Thursday, May 10, 2012

Onwards and Upwards

Status: So for anyone who was confused by my last post, that was my entry in a multi-blog contest called The Writer's Voice. I realize it was an epic fail on my part to not have some sort of explanation or lead in. Sorry about that. I was having quite a lot of (very frustrating) technical issues the night I entered the contest/created that post, and was not thinking particularly clearly. Sorry! At any rate, as of today, all of the finalists have been chosen. I was (alas) not one of them. But I've had one hell of a contest run for the past month or two, so I'm not that worried about it. Honestly, it was the not knowing part that bothered me more than anything. So hopefully I'll sleep well tonight. 

Number of queries sent: 35
Number of form rejections: 18
Number of detailed rejections: 3
Number of requests for additional materials: 3

Okay, so as you can see in my status, all of those numbers have gone up. In the...two weeks...since I last...yeah, okay, I've been a bad blogger all around. I admit this, I apologize, and I hope you will all forgive me. At any rate, some exciting stuff is going on. As I mentioned before, I'm so very excited about my new query. I think I finally got it. Which, of course, is why I sent out another round of queries. I also re-queried some people who had already form rejected me, since I did a round of rewriting that changed quite a lot about the book. And one of them asked for a partial! Yay! This is the very first time I've received a request from an unsolicited, slush pile submission (the other two were through contests), so I'm way beyond ecstatic. This was over a week ago. Which is a testament of how crazy busy I've been, that I didn't blog about it until now.

Also, as you can see, my detailed rejections went up. Basically, that agent would love me to query her again if I ever write a YA contemporary. Which is something I've been considering for quite some time now. As you all know, I have long been all about the fantasy. That's mostly what I read, and has been pretty much exclusively what I write. But here's the thing: my last two books were about people from right here on planet Earth. My beloved MC from flawed book #3, Evie Banning, got mixed up with some vampires. And the light-of-my-life MC from Diamond Tears, Emma Singer, realized there's quite a lot of magic in her family history. But Evie was still a girl from Maryland, just like Emma was from Connecticut. They thought like people from our world. They talked like them. They had, mixed among more magical or paranormal issues, normal teenager-growing-up-in-America issues. And I loved writing those books way more than I did the two traditional fantasy books I wrote before. I think, when it comes down to it, I connected with the characters more. I was able to understand everything about them. And, as a result, they had stronger, more interesting voices. 

So, to sum up that rather long paragraph, I feel a connection to the contemporary YA aspects of my two most recent books. Then, on top of that, in all of these contests I've been entering, guess which other entries I've been most drawn to? The contemporary YA ones. A sign, perhaps? I'd like to think so. Besides, writing a cotemp today doesn't mean I can't write fantasy tomorrow. I see no reason not to try anything that gets my creative juices flowing. 

And so it begins! I made the decision to try writing this new book on Monday. I have since spent quite a lot of time working on the plot and characters. I even wrote my first chapter! It's a bit rough, but then, that's what rough drafts tend to be. It felt so wonderful to be writing something new again. The last time I wrote the first chapter of a new book was November of 2010, so it's been a while. Always so exciting to be at the beginning! 

A question for all you other writers: do you branch out with your writing, or do you tend to stick to one genre? Have you tried anything new recently that you really enjoyed? Or, on the flip side, that you hated and don't ever want to do again? How do you feel when you first start a new project? Like the world is your oyster, and your creativity is ready to flow forth from your fingertips? Or is the very idea of having a word count of zero daunting?

Okay, that was a bunch of questions. Again, forgive me. And hopefully answer some of them in the comments!    


  1. I write the book that begs to be written. I've worked on picture books, a chapter book,YA, and I've even done some nonfiction. I didn't think I'd ever write a YA until I got an idea I couldn't ignore. Now it's probably my favorite.

    1. Excellent point, Laura. I think that, up to this point, I've been limiting myself by insisting that I only write fantasy. Instead, I should be writing whatever story is ready to be written when I sit down with my laptop. I'm very excited to see where I end up from here! :)

  2. For me, it depends on form. Novels are almost always contemporary fantasy. I've tried to write straight contemporary, but then magical stuff would always find its way in. Short stories, on the other hand, are almost always horror. I don't know why, I just like them. I have written fantasy (contemp, urban, or low, never high fantasy) and contemporary shorts, though. I'm more flexible outside novel-length.

    Many congrats on the requested partials and detailed rejections! Yay!

    1. That's so funny that your contemporary ended up fantasy against your will. I guess it was just meant to be!

      And that's really interesting that your short stories are frequently horror. I couldn't write horror even if I tried. I'm way too much of a chicken for scary stuff!