Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Literary Agents: We are Working for You

OK, writers out there - You want an agent... need an agent, right? Well, the first thing we writers have to do, of course (hello), is write something highly readable, dare I say "marketable."

If you are wondering what's going on in an agent's mind, or someone that works for an agency, here are a couple starting places/blogs: [read them quickly and then Get Writing for goodness sake! The fate of the universe, or at least the state of reading and literature, depends upon you. No pressure.]

Pub Rants

The Rejecter
(yes, she reads your query letters and rejects most - 95% according to her "rants")

But the best advice I've heard, for fiction writers, is to write what you like and make it the best writing. Simply make your months, years of toil and revision seem effortless and not like self-conscious prose. Piece of cake - especially avoiding cliches. Good writing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Writing Challenges - Motivation: Some Straight Talk

Writing is a lonely job. Writing while working another job is even more challenging. Some of the links here might motivate and inspire you to write something from your heart. Writing from the heart is about the most honest thing you can do as a serious writer. There are a lot of books getting published, but only a small percentage is actually successful. Seems like many publishers are willing to take risks on the “next great writer,” but if that first book doesn’t sell well, then the odds of a multi-book deal with that publisher are very low.

What can we do to improve our chances of getting published, and getting the lucrative publishing contracts? Well, we can write the best possible work we can and make sure it is passionate, bold, honest, daring, and, yes, “from the heart.” See this link to Ann Kroeker's blog form more inspiration and thoughts.

In rewriting my current novel, I’m trying to strip the prose down to the barest of sentences without taking away essential elements like character, voice, and description.

Of course, finding the time to write – and rewrite – is also very challenging if you have other commitments. But to consider yourself a serious writer, put butt to chair and fingers to keys every day. Write something every day. More serious goals – a novel, short story, several poems – will require more commitment and looking at your writing with fresh eyes. Living life and enjoying other interests also builds experience that you can later write about. To create art, or at least readable, engaging writing, you need to work on it. Hopefully it’s a form of work you love and have to pull yourself away from. Good writing.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Need Ticket/Pass to AWP Conference - NYC !

The AWP Writer's Conference is at the end of this month...

I hope you have tickets and ... CAN GET ME ONE!

** I need ONE STUDENT PASS to the Associated Writer's Program Conference in NYC **
If you haven't heard, the popular conference is sold out and, per AWP's site and Professor Byrne's (Valparaiso Univ.) on his blog, is closed to on-site registration (although they've had this in the past).

Please e-mail me -- see the banner above -- if you have a student (or regular) pass to the conference, or know someone that is looking to sell theirs. I'll pay $50 for the student pass. I am a grad student and would love to take it off your hands. Thanks!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Wishing You What's Great in 2008


Nearly done the first draft of my novel-in-progress. Its working title is X-Ray Machine for Souls, which I borrowed from a William Vollmann book (p. 54 of his Rising Up and Rising Down).

The current draft weighs in at 45,000 words and counting. It will go through revisions and polish and you will hear about its release here… first! Send me your e-mail and I'll let you know when it's available.


Listening to: The Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Feist, Fionn Regan (check him out), and The Waterboys, among others. Always checking out jazz and playing my Coltrane, Brubeck, and Mingas CDs until their melodies are ingrained into my brain.

Reading: Why Kerouac Matters by John Leland (thanks, kids!), Poor People, a non-fiction work by Vollmann, and writing-related articles to keep up on the craft, eh?

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Also, my prayers and thoughts to all serving in the Middle East, especially Doug. Let us materialize productive, peaceful solutions to conflicts and forge positive international relationships that increase harmony and humanitarian efforts. TN