Monday, October 28, 2013

Titles are hard.

I finished what I thought was going to be a picture book, but it's too long for industry standards. I'm not sure what I'll do with it now; I absolutely love it because it's adorable and was so much fun to write, and, honestly, I'd never even considered self-publishing until now. I would love to have my brother illustrate it. (The man is a tattoo artist with crazy awesome skill, but don't tell him I said that.)

It started out longer, then I cut it down to stop showing everything that was going on since I wanted it to be illustrated, but even with that it's about 1200 words. Most agents won't consider PBs unless they're under 1k, and some even draw the line at 750 words. And oh have I tried to cut it down; sadly the story just won't allow it. So I have a cute story that needs illustrations, and everything I've seen says it's nearly impossible to get an early reader or chapter book published if it's a standalone. *sigh*

But writing is what I do, so I'll put it on the shelf and hold onto it, and maybe some day it'll get published. I really hope so. The whole thing started with the first line, and I just couldn't get it out of my head: "Once upon a time in a land called Suburbia, there lived a well-dressed man who had a daughter with a fondness for cats."  Once I started writing, it turned into this story about a man who gets a visit from a talking cat after his daughter makes a wish to upgrade for a tail, and I just ran with it. And it feels so good to have created something new after two years of nothing but paper writing and literature reading. Of course I still don't have a title for it, which is a tad frustrating, but hopefully I'll think of something soonish.

On another note, edits for The Sandman's Apprentice are coming along, or they were before midterms hit and I had tests and papers out the wazoo. Still playing catch-up there, but I work in time with the MS where I can, and I'm just glad I still love the story, even if parts of it are dreadful. I also started a new story the other day. It came to me with a line, and I'm not entirely sure what it'll be just yet, but it feels like YA so far. I think it may be in a different world than our own, so I'll get to do some real world-building again, and I love that.

Anywho, I have to go do teacher things now because this semester has been terrible, which means I have to rework all my syllabi and adjust the schedules and assignments if I want my students to succeed. What fun!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Kill Your Darlings

So for the first time in a while, I let some people read part of the MS for The Sandman's Apprentice, and I got some decent feedback. But I let a friend of mine, who happens to be a voracious reader when she's not in mommy mode, read it and got an absolutely amazing critique, partly because it's not a genre she usually reads.

Anywho, when I first sent it off to everyone, I refused to look at any of it. I knew it needed work, so showing it to people seemed like a silly idea since I already knew I had issues to fix. And it's probably a good thing I didn't dive back into revisions first, because, honestly, I would have butchered it for no reason. I listened to what everyone had to say, and almost none of the suggestions for changes matched. Everyone thought something completely different. So I opened it up today, and I decided to take it one chapter at a time (if I do it any other way I see how much work I have ahead of me and just want to shut down), and I have to say, I'm kind of blown away by what I've written. I forgot how good it was. I'm not saying it's flawless Literature or anything, but for two years while I've worked on my school stuff, I've been thinking about how crappy bits were and just how much work it needed, and somewhere along the road I convinced myself that the idea was the only solid thing about it. But, man, it's good!

So I'm editing my novel with the help of a writing group I'm not entirely sold on yet, and I'm working on my picture book. And I'm really excited because not only do I have some new ideas I'm toying with too, but I might actually meet my new publishing goal. Things are looking up.


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