Monday, 15 June 2009

And I'm back

... two years on, since I started this blog and I'm back with a WIP sitting at 30k.

The novel I'm currently working on is for readers 12+ and it is a little bit action, a little bit adventure and a whole load of running around the world finding various artefacts and clues to resolve the main conundrum. There is also a supernatural entity which needs stopping and a parent that needs saving.

I am making good headway with the novel, having done loads of research on this about two years ago. It's been percolating and making me write down snippets on and off.

Do you know what made me decide to sit down and start writing it "for real"? A competition. The new ChickenHouse/The Times competition with the deadline of 12th October, the day of final submission.

I looked at that earlier this year and went a bit breathless and shelved the writing I was doing at the time. It was too American and would not suit what Chickenhouse publishes. I've merely shelved it and will come back to it at a later stage, once I've completed the Chickenhouse book. You know, even if they don't bother reading it, even if it doesn't come anywhere, I'd like to end up with a fully completed MS - finishing it and polishing it until it is shiny and lovely, means more at this point, than actually submitting it. The thought of submitting it is utterly terrifying!

This is where I stand after this weekend's writing:

30150 / 80000 words. 38% done!

I suspect that the novel may be done under 80,000 words. I am merely using this as it was mentioned on the website that the novels should not exceed 80,000 words.

I have also been reading a lot of writers' blogs and have subscribed to several via RSS feed. Now all I have to do is open my Outlook and whomp! there it is. Articles and blogposts to read, print and file. Or not, as the case may be.

As I've also been reviewing over at my main site: I've had the chance to start reading a lot more children's and YA books. It has been a revelation. The scope for telling a good story, across the board, has seemingly no limit. And the one sector of the publishing industry, which according to various sources, is still growing and showing promise, is that of the children's market. Also, of course, science fiction and fantasy. And romance - especially in the States with paranormal romance being one of the largest sections showing tremendous movement and interest.

I'd like to point out that any wannabe writer, who does not do his / her market research is shooting themselves in the foot. With a canon. I've read about some awful things some people do in order to get published. I list these below.

Common sense things NOT TO do when looking to be published:

  • approaching agents who do not represent your type / genre of writing

  • approaching agents before you and your book is not ready for professional scrutiny

  • or employing an agency to approach agents on your behalf who then mass-mails it out to everyone on a massive list.

  • stalking agents / publishers online via social media such as Twitter / Facebook

  • finding out who your favourite author's agent is and then sending them your work saying: I am friends with....please consider my work...

  • sending gimmicks to get a publisher / agent to notice your work

  • not reading an agent / publishers remit on a) what type of writing they represent or b) not following the simple directions on these sites on how they want to be approached

The above are just a few items I've seen agents and publishers complain about on their sites and blogs. Can you imagine receiving 200 queries a DAY, the majority of which do not conform to what you've set out painstakingly on your site? No wonder agents and publishers don't bother reading your work! If they can't expect a new author to follow the rules, how difficult will she be when she becomes a client?

So, this "I'm back" blog post is getting a bit out of hand - but I enjoyed writing this. I will keep updating on here, with links to other writerly blogs etc. Because, you know, it's good to share!

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