A Good Hook or a Pile of Cheese?

Tilsit Cheese by John Sullivan - Public Domain Image

Hopping along the interwebs, I’ve seen a lot of agent query hooksthe one or two sentences that’re supposed to grab a literary agent’s attention. A few are good, some are horrible, but most are just okay (and being “just okay” generally won’t get you anywhere).

Keeping in mind that it’s in the nature of fiction to be subjective, I’ve noticed a lot of hooks deemed good by others aren’t particularly pleasing to me. If I were drinking my skinny caramel latte while reading these things, my computer would be in danger of being splattered with coffee, low-fat milk, and artificial flavoring. A lot of these so-called good hooks reek of cheesiness.

And, well, cheese seems to work. Continue reading

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Waiting for Agents, Revising the Manuscript, and Milking Cows

Waiting for Agents . . .

Waiting for agents to confirm that they hate my book (or not) has been somewhat stressful. As I wait for those who have my partial/full to finish partying in Frankfurt (there’s a giant book fair thing over there right now) and read rejections from other folks, I grow more doubtful of my manuscript and query.

Not fun.

It’s popular advice for writers with novels out on submission to begin working on another projecttheir next book, short stories, poetry, or whatever. Aside from getting your mind off the wait, it also prevents you from altering the manuscript that’s currently out on submission. You know, just in case the agents you’re waiting on actually love your MS and would be appalled by changes (because that totally happens).

Against this advice and my earlier wishes not to revise, I’m going to begin outlining and implementing major revisions for my novel.

Revising the Manuscript . . .

The plan is to condense, combine, and excise entire scenes; save the awesome, and replace everything else with more awesome. The current ending will be altered to become part of the rising action. Then, I’ll add a new ending which I came up with while listening to music in my car (a scene of unprecedented awesomenessyou can verify this claim after you put some money in my wallet).

And, well, I could always revert back to an older draft if an agent actually likes it.

Milking Cows . . .
Continue reading

First Post: Working on Draft Six of the Novel

Accueil Scribe Public Domain ImageHello to people with too much time on their hands and other random folks.

While scouring the internet for advice on finding a literary agent and becoming published, I’ve heard it might be a good idea to establish some sort of social media presence on twitter, facebook, blogs, and the like even before securing an agent.  So, here I am.

I’m working on draft six of my novel right now at a Barnes and Noble.  My novel currently weighs in at 75,343 words; it’s been fluctuating around 80,000 words since I finished draft one however many months ago.  To start draft six, I’m ripping apart chapter one and pasting it back together to try to make the book more compelling from the get-go.

On this edit run, I also plan to make the two protagonists’ story arcs more cohesive.  After some feedback from a fellow writer who read over my agent query, I did some brainstorming and came up with a few things to add to the plot that will, hopefully, tie the protagonists closer together.