Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Celery Stalks at Midnight

I have no idea why that title is relevant. Oh well. Always loved the title of that particular book. Wish I'd thought of it.

A little background: I am the author (!?) of 17 books, of which one, so far, has seen daylight: POWERLINE was published in 2003 by Treble Heart Books. A second title, OAKWOOD, is due for release any day by the same publisher. I'm still working on sales #3 and 4, but the happy part is my agent is working my next sales on my behalf.

This leaves me free to write. Hah! I'm working on revising a piece called MY SILENT HEART, which I always thought would be my first book to sell. But no. Guess God had other plans . I'm also trying to write 'the end' on a shorter piece called A ROSE IN LATE OCTOBER, but at the rate it's going, it'll be January and the whole thing'll be out of season.

Did I mention I don't care for revising OR writing synopses?


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Telling the Story

I read on a writers' loop I'm on, how important it is to do chapter-by-chapter synopses of your books. How the publisher "needs" them, etc. Is this so the prospective buyer doesn't actually have to read the book before rejecting it? My overall problem with synopses is that I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer. I don't want to know every last hiccup before I start writing. Surprise me, story! Plus, if I could tell a story in 300 words, I'd write flash-fiction. I certainly wouldn't waste my time writing 85,000. Or am I just being ornery?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Son of Just Tell the Story

A friend of mine, a very capable and prolific author, just sent me an e-mail that she had been turned down by XYZ Publishing (not their real name) because the book she sent them "was not a break out book." Now Donald Maass wrote an entire BOOK about break out novels, and I would guess that 90% of what's submitted out there is not "break out" material. I venture to say that in these markets, unless you can guarantee mega-sales because of your NYT bestseller/high profile name, don't bother to send them anything. In the meantime, the rest of us just keep slogging away trying to tell the story...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Just Tell the Story Rides Again

Ran into a cool web site. It's for writers who've collected their share (or more than their share) of rejections. There's a place to rant, a place to share your worst-rejection-letter story, and other pages on the site. It's called If you write, I recommend it, if only for some of the snarky comments on rejection letters.

In fairness, some editors' posts are worth reading, too. Possibly they defend themselves a trifle too strenuously, but it's good to remember every story has two sides.

Even rejection letters.

I think.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Welcome to "Just Tell the Story"

I started this blog on purest whim. Seems to me on many of the writers' loops out there, everybody is worrying about 1" margins, point of view, marketability, sales figures, trade size versus mass market.

I think this does a disservice to those of us who simply envision a story in our heads and we want to tell it. Don't worry so much about mechanics--worry instead about TELLING THE STORY and we'll sweat the mechanics later.

How's that?