Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Random Good News

Despite all the overtime and aggravation at my "regular job" this week has held some really nice goodies for me.  My lovely and talented editor, Nicola, has created the cover for my new short story, Outrageous Behavior, and we've even gone through the first round of edits.  I know that "going through the first round of edits" sounds mind-boggling horrible, but I actually like it.  I'm weird.  But I get this feeling of progress when I go through them, especially if the edits are light.

And even when the edits are deeper, I still sort of like it, because it's a challenge that I feel I can rise to meet.  I can do this.  In short, it makes me feel competent, which is a nice feeling to get once in a while, rare though that is. is the really nice cover Nicola made for my short story--I particularly like the fish.  Fishing actually does have meaning--a fun meaning--in the story and it makes it a little different.

And after all, there are very few ills that fishing cannot solve.

I've been toying with the blurb for this story.  So far, I'm thinking along the following track.

As the Season in London comes to a close, Laura finds herself in a predicament. The one man she is attracted to has neglected to make an offer for her, and her family wants her to accept the proposal of a fortune-hunter. Determined not to let propriety stand in the way of her future happiness, she resorts to outrageous behavior to escape the damp grasp of the wrong man—and discover true love in the arms of another.

Nothing is set in stone, but it does rather describe the story in a nutshell.

Then, after I got my edits and cover, I also got the grand news from Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction that my blurb for my Regency romantic mystery, I BID ONE AMERICAN, won their contest!  Yippee!  That was nice.  Especially since I struggled a lot with that blurb, trying to capture the essence of what is basically a Regency "romp" with a mystery sub-plot.  Writing those blasted things is a lot more difficult than you might think.

But writers really need to master the art of writing that brilliant, 100-word, blurb that will sell their book, because that is pretty much what you want to put in your query letter, as well.  That is, the letter you send to a prospective agent or publisher, tantalizing them into requesting your partial or full manuscript.  If that simple paragraph captures their interest, chances are good it will also capture the interest of readers.

Or at least that's my theory until someone hits me over the head with completely undesired facts.

Oh, and did I mention that I sold my Christmas novella, Christmas Mishaps, to Cerridwen Press for their Regency anthology?  I can relax now until around October when I'll get the edits for that beast.

In the meantime, I'm polishing up a traditional Regency (no mystery this time, sorry) called, LOVE, THE CRITIC, to send to Cerridwen Press and another Regency romantic mystery called, THE NECKLACE, to send to The Wild Rose Press.

I also have another Regency short story, ROSE WARS, that I'm torn on.  I'll either send it to The Wild Rose Press for their "free story" program as a sort of advertisement for my writing, or sell it as a short story.  That's a tough decision.  At the moment, I'm leaning toward freebie, though.  Just because it might be a nice way to rope in a few more readers.  :-)

And I've submitted a Regency mystery, THE VITAL PRINCIPLE, to a few places, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one.  It's a bit of a pecular mystery, but I enjoyed writing it so I'm hoping to find a home for it.

An agent is still studying THE BRICKLAYER'S HELPER, another Regency romantic mystery. 

Wow--I've got quite a few manuscripts out there in the wilds.  Let's hope a few of them find places to roost.

And I'm getting used to my eeePC.  It's got a few gotchas that I ran into--probably because I'm a computer geek and tried some things that a normal person wouldn't--but on the whole I am very pleased with it.  In fact, I completed my edits on my short story on it, and am plowing through edits on LOVE, THE CRITIC now, so it is already earning its keep.

I feel like I'm forgetting something that I wanted to add to this blog, but I can't quite think of it at the moment.  On the whole, though, the week is starting out fairly well.  I've got to get to bed early, though, because I've shifted my overtime to an early morning slot, hoping it wouldn't be as bad as late evening.  The jury is still out on that one, though.

Good night and pleasant dreams!

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