Posts Tagged ‘DOV’

Subject to change, of course!

Under the gentle prodding of other Indie authors, I have finally put together a launch schedule for the rest of the year.  All of these dates are subject to change, of course, and it’s always a good idea to sign up for my newsletter (http://SmartURL.it/BillsWorlds) to get all of the latest info.


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Remember way back in December, when I was waxing rhapsodical about my new YA challenge?  Well, at that same party was one writer who had given up his day job and was writing full time.  Those are the kinds of people you listen to.  Well, one of the things he stressed more than anything else was to “Go to a convention.  Either a writing con, or a genre con.  You will meet so many people who will expand your writing career.”

That’s what’s happening this weekend!  Not only am I going to a writing-centric convention ($145), but I am taking one of the pre-con classes ($30 and one day off of work), and I will have a ten-minute meeting with an agent.  Yes, I am pitching DOV.  The class lineup is fantastic–I will be in class virtually the entire time.  I’ve been told that the price is very low, too, mostly because it’s being held out in the ‘burbs instead of the Big City.

But it gets better!  Last night at midnight, I got an email that they had a limited number of slots if you wanted a second interview with an agent.  I jumped on that–and I have landed a second interview.  So, wow–I get two sets of eyes on DOV!

Now, the best way to handle this is to

  1. have the research done on these agents (AgentQuery, QueryTracker, Google)
  2. get the query letters written,
  3. get the synopses written
  4. have a ‘package’ for each agent of a query letter and synopsis
  5. have a ‘package’ of a generic query letter and synopsis, just in case an agent asks for it.

BEFORE I go to to the con.   I have learned NOT to shove anything written at the agent.  Have the package ready, two copies (one for me, one for the agent), just in case I am asked for a copy.  Professionalism is the key.

Here’s a prediction:  I will see a lot of people spending a hundred or so bucks to go to this conference, attend the sessions, and have no way to take notes.  That kind of unseriousness is always amazing to me.


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I’m not going to be listing every single submittal to an agent for this work. That would run to the several dozen, if I am even averagely competent.

However, the first one is noteworthy. The agent for the First Test Flight was kind and gracious.  She wanted to read the first 25 pages, although she didn’t work in the genre.  She even farmed it out to a couple of agents in her agency, but they passed on it, as they also didn’t work in the genre.  So, she rejected it.

But in her rejection email, she said this:

Have you tried someone in [Agency A] yet? She has a wonderful agency with several agents who represent sci-fi/fantasy. [Agency B] is also a good one for your work.

You’re a terrific writer and I’m sure you’ll find a good home for this.

Now, if the very first agent you query gives you feedback like that, how can you do anything other than keep plugging away at getting representation?  Thank you so much for your faith in my work!

Test Flight #2 has commenced.

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Well, National Novel Writing Month is over (except for the TGIO party in 11 hours), and I will have a bit more time to devote to writing.  Some status updates are in order:

National Novel Writing Month I am the Municipal Liaison for the Central NJ Region of NaNo.  This involves plenty of things, thus taking time away from writing and other writerly chores.   I also, as the ML, also have to write a 50k novel.  For that, I have chosen to work on expanding my 3DN Riddled Space entry from 2010 to a full-blown novel.  Instead of rewriting it, I chose the strategy of writing bachstory and redoing some scenes, with the intent of redrafting the novel from scratch, pasting it up from those two source documents.  I’ll document how it’s working here.

DOV Test Flight: It was submitted to an agent I met through Pitchaplaooza.  Although they didn’t work in the book’s genre, the pitch appealled to them, and they offered to read it and pass it on.  I got the feedback Thursday, and it was, on the whole, very positive.  Although they and their agency did not deal in SF/Fantasy, I received not only two further references, but permission to use their name when pitching to one of the references.  That is huge.  DOV may still fail to get representation even with that boost up the ladder, but the best part came with the closing line: “You’re a terrific writer and I’m sure you’ll find a good home for this.”  That is the next major task: researching the agents and sending DOV out.

Submissions:  I’ve been exceptionally lax in this area, what with getting DOV flight-ready and doing the whole NaNo ML gig.  But I did generate a Ray Bradbury pastiche that I am moderately fond of, and sent it off with six hours to spare.  I have not been as assiduous with getting my previously rejected works back out on the street, with the exception of my Poe story.  I sent it off to a market with a rather quick turn-around time, but they kept it for about three weeks.  That either meant that they were thiiiiis close to accepting it, or it was stuck behind the electronic filing cabinet and they found it, like a 1943 postcard lost in the post office.  Well, Poe is back, and I’m thinking of where to send it next.

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First Test Flight

DOV has launched on its first test flight!!

OK, what does that mean, in English, please!

In 2007, the plot for DOV fell into my head while I was registering for the National Novel Writing Month.  Not every detail, of course.  Just the major features.  That is what hooked me on writing.

Well, at the end of Nov 2007, I had 50k+ of a pretty interesting work.  But I had other things I had put off during my month of madness.  So, DOV sat.  And sat.  Until 2011.  That’s when the NaNo folks put together their “Camp NaNoWriMo”  I decided to go hardcore, and write for July AND August until I finished the work.  Which I did, weighing in at 160k+  It was filled with duplications, as I rewrote passages from the 2007 work, as well as stuff in July.

Then came the flensing.  The editting.  The tightening.  The passes mentioned in this blog.  All in all, it took nearly a year from August 2011 to have the novel ready to submit.

And now I have.  I am excited, I am terrified.  I have put a lot of time and effort into this work–I just hope it catches the eye of an agent, and from there a publisher.

But DOV has taken wing on its First Test Flight.  I will keep you updated.

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It was the hardest editting job I have done yet.  But it’s done.  I wonder if I can get through the day.

No, it’s not the DOV work.

There was a contest a few months ago where I wrote a ream of story.  About 9000 words, but I ran out of steam on it, and never submitted it.  I started getting squeezed by a deadline on another contest when I realized that it would be easier to chop up the 9k story than write one from scratch.

What was I thinking?  Chop a 9k story to 3.5k in a week?

I had it down to 6.2k on the 25th.  As of 7pm last night, I had to sweat 2500 words off the story.  10pm…1k to excise….midnight…600 words…1am…200…It was like doing liposuction on Kate Moss–I was already down to bone in some spots.

Finally, at 2:37 in the morning, I finished with three words to spare.  3497!  I just sent it off.  Next to this, the rest of the DOV novel will be easy!

Real Life Oddness:  That original 9k story?  I wrote another one for that contest and submitted it, instead.  I got the rejection email yesterday.

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Pass 7 Progress Report

I am currently on page 310 of the 460 page work (67% completed)  Some lessons learned so far:

  1. There are STILL errors in the manuscript.  I don’t mean fiddling things like a missing period.  A bit character had his name suddenly change from ‘A’ to ‘B’ within five paragraphs.  Lesson:  Even your Alpha readers will miss things.
  2. Keep a close eye on your tenses.  They will change on you
  3. Pay attention to the flow of your prose.  This means read long stretches of prose at a time.  I have detected many ‘speed bumps’ along the way, and have chopped out poorly constructed sentences.
  4. I continuously find repetitious verbiage in my writing.  Not so much words repeating, although there is some of that.  But I find bloat in phrases that repeat the same thing as the setting.
  5. When Robert Heinlein was told to cut Stranger In A Strange Land (so the story goes), he went through the entire work, cutting one or two words out of every sentence.  This is a great idea.

The goal to finish Pass 7 is 8/3.  Then it’s off to the agent.

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