Sunday, May 30, 2010

I honestly think the hardest part of any novel is the part from 20,000 to 40,000 words.

I've often said that novel-writing is like running a marathon.  The latter is something I've never done, of course, but I imagine that running a marathon is a process of pushing through the pain, forcing yourself forward with the knowledge that there IS an end, and while you can't really see it yet, it's real and you can get to it if you just don't stop.

20,000 to 40,000 words is about that.

20,000-30,000 is a swamp, usually.  It's just murk and mess to slog your way through.  And there's stuff in the water that you can't see, and just maybe, maybe, you're a little lost.

For 30,000-40,000, though, it's out of the swamp and it's just a long, hard trek uphill with a steep incline.   Here it's less about confusion or uncertainty-- really once you pass 30K you pretty much are past the point of no return and you will most likely actually finish... and for this it's just work and pushing through the weariness.

Also, I find that once I crack 40K, once I get over that incline, and it's a coast downhill to the conclusion.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Querying what you don't believe in

Found today on Twitter, from @Ginger_Clark with the #pubtip hashtag:

People, don't start your query disparaging science fiction to me. I will have to cut you for it. #pubtip

I find this fascinating.  I mean, I get that some people will write a novel out of cynicism; writing in a genre out of a belief that it's what sells, rather than the genre being a passion that drives the writer.  I don't do that, but I get it, that belief that if you want to sell, you have to write what's selling.  But to not only take that to the point of believing, "What sells is this genre crap, so I wrote genre crap"-- i.e., not really believing in your work, but to actually ADMIT that as a selling point to an agent who states outright that they ENJOY that genre?  Now that's just dumb.  And if you're going to be cynical AND dumb, I can't see you going far in this world.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An empty space

I wish I had a camera with me, as I'm in my local bookstore right now.  Right now, as I walked through the sci-fi/fantasy section, I noticed an empty space on the shelf.  It's a spot on the shelf I always glance at, and today there actually was a gap right there.

The space was between John Marco and Juliet Marillier.

It's the space I intend to be in.

I'm taking this as a sign.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Querying strategy...

There's all sorts of advice out there about querying, but one thing I wonder that I don't see much talking about: when is the best time during the week to send queries?

I have an idea that it might be Tuesday or Wednesday.  The way I see it, agents probably get a ton of queries over the weekend, and thus Monday morning they have a heavily laden inbox.  By Thursday or Friday they've probably built up a backlog of things to do that they have to before the weekend, and thus would have to spend less time on queries.  Tuesday and Wednesday gives one the best opportunity to not be lost in the shuffle.

Of course, it may just be that it's just a constant barrage of queries, and no day is any better than any other.  But it's a theory.