October 25th, 2007
What’s My Name Again?

I’ve been so busy that I feel like I’ve forgotten everything but my name. I’m sure it’s coming though. *g* I pulled out a bunch of paperwork from my files. Actually, I suppose that sounds random, when in fact I was gathering character ARC sheets and plot help pages. I actually don’t think my story has a plot problem, but at this point I’m willing to go over anything to get things moving again.

Marjorie Liu mentioned this link on her blog. I have to admit that until I read Jeff’s entry I’d never thought of a chapter in those terms. Yet, as I think about it, the concept is so simple and so very spot on. Doh!!! I’m going to try it and see what happens. While you’re at Marjorie’s blog check out her new and GORGEOUS artwork for her upcoming book.

Tonight dh and I are going to go to a concert. We are going to see Hilary Hahn. She’s a very young, extremely talented violinist. We have front row seats so it should be wonderful.

I am opening my blog up to publishing questions. We’ve covered agents recently. I thought I’d bring editors and publishers into the mix. If you have any questions about the publishing biz, then ask away and I’ll try to answer.

14 comments to “What’s My Name Again?”

  1. Interesting link. When search engines are considered, titles can be more important than I thought. It would seem having blood in your title might put you on page 6,000 of a Google search. 🙂 Have you ever sold a book directly to a publisher, and then had an agent want to represent you on a different project? Have you, or someone you’ve known, sold directly to a publisher; and was it much more difficult to get the project completed without an agent?

  2. I’ll have to check out that link when I get home from work tonight. Yesterday I went by Jim Butcher’s blog and read his post on how to approach chapters – wow! He really made me rethink the whole chapter writing thingy.

  3. Bernard, Yes, that is true about the search engines. I think most people hope that the reader will remember the author’s name, not necessarily the title of the book. 😉 ***Have you ever sold a book directly to a publisher, and then had an agent want to represent you on a different project?

    *** I’ve sold a lot of books to publishers first. I take it from your question you want to know if I’ve had an agent represent another project because they weren’t interested in the one that I shopped to publisher. No, I’ve never had that happen and would be cautious if the agent wasn’t interested in the original project. Of course, it would depend on if the project I sent to the publisher was a one-off or something I intended to pursue. If it was the latter, then I’d want a different agent. If it was the prior, then I’d take a long hard look at the work I want to write and see if that would be something the agent would like. Again, it goes back to finding an agent who’ll handle ALL your work.

  4. Bernard Part 2,***Have you, or someone you’ve known, sold directly to a publisher; and was it much more difficult to get the project completed without an agent?***

    I’ve had a lot of friends sell directly to the publisher. They’ve had no problems getting the projects completed. Keep in mind, that these days you can hire a literary attorney to negotiate a contract for you if you sell. You don’t have to go it alone, even if you don’t currently have an agent. For the last several years, I’ve had submissions and/or offers on the table when I signed with agents. The exception is my latest agent. This is the first time I’ve signed with an agent without having a deal pending or interest from a publisher. I do however have a completed manuscript ready for her to shop.

  5. Tempest, I’ll have to check out Jim Butcher’s blog. I’m sure he has some amazing ideas. 🙂

  6. Funny article! I try to do sort of the same thing, end the chapter on a note that will make the reader turn the page instead of putting in the bookmark and going to bed.

  7. Thanks, Jordan, I’m beginning to see the reason you had some uneasiness about doing different genres. I can tell if I ever break into this stuff, I’m going to be in trouble. I have five different genre manuscripts I’m shopping, and no agent represents them all. One of the many writing pleasures is launching into something you’ve never done. Still, it would be a welcome dilemma to work out. 🙂

  8. Charli, I try to end chapters that way too, but I think it was more the conscious thought of making each chapter have its specific beginning, middle, dark moment, and resolution that gave me pause.

  9. Bernard, As you continue writing, you’ll find yourself drawn to one or two genres more often. It’s then that you have to decide whether you’re going to concentrate on those genres or not. My latest agent specifically asked me what I planned to concentrate on before she signed me. I narrowed it down to two genres with one being my main focus.

  10. Bernard, I also meant to say that most writers can tell what their strong suit is by reading their books. You might want to try that if you can’t narrow down the field. Agents like writers who concentrate on a one/two genres. They’ll tolerate more once you’ve established yourself in others. 🙂

  11. I was nodding at that article. I naturally write in chunks of 2,500 to 5,000 words. The more books I write, the more specific (and strangely odd) this became. I didn’t have to consciously try to end the chapter on a page-turning note, because the arc is usually already subconsciously built in to each chapter. Thank goodness! LOL!

  12. Patrice, I’ve pretty much instinctively known about having good chapter endings. The rest of it has come by trial and error. Like you, I tend to write in consistent chapter lengths (around 15 pages). No idea why, just works out that way. 🙂

  13. Lol, I’ve grown so organic it’s no fun. Not only do I wander around in my books, I also think in scenes, not even chapters. One day I’ll have to empty the scene bag on the table and shove the lot around until they look like a novel. 🙂

    But I get more done that way than when I tried to have detailed outlines. That book is in the drawer for now.

  14. Gabriele, I’m still writing half and half. I allow myself to get lost a little and for unexpected things to pop up, but I do try to follow a loose outline. I think my days of writing by the seat of my pants are over.