Sunday, August 20, 2006

Five, Six...Pick Up Sticks

Five: Link Lust.

Besides all you splendid people on my Side Bar and Favourites List, there are sites I check every day for the helpful information that may be found therein.

In addition to Miss Snark, Agent Kristin, Evil Editor, Crabby Cows and Paperback Writer, I have added Lit Agent X.

There are other interesting, useful and entertaining industry blogs which I read, of course, like Jennifer Jackson's, but they are not updated as frequently.

Lit Agent X ( Rachel Vater) has been running summations of query letters/cliche plots, noting those that do or do not grab her. Naturally, most do not.
I warn you that your eyebrows may become permanently attached to your hairline.
Those anecdotes you've read are not urban legends. There really are people who upload several dozen agents' addresses and send out cc queries en masse.
My thanks to Sonya for the link.

Six: Confessions of a Literary Leper.

(1) I like my coffee black and sweet as sin. I have never drunk latte. Never will, if I can help it.

(2) I have not read the novels on the latest NYT bestsellers list. I do not remember the names of the Great Editors and the Giants of Industry. Saves me from a lot of gushing and fainting. On the other hand it tattoos Boonie on my forehead.

(3) I do not run an intelligence operation on agents in the industry, with spread sheets detailing their personal pecularities, their favourite dinner companions and beverage choice, their taste in shoes or masculine decor, their alma mater, or their enemies and friends.
Such fine tuning is beyond me. Consider it an exercise in "silly buggers." But then I never understood Tweeters and Woofers either.
A few googles, a check on P&E and Agent Query, a reading of their websites and a look at what they have sold is about my limit.

(4) Anything I write below novel always seems to be either to long or too short for the markets. And lately I'm not too sure about novel at 76,000 words. Yet at one time I worked in PR. Go figure.

(5) I don't belong to a Writer's Circle or a Critique Group. Hermit syndrome.

(6) My query letter does not suck - which removes me forever from the company of the hand-wringing crowd. My synopsis probably does - that might help with the Piss-and-Moan Collective.

Do you sometimes feel like an alien child?


EA Monroe said...

Hi Bernita,
If you're an alien child, then I must be an alien child and hermit,too, except for the coffee. I love the smell of coffee, but it makes my stomach hurt. I drink water, straight up, instead.

Bernita said...

Aliens Anonymous - that's us.
At least water is healthy, EA!
I do get a lot of miles to the galleon on coffee though.

M.E Ellis said...

I'm an alien!


Ric said...

coffee - cream with two sugars

definitely an alien - though for awhile I was checking ages of agents (not easy) - trying to find someone my own age who could relate to what I'm writing.

Bernita said...

Aliens Unite! Michelle!

I can seriously relate to that, Ric, especially if they view anything set in 50-70's "historical."

Flood said...

I'm not sure if I am an alien or just alienating, but either way I get the feeling I am going about this whole writing thing wrong, sometimes.

All these rules and their exceptions are driving me mad.

December Quinn said...

I'm an alien too! Yay aliens!

I'm the exact same way with queries and synopses. I hate synopses. Every time I try to write one I seize up and decide my book is terrible, nothing of interest happens, the plot makes no sense, etc. etc.

Bernita said...

All those "rulz" and exceptions are responsible or my habit of querying like a snail over sandstone, Flood.

At the beginning, December, I had the naif idea that a synopsis was a straightforward precis of the plot, and then I learned that...

kmfrontain said...

I'm joining up as an alien. Yep.

Bernita said...

Someone put down the ramp, Karen!
It's only Chapter One!

Gabriele C. said...

Yay for the aliens. As long as they don't arrive in chapter 14.

Added ravela31 (Rachel Vater) to my LJ f-list. Thanks for the pointer.

Though I have to become a very good writer since I break quite a number of those rules: I have camera views, a beginning that includes a landscape description, and Endangered Frontiers starts with a minor character.

Bernita said...

I'm grateful to Sonya for the link.
The Lit Agent's tone is pleasant and helpful, I found, Gabriele.

Always thought one was allowed the landscape camera in certain types of fiction. The reader sometimes expects and wants to be oriented to the setting and era before all hell breaks loose.
Mine also opens from the POV of a minor character.
He does have a role to play every now and then.
It doesn't seem to have endangered the story.

Gabriele C. said...

Yep, minor character doesn't necessarily mean 'unimportant character'.

Bernita said...

Strongly agree, Gabriele.
Any sub-plot characters, for example, could be considered 'minor."

Kirsten said...

Well this is so cool -- Rachel Vater blogged about my query!

I wish I'd known about her blog before I contacted her agency -- this agent blogs are just priceless.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

AA hurray....I'm an alien too...and in fine company at that!

Kirsten said...

Argh -- "THESE agent blogs . . ."

So much for late night posting, time for bed!

Bernita said...

I know, Kristen. You could have altered the flavour of the query, because almost any book can be emphasised in different ways.
I really like her attitude, very straightforward and sincere.Sounds like an ideal agent.

~presents Bonnie with full membership~