Monday, May 23, 2011

Ready for another round of Beta reviews

My MG dystopian sci-fi mystery, after a somewhat lengthy hiatus, is now ready for round two of full Beta reviews. Word-count is just shy of 31,000 words, and at 28 chapters, I think this is a good length--comperable to the length of a good Nancy Drew mystery. Not that I could claim that I'm that good of a mystery writer, but at least we match in word-count. ;-)

This edit caught some problems that, after I got past the first two chapters, were easy to fix. Voicing is similar throughout the book. Pacing accelerates towards the end, as it should. Interpersonal relationships are on a MG-compatible level.

Action exists, some self-discovery occurs, and the world is saved. What more could we need?

(Oh, I know.... an agent!)

Patience, Michelle, patience. One more round of reviews, then queries. Yay!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A story of the Turtle

A blog-friend of mine is querying.  This is what I posted on her blog.  (Please forgive the re-post).

This sounds a lot like the 5K race that I walked a few weeks ago. To put it into an analogy....

I prepped for the race, walking my laps on the nice, cushy track. Round and round I went with laps, revising my walk so that it was as perfect as I could make it, lengthening my stride, breathing deeply.

Then came race-day. I dressed for the race in my best, race-like attire, including a neon yellow T-shirt with the name of my son's running-club. I put on my number and attached the timing chip to my shoe, with my husband's help.

We warmed up and lined up like lemmings overflowing an e-mail box. The race started and I, to my disappointment, quickly fell to the back of the pack. Last, dead last. I walked quicker than I had on the track, and immediately started hurting w/cramped shins....but I kept walking.

I huffed and I puffed and I struggled my way through that first half-mile, knowing that no matter what, I wasn't quitting.

By the end of the first mile, I'd forgotten the pain, and just focused on putting one foot in front of the other, doing what I needed to do to finish the race.

Before I reached the half-way turn-around of this out-and-back race-course, other runners approached on their own home-stretch. I cheered them on as best I could.

Grabbing that cup of water at the half-way point felt like heaven to me!

The home-stretch brough with it the realization that this was my own race, that I had to do this alone.

I even tried to pass the walkers in front of me, but that didn't happen. I realized that I was a turtle.

With about a half-mile remaining, my knight in shining armour approached with a bottle of water. Yes, a most-welcome surprise! I was no longer alone. His strength gave me strength.

He walked with me until I was almost back to the finish-line. Then, as if on auto-pilot, hearing cheers from the crowd of 70+ other runners and their families, I ran the last 50 steps or so to cross the finish-line of my very first 5K race!

It wasn't easy, but it was possible.

Calling all English Majors!

Have a question / need help!

I'm editing my book and have found that I use a lot of "be" verbs to help tell the story in past-tense.  What else can I use without (egads!) using adverbs?