Closer. My goal is to be ready to query by June. We will see if I actually get there, but I thought I'd share my query. This is by no means the final version but it will at least give people an idea of what my books about (I hope.) Of course I still have to get through a (hopefully) final beta reader and another set of revisions. Feel free to comment, critique, or rip it to shreds if you wish. Don't worry, I can take it ;)

Dear agent-like person,

Olivia Townsend can't deny she's a killer. After all, she has a taste for humans. But an appetite her size can’t be satisfied by the tiny town of Peninsula. Not without getting caught. She hunts her prey far from home, where guilt is easier to run from and hunger is less of a problem. Besides, she loves Peninsula too much to risk losing it. Despite her best efforts to stay hidden, she’s still the center of the town’s gossip. It’s just too fun to talk about the town’s beautiful recluse. Olivia ignores most of the chatter, but when a local woman is killed, Olivia knows the smart thing to do is to get out of town for awhile. Suspicious neighbors can only mean trouble a vampire.

But Leaving becomes nothing short of impossible when William arrives. Olivia hopes she’s found another immortal. The last time she saw him was over a hundred years ago. She’s sure. And he may have a girlfriend but that doesn’t stop him from sneaking off to see Olivia every chance he gets. Plus he’s just so irresistible. And everything she wants. But he's no monster-he's a hunter with a nasty grudge against vampires. Even as she discovers his dislike of all things evil, Olivia's passion still overpowers her practical plan. And William's kindness, and interest in Olivia, only makes leaving harder. With the entire town watching and the guy of her dreams close to discovering the darkness inside her, Olivia must choose between life on the run or living in hiding with the man she loves.

Nightfire is a YA paranormal romance, complete at 56,000 words. The full manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Joy of Betas

Beta readers can be great. They are basically people who read your work and point out where there are problems. They often catch things you miss and are super important for every writer. I love having them but I have hit a bit of confusion with them today. I sent my most recent edit of my WIP to two different betas and got two opposing opinions. One said I wasn't being descriptive enough and couldn't picture what was going on. The other said she loved my descriptions and could picture everything really well. It's sort of making me want to hit my head against the wall.

Do I add more description and risk slowing down the pace of the action? Do I leave it alone and risk having readers that can't visualize what is happening? One of the great things about writing is that different styles apeal to different people. What one peson loves is what another person might hate. Ultimately I'm the one who has to live with the story I've written and I'm going to have to find a way to make it work for me and the people that read it. I just hope I'm up to the task.