Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dealing with Rejection

re·ject (r-jkt)
tr.v. re·ject·ed, re·ject·ing, re·jects
1. To refuse to accept, submit to, believe, or make use of.
2. To refuse to consider or grant; deny.
3. To refuse to recognize or give affection to (a person).
4. To discard as defective or useless; throw away.
5. To spit out or vomit.
6. Medicine To resist immunologically the introduction of (a transplanted organ or tissue); fail to accept as part of one's own body.

When sending out query letters, receiving rejections is inevitable, but how you handle the rejection tells a lot about your character.

Not all forms of rejection are true rejections, I think that is the important thing to remember. After going to the writers workshops, we found out that there are three types of literary agents:

1) The ones, who after reading your query letter, don't even take the time to respond because they aren't interested via it isn't there genre, your query letter sucked, or they aren't excepting clients.

2) The second type are the agents who will respond, but what they say is limited like, "I'm sorry, but we aren't interested."

3) And then the third type of agent, are interested in your work even though they don't cover your genre or they were really fascinated with your query letter and they will respond with a somewhat rejected non-rejection, which makes you feel like you had them hook-line and sinker until you told them it was a YA novel.

"Thank you for your query, which I read with interest. Unfortunately, I am not the right agent for your work. Do not despair as another agent might feel quite differently. Thank you for considering me. I wish you the best with your writing."

Chuck Sambuchino said that if you receive the third type of agent rejection, that you are on the right track with your query letter, but the agent might not be interested in the genre.

So, I am hoping that with Age of Eden, we will receive the third type of agent response and be able to walk away from the experience with our pride still intact. Because even though it's a rejection, it still says, that they were interested in your book, but they don't handle that type of genre and they are confident that another agent would feel quite there is hope on the horizon.

And now I am stepping off of my soap box. Everyone have a safe and happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

How to Write a Great Query Letter

This is Chuck Sambuchino's blog on how to write a great query Letter:

Think of a query as a three-part monster, broken down into three paragraphs. At the top of the page, you will have your contact info, as well as the mailing address info for the agency and the date. After that, you have your three paragraphs:

Paragraph One:

1. Explain what the work is. So - what are you writing? What is the genre? The length? The title? Is it complete? State all the basic info upfront so the agent will immediately know if this is a type of work that she represents.

2. Explain why you're contacting this agent. Did you meet them at a conference? Were they recommended by a friend? Did you see an interview online where they said they were looking for steamy romances and you're writing one such steamy romance? Show them why you picked them out of the big pile, so they have a reason to pick you out of a big pile.

Paragraph Two:

1. Pitch Your Work. This is the most difficult part. You have to boil your book down to about 3-6 sentences and explain what makes the story interesting. You've got to get to the hook. What is the irony - the catch - that makes this story interesting? If your story is simply about a police officer who retires and adjusts to a new lifestyle, that has no hook. But if you say that this newly retired police officer decides to get a sex change, and finds that the police union wants to cancel his pension, and his old friends won't speak to him - then you've got a hook. You've got a unique, interesting idea for a story.

Paragraph Three:

1. Explain who you are and why you're qualified to write this work. Do you have publishing credits? Are you a journalist? Have you won any awards? Have you had short stories published? If you're pitching nonfiction, this becomes the most important section of the query because you will have to prove that you are the ideal person to write this particular book.
Keep in mind that if you don't have anything to say or brag about, you can just keep this section short. Tout your accomplishments quickly and humbly. You want to say "I'm not brand new and I take writing seriously." You don't want to say "Yoo-hoo! Look at my accolades! I'm the man, if you didn't know it, sucka."

2. Thank them. Thank the agent for considering your project. Ask them if you can send more. "Can I send you the first few chapters or some pages?" "Can I send you the full book proposal?"

Writer's Workshops

The writer’s workshop and book fair was unbelievable this weekend.

Friday’s Sessions was About: Everything you need to know about literary agents by Chuck Sambuchino, he is the writer of the Guide to Literary Agents and Formatting & Submitting your Manuscript

He has some interesting concepts, and on his blog he announces new literary agents who are hungry for new clients so join his blog.

He also said a few other things like, 9-10 of the literary agents that you receive a rejection from, is because the agency isn’t even taking clients or don't even accept your genre of work. And you should never send queries to 2 people in the same agency. And one more thing too, if a agency kicks you a letter back after the 20th try, that means it’s time to change your query letter so you can send it out to other literary agencies….and if you’ve sent it to every literary agent possible, change your query letter and change the title of your book and then resubmit it to the literary agents. If you’re writing a series of books, don’t even start the second book until you have found an agent bc most likely they will send you back a 10-15 page rewrite to your manuscript before they will publish you, so it is redundant to write the second book if the first book will be flipped upside down and the story line gets changed.

Getting it Done:Productivity and Muse-Wrangling for Writers by Allie Pleiter, she is a romance novelist. I got her email address and asked her how she got was really interesting, she has her own blog as well….apparently networking is the “in” thing now lol and she teaches people what kind of writer they are, are you a big chunk writer or little chunk writer? I’m both…lol.

How to Write a winning query letter by Cavanaugh Lee, we received three different “Winning” real query letters. So, hopefully it can give you an idea about what you should need in yours….but you should know, Laurell K Hamilton sent out 110 queries before she was ever signed, Cavanaugh Lee sent out 175 and Derek Kent, sent out almost 1,000 before he was ever signed. It’s about persistence and determination.

Writing for Children and Teens by Cynthea Liu, she is the founder of authors now and wrote a book about Writing for Childrens and Teens.

Saturdays Session was About:

Ghost stories


Then we went and met about 100 authors, and met about 10 authors from YA genre, who told us to sign up at the website, it costs money to enroll in the membership, but apparently it is a phenomenal way to get your foot in the literary door. Not to mention, that we should be trying to participate in every book fair and writers workshop, locally and regionally, just to get our names out there. And most of the time there are editors and agents at those larger events, and you can pitch stories and ideas to them, without having to go through a quary letter.

Then We had a workshop with the YA fiction authors, they told us about how they all got published.

And then We took one class that was called How to get published…it was about starting small instead of big, to gain a bio for your quary letter, he recommended writing for local and regional papers and journals, just so you have the experience for your bio.

I know this is a lot of info to swallow, but I’m hoping that you can benefit from making the connections via networking websites and whatnot….and of course you know about

And reading up on the submission guidelines bc each agency is different.

I hope this helps.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The power of dreams in a storyteller's life...

Almost four hours ago, I laid down to get some sleep after an exhausting (yet fantastic) weekend with Stacey going to workshops after workshops and having one on one conversations with different YA authors at our local annual Writer's Convention. It was one big information fest and, honestly quite a bit overwhelming, but there's nothing like being near other writers or hearing the success stories of published authors to get the creative juices flowing into overdrive and, evidently, inspiring detailed dreams that feel so real you wake up talking to yourself.

Now, for as long as I can remember I have always been an avid dreamer. I'm not one of those people who forgets their dreams upon waking because my dreams are usually very detailed and, while often odd in content and completely random, I remember almost every detail without even having to try. Knowing that, the dreams I've had tonight are some of the most vivid I have ever experienced in my life. In four hours I had three dreams, with three separate, I'm going to refer to them as storylines, and three separate sets of characters whose lives are so different in comparison that even now I am completely blown away at how clear my recollection is of them.

The last dream I had, which was about forty-five minutes ago, was so amazingly real and slightly terrifying, that once I woke up I had the strongest urge to write it down because everything about it seriously screams to be written into something more. I remember the names of the people in my dreams, their location, what they were wearing, what their lives are like, what the conflict is between them, and the incredibly disturbing yet realistic nature of what brings the two people together. It's so strong that right now, even if I wanted to forget it, it would be impossible. Maybe it's not rational, but I feel like it's something I have to write down right now without thinking or planning ahead, because the "storyline" is so focused I don't need any of that.

I guess I'm really just kind of jarred because this has never happened to me as a writer before, though I've heard of similar things happening to other authors. Stephanie Meyers wrote Twilight based off a dream that she had and look how far that franchise has come. So, I have to wonder how often do other authors use their dreams as a foundation for the "worlds" they build within their books. Is it a common occurrence? Are they as vivid and demanding as some of the dreams I've experienced? Or maybe I'm just completely insane and irrational, which is a definite possibility lol.

Whatever it is, on a personal level, I don't believe dreams like the ones I experienced are meant to be ignored. Especially when they are so detailed I'm fooled into forgetting what the boundaries between dreams and reality looks like and am temporarily unable to tell the difference between the two. I find it terribly exciting actually and it makes me want to start writing immediately. Granted, I all ready have a couple of writing projects that take precedence over this right now, I'm definitely going to keep in in mind because it's something that needs to be produced into fiction.

But, anyway, I know this is a completely off the wall post that comes completely out of left field, but like I said before I seriously felt like it needed to be written. Now maybe I can get back to sleep and dreams some more. Right now, I feel like there is an entire minefield of future plots out there just waiting to be discovered in dreamland and I seriously can't wait to get started.

So, until next time, this Jennifer...signing off.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy April!

I received my graduation invitations yesterday. I just can’t believe that my collegiate career is coming to a close. Seven years of my life has been devoted to furthering my education. Why that long? Because I changed my major three times. I originally started to go for an associate’s degree and midways through that journey I decided that a bachelors would be more beneficial this day in time. So, I continued taking classes and on May 14th, I will receive my bachelors in business management. It’s unbelievable. It has been the longest journey of my life and I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that I will be a graduate.
After that day comes, I can then, give all of myself to my professional writing career. We will literally have AOE: Hell to Pay finished and wrapped up in just a couple months. Then it will be time to start sending out query letters to literary agencies. Which I think will be the most difficult part, I mean, how can you give a descriptive brief synopsis that describes your life’s work in a page or less? Either way it goes, it must be done if we ever plan to accomplish getting our works published.
On a more cheerful note, Jennifer is in the middle of tackling a chapter in AOE: II- *SPOILER*It’s in regards to Ava’s journey to Eden, we finally mapped out her trip and this is the first official stop on her trip. I can’t wait to see what Jennifer has wrote, because the next chapter after that, is all me.
Everyone have a fantastic day and don’t forget to live your life like W.W.S.D…What would Stacey Do? LOL, have a good one.