Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blimey College is Keeping Me Busy...

Sorry for the long silence everyone, but this semester has been BUSY!  This past week was my Spring Break.  Tomorrow I go back to class.  Meanwhile here it is the day before I go back and I'm finally getting around to working on my Blog...  See what I mean about a busy semester.  I'm carrying a full load of classes plus doing and Internship at a Women's Center and have very little time to do much of anything most days.

Anyway, that's brought you up to speed on why I haven't been posting.  Meanwhile, the manuscript for my Horror/Mystery/Sci-Fi novel "The Bridge" was sent to the agent who requested it about 2 weeks after my last entry here.  That was mid-January.  To date I haven't heard back but that's normal.  Agents get query letters and manuscripts all the time.  It takes a while for them to get through the manuscripts they already had waiting when yours comes along.  So what do you do in the meantime?  GET TO WORK ON YOUR NEXT NOVEL! 

Trust me, sitting around worrying isn't going to get your manuscript looked at any faster.  And from what I've read agents and publishers like hearing you've got another book ready or well-under way.  It shows you're determined not to be a one-shot wonder.  Currently I'm working on 2 novels at once.  Both are sequels to my first book.  Novel #2 takes up exactly where "The Bridge" leaves off.  Am I concerned about writing a sequel when I don't know if or what changes may be asked for by the agent if she decides she wants to work with me?  Of course I am.  But, that's what we have to deal with.  I keep in mind that what I've already written is NOT the final version and that any subsequent stories will be altered to accomodate whatever changes I have to make.  So just keep your writing clean, crisp and have warehouse of backup ideas and plans inside your head.  Flexibility is crucial in this business.  You may think the story is perfect as it is, but agents and publishers know what sells and what won't so be open to changes.  They've been at this a lot longer than most of us have.

Finally, I want to share one little piece of advice about writing sequels.  I had my 2nd novel well under way but something was bothering me.  It was feeling all wrong and I couldn't write any more until I figured out what it was.  then just two days ago it came to me.  I was writing the entire novel as if every possible reader already knew the first novel and all its characters... WRONG!  You have to introduce your characters all over again.  You may also have to give them a brief re-cap of your previous book.  People don't necessarily read your books in order.  They may pick up the 3rd book in the series and that's their first impression of you as a writer and the characters you've created.  Keep that in mind.  Give your readers a hearty handshake and greeting every time you write.  That way you're more likely to get them to go and pick up those earlier novels.  After all they may fall in love with these characters and want to see what else has gone on with them.

That's all for today.  I'll be posting the opening chapter of "The Bridge" here shortly so keep an eye out.  Keep writing everyone.