The best part of yesterday was the chance to meet with the agents, publishers, coaches and packagers one-on-one. It was a kind of speed-dating setup, with the presenters at tables and us attendees in line to talk with them. My current aim (besides finishing my 3rd draft of The Story Store), is to get an agent, so I just met with them. Turns out, one agent also represents a writer friend. Always a good sign.
This is the agent & publisher panel. Later, we get to schmooze with them. As I thought, the presenters had good & useful tips, but wanted big bucks ($400 - $2400) to give you the whole package. I am not going to cough up my hard-earned cash until I get The Story Store sold.
I'm at a 3 day event, Author 101 University in LA at the Westin. I will post whatever might be of interest. I admit to being cynical about these things. People usually just want to sell you stuff. Walking to the meeting room, I passed a dozen booths with people wanting to sell me stuff. But hope springs eternal (see Cubs fans).
The adage “If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage” (attributed to Fred Finkelhoffe), came to mind whilst working on my 3rd draft. I realized that while I know my main characters very well, their passions and motivations weren’t necessarily clear to the reader. Also, my tendency not to put everything on the page, to want to make the reader work a little bit, might be, rather than clever, just obscure. People call that writing “too hip for the room.”
Two months? Really? Yes. I was on vacation. And when I wasn’t on vacation, I was goofing off. Poor excuses, but the best I’ve got. I finished the 2nd draft in mid-July, and put it aside for a while and did some writing on my next book or books, “Tommy Collins: One Lad’s Adventures.” More on that later.
Well into my 2nd draft, and already making copious notes for the 3rd. I thought this was going to be easier. I keep coming across writing I thought was so clever the first time around, and discovering that it just doesn’t work. The quotation I keep reciting is “in writing you must kill all your darlings.” Attributed to various authors since the early 20th century, including Faulkner, Oscar Wilde and Anton Chekov, my favorite version is from Stephen King, who wrote, “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
I finished my first draft in early March, and sent it to several friends and fellow writers for comments. I wanted some feedback before plunging into the rewrite. I had some big picture questions—i.e., is this part explained enough? Do I need to show more of that?—and got some useful suggestions, and mostly positive appraisals. I told people, “Don’t think about being kind. Kind is when everyone gets a medal just for showing up. If something sucks, tell me.”
If you have the world's most powerful computer, it's only a matter of time before it wakes up, right? This is just the beginning.
I just discovered this quick way of navigating, moving and deleting chapters from a long MS. Hope you find it useful. BTW, I haven't tried this on earlier versions of Word.