Thursday, February 25, 2010

Agent queries: the process continues

So I just polished up my query for a great agent and got it ready to send out. Then I looked online and discovered she has a blog. Great, I can read it and get a sense of what she's looking for right now. Turns out, she just had a PITCH SUBMISSION FESTIVAL and is currently working her way through 300+ queries. Ugh, could there be a worse time to query her?? Guess I'll just sit tight, keep reading her blog, and look for a good submission window. I'm glad I did my research before I sent out that query.

In the meantime, I'll keep writing, in addition to researching other agents and editors. RT is supposed to have sign-ups for agents and editors on the convention website soon, so I'll keep my eyes open.

Anyone else having adventures in writing?

Friday, February 19, 2010

The importance of saving OR: How I almost had a nervous breakdown

When one creates a long word processing document, such as a novel, saving multiple versions is vital to ensure one's sanity.

Case in point: today I realized that the version I had been polishing was NOT my final version. I knew that the final version had existed somewhere, in some format; I simply could not find it. The later version contained my re-write of the climax and epilogue chapters, and brought the draft together in a satisfying way.

The version I had been editing, 25 pages from the end, had the words STOP POINT written in large red letters. This was followed by my earlier, crappy ending.

Naturally I began to hyperventilate. I'd made a grave error: in working back and forth between my desktop and laptop, I had somehow saved over my rewritten draft. I had just polished the first 190 pages of the draft with the crappy ending (though the versions up until the last two chapters were identical).

Thankfully, after searching every damned writing file on both machines, I discovered that I had been smart enough to email the corrected version to myself. After a few hours of thinking I'd have to go over my notes and do a re-rewrite of the ending, I discovered I didn't have to. I copied the 190+ pages of my polished draft and pasted on the corrected ending, creating a new Frankenstein file.

I'll finish polishing the last two chapters tomorrow. Right now I need to roll with this emotional comedown.

So, remember kids: always keep track of your drafts!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A good reminder

Entersection has an excellent post on establishing habits today. The last sentence particularly resonates with me:

"Every time a resolve or a fine glow of feeling evaporates without bearing practical fruit is worse than a chance lost; it works so as positively to hinder future resolutions and emotions from taking the normal path of discharge."

I've experienced this phenomenon of lost momentum many times in my writing. When I am working daily on a project, I am more likely to continue to work daily on it, to flesh it out, to be excited by it. But sometimes I get off track--I have too many other tasks that day, and I end the day too exhausted to produce writing. At the time, I often think, "Well, it's only one day off; I'll just pick it up tomorrow". Then the next day comes, and I have a harder time lifting up the end of my work where I left it, finding that mental groove in which to work.

That's why habit is essential. For me, the hardest part of finishing a project is the physical, mundane action of sitting down to write the thing. The more often I am able to finish a successful writing session, the more likely I am able to pick it up again the next day. Past success bolsters me on to future success.

On that note, I should get to work.