Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Five: Getting Old

1. It's my birthday on Monday, and I'm starting to feel frustrated and old. I wanted to be published by now, but really I'm not that old, and I did things backwards from all of my friends. Family first, and then career. Since my ultimate goal is to be a career novelist. I think it will happen. I know it will, I just need to put in the hard work. And in case you're wondering I'm turning 32. Not ancient, and plenty of time to have a long prolific career. I've been telling people I'm 32 for awhile, since I can't really remember my age when asked. I was stuck at 28 for a while, but it's a little ridiculous to say I'm 28 no wait actually I'm 31. Yeah, babies sucked my brains out.

2. I was writing a chapter in my dystopian novel and just plugging away--I felt like the tension was pretty high. it was a chase scene through the woods, and then I started worrying about geography. Why did I have to set the story in a specific geographic location? Why? A lot of stuff has changed due to a war, but things like rivers, and mountains wouldn't change, so I'd interrupt my tension building scene to see if they should go north or east. Nope south and east. is there a river, because we need a river? Yes there were several rivers. Anyway from now on, I'm going to be geographically vague. Saves me time. Right? I hope so. But I'd still have to make sure everything matches and draw my own map. Maybe it is easier to have an already existing one.

3. Could you please give me an opinion as to which query you prefer and why?

Query 1 (which I've been sending out)

Seventeen-year-old Isis didn’t believe in magic until she accidentally uses it to save her life. Dane, a classmate, witnesses the display and pulls her into a battle between two ancient societies. Isis learns that the strange things that happen around her and her crazy dreams aren’t signs of impending insanity. Isis’ dreams actually mean that she is the dreamer with a power more potent than any other. She has the ability to control people by altering their subconscious while they sleep and the ability to see the future.

As Dane teaches Isis to control her powers the feelings between them grow. Isis is finally finding a place in the world where she never quite fit in—until Kalli, her cousin, shows up to convince her that she’s joined the wrong side of the battle. As Isis pieces together the clues from her dreams she learns of an impending disaster planned by Kalli’s group.

Isis’ powers give her the ability to end the conflict and stop the killing once and for all, but she must choose between fighting for the good of all mankind and saving her cousin, a choice no ordinary girl should make. Good thing Isis is anything but ordinary.

DREAMING ISIS, a young adult fantasy novel, is complete at 65,000 words. It will appeal to readers who loved the intrigue of THE AWAKENING by Kelley Armstrong and to those who enjoyed the paranormal romance elements of NEED by Carrie Jones

Query 2 (which I'm thinking of using, but not so sure)


Seventeen-year-old Isis is tired. Tired of hiding the dreams that predict future events, and the strange things that happen around her. Tired of surviving her mom’s psychotic episodes anytime she hears about something strange Isis did. And she’s tired of her sanity being questioned at every family gathering. So she hides her headaches, which are steadily getting worse and hopes that insanity doesn’t really run in the family.

All that changes the day Isis accidentally uses her powers to save herself from an exploding car and all of her secrets start coming out. Dane, a classmate, pulls her into a battle between two ancient societies. Dane seems to have the answers that Isis has always wanted. He can help her control her powers, stop her headaches and hang onto her sanity. She finds herself drawn to his charms until her cousin Kalli shows up to convince her she’s joined the wrong side. Isis realizes that she’s not the only one who’s been hiding things.

As Isis pieces together the warnings from her dreams she learns of an impending disaster planned by Kalli’s group. Isis has the power to stop it from happening and ending the conflict for good, but she has to choose between fighting for the good of mankind or to keep the love of her family by continuing to hide. A choice no ordinary girl should make. Good thing Isis is anything but ordinary.

DREAMING ISIS, a young adult contemporary fantasy novel, is complete at 65,000 words. It will appeal to readers who loved the intrigue of THE AWAKENING by Kelley Armstrong and to those who enjoyed the paranormal romance elements of NEED by Carrie Jones

4. I've gotten feedback that my query just isn't making my novel stand out from the pack. So I need to do something to it. I'm tempted to post my query for my zombie werewolf book, but I won't. I think the premise is so cool, that I don't want the pressure of sharing it with anyone until it is finished. But it is so cool, and the query is in good shape, and I think it would get agents to answer me. It's better than the above two queries, and I wish that I'd already finished writing it.

5. A writerly question: I have a friend who is attending the most awesome MFA program up in Vermont. She told me about several discussions that they had about the spareness of writing--without a lot of detail--which I tend to write that way. Anyway she thinks that the trend will swing back the other way. And I've been reading some spare books lately, that just make me tired. I like the first book in the series, but I tire of them before I get through them. I'm wondering if I'm the only one who finds this? Do you find writing can be too spare? What about overdone? And which style do you prefer? (I guess that is more a reading question)

4 comments:

Cecily said...

Since you asked... :)

I like the 2nd query best.

And...

I like books that describe the right things. Some things just don't matter and get boring if dwelt upon. Other things are really important to the story and if ample time/space isn't spent on walking a reader through them, they aren't going to feel the right way.

I think this is where the objective correlative thing comes into play because you can knock out two things at once.

Helpful?

L.T. Elliot said...

I like the 2nd query better. I feel like there's more voice in it. =]

I like a happy medium between sparse and inundated with description. I can read either way but I'd prefer a happy medium.

L.T. Elliot said...

p.s. Happy upcoming Birthday! You're not old at all!

What was done said...

Getting old is only in our mind.
Age never prevented people from doing things:
http://www.whatwasdone.com/