Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Finished! Again!

Well, the first revision of the second draft of the fourth attempt at A Broken Sun is complete.  But there are still scenes I want to add.  Meanwhile, just to give you another taste of feedback from an agent, take a look at a response I got from an agent recommended to me by my fabulous friend and amazing author (and teacher of alliterative techniques) K.M. Walton.

I asked her if a 19 year old is too old for YA...here's her response:

"This is a valid question. To be honest, 19 years old is too old for YA. YA = high school aged characters. There are very few exceptions to this rule, and even then the character is usually 18. YA is the genre name for books aimed at teens. Once they reach college, it's a different category. (Albeit one that doesn’t exist yet.) The reason I want to see this as an adult novel is because I think the premise, the voice, and the style of your writing all lend themselves better to the adult market, and I think you could do well there. In terms of Adam's relationship with his father, I don't think there would be too much of a difference between 19 and 23 in regard to his attitude/outlook on life/etc.

To answer your question, I don't think this novel - as it's written now - could be classified as YA. If it's important to you to be on those bookshelves in the bookstore, then my biggest advice is to research and read YA novels in this genre that were published in the last five years. If you change your mind and decide to make them older instead of younger, then I hope you contact me again in the future!"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stating the Obvious

I'm going through A Broken Sun now, and cleaning up some of the "no duh" items.  Never really thought about how much I did it.  "No Duh" items are those items that you put in to smack somebody in the face about a character's actions that aren't really needed.

For example:  you may have the most literary metaphor for a smell in the air, like "a potion of body odor mixed with morning breath and left in a rest area for a year."  BUT, if you put "I smelled" or "He smelled" or whatever in front of it, well, that's kind of a "no duh" item.  Rather than stating the obvious - OF COURSE you smelled that - give the odor itself some life.

An almost visible cloud of body odor hovered in the subway..."  like that.  It makes it immediate.  Vibrant.  And less OBVIOUS.

And if you already knew that, and are finding yourself saying "no duh", let me know.  I'll delete the post along with my other items.  :)


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Iiiiiiiii'm BAAAAACK!

Ok, stop the screaming of "WHERE WERE YOU?!?"  I'm sure your life continued on without me.  I'm sure you maintained a high level of optimism and thrills without me.

Simple answer:  I WAS BUSY.

Doing what?  Writing!  What else?

I've completed another novel, this one much more adult like, 70k+ words, very edgy kind of stuff.  With any luck at all it'll get banned, make headlines, and in five years I'll be touting it on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

What's it about?

It's about....another post.

For now, I just got back from a SCWBI conference in the Poconos and not only did I have a fantastic time (my daughter Hannah accompanied me), but I have now determined that Laurie Halse Anderson is the most wonderful, kind, giving famous person I have ever met.  I felt like if she were our neighbor she'd come over for coffee and just to BS.  She is my daughter's favorite all time writer, and for her, meeting Laurie was like getting backstage tickets to The Beatles.  She was flabbergasted, and Laurie was gracious, kind, and pulled Hannah aside to sit with her and talk one-on-one.  Hannah's smile, an hour and a half later, must've hurt.

Anyway, the conference was once again terrific, well-run, highly organized, and credit for that goes to Marilyn Hershey and her squad.  They really do a great job, AND they find time to write too.

So, I'm back, and blogging better than ever.  AND querying.  Which, of course, I will keep you all up to date on.  First off?  The Nancy Gallt agency.  Hopefully she has forgotten the spastic fits I had on the dance floor and will look past my high level of immaturity.  Or accept it as my key entry into the world of middle grade fiction!

Until then, WRITE ON MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS!  We have stories to tell, and it is our duty to get them out there!

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