on the grind

2016 Query Statistics

Awesome stats for the #amquerying author! Great insight into an agent’s request process and particularly interesting for me since I subbed a Thriller Romance in June. Check it out!

Pub Writes

I have been neglecting this poor blog far too much this year, because it has been such a busy year!

I am going to try to be better these last few months. So to jump back in, I wanted to share my query statistic for 2016 – as I type this, I have 25 unread queries in my inbox. These numbers do not include requested materials from conferences, but I have not made any offers on anything from conferences so far this year.

Queries Responded to: 2,451

Partials requested: 179, which is 7.3%

Full manuscripts requested, from those partials for the most part: 21, which is .85% of all queries sent

Offers made: 5, which is .2% of all queries sent. (two of those people are with fabulous agents who are not me)

What genres am I requesting most? I have those stats too! This isn’t saying I don’t want…

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on the grind

Great advice: PitchWars and Walking Away #amreading

Friends, check out this post from author Michael Mammay below. I found it to be really insightful on how to walk away from a 1st MS and when you know. Considering I just did the same thing with mine (walk away for about a year and a half, then jumped in and TORE. IT. APART.) I thought I would share. Great advice!

 

I put out a call for Pitch Wars questions tonight. In this post, I’ll answer some of them. These are off the top of my head answers, not at all researched, and not at all definitive. In almos…

Source: Answer to Random PW Questions

on the grind

Pitch Wars Mentor Pintip Dunn! — Brenda Drake #amreading

Pintip Dunn Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule:…

via Pitch Wars Mentor Book Spotlight with Pintip Dunn! — Brenda Drake

I was moseying along my WordPress reader list and saw this great post on Pintip Dunn, a Pitch Wars mentor. Not only does her book sound great but she’s got a legal background (like me) – gotta support that! Adding her to my #amreading list now!

on the grind

Synopsis haalp! #amwriting #blog

Synopses are the bane of my writerly existence. I hate them with the fire of a thousand suns and several other trite phrases. However!

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Recently, I came across a BRILLIANT method that boils it down to a few simple steps.

  1. Choose the main plot points of your story, let’s say 6-8. (I chose 7 because I have an *spoiler alert* epilogue)
  2. Flesh out each point to a paragraph-size (3-5 sentences).
  3. Adjust paragraph length accordingly until you have about a full page.

Boom! One-page synopsis DONE!!

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4. Continue fleshing out each paragraph until you have a two-paged synopsis (save as) then a three-paged synopsis (save as, again).

It’s way easier to expand upon these initial 6-8 plot points than it is to reduce from 5-pages of stream-of-consciousness summarizing. Hopefully this helps you writers out there as much as it did me! While I’m still in the process of polishing mine (did I mention I despise synopses?) I feel so much better knowing I have a system prepped and ready.

 

In between books, on the grind

Today I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything #BrunoMars #amwriting

Since finishing final draft edits and sending off my precious MS to beta readers, I do not feel like doing a damned thing. Except for binge-watch movies and binge-read the stack of books by my bed.

And you know what?

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Giving myself permission to completely re-charge has energized me in ways I haven’t felt since beginning edits back in April. I go on walks, I read, I tweet, I happy hour, I lunch date, and I don’t obsess over revisions. Really! I’ve had pretty much an amazing week, even receiving some encouraging #amwriting news, and it’s all thanks to taking a step back.

Granted I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that unless I had totally exhausted my reserves from the last time chillin-out-max-n-relaxin-all-cool period but this feels warranted as a result.

So go ahead creative person you! Take a load off. Buy some stinky cheese and re-charge. You’ll thank me for it.

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on the grind

Winner of Pg70Pit! #amwriting #amquerying

Despite going camping the weekend of the submission window and having to stand on one foot while balancing a s’mores wire hanger to get reception, I managed to enter #pg70pit, the Twitter contest focused on voice.

AND WON! My entry under code name, I Know Right Where I Went Wrong, can be read here by inquiring minds, agents, and curious onlookers: Click me!

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The contest is unique in that entries are judged on their 70th page only, on the theory that the plot should be well underway by page 70 and the voice well established. The genius behind the contest is detailed here: contest deets

Out of 140 Adult entries, my Romance Thriller was chosen among the top 14! The manuscript, titled Postcards of Ruin, is currently seeking representation and definitely seeking agent requests.

If you have any comments on my 70th page, feel free to post below. Thanks for reading!

on the grind

Hello, it’s been awhile #writerlife

Hey there! It’s been about two months since my last post and that’s because I’ve been revising like crazy and diving into the world of PDX AT THE SAME TIME.

 

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I know. It’s been peanuts. But so much good has come from this busy period, namely a shiny new manuscript! Lots of love and creativity has gone into this latest version and I’m hoping it pays off vis a vis beta reader reviews shortly.

Meanwhile, I am acquiring all kinds of Portland knowledge. Namely places to eat, drink, and visit as this city offers an amazing variety of activity. You want museums? Check! Dozens of breweries? Double check! Foodie-level delicious eats? Checkcheckcheck! It’s been a blast and I have absolutely been balancing work and play. My favorites so far are Mediterranean Exploration Company and Fat Heads Brewery. Om nom nom.

Now, turning my sights back on publication – it’s time to find out if the masses agree my work ethic has been balanced….

on the grind

A month of crazy #CampNaNoWriMo #winning #Maythe4thBeWithYou

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Boom baby! I went nuts and joined Camp NaNoWriMo a week late of the month-long contest. Despite that fact, I managed to knock out 50,000 words in three weeks. Granted, about 15% of that was edited work from my first draft, but that’s a LOT of sleepless nights.

Point blank, I took a hard look at my first shelved manuscript and pinpointed the ways it needed improvement. Namely, the stakes. A suspense (of any kind, even a romantic suspense like my first MS) needs identifiable, HUGE, jaw-dropping stakes to keep the reader and characters going.

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Okay, not necessarily jaw-dropping – but compelling! As compelling as possible while being plausible and consistent.

The month of April later, I took a breather and realized the stakes needed revising AGAIN.

(BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)

I’m thankful I caught this issue while I was only 2/3 of the way finished but more revisions of my freshly edited MS are a major bummer. I was so looking forward to having nights after my day job devoted only to wine, making dinner, and Game of Thrones once more.

Le sigh. Updates and funny, frustrated GIFs to come!

May the 4th be with you.

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on the grind

My WOW! Women on Writing interview #flashfiction #amwriting

After placing 4th out of 250 entries in last Fall’s flash fiction contest, here is the published interview!

Thank you to the team at Wow! Women on Writing for including “The Bataclan” as a top pick and to agent Marie Lamba for choosing it as her #4.

To everyone else, please take a read and feel free to leave comments below. Now I’m off to celebrate with edits and cookies. Happy Tuesday to all!!

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