Getting Ahead of Yourself

Because that novel isn't going to delay itself
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christi
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Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by christi » February 10th, 2010, 8:29 pm

Do you ever feel like you should do SOMETHING for your book, even if it's not writing it? Example: My book is done and the manuscript's been beaten to death by me so much that it gives me the finger whenever I open the file. So, along with queries being sent (6 rejections and counting), I find myself doing things in anticipation of being 'discovered.' Naive and hopeful, maybe, but here's what I've caught myself doing:

1. Creating my own book cover (because we all know how much publishers listen to authors when it comes to cover art.)

2. Writing my own Q&A... as in writing the questions and answering them myself as if I were in an interview. (Yes, I'm a total nimrod for this, I know.)

3. Working on the art for my webpage. (Which an agent and/or publisher would probably want me to remove.)

4. Writing an appendix AND designing the images of my characters and/or creatures that I'll probably not be allowed to post.

So...anyone else do this sort of thing in their 'downtime?' I'm perfectly aware that I SHOULD start another book, but said book is the sequel to my debut unpublished dark horse of a novel. That would really be getting ahead of myself. (*is aware of the irony*)
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by r louis scott » February 10th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Of course, my answer was "write something else", but since you already covered that, here's a few things you can try:

Hire an architect. He can design the expansion plans for your home. I hear that J.K. Rowling has added several rooms to her house to hold the stacks of money, and really, this isn't something you want to play catch-up on.

Have perfect strangers on the internet (such as myself, for example) ask you questions for the FAQ section of your website. If need be, I'm sure we can ask them over and over again to make sure they qualify as "frequently".

Work on your poses. That book jacket cover picture has to be just right, so look at some of the ones on your shelf, get some ideas, and then try them out. Personally, I don't care for the "holding both hands together, palms in, on one side of your face" one but with creative lighting techniques perhaps it can work for you.

Good luck with the book.

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christi
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by christi » February 11th, 2010, 9:24 am

Okay, I know I'm being ridiculous. I'm just really bored and my OCD forces me to do things with my imagination when writing isn't happening. Would mentioning that I did the dedication page already help me at all here? ;-) Okay, I was hoping that I wasn't the MOST hopeless dork out there, but I guess I was wrong. I've been laid up from work with two surgeries and I admit, my pain meds make me do some pretty strange things sometimes. Isn't art so much more fabulous when you're high?
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

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Elizabeth Poole
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by Elizabeth Poole » February 11th, 2010, 11:49 pm

R Louis Scott: I laughed out loud when I read: “I hear that J.K. Rowling has added several rooms to her house to hold the stacks of money, and really, this isn't something you want to play catch-up on.”
No, one doesn’t want to get behind on counting all their money, do we?

I do (some) of those things, but mostly to help me create the "proper ambiance" while I write the book, like making my own book cover, and drawing my characters. Haven’t interviewed myself yet. I think I would force a family member/helpless writer friend to do the interview for me.

Since you're writing fantasy, you could do some more worldbuilding. Heaven knows THAT could take years! (not saying shoehorn it into the book, I am just saying you could go hog wild and flesh out your world, it’s what I do when I need something creative to do that doesn’t involve writing a book)

Also, just to let you know, even though your brilliant fantasy masterpiece hasn’t been published yet, and should be able to stand on it’s own, you could start the sequel. Just saying. Reportedly the publishers were wavering on Jim Butcher’s first Dresden Files novel, but agreed with they heard he already had the next two in the series written. Think of it this way: you are going to write those books eventually. Even if your first book doesn’t sell, you’ll still want to know what happens to the characters, and probably write the sequels even if it’s only your close friends reading them.

Another point: have you sent the book off to beta readers? I find beta readers as an invaluable asset to the writing process. They can really help make sure all your fantasy bits make sense, and there aren’t glaring plot holes. If they have read your book, but you’ve made some recent changes/edits, it might not be a bad idea to send the book off for another round of beta readers. Tell them to be ruthless. Tell them to walk you through their entire reading experience, the good and the bad. Orson Scott Card has some great questions for your beta readers in his book “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy”.

Good luck! Happy procrastination!
Proud owner of a Plot Wolverine

http://writerelizabethpoole.blogspot.com/

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christi
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by christi » February 12th, 2010, 8:22 am

Sadly, I don't have a beta reader anymore. I've some friends who I've sent it to with strict instructions to tell me what doesn't work for them, and they all go 'I didn't see anything wrong with it. Read it straight through. It's awesome. Good luck!' Which, of course, infuriated me. I'm not the next *insert awesome writer here* and there's bound to be dozens of things wrong with it that I'm not seeing. So, alas, I'm going over it again and again and again and again myself trying to figure out what might not be working, which is hard to do because I actually know what the heck is going on.
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

r louis scott
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by r louis scott » February 12th, 2010, 10:18 am

Elizabeth Poole wrote:R Louis Scott: I laughed out loud when I read: “I hear that J.K. Rowling has added several rooms to her house to hold the stacks of money, and really, this isn't something you want to play catch-up on.”
No, one doesn’t want to get behind on counting all their money, do we?

Good luck! Happy procrastination!

I like hearing that! And Happy Procrastinations to you too!


Christi, you really need some readers, but what you really need is a critique partner. Do you know anyone that is writing in your genre that you can trade chapters with? Another set of critical eyes on your work before it goes out to the rest of the world is absolutely priceless. I met my critique partner at a conference almost six years ago and we have been trading chapters and stories ever since. We agreed at the outset to be the best of friends and the harshest of critics and I think it has worked very well for us. She signed with an agent last year and I have a better level of confidence as I begin my query process. Are there any writier's groups in your area?

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christi
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by christi » February 12th, 2010, 11:15 am

I was part of a writer's group here, but they eventually became so political and jealous and conniving... and truly only fed my fear of groups of people. That's any sort of people. Groups worry me. Eventually a leader rises to the top and everyone starts sychophanting around and people stop thinking for themselves... yeah, it's a phobia I have. I know I'm not normal.
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

r louis scott
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by r louis scott » February 12th, 2010, 6:59 pm

I certainly understand the difficulties involved with "meatworld" groups. I have never actually been formally and directly asked to leave a group, but hey, I'm a sensitive guy, I can take a hint. I'm not one of those people that feels I must suffer for my art in some way. If I didn't enjoy writing I would take up polo or something, so I suppose my rather light-hearted approach rubs some people the wrong way.

This turn in the discussion, however, brings us back to your original question: What can I do for my book now? Maybe finding that compatible critique partner is what you can do. I personally recommend finding someone that is writing in your same category or genre since it can really speed up the give and take when certain conventions are known by all. Find someone whose writing is good . Find someone that doesn't flounce off in a huff the first time you tell them that the middle of that last chapter started to drag. Be ready to give as well as receive.

How do you find that person? I'm not sure, but I'm thinking that there is probably someone else in exactly the same boat you are somewhere here on Nathan's forums.

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christi
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by christi » February 12th, 2010, 9:41 pm

Thanks, RLS. I did find a partner and he's a great writer so I hope the two of us can get our manuscripts whipped into shape together. It's amazing how you can't see issues of your own sometimes until someone points it out and you feel like a boob for not seeing it yourself.
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

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Terry Towery
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by Terry Towery » February 12th, 2010, 9:53 pm

I am terrified of doing anything that might piss off the literary gods, whoever or whatever they might be. So as I fondle my manuscript to death with wave after wave of revisions under the guise of "polishing," I find myself sitting around and thinking of the poorhouse and how I'm going to have my kids out begging for quarters so we can eat. Really. The worst thing for me to do is to even entertain the idea of getting published.

Yes. I'm that superstitious. And, dare I say, that weird. ;)

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Holly
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by Holly » February 12th, 2010, 10:11 pm

Terry Towery wrote:I am terrified of doing anything that might piss off the literary gods, whoever or whatever they might be. So as I fondle my manuscript to death with wave after wave of revisions under the guise of "polishing," I find myself sitting around and thinking of the poorhouse and how I'm going to have my kids out begging for quarters so we can eat. Really. The worst thing for me to do is to even entertain the idea of getting published.

Yes. I'm that superstitious. And, dare I say, that weird. ;)
Oh, the literary gods are just like you and me, fat people eating potato chips at their desks in Manhattan while they look at Nathan's forum.

Just take that freaking manuscript and mail it!

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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by Nick » February 12th, 2010, 10:13 pm

Terry Towery wrote:I'm going to have my kids out begging for quarters so we can eat. Really.
Teach them to speak in a bad Cockney accent and send them out on crutches at Christmas and you'll make millions.

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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by r louis scott » February 12th, 2010, 11:33 pm

Holly wrote: Oh, the literary gods are just like you and me, fat people eating potato chips at their desks in Manhattan while they look at Nathan's forum.

Just take that freaking manuscript and mail it!

Whoa! Who you callin' fat, girl? Chunky maybe but in no way fat!

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christi
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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by christi » February 12th, 2010, 11:52 pm

I admit, I'm fat. But I don't eat chips. I eat Chex Mix.
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

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Re: Getting Ahead of Yourself

Post by Nick » February 12th, 2010, 11:58 pm

I admit, I'm very fat, but that trend's been reversing. Down 30 pounds since the first week of December as of last weigh-in. Long way to go to being fit again, but it's worth it. Probably just balloon up again, seeing as I've done it twice, but I'm going to take pains to keep in shape this time. Definitely be easier once high school's over and I can stay on my break/weekend schedule all the time: Hour in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, hour in the evening.

Also, I don't eat chips because the chips are always devoured within 24 hours by family. I eat beef products.

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