Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Query #1

Query #1 is on its way--via snail-mail of all things. :-)

I hope to hear back in 2-3 months. This down-time will give me a chance to put the timeline, or arc, onto paper, as well as my ideas for other books.

And, believe it or not, after trying another file format, I finally got my book loaded onto my e-book reader. Voila! I'm published!!! (If only to myself...)

The working title of my book is "Interstellar Creations"

Christine graduated from High School with big dreams. While on her way from a small town in Texas to New York City, she's swept into an even bigger adventure!

New Earth in the year 2420 is not quite what we imagined it would be. Hallyn Christine and her assistant dog, Molly, have been brought forward in time, from the year 2010, to assist Interstellar Creations, Inc. with a critical task. Humanity's future depends on her success.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Draft 3 is complete!

After 20 months of effort, my book is finally ready to send out for queries!!!


Truthfully, I haven't quite wrapped my mind fully around this fact.

Milestone #2 will be met on-time!!! My personal goal is to send out my book draft no later than the end of August.

Much to do yet, tonight, in formatting and forms-filling-out.

Hi ho, hi ho...it's off to work I go!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Feedback and Editing

Feedback was requested and received.

I'm not as thick-skinned as I hoped I would be.

Final revisions are in progress this weekend.

Still on track for sending out my query letters by August 31st!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to start a story

A friend today asked me for the basics of how I got started with my story. I'd like to share my answer so that I don't forget:

Regarding writing a book, I've trained for years as a technical writer, but happened upon a guideline for fiction writing that intrigued me.

My "bible" for fiction writing is actually a couple of really old books that you can still purchase used on Amazon.com:
"The Basic Formulas of Fiction, revised edition" by Foster-Harris, copyright 1947 and 1960
and, "The Basic Patterns of Plot" also by Foster-Harris, copyright 1959

I did some research into the genre by reading a few of the more well-accepted adult books, picking out what I liked and finding flaws to avoid. You can read summaries in my blog.

My first draft through, I put place-holders or guesses for researched detail, which I picked up on my second draft. That way, I didn't "get stuck" anywhere. I had more fun doing the research, too, because there wasn't pressure to complete it in order to progress with the story. On the first draft, too, descriptions and conversations were pretty sketchy, for the most part. My goal was to "speed through" the writing to see where the story would lead. I always had the end in mind, but didn't know how I'd get from A to Z exactly.

One of the key things to remember in fiction writing, is to always "ghost in" an item before you actually need it, because nothing appears out of thin air. I can't use a hammer if the reader didn't know that I had a hammer, or hadn't heard about a tool-box several pages or chapters prior to actually needing to use it.

Another key point is that paragraphs aren't always broken at logical breaks, but where they best "lead" the reader to the next paragraph. Helps with flow.

Choose a voice (think, verb tense), and see if it works. My first draft, I changed voices about 10 chapters in and had to do a lot of re-writing on the second draft.

Remember that your protagonist has both strengths and key flaws that must be overcome. These could be physical or emotional in appearance.

As Foster-Harris teaches, don't over-plan your story. Just let it flow. I'll also add, let it sit sometimes for a day or two to ponder what comes next or what needs to be done differently.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Can I Fly

Yes, I took that leap off of a narrow ledge into the waiting clouds below. Sure hope I remembered to bring a parachute!

Seriously, after reviewing comments from my son, my book is out out for review by two (yes, only two!) wonderful families who have daughters.

I've written a girls' book, and I'm OK with that.

My next task is to draft a query letter to try to find an agent! It's a little difficult because my story doesn't cleanly fit the classic plot model.