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Kim Smith
January 2nd, 2009, 05:04 PM
I just wanted to be the first to say I am here if anyone needs to ask a question. My specialty is cozy mystery, but I think I read enough of the other sub genres in this list to be of assistance. smilies/banana_2.gif:Harp::guitar:smilies/banana_2.gif

lavagrl
January 2nd, 2009, 05:14 PM
I do fantasies, but I was wondering if you had any general tips on getting published. I have books written, I'm rewriting and editing the first, and I'm about to send out queries to publishers I've found in the Writer's Market who do fantasies or paranormal romances. Any tips on how not to get glanced over and thrown in the slush pile would be appreciated.

Kim Smith
January 2nd, 2009, 06:28 PM
Aside from writing a DGB(darn good book), and that is the FIRST thing you have to do, then you need to edit. Seriously. Don't be afraid to cut stuff out and move it around. In my own writing, the first four paragraphs is what I call, "authorial throat-clearing" and I always cut it or move it as it oftentimes is backstory or not necessary stuff. After that, a query should be written and polished and tried out on a dozen of your best writer buds. Once we all approve your query, THEN SEND IT! And good luck. It's pretty much a crap shoot these days.

lavagrl
January 2nd, 2009, 06:49 PM
By crap shoot do you mean the market's flooded with crappy writers, or that it's flooded with good ones so it's a crap shoot to try to get published? I'm pretty sure you meant the second, but I tend to be pessimistic so I'm not sure.

I have my query under my looking for critique partner thread in the fantasy section.

Do you know how picky publishers are on length? My book's about 250,000 words, and that's after cutting out a lot and rewriting, but all the ones I've looked at say something to 125,000 words. Do they just say that so they don't get a ton of short stories, or do they really mean they don't want longer ones?

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 2nd, 2009, 06:52 PM
lol by crap shoot I mean it's a crap shoot at getting published. Either you have submitted something they just bought, or you submitted something they just decided they didn't want to handle, or you submitted something that they cannot sell in the current market... or ... I could go on. Just know that rejection abounds in this industry and it (94.5% of the time) is NOT you or your writing. Just remember it only takes ONE yes, and you are off and running. I cannot tell you how many times I heard that from my support group, and it is very true.

lavagrl
January 4th, 2009, 01:14 PM
Thanks for clarifying, though I was really hoping that wasn't what you meant. I know rejection comes with trying to get published, it still sucks.

I keep thinking of that saying in National Treasure about how Edison only had to find one way to make a lightbulb; I think it applies.

:Owl3:

Kim Smith
January 4th, 2009, 06:52 PM
Well that's good though. Keep thinking like Edison. It only takes ONE yes. You can do it!

lavagrl
January 5th, 2009, 11:42 PM
Thanks. I keep telling myself that, but I'm not great at being patient.

How long did it take you to get published?

rebelheart
January 6th, 2009, 12:33 AM
Thanks for offering, Kim. Right now I don't have a question, but enjoy reading your replies to questions

:sleep1:.
I'll come up with one----just not this late.

Julie

Kim Smith
January 6th, 2009, 01:00 AM
heck, it took me a good ten years... concentrated the hardest over the last four or five... it's not quantity. it's quality. remember that!

Catherine Bybee
January 6th, 2009, 01:56 AM
Great start here, Kim.

rebelheart
January 6th, 2009, 12:35 PM
Thank you Kim. Sometimes I get discouraged when i see how many stories some people produce. Not that I've actually read them. But it's like one of my college professors used to say: "A lot of ink has been wasted" ---when she talked about one of her pet peeves, which was the superfluous influx of novels that are not keepers. Julie

Catherine Bybee
January 6th, 2009, 01:21 PM
Thank you Kim. Sometimes I get discouraged when i see how many stories some people produce. Not that I've actually read them. But it's like one of my college professors used to say: "A lot of ink has been wasted" ---when she talked about one of her pet peeves, which was the superfluous influx of novels that are not keepers. Julie

You know Julie, people write at different speeds... With different schedules. Don't get too hung up on that.

rebelheart
January 6th, 2009, 05:27 PM
people write at different speeds... With different schedules. Don't get too hung up on that

Love it, Catherine. I started a new calender book unlike my previous Weekly At a Glance one. I have a daily page journal calender book this year. Sometimes I hear/see phrases that I want to remember, especially about writing. So I decided that I will post the phrase at the bottom of my page each day that I hear one I want to remember. Your quote (with name) is going into my journal today. Julie

rebelheart
January 6th, 2009, 05:28 PM
I tried to do the 'quote message in reply' but obviously did not succeed.
Julie

rebelheart
January 6th, 2009, 05:32 PM
And Kim, your quote is going in yesterday's log.
Julie

Kim Smith
January 6th, 2009, 10:45 PM
awww :) if you want more quotes, don't forget to check out my quotes for new writers on my website... http://www.mkimsmith.com

rebelheart
January 7th, 2009, 12:00 AM
:jawdrop:

OMG, Kim, The 1st three sentences of your "Quotes for New Writers" really show the depth of your understanding of the need for motivation and inspiration.
Thanks!
Julie

Kim Smith
January 7th, 2009, 08:33 AM
aw thanks :) I was a wannabe once upon a time.. then a gonnabe... and that's where I want every writer to go... if I have to drag them kicking and screaming :)

lavagrl
January 7th, 2009, 04:15 PM
My creative output fluxuates. I've been rewriting my first book the last few months so I haven't gotten anything new out of me, but the year before that I spit out three and a half books. Thanks Kim, for reminding me I don't always have to keep plowing ahead, that going back and carefully fixing is a good way to spend my time too.

It took you five years after you started really trying to get published? Was that from when you started querrying to when you saw you book on the shelf?

I know these things take time, but I hate waiting. If something doesn't happen quickly, I always feel like it never will.

What do you do to help with writer's block? There are days when I stare at my computer and every word is like acid chewing up my fingertips. Sometimes coffee and sugar get my brain working and sometimes they just don't.

I'm working on my synopsis for my book since a lot of the publishers I've looked at want one with chapters instead of a querry. What do you think of starting it off with a quote from the book?

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 7th, 2009, 04:43 PM
I actually wrote THE END on Avenging Angel in 2004. Sent off the business to the copyright office and sat back on my heels and said, hm. Now what? It took me until now to get a book into a reader's hands. It probably doesn't take that long for everyone :) thank GOODNESS!!
Writer's block is your muse taking a vacation. Sometimes you have to step back from the work and let it simmer. It's like making chili. It always tastes better after all the ingredients have had a chance to sit together and talk. Don't force writing when Mr. Muse says whoa, hold it. When you are having a day where you just can't get a blasted word out right, quit. Step away from the computer. Get some air. It's not going to benefit you one whit if the work comes out contrived from your forcing the writing. I give you my word, it will begin anew -- and when it comes you will do so much better!

Synopsisessssss are the snakes of the writing world. If you let them, they will bite you and make you very sick. Keep it ssssimple.. sssilly. KISS. Don't try to make it into a grandiose production, because believe me, there is not an agent anywhere who ENJOYS reading a synopsis :) -- it's just a fact of the business. It shows them you can get from word one to the end in a concise, clear manner.
hth Kim

lavagrl
January 7th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Yeah, I know better then to try to force writing. My problem is the semester starts next week and then I have to go to class and study and write papers, and that's when my blasted muse decides to be cooperative.

Last year I was in organic chemistry and that is the big bitch class of premed, the weedout class, and I was weeded. A big part of the problem was I was writing when I should've been studying. I was inspired and got out an entire book in five weeks, that just so happened to be the last five weeks of that semester, no wonder I did so badly on the final. I want the muse to come when I have time to write, like the last few weeks since I've been on break, and it just doesn't.

So you don't have anything to get past writer's block? I guess relax and let it come makes sense, you can't force it, but it's damned inconvenient.

Should I get my stuff copyrighted before I get a publisher? A lot of the writer's things I've read said don't bother, publishers do that for you when they accept you.

Kim Smith
January 7th, 2009, 05:10 PM
EEK! that's a big problem, if it is interfering with school. In my opinion, for what it is worth, I would not write whilst trying to do my school work. If stories pop up, write down ideas in a notebook, but don't write write. The ideas will escape you, the opportunity to write them won't, in due time. Some people do not believe in writer's block. It's not that you are not able to write, it's that there are extraneous things getting in the way. See the diff? If your muse nudges you when it is not proper to be nudged, then just tell him to wait a dang minute, get in line, and let that be it. You are in control of your muse. Really you are. Besides which, you are not a one hit wonder, right? You will have fabulous story ideas all of your life. Don't worry that one will go missing. Get that school stuff FIRST!

lavagrl
January 7th, 2009, 05:20 PM
Does it ever get easier? Balancing writing with the everyday needs of life. After I graduate I have to get a job, so then I'll have to do that. I know even after I get published I won't be able to live off it, I'll still have to have a day job. I don't know if I'll be able to do it all; the job, whatever that may be, the actual writing, and then doing whatever I have to to promote my writing. How do you, and any other writers you know, do it?

Is it usual for publishers to want the full manuscript, no querry first? Because that's what Daw asked for. That seems a little weird to me. But they said long novels aren't a problem, so they may be my best bet.

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 7th, 2009, 05:28 PM
It never gets easier, babe. Sorry, but I cannot lie. I am a mother of two, full-time network admin at a corporation(meaning I am administration, or upper level) have a video production company, and am a photographer on top of writing. You just have to make time for the things you love to do in life. My adage, and yes you folks can copy this, "If whatever you are spending time doing quits being fun, then it's time to quit."

It is not really usual for pubbers to ask for a full straight away, but DAW is like the primo pubber for fantasy. If they say send the whole tamale, they mean it.

lavagrl
January 7th, 2009, 06:06 PM
I love that adage, and I'd love to live by it. That's what's kind of freaking me out. I have to go get a job, and I want it to be a job I love, I just have no clue what to do that I could do and still leave time for writing.

Oh, by the way, are you Superwoman? Kids, job, writing, and getting yourself published? I'm officially intimidated.

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 7th, 2009, 06:17 PM
lol heck naw! (gotta have somebody to look up ta yanno?) ;)

lavagrl
January 7th, 2009, 07:14 PM
lol heck naw! (gotta have somebody to look up ta yanno?) ;)

That's a little too much short hand for me to follow, but I think I got the gist.

I look up to anyone whose gotten published. I know, I'm easy.

Question on copyrighting; before you send the book out to publishers or don't bother because the publisher will do it when you get one?

Kim Smith
January 7th, 2009, 08:32 PM
Um... I think you do not have to do it, unless you are one of those people like I am that wants plenty of coverage to make sure no one steals my stuff because I hired a pro editor, and had LOTS of critiquers online that I didn't know well. So ... not necessary... but good to do if you like that peace of mind.

lavagrl
January 9th, 2009, 04:41 PM
Um... I think you do not have to do it, unless you are one of those people like I am that wants plenty of coverage to make sure no one steals my stuff because I hired a pro editor, and had LOTS of critiquers online that I didn't know well. So ... not necessary... but good to do if you like that peace of mind.


Okay. I don't think I'm going to because it costs money and seems like kind of a pain. If I send the whole thing to a publisher like DAW it's not like they're going to steal any ideas, right? I mean, they're professionals.

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 9th, 2009, 05:42 PM
For sending to a big pubber like Daw- I would say...naw :)

lavagrl
January 9th, 2009, 05:44 PM
I just saw your ad for the workshop. I e-mailed to sign up, but I don't know how these things work. Could you explain to me how the workshop will go on the 26th?

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 9th, 2009, 06:12 PM
Yes, I would be happy to!
It will be very much like a chat. I will give you muse-tweakers and you will work on them and ask questions. This will be very much an interactive workshop :)

lavagrl
January 10th, 2009, 03:00 PM
Okay. Thanks.

rebelheart
January 10th, 2009, 03:04 PM
I was kind of leery doing things like this at first. I'm still new to it, but recommend it, lavagirl, if you can possibly make it. That's why I want to be there too.
Julie

lavagrl
January 10th, 2009, 03:11 PM
I was kind of leery doing things like this at first. I'm still new to it, but recommend it, lavagirl, if you can possibly make it. That's why I want to be there too.
Julie

Do you mean the workshop? I've never done anything like that but that's because I'm a technology retard. I barely know how to surf the net. I'm working on it with things like this forem.

Kim Smith
January 10th, 2009, 03:23 PM
You guys will be happy to know that if you can type and hit enter you will be able to do this workshop :) -- it takes your time more than anything else. I hope you enjoy it!

lavagrl
January 10th, 2009, 04:19 PM
Wait, is it type and then hit enter?

Yes, I'm joking. Hey, I think I'm funny.

Okay, I should be able to handle that. I saw it starts at 7 eastern time. Is that with or without daylight savings? If it's with then it's 5 here, without means it's 4. And is it okay if I'm a bit late? Will I still be able to jump in?

Since it's a Monday I'll have to leave a bit early because I have martial arts class. Is there some way to go back later and look up everything I missed?

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 10th, 2009, 04:32 PM
with daylight savings... as it will be 6 pm here central time... if you are late, you are good. i wont boot you :) i do not know about the archive deal but will ask and let you know :)

CharmedGirl
January 10th, 2009, 06:38 PM
It's 8.37am here in Australia. I'll have to make sure I have the right time for any sort of chats so I know when to be online. Daylight savings makes things so confusing because I don't get daylight savings where I live.

rebelheart
January 12th, 2009, 01:30 AM
Yes, I meant that I was new to chats. Talking back and forth in this forum is relatively new too. But I love it! julie
P.S. Kim, am I signed up for it?

lavagrl
January 12th, 2009, 02:36 PM
with daylight savings... as it will be 6 pm here central time... if you are late, you are good. i wont boot you :) i do not know about the archive deal but will ask and let you know :)

Okay, thanks.

About how long are your books? Around 100,000 words? Did you have troubles flushing stories out to get them longer or were you more like me and they just wouldn't get shorter?

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 12th, 2009, 03:19 PM
I strive for between 60 and 70 thousand on the first draft and then pare it down under 70 if it goes over on the second. I believe my problem is writing too short, if anything. I have to fill mine out to reach my word count. Comes from years of writing short stories I guess!

lavagrl
January 16th, 2009, 04:11 PM
Wow, I don't know what it is about me, I just can't seem to shorten mine, and they never end up short after they're all written.

Where's a good place in a book for a 'to be continued'? If I'm going to have to half this then I need a place near the middle that will make the reader want to pick up the second one. I'm thinking after this big kidnap thing in my book, after they get all the people back. There's a short part there where the bad guys are talking, basically saying all is going to plan and they'll succeed soon. That seems like a decent place to leave off, and it's just past the middle point.

And you did recommend saying the books length in the query but then saying it's split into two parts, right?

Kim Smith
January 16th, 2009, 06:34 PM
Honestly, I don't know how to answer this. Here is the dilemma: if you submit a book too long, it is automatically in the round file (trashcan) - if you break a long work into two pieces it is deceitful not to tell them. But if you can break it in a place where the book COULD possibly end and stand alone, that would be okay. The reason for doing this is that what if they want the first part but it doesn't sell well and then they decide they do not want the second? The reader would be cheated, and so they will not take on the first part because of that trouble. So ... it needs to be able to be a single book, for the reasons mentioned, and after it is accepted, just plan on subbing the second half as another stand alone book.

I think that is right, anyway. I will see what others say... and I hope I am not confusing you!

Catherine Bybee
January 16th, 2009, 08:37 PM
I can't stress enough, lavagirl. Okay... what is your real name that just doesn't sound right. LOL. Anyway... You don't want all your hard work going into the slush pile. Split your book in half and start from there. I wish I could offer to help, but I'm knee deep right now. So my advice can only be global.

Kim Smith
January 17th, 2009, 01:42 PM
catherine you so should go into this dilemma one day on your video blogs :) which i LOVE by the way!!

Catherine Bybee
January 17th, 2009, 01:55 PM
catherine you so should go into this dilemma one day on your video blogs :) which i LOVE by the way!!


I just might do that. LOL. As long as I can keep it to two minutes. hehehe :thankyou:

lavagrl
January 17th, 2009, 10:48 PM
I can't stress enough, lavagirl. Okay... what is your real name that just doesn't sound right. LOL. Anyway... You don't want all your hard work going into the slush pile. Split your book in half and start from there. I wish I could offer to help, but I'm knee deep right now. So my advice can only be global.

My name's Amie. Is there something dirty about lavagrl?

I honestly am a little confused. Neither book could really stand by themselves without the other because the main problem runs through both. However, the first book does end with a problem and that problem being solved even though it's connected to the overall problem.

I'm thinking of adding to the query letter after the word count that it's split into two parts.

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 19th, 2009, 11:24 AM
I am probably wrong here, because I don't write fantasy (and they are BIG books as a general rule) so the best thing you can do is find the guidelines for Daw or any other publisher you are subbing to, and follow them explicitly. If they say large books are no problem, then they probably aren't. I do think however, they are in the minority, because I don't know many pubbers who want more than 80, 000 for genre fiction, 100,000 for historical fiction. I would love to hear about your journey as you travel it so we can all learn, though so do keep us posted! :)

lavagrl
January 21st, 2009, 05:42 PM
I'm honestly not sure either, which is part of the problem. Another big problem is printing off the whole damn book then mailing it. I guess it's time to invest in a printer, but even then it's not cheap because ink cartriges are around eighty dollars each.

While Daw's guidelines do say send entire ms, do you think it'd be a good idea to query first to see if they're at all interested in the idea or if my book's too long even for them, so I'll know if it'll just be a waste of money to send the ms?

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 21st, 2009, 05:56 PM
Well, if they say send the whole tamale and do not ask for a query, you may be wasting a stamp. What do the guidelines say exactly? Because of all things an editor friend told me one time, she said, FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES! that is number one. :)

lavagrl
January 21st, 2009, 06:51 PM
I just double checked and they said send entire ms with cover letter, not query and three chapters. So I guess I could've answered my own question. So here's another, what are the odds of getting their attention enough for them to read it and not toss it in a slush pile if I do just send the whole thing in?

:leo:

Kim Smith
January 21st, 2009, 06:56 PM
After going to their website and reading, I would say your chances of being read in a three month period are as good as anyone else's. You should definitely add that little postcard in there so they can answer to let you know it was received. That will give you a starting time to count down.

lavagrl
January 28th, 2009, 05:35 PM
Okay, thanks. I'm going to try after I go through and revise again. There's no way I'm printing out all of that unless I'm positive it's perfect.

I missed the workshop on Monday. Could you tell me the highlights covered?

Kim Smith
January 28th, 2009, 05:43 PM
I am pretty much covering the hilites of it tomorrow at this place :
http://murderby4.blogspot.com if you wanna surf over there.

lavagrl
January 28th, 2009, 06:42 PM
Thanks. Do I just read it anytime after tomorrow, or is it another discussion type thing where you have to be there at the right time?

Kim Smith
January 28th, 2009, 06:46 PM
Oh no it is a blog so just whenever the mood strikes ya :)

lavagrl
January 30th, 2009, 06:05 PM
Thanks, I just looked the website. I like the colored cards thing to get new ideas, but do you have any suggestions for when you sit down at the computer to work on an existing story and you know where you want it to go but you just can't get the words to come?

:leo: