Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

So I'm finally trying to be better about blogging and in November I won't be good at it at all. Because I'm doing NaNoWriMo.

So this year I'm writing a book about Nicholas Anderson. Yeah, I know that was way back a couple years ago but I'm revisiting it because I'm obsessed. He's my most favorite character of all time. Or okay maybe I have a slight crush on him I'm not really sure.

But anyway, I'm going back to before Secrets We Keep (which, by the way, I'm thinking about renaming Vulnerable because this new book is called Expendable). It's the story of Nicholas's security team and the way they discovered what brought them to the events of Vulnerable in the first place.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Inspiration by Paralyzation

I've got this buzzing in the back of my head, this energy. It's the electricity of a thousand ideas bouncing around up there, waiting to get out.

It's a wonder I'm not insane. I can feel my head going five different ways. I want to write. I want to edit. I want to query agents and publishers. I want to market what I have done. I want to write my essay on rejection letters. And I have ideas on how to proceed with each of these.

I'm so inspired, I'm paralyzed. I can't move forward on one because I want to do all of them. How 'bout that?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Started Writing

1. Your book isn't just a work of art anymore. If you want to get it published, you will need to work hard in marketing. You'll need business skills, advertising skills, that sort of thing.
2. There is no substitute for reading every single word of your manuscript.
3. There is no substitute for persistence. A rejection letter is not the end of the world, so don't settle for anything less than what you want.
4. Put some distance between yourself and the book before you try to edit it. If you try to edit too soon after writing the first draft, you hurt. You're too attached still to get rid of things.
5. Sometimes you will write book that will never get published. These books are just for you, and if you don't have the drive to get it published, publishers won't jump on board, either.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Project: How to Write the Perfect Rejection Letter

No, really. I'm doing a research paper about how rejection letters reflect on publishing companies. It's part of the Writing Fellows program here at BYU, and I think it's going to be the most fun I've ever had with a research paper.

First of all, there are three different kinds of rejection letters: non-response, form letter, individualized rejection (sometimes accompanied by the invitation to resubmit).

The individualized rejection letter (which I'm arguing is the best of the three not only for the author but for the reputation of the house) has four key components: status of the author's submission, praise, reason for rejection/revision instructions, encouragement in future endeavors. It is the third component that makes the good letters better than the others.

I'll be arguing that houses whose editors take the time to write even a couple sentences of reasoning behind the rejection letter prove to the author that they have read their work and that they are competent editors who understand what can and cannot work in the publishing industry. They prove to authors that they respect their work but that they also know what good manuscripts are. This makes authors more likely to trust those houses and more likely to submit future works to this house.

A couple sentences, then, can establish the all-important "good impression" that you want to give authors. After all, that's where the money comes from, ultimately: submissions.

I'll be updating you on this project (and trying to post more frequently) but I think this should be fun!