Showing posts from February, 2010

Market Research

Sometimes it can be fun and other times it feels like your banging your head against a wall. We've all heard the cry that more and more publishers are no longer accepting unagented submissions. I don't know if that's necessarily true and some advice will tell you to ignore the unagented road sign and go ahead and submit to them anyway. That is of course up to you.

In doing some basic market research I found about 19 publishers so far that take the genre that I've written. Out of those 19, seven of them say they only accept submissions from agents. Not bad. And this was only after looking through one market guide. I went to order the new Writer's Market for novels and was disappointed to see the bad reviews for it. Anyway, have the current edition? Is it as riddled with mistakes as the reviews state? Trying to decide if I should wait for the 2011 edition on that one.

I've been perusing various websites with publisher lists. Do you have any favorites?

To Contest or Not To Contest

So, just thinking about contests today, probably because I just finished judging my final Golden Heart entry in my packet. Will be sending in my scores either tonight or tomorrow night. Supposed to keep real hush hush about the entries so have no idea what I'm allowed to say or not say - so just won't say anything. LOL

What do you think of writing contests? I've entered several myself. All of them have been RWA contests from one chapter or another. I know writers that enter contests all of the time and others that have never entered a single contest. Some will only enter contests that have no entry fee while others stick to a certain selection of contests they like.

I myself have mixed feelings about contests. Contests can get you in front of an editor or agent in a short period of time. Plenty of writers have landed a publishing contract or agent via these types of contests. But plenty of people having nothing to show for all the contests they enter. I remember one contes…

Redefining Goals

How are your goals going? Are you staying on target? Given up on all your goals? Or are you redefining them?

This is the perfect time to reassess your goals if you started working on them at the beginning of January. You've had well over a month to see how your goals fit into the daily stream of your life and how your creativity flows. Check out this blog post on Goals and Dreams by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

So, onto my own goal setting. At the beginning of the year I printed up a calendar and wrote deadlines on the days and my goals for that month. I did not reach all of them, but enough to feel good about the progress I made. I also realized more about my working style that will help me reassess my goals to ones that I can reach more of them.

In January, my goals were to edit eight pages of my ya fantasy a day, write 1,000 words of my paranormal novella, write 1,000 words of space opera, and work on my online nonfiction book project.

What I actually did: 2,000 words a day on para…

Positive Thinking or Not Getting Your Hopes Up

Do you do the positive thinking and imaging or do you go with the not getting your hopes up?

I got a couple of rejections this week that knocked me down for a little bit and it got me to thinking about what is the best way to handle submissions and the possibility of rejections. Generally speaking, I've gotten pretty good at shrugging off rejections. I file them away and send off the next batch or to the next market depending on what the submission is for. But ever so often I'll get one where I can't just shrug it off and move on, and it got me to thinking, what is it about that particular rejection that got to me?

And I think I figured it out, I was putting more weight on that submission. Practicing what people like to call positive thinking when sending it out, etc. I was trying out the idea that positive thinking brings back positive rewards. But as we all know in the writing game - rejection is a massive part of the submission process.

If I send something off and not …

Finding Inspiration in Other Writers

I touched briefly on this in my last post.

You can find a lot of inspiration from studying other writers. Kristine Kathryne Rusch has a great post on Role Models. You can have different types of role models. It can be someone who has mapped a career you admire, someone with a writing style you aspire to, a professional who behaves in a certain way, etc. I mentioned Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, and Jayne Ann Krentz as a couple of writers whom I admire. I actually met Jayne, in an elevator, and saw both her and Nora in seminars that they conducted at a writer's conference. I also met many other writers that I admire or enjoy reading at said writer's conference. If you're interested in meeting one of your role models - conferences can be a place to listen to them speak and perhaps have some one on one time. Though note Kristine's Role Models post on being disappointed by a role model and whether you are willing to risk your illusions about this person being dashed. We are …

Finding Inspiration In Books

Since, I've been talking a lot about finding inspiration in movies whether you're studying how an adaptation came to be or just watching something in your genre to get your creative juices flowing, I figured I'd better talk about books as well.

We all have our favorite authors that we come to again and again. Sometimes these authors stay with us for years, other times we grow out of their style/genre/voice, and other times their style/genre/voice changes to something that doesn't resonate with us.

One of the biggest pieces of advice you'll ever hear if you want to be a writer is to read, and read, and read, and read some more. Read within the genre you wish to write and read outside that genre.

Unfortunately in making time to write many writers often schedule out reading forgetting how crucial that part of studying the craft is. You must make time to read as well. For different writers the amount you need to read can vary. But you have to read. Whether you're o…

Finding Inspiration Answers

In case you missed yesterday's post on Finding Inspiration, I'm going to answer the questions I posed to my readers here.

psychics working against a corrupt government organization - Push, The Gift, Powder, Minority Report, Dreamscape

a quirky and awkward girl who prefers playing with her dog and building forts has to take a ballet class. - Eloise at the Plaza, A Little Princess, Andre, 12 Dogs of Christmas, Frankie and Hazel.

So, what five movies did you come up with?

Finding Inspiration

I took a class on inspiration. It was a one week online class offered through UCLA Extension writer's program. Taught by Jacqueline Zambrano it was called From Inspiration to Completion. I took this class before I caught on to copying all my assignments and notes instead of just typing them into the school interface (DUH!). So, unfortunately I can't refer back to my notes on all the activities that were included. But I do remember the most helpful, which have also been mentioned by other screenwriting teachers so I don't think I'm stealing anything from Jacque by sharing with you. Jacque, by the way, is a wonderful teacher and if you are ever thinking of taking a screenwriting class I highly recommend her (I think I took 4 or 5 of her classes).

Whether you are starting a project, in the middle of a project, or in the rewrite phase and are struggling on one aspect or another here is a tip to get your creative juices pumping.

Pick five movies that are in the same genre …

From Book to Script to Movie

Sorry, I've been gone for so long, I was having major can't decide what to write about. If I'd been smart I would have just made a list and went through the list daily, but nope I logged in each day and went back and forth ending up writing nothing as I ran out of time. So, here I am, still wanting to write about multiple things, but just gonna jump in with both feet on one topic.

Analyzing stories. I took a really great class from UCLA a while ago on adapting screenplays. As part of the class you had to read the original book and then watch the movie. The point being to see how screenwriter's change or keep things the same because what works in a book will not necessarily work in a movie. In other classes, I had already been reading scripts and watching movies, and then analyzing them for the class. I think I amused and confused my instructors as I really refused to do the oscar winners and contenders that the other students were doing. Nope, not me, I picked movies l…