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Posts tagged ‘literary agent’

A Visible Shift in Energy & a Potential Change

Hi guys!

Since my last article, in which I decided what my writing goals are, I’ve noticed a positive influence on my writing habits, including returning to writing daily. The goal in particular that is helping me is the daily goal of one thousand words a day (which I only count if they’re in something I’m writing for my books or one of the pieces I do set between them for fun and exploration). I think this is in part because I am a fairly competitive person, and I like beating myself too!

One thing that has caught my attention though is the possible change to my main series. When I set the goals on the 27th of this month, I started writing a piece for fun and to give myself something to flex the skills on before committing to any of the books and series I’ve already worked on or have at least a basic idea for. This piece of miscellaneous as I call them, is set late in the main series around the same year as book twelve. It feels almost like it could be the beginning of the series, as crazy as it sounds. The potential change is interesting, but I do not want to just ignore the books that came before it. I know book two has always had a potential for being scrapped completely, but the others? I like them, and others like them. The downside to toying with this idea and continuing to write this piece of miscellaneous as if it were the start of the series and not just a piece I started for fun and practise, is that there is a lot of ‘telling’, explaining in the narrative of the back stories of each character. For my books before, this was utilised when acceptable in case somebody ever picked up a book without reading the others (thereby making it possible to start reading wherever you liked in the series). Now there seems to be too much.

As a result, I’ve been considering my writing goals. One of those was to looking into self-publishing as a viable option, and to ask self-published authors lots of questions on the subject, at the same time, I recently read an article on Kristen Lamb’s blog about the power of three and freebies. Admittedly it wasn’t the sole subject of the blog post – it is titled as, ‘Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors’ (link is below).  It struck a chord with me though. Perhaps, what I could do, was provide some of the books before it for free.

I was at my parents’ this Christmas, and I decided to try out Google’s Play Books  whilst there – it is available on my Android Phone and Samsung Tab 3 for free, and is actually one of those apps that you cannot uninstall that comes already installed on the Android devices. I downloaded a few of the free books and have enjoyed reading them on both devices. I am still a lover of paperbacks – they don’t need electricity to run and it’s more comfortable and fun to snuggle up to a corner of the sofa with a paperback, but it was nice having a decent few books for free on my phone. Due to my being intrigued by the idea of ebooks being available on my phone and tablet, I then downloaded the Kobo app onto both and have multiple samples to read through. Though I can’t seem to find the free books on Kobo that it is supposed to have (perhaps because I am only using apps to read their publications), the idea appeals to me to do the same; to offer the earlier books for free, but to make sure there are other books available for purchase or free download as well.

This has resulted in some changes to my plan. The first in the series is going to be re-read by myself, without being able to edit it (another of the goals) during that time like I normally do. If I still enjoy reading it, I then have to make the decision whether I want to edit it or to keep it as it is (as I am worried about one element of the series’ world that does not feature as strongly in the other books of the series). After that, I will prepare various copies of the manuscript as per various publishers that allow self-published writers to submit their works to them (like Kobo or Amazon’s Kindle for example). At that point though, I won’t be publishing yet. I’ll then jump over to book two and do the same with that as I did the first. Both will be free to download, with the third book I publish being sold.

As a result, in a round-about way, this miscellaneous piece that I did because of my goals has helped me prepare a rough plan of action. It’s nice having one! Before, when I was intent only on publishing through traditional means, there was no master plan, just this:

  1. Get an agent.
  2. Get a publisher hooked.
  3. Use all of royalty to promote the first book.
  4. Keep writing.

It is strange to think that through reading Kristen Lamb’s blog article and writing this piece because of one of my goals, that I now have a solid plan as a writer, but the goals haven’t just done that. I’m treating my writing more like a career path again, like I did when I was in college. Though I won’t be quitting my office job any time soon (and neither the web hosting and online services I provide), it feels good to be in this mindset again – to be taking my own writing seriously again. I suspect that the miscellaneous piece won’t be the first in the series with this new plan of mine, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep writing it!

Are you a writer? Have you had any experiences similar to this? Please share in the comments!

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The link to Kristen Lamb’s blog post mentioned above.


Concerns of Audience

It’s been a while since I wrote a serious piece for one of the books. I’ve been stepping into writing for the main series slowly (rather than the pieces I do for fun and character development), whilst toying with a new idea that at first I was going to make into a writing roleplaying fantasy forum.

Now though, I find that I have concerns over if there is an audience for the manuscript I am trying to get a literary agent with. Back when I wrote it in 2000-2003, and then when I rewrote it from scratch twice (latest being in 2009), there was an audience. Not that audience mattered when I wrote it, and in some ways, it still doesn’t. In fact, the only reason I worry now is that though I know there is an audience if I hunt for it and do lots of PR, a literary agent has to see the audience too.

Yet with books such as The Hunger Games, Games of Thrones and that Twilight series, I worry that the audience has been missed in the three years where I stopped writing due to continually changing circumstances that were too large to ignore. The manuscript that starts off my main series (which is fantasy crime in genre), is  more of a quest + family feuds + crime and punishment.

Yet, there are similarities at least in the feuding if nothing else. I realise I shouldn’t let such a thing put me off either, but what concerns me if that if I do not believe in the manuscript’s ability to grab the audience by the agents‘ eyes, that it will shine through any new covering letters I write and affect its chances far worse.

Then there is the itch to write it again from scratch, to try and improve it further for the age range/audience it is for. I do not feel confident in my writing some days to allow this to happen again just yet either. Just like any writer I suppose, I have days when my writing is great (in my opinion of course), and other days where it’s not worth the piece of paper I’m writing on/electric bill the time taken on the computer will cost me.

I’m sure this feeling will pass, but probably not before I do rewrite it from scratch again!

Ah Hello Words!

This weekend has been a success for me as a writer. I’ve not won the attentions of a literary agent or anything like that, but I have started a new submission covering letter and I’m ditching all the how-tos for them. Some helped a great deal, others didn’t. I feel though that it is important to communicate a little about yourself, and when you’re already telling them A, B and C, it’s a bit hard to get D and good old personality in one sheet of A4. When you then consider their and your own address go up at the top, it’s more like half a page of A4 as you then have to keep enough room for your signature. It’s not exactly easy after all!

Back to tonight’s topic at hand though: why this weekend is a success. It’s a pretty simple one really. I had a lovely chat with fellow writers about books they are reading to discover that some of them have read the very books I bought on my last book buying spree (that is, the ones I haven’t read yet). They loved them! So I definitely made a good choice in those books and their enjoyment of these books just makes me want to stop everything and read them!

The other reason is that I’ve done a lot of writing this weekend. Three pieces for fun, two in third person (my preference) and one in first person to shake things up. One was a sci-fi too which was a little different for me, seeing as I tend to stick to other genres! So yes, all in all, this weekend has been another triumph for me, at least with getting back into writing and not letting anyone or anything stop me.

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