Quote: Try, Try Again

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.
– Thomas Alva EdisonSo, I’ve been getting a lot of writing done, which is exciting. If you’ve been checking out my profile page this week you’ll have watched my percent complete slowly creep up to its current position of 49.89 or something ridiculous like that. It’s slow-going, but then, slow-going while writing just about every day is actually good progress.

I don’t know why, but First Draft B is coming along much more smoothly. I have an overall tone that I’m actually adhering to, and I’ve come up with some cover ideas that (while they have different moods) reflect the main idea.

Now, this post is a random amalgamation of topics, I know. But while I’m talking about covers, which are a portion of your marketing plan, I also want to talk about Moo. I don’t get any perks for talking about them, I’d like to make that clear. I just really like their product. The idea is that everyone has business cards, but hardly anyone has minicards.

Minicards are the same length as a business card, but half the height. On the front, you put the name of your book, your writing blog, your website, the cover of your book… and then your contact information on the back. In terms of book marketing, you can use these cards as bookmarks, gift tags, etc. Moo also has sticker books and notecards. I’m waiting to see if they will offer stickers with text, because I would love to have stickers that say “Local Author” or “Autographed Copy” to slap on the cover of the new book. Just a couple of ideas for your own projects.

Quote: Failure to Please

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.
– Bill Cosby
And now for some amusing news that will make any rejected writer feel a little better…

Publishers fail to spot plagiarized Jane Austen
LONDON (Reuters) – Even Jane Austen would have trouble finding a publisher today, a struggling author revealed Thursday.David Lassman sent off to 18 publishers assorted chapters from Austen novels in which he changed just the titles and the names of the characters.

He called himself Alison Laydee after Austen’s early pseudonym “A Lady.”

Seventeen publishers rejected or ignored his bid for literary glory. Only one spotted the ruse and told him not to mimic “Pride and Prejudice” so closely.

Lassman, who decided on the experiment when struggling to get his own novel published, told British media: “Getting a novel accepted is very difficult today unless you have an agent first. But I had no idea of the scale of rejection poor old Jane suffered.”

Thanks to Redshoeson for the heads-up! Article from Reuters on Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:45AM http://www.reuters.com/article/email/idUSL1941223720070719

Eight Writing Tips by Vonnegut

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction by Kurt Vonnegut

Quote: Honest Assessment

Make an honest assessment of what it is you’re willing to sacrifice for your writing because it is quite a painful exercise, it’s so subjective. It should be a process of reasoning – you’ve been honest with yourself, you know what it is you’re prepared not to have in order that you might try to be a novelist.
– Elliot Perlman

Quote: Just Do It

The best writing advice I ever received came near-simultaneously from two different sources.

I was struggling through my first full-length work, finding it a very different and untameable animal from short fiction. Writing the book was like walking against a wind machine where life, other story ideas, and lack of polished expertise threw themselves against my every effort.

I bemoaned this fact to friend and colleague Susan McBride. Her answer was simple. “Just do it,” she said. “Write straight through, stopping only long enough to jot notes on vital flashes of inspiration.”

Sure it made sense, but it was too darn simplistic. And easy for her to say, I thought. She had a book series with Harper-Collins. But sometimes, the simplest of answers is the best.

Still feeling sorry for myself, I happened to pick up a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing. His advice? “Just do it.”

That’s when the truth hit. For those of us who must write, the discipline to do so lies within that very drive. The manuscript that had sat in messy bits for fifteen months became a finished work within three, and the next novel was written in four.
– Lisa Logan

Found at http://nienkehinton.blogspot.com/2007/05/best-writing-advice-ever_25.html

Quote: A Novel Tells the Truth

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
– G.K. Chesterton

I know it has been almost a month since my last post, and for that I apologize. My spontaneous haitus was not supposed to last this long, but ah me, such is the life of a student, right? My programming assignments have been long, a little tedius, and nothing short of infuriating. I haven’t had a chance to add to the WIP since my last post, either, which is also a little frustrating.

So, things to look forward to once I really return: my review of Hood by Stephen Lawhead and possibly Paperback Writer by Stephen A Bly, more notes from my research journals; updates on the WIP (as I get to work on it); and, of course, more tips, hints, tricks, and information about writing, editing, marketing, and publishing.