Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Week in Writing #30

More rejections and DNRs from agents; one of the former and two of the latter varieties. Can't help it, but they hurt about the same amount. I tend not to put too much into rejections based solely on the query letter, which is what this one was. Without a writing sample, I can convince myself they don't know what they're talking about. Still, would be really nice to get a piece of positive feedback for a change.

Did manage to get one query off this weekend for A Killer Blog. Had to rewrite my basic query letter to fit the agency's requirements. It was interesting to have to rethink the story summary again.

For the first time in a long while, I didn't write a new movie review this weekend. Did post one for Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie on Trophy Unlocked. This marks the last post for Space Month on the blog.

Wanted to spend the weekend on my rewrite of the ending of Public and Private, which I finished on Sunday morning and sent back to my editor. While I wait for him to respond, I think I'll go through and update the entire manuscript with the other edits.

Hopefully, by this time next week, I'll have made the updates to Public and Private and hopefully get a few more queries out for A Killer Blog and Past Present. As always, I'll keep you posted on how I do.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Week in Writing #29

Shifted gears this week and started working on rewriting the ending of Public and Private, based on comments and advice from my editor. By Thursday I had rewritten about 4415 words, which is about halfway. It had been a long time since I've actually read through the manuscript, so it felt good to get back to it. I'm hoping to complete the rewrite next week and send it back to my editor.

On Saturday, I completed a 2100 plus word review of Sinner's Holiday (1930) for a future post, James Cagney's first film. Not quite a gangster film, though it has a lot of the elements Warner Bros. would use as they defined the genre throughout the 1930s. Meanwhile, I posted a review of This Island Earth on Trophy Unlocked, which you can read here:  It's part of Space Month on the blog.

This weekend, I sent out a couple of queries for Past Present. These are supposedly new agents looking to build their lists. It's always a crap shoot. More often than not, this will be the last time I communicate with these agents. I try not to take it personally, but sometimes you think it's never going to happen.

Still, I keep hoping that the next book or the next query will be the one that gets a reaction. Have to keep at it. Have to not give up. This is still the dream. And I still have to pursue it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Week in Writing #28

Writing is sort of like a muscle that you have to keep active or it gets stiff. While my back felt good enough to sit down long enough to write, it was hard to get back into the swing of rewriting Familiar Stranger. After three days, I only managed a little under 1400 words; far below my 1000 words a day goal. I was hoping to get back into the swing of things over the weekend, but that never materialized.

I was able to get some writing done this weekend, but mostly it was a 2000 word review of Laurence Olivier's Hamlet from 1948; another future post. I did post a review of the campy Queen of Outer Space on Trophy Unlocked; part of Space month. You can read it here: Feel free to leave a comment.

In querying news, I heard back from an agent a month after I wrote them off as non-responsive or DNR. Since I had already written them off, I wasn't really surprised by the rejection. I guess I should be happy they actually wrote something. This week, five other queries moved into the DNR pile: 4 for Past Present and 1 for A Killer Blog. Not a word from any of them after about 8 weeks.

I had hoped to send some queries this weekend, but that didn't happen for a number of reasons (Blame Pi(e) Day). Still no word from the agent with the manuscript, even after a nudge a few weeks ago. Not sure what to make out of that.

I did hear back from my editor after about a month.  He really has some good ideas and we've been writing back and forth about changes I need to make for the ending. I'll probably be switching gears on my rewrites and concentrating on Public and Private instead of Familiar Stranger. The goal is to make it better and this is the closest manuscript I have to completion.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Week in Writing #27

This has been a very unproductive week in writing. Last Sunday afternoon, I pulled my back. It is amazing how much pain can occupy your mind. When it hurts to sit for too long, writing is a painful process, no matter how much you want to get done. Plans for rewrites and querying took a backseat to the pain.

This Sunday, a week later, is the first time I've been able to sit for very long without pain. So this was sort of a wash of a week, especially when it comes to the fiction aspect of my writing. No new queries, but still no word from nudging the agent with the manuscript. I have to admit I don't have a great feeling about it. I'm more than willing to make rewrites if she thinks they're necessary, but I don't know if I'll get that chance from her.

No word from my editor on his notes for the ending of Public and Private. When I last heard from him, about a month ago, he seemed on the verge of sending me notes, which I am still waiting anxiously for.

I did keep up with the blogging, posting a review of Star Trek: The Motion Picture to Trophy Unlocked as a salute to Leonard Nimoy and the start of Space Month on the blog. I also managed to write a little over 2000 words about Othello (1995), the film we watched this past Friday. (This is the only writing I've done this past week.) I'm hoping to cull the Shakespearean film reviews into a month log review-a-thon at some point in the future.

I'm still anxious to get back to Familiar Stranger. Even though I haven't been writing, the story is never too far from my thoughts. I hope this next week to make up for some of the lost time this past week.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Week in Writing #26

Okay, I've been putting it off for about a month now, but I did finally nudge the agent that has my complete manuscript. I first queried her, most agents are women, back in April, 2014 and she's had the full manuscript since the beginning of September, so it's been nearly six months of waiting. So far it's been a little like Schr√∂dinger's cat, the experiment everyone is familiar with from The Big Bang Theory. If I don't hear, I still have hope of representation. It's the old saying: "maybe" is half as good as "yes" and twice as good as "no". But at some point I need to know.

Meanwhile, the editing of Familiar Stranger has turned into some rewriting. I don't think its a permanent condition, the book has actually gotten longer, but there are bits in there now that I'm replacing. I'm shooting for 85,000 to 90,000 and I think it's currently hovering at about 96,000. We'll see.

Nothing new to report from my editor on Public and Private. Apparently the denouement needs work, but I'm still waiting for his notes. My goal is to get this book into the query carousel as soon as possible, though I know it'll take a few more months.

I really want to get back to writing something new. While I enjoy editing and rewriting because it makes something better, I can get tired of seeing the same people in the same situation, sort of like endless reruns of the same show. I'm ready to move on to something new.

Published a review for Boyhood (2014) on Trophy Unlocked and wrote a future review of about 2,000 words for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Because of Leonard Nimoy's death, decided to do a month long salute to movies about Space starting in March: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979); Queen of Outer Space (1958); This Island Earth (1955) and Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996).

Next week's goal is to send out some new queries and to keep the rewrite going.