Thursday, April 26, 2012

Query Structure - Part 2 - What My Editor Approved


Okay, so in my last query letter post, I had used the following formula I found on Agent Query.

Agent Query's structure was:
     Hook
     Paragraph Two—Mini-synopsis 
     Paragraph Three—Writer’s bio
     Your Closing


Nathan Bransford and my editor, Susan Malone had a different structure in mind: 
     Intro - Why are you querying this agent 
     Paragraph Two—Mini-synopsis 
     Paragraph Three—Writer’s bio
     Your Closing


The main difference I found was the approach. Susan and Nathan both feel that Agents don't want to be "wow'ed", they want to know why you want them to represent your book.

Fellow author, Maria Zannini, echoes this. Maria is not a big fans of hooks, but she feels it can be used in your synopsis.


With that said, I revised my query, and got "approval" (smiles) from Susan. YAY!


Here's what it looks like now: 


*****


Dear [Agent Name],

Because you represent [x,y,z] and because [personalized information about the agent], I feel that VIOLET STORM might be of interest to you.

Aeva Storm has just won the most gripping championship victory in Fila history when she is struck by lightning. After seeing her incredible skills and athleticism, Behr Absilim believes Aeva is exactly what he’s been searching for. Behr is the genius behind human Modifications, the technology that’s given new life to the vaincre-diseased plaguing the City-bloods. In secret, Behr steals Aeva’s body and surgically alters her, turning her into a nearly immortal weapon of death.

Using her family as leverage, Behr manipulates Aeva into assassinating the Monarch, ruler of the City of Light. Aeva must now decide between saving the lives of everyone she loves and dooming the fate of thousands, or fighting back…and risk losing everything.

At 93,000 words, written in present tense and first person point-of-view, VIOLET STORM is set in the far future after a catastrophic event nearly wipes out the human population. The story is full of action, romance, deception and surprising twists.

VIOLET STORM is my debut novel, I would be thrilled if you would consider it for representation. Thank you very much for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,
Anna Soliveres     


*****


Hope this helps others looking to query. It took me four days (not straight, of course) to get to this point. So don't stress if you need time to let it stew. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Query Sample - Structuring Your Query



I was asked to post the query letter I had written almost a year ago, during my first attempt at getting VIOLET STORM published. Out of nine agents [all queries were via email], three responded asking to read more. The process stopped there because I needed more time to develop into a stronger writer. I spent the next year working harder on the craft, partnering with a developmental editor, and getting feedback from my writers group. 


Here is the original [email] query (July 15, 2011): 

Dear Ms. _____:

“Somehow I know what’s coming next. From the dark and angry sky shoots a lightning bolt, frightening and horrifyingly dazzling at the same time. It slices through the atmosphere, mad in its rush to pierce the earth—but not before it strikes me first….”

                  Violet Storm is the epic story of Aeva Storm, a sixteen-year-old girl whose nightmare begins when she wakes up in the Outer Boundaries, a long stretch of forsaken land that is far beyond the safe borders of her home. In her quest to piece together everything that’s happened, Aeva discovers that Agria, her hometown, is now nothing but a wasteland. After being pursued by Ravinals—men who hunt humans—she is rescued by a brooding exile named Karth, whose knife fetish shows her exactly how he’s survived in the Outer Boundaries. Meanwhile, a renegade group, known as The Alliance, have assembled to destroy the Monarchy of the City of Light—the entity they believe to be responsible for the destruction of Agria. Having been a champion athlete and fighter, Aeva is immediately recruited to carry out the most important mission—to assassinate the Monarch—whether she wants to or not. That’s when she meets a charming runaway named Ruven, who stirs up desires Aeva refuses to acknowledge, and has a secret that is even more jarring than his ruby-red eyes. But amidst all the horrors of her new reality, there is something even more terrifying: Aeva is exhibiting unusual abilities. People begin to suspect that she has been physically altered into a Modi—a modified human—technology known only to the City of Light.

                  At 95,000 words, written in present tense and first person point-of-view, Violet Storm is set in the far future after a catastrophic event nearly wipes out the human population. This story is full of action, romance, deception and surprising twists. Young Adult fans of the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins with an interest in post-apocalyptic landscapes, like those created in The Road by Cormac McCarthy, will enjoy this fast-paced, action adventure.

                  Violet Storm is my debut novel. I hope you'll wish to read more. Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely,
Anna Soliveres

*****
I've made some changes to it since then. Querying is definitely intimidating. But the structure I decided to use was the following:

1. Hook
2. Brief Synopsis (minus the ending)
3. Overview including: word count, tense and POV used, similar published and successful works, and anything I've learned about the agent specifically (how I learned of them, their most recent published books/authors)
4. Brief info about me (which would be longer, had I any publications...)

*****
Thinking about querying VS again and I have a few changes, the hook (taken directly from the book). I would love and certainly appreciate to get your feedback. I updated the hook and changed a few words here and there.

Dear Ms./Mr. _____:

"You must think I'm so selfish. Because why would I want to waste time caring about someone who helped mesaved meright? You have no idea what I'm going throughwhat it feels like to live this outrageous lie. To know that underneath this glamorous mask, I am nothing but a sheep in wolves clothing..."

                 Violet Storm is the epic story of Aeva Storm, a sixteen-year-old girl whose nightmare begins when she wakes up in the Outer Boundaries, a long stretch of forsaken land that is far beyond the safe borders of her home. In her quest to piece together everything that’s happened, Aeva discovers that Agria, her hometown, is now nothing but a wasteland. After being pursued by Ravinals—men who hunt humans—she is rescued by a brooding exile named Karth, whose skills with all things sharp shows her exactly how he’s survived in the Outer Boundaries. Meanwhile, a renegade group, known as The Alliance, have assembled to destroy the Monarchy of the City of Light—the entity they believe to be responsible for the destruction of Agria. Having been a champion athlete and fighter, Aeva is immediately recruited to carry out the most important mission—to assassinate the Monarch—whether she wants to or not. There she meets a charming outcast named Ruven, who stirs up desires Aeva refuses to acknowledge, and has a secret that is even more jarring than his ethereal crimson eyes. But amidst all the horrors of her new reality, there is something even more terrifying: Aeva is exhibiting unusual abilities. And people begin to suspect that she has been physically altered into a Modi—a modified human—technology known only to the City of Light.

                 At 93,000 words, written in present tense and first person point-of-view, Violet Storm is set in the far future after a catastrophic event nearly wipes out the human population. The story is full of action, romance, deception and surprising twists. Young Adult fans of the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins with an interest in post-apocalyptic landscapes, like those created in The Road by Cormac McCarthy, will enjoy this fast-paced, action adventure.

                  Violet Storm is my debut novel. I hope you'll wish to read more. Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely, 
Anna Soliveres


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Querying Agents - When is Your Manuscript Ready?



Querying Agents - When is Your Manuscript Ready?

I drove the long commute to work this morning, pondering this same question. I began to tick off all the additional questions I had learned (and been advised) to ask before tackling the agent querying process.

A few weeks back, I received the final revisions of Violet Storm from my developmental editor, Susan Malone. There was one scene--one element--missing, she'd said. I thought it over, and emphatically agreed. But as I started to read page after page of the manuscript I realized with great dismay, that in the two months I had been away from the book, I had learned many more writing essentials that the piece was seriously lacking. I was a different writer than the writer two months ago, and of course, the writer who began that story almost two years ago.

So I rolled up sleeves and got to work. One week passed, and then another. I had barely made a dent in the revisions. "This is crap!" I'd often hear myself yelling with frustration. Sure, I was being hard on myself, after all Susan loved the book, and my writing. But this was going to be my first published book (or so I'm praying with every fiber of my being), and I didn't want it to suck...logical, right? (Above is a photo of a real edit I did on VS--I use pencil when I edit because I like playing around with the revisions.) 

I quickly sent emails to all my beta readers telling them, "Don't bother reading the MS. I will spare you from wasting your valuable time reading such utter crap."

I was embarrassed.  

The second week, I hit my lowest. You know the feeling...when you begin to ask the really terrible questions like,"Why do I put myself through this? I HAVE a real job...one that pays," or "Why am I even trying so hard?" it starts to hurt when thoughts about "never getting there" take you in a downward spiral of self-doubt--that writers black abyss where it's possible you may never return from.

Thankfully, I'm stubborn, and mostly rational. I'd gotten this far. I wasn't going to throw it all away because I was intimated by the amount of work...and the overwhelming pressure. Weeks passed and I started to feel much better. I refused to give up. Not after all the time, tears, and nightmares I'd endured. So now here I am, feeling marginally better about the "utter crap" I wrote.

 I want to start querying agents. Mind you Violet Storm has been queried before to about nine agents. Two asked for the first ten pages, one of which asked for the next fifty. Another agent asked for the full. They handed my butt to me staked on a red pen--meaning the MS needed some serious editing. Too much exposition, one said. I took that to mean it was boring. 

After doing some serious editing on my own, I decided to work with a developmental editor, enter Susan Malone.

So here we are, on the precipice of querying VS again. And this is what I am asking myself:

1. Have I given enough time away since the last round of major edits? (Minimum of two weeks)

2. Have I created a generous list of well researched agents who are interested in this genre?

3. Is the manuscript at its absolute best? (Ask yourself this question honestly. And I think if the answer is more out of fear, have someone else, trusted folks from your writers group, your dev editor, or beta readers give you an honest answer.) 

I'm going to stop there because I don't have a good answer for any of those questions on VS.
So...I am not ready to query.

What other questions do you ask yourself when thinking about querying an agent?  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Road Trip Across the U.S.A.



Have you ever gone on a lengthy road trip? I have backpacked across Spain for an entire month, done small stints here and there around the U.K. and the U.S., and have even gone on a Caribbean cruise. I have lived in Switzerland, and spent every weekend visiting nearby European countries. Currently, I travel across the U.S. for work to a tune of three to six months out of a year. But I have never done a road trip of this scale.

In this two week adventure, Chris and I will be driving from San Jose, CA to end up in New York, NY (flying back home after spending a couple days in the Big Apple). Unlike a lot of our other shotgun style trips, we hope this one will be relaxing (yeah…we’ll see about that). Finding peace in the long drives, meeting unforgettable locals, and embarking on quiet explorations of some the most incredible sights and landmarks that symbolize the spirit of the U.S. Nothing but the company of my best friend as we drive across some of God’s loneliest roads.

I hope the trip will inspire some amazing stories. 

What are you favorite road trip moments? Got any tips for a newbie road tripper?


Monday, April 9, 2012

An Easter Sunday Killing

A short thriller for your reading pleasure. Please be advised, this piece includes some explicit content that may not be suitable for ages seventeen and under.

Happy Easter!


          
Jane picked up the petite cake from the backseat of the car, wincing at the candied fruits sitting unsteadily atop yellow frosting. “I hope your mom doesn’t hate my cake,” she said.

        Luke grinned, showing straight white teeth, blue eyes gleaming in the midday sun. “She loves everything you make, honey.”
        Jane twitched something close to a shrug. She wasn’t good at this kind of stuff, but she was learning.
           “By the way, have I told you how unbelievably sexy you look in that dress?”
           She gave him a lazy, heated look, liking him better in scrubs than in his suit and tie. Sighing, she ran a hand over her pale silk dress. “The heels are too high.”
           Jane shut the car door, turning sharply at the sound of tires screeching on a hard turn down the street. A dark maroon van came into view, heading their way, and fast.

Luke straightened, brows knitted with worry. “Get inside, Jane.”
        The van careened to a hard stop just behind Luke, tires smoking. Two masked men jumped out, one held a gun.
           “Luke!”
        “Inside! Now!” he screamed at her.
        But Jane’s feet were rooted to the sidewalk.
        A gunshot rang. The cake splattered to the ground. Luke staggered, his gaze lost.  Jane cried out, tears springing to her eyes, the cold cement cutting up her stockings as she knelt over his body. The face of a masked man loomed, her arms raised to cover her face. He swung. A sharp pain split her temple and her legs collapsed beneath her. The world flicked black and soundless.
*     *     *
        “All you girls are alike. Getting with these assholes who can’t treat you right,” came the angry mutterings of a young, male voice she didn’t recognize. “Come to me crying after his latest shit. Make me pick you up off the floor. Then treat me like I’m nothing. Sick of it. I’ll give you something to cry about. Something to fear.”
        Pain thudded like a spiked hammer against her skull. She groaned, eyes struggling to open.
        “Awake now, sleeping beauty?” asked the young man.
        She moaned, mouth dry as bone. She tried to shift, tried to wipe the dampness stinging her eye, but she couldn’t move her hands. Jane tried again, only then realizing that her hands were tied behind her. Panic injected through her veins, like a wakening slap across the face.
        “Now, now, don’t go freaking out on me. There will be time for that later,” the man cooed. He had his back to her, fiddling with something—a video camera—on a tripod. He turned to look at her, his face hidden behind a black ski mask.
        She was in a basement perhaps. Brick walls, windowless and bleak. A nasty smell hung in the air, like decomposing meat. “Please…what do you want from me?”
        The young man laughed, crossing his arms over his chest. He wore a tight black v-neck, accentuating his scrawny frame, and faded blue jeans over black work-boots. “What do I want?” he asked, walking towards her.
        She tried to hide, tried to curl away from his outstretched hand. He cupped her face, pinching her chin. “Look at me!”
        “No,” she yelped, squeezing her eyes tight.
        “Look at me, or I will cut off your eyelids, and then you’ll have no choice.”
        A sob escaped her and she forced her eyes to open.
        “You want to know what I want?” he sneered, and then moved to the side, angrily pointing a finger at the video camera. “Millions of people watching us right now. I want all the pretty girls like you to be afraid.”            
        Jane stared into the camera lens; a bright red light blinked back at her.
        “I want all the dickheads like your All-American boyfriend to think twice before dating cute things like you. They just might end up tasting cement and the cold lead of my bullet.”
        She remembered the blank look in Luke’s eyes, the gaping hole in the back of his head, and the bloody mess splattered like a popped water-balloon on the street. A violent shudder went through her at seeing her dress speckled with his blood. “Luke…” she whimpered quietly.
        “Luke?” The masked man snorted, beady eyes rolling. “Only one shot and the kid went down for the count. My aim’s getting better.”
           Luke’s murderer feigned sadness, lips pulled into an exaggerated pout. He faced the camera. “See that boys? Girls like this one…will end up getting you killed. I’ll make you see...”
        Jane didn't hear his next words. A loud ringing of agony, grief, sorrow, and fury culminated, growing dark and bitter inside of her. Turning her blood cold. She began to tremble, her vision twisting the world into a spectrum of crimson, darkening until it was black as ink.
Luke.
Luke had been the only good thing in her life, the only person in this world she’d ever loved. He’d loved her back without asking anything from her in return...unlike all the others.
        Her gaze burned at her abductor’s back.
           They had picked the wrong girl to take from. A wrath of cold vengeance hardened within her. Raw and malevolent, drowning out the fear. It concentrated, finding purity and purpose. A shaky serenity seeped into her muscles. She tested the bindings trapping her wrists. They were well restrained, but her legs were free. The chair was solid. Wooden. Probably from an old dining table set.
        She stared at the young man’s back, the peeking knife at his waistband. There were two other men, she recalled. This one—the one who shot Luke—another who had knocked her unconscious, and the driver of the van. Were they here somewhere?
        “…I’m going to show you cold heartless twits, make you think twice overlooking guys like me for some pretty-boy shitbag in a muscled tee.” He whirled on her. Jane stilled.
        He reached her in two strides, seizing a handful of her long hair and yanked hard. She hissed, her gaze sharpening with the promise of retribution. The angle had her looking right up at him. He kissed her roughly, teeth scraping, lips bruising. Another jerk of her hair and he released her. Bile filled her mouth. She spat the taste of him.
        “You’re going to have to try harder than that, sweetheart, if you don’t want me to get angry.” In full view of the camera, he squeezed her breast, gripping hard, his other hand trailing down to the vee of her thighs.
        She growled low, breathing heavily, imagining snapping every one of his filthy fingers and shoving them down his throat.
        He stalked back to the video camera. “The whole world is going to see just how scary I can be. You’re going to watch me…”
        She stood quietly, stepping on the seat of her chair, and then over and behind the seat-back, until the chair was completely in front her. She gripped the sides, raised it above her head and rushed at him. She slammed it across his back and neck. He snapped forward, stunned. Rage filled her and she raised the chair again, crushing it down with the full force of her weight. The chair splintered to pieces.
        Rushing footsteps echo from the stairs. She pulled the knife from his waist, slit the tape on her wrist and ran behind the door, ducking down low.
        A foot appeared, and then another. The man was holding a gun. “Mike?” he called. “Shit, Mike!”
        He wore a black shirt, long shorts, and tennis shoes. In one fluid motion, she sliced the tender flesh exposed behind his knees. One and then the other. He cried out, stumbling to the ground. The gun clattered away, the sound of agony still trilling from his lungs.
        She leaped over him, and stabbed the knife at his outstretched hand just as his fingers tipped the butt of his gun. He let loose another ripping scream, the pain-filled bawls reverberating from the once quiet stone walls.
           Hands steady, she picked up the gun, and then smashed the butt against the back of his head. His screams stopped.
           One more to go. She checked the clip; it had been a long time since she’d last held a gun. She whirled to face the open door just as the third guy came running in. Wide eyes of youth stared back at her. He was just a kid.
           Her fingers pulled. Once, twice. A quick double tap, the shots hitting him right above his eyes.
           She stood, legs shaky but strong. Only when the body stopped twitching did she turn her attention back to the others. She searched through their pockets. Mike had a wallet. Amateur, she sniffed. She pulled out his driver’s license and held it up for the still-blinking camera to see.
           “Come find me,” she said, staring coldly at the lens. “Hurry, or the only thing you’ll have to arrest are dead bodies.”
        She grabbed the roll of tape and began methodically tying up Mike and his injured accomplice; wrapping their wrists, and then their ankles. At the back of the room were hooks, like the ones in meat plants, hanging from the ceiling. The basement was an honest-to-god torture room.
With considerable effort, she lifted each one by the armpits, dragging them across the floor and onto the lowered hooks, using a lever to lift them up until their feet dangled inches off the floor.
        Still no sound of sirens. It would be a while, she figured.
           Mike began to stir.
        She closed her eyes, exhaustion filling her. But there would be no rest. Not until she’d made good on her promise. More blood would spill tonight, the devil in her to dance to an audience of corpses.  
           “Do you know what Luke did for me?” she whispered to Mike, remembering the day she'd first met Luke at the hospital. He'd taken care of her bruised and battered body, shown her unbelievable kindness. That day, he'd given her something to live for, him.
           “Please…” Mike wheezed. She kept his mask on, it was better this way.
           A bubble of crazed laughter spilled out of her.
           He began to struggle, body wriggling on the hook. “Jerry! Jerry, wake up man!” he cried.
           “Jerry’s too busy being unconscious,” Jane said, eyeing the puddle of blood beneath Jerry’s swaying feet. “I imagine having the muscles behind your knees sliced open is pretty painful.”
           Mike whimpered, tugging roughly at his bonds, but she had been careful. He wouldn’t be escaping. “Please…please I’m sorry!”
           She stood to face him, one hand clutching the gun, the other gripping the knife. “You’re sorry?” she asked, almost stabbing him then. “Luke was a good man. A fucking angel on this piece-of-shit earth and you took him from me.” It didn’t matter what happened to her, she’d always been unfortunate. But Luke…not Luke. She pressed her blood-caked palms against her eyes, remembering how he’d held her, how he’d stroked her hair.
           “I just wanted…I just wanted to teach people a lesson,” Mike sputtered. “Teach them to respect guys like me.”
           It was her turn to sneer. “Respect guys like you?” She turned to the video camera, the blinking red light like a beacon in the room. “How many women have you hurt in this hell-hole?” The smell of death mixed with fresh blood and Mike’s acrid stench grew ever pungent, making it hard to breathe.
           He wept so that his lips glittered with spittle, eyes clenched as if hoping to wake from this nightmare. Many. He’d hurt many.
           She drew closer and he shrank, body desperately trying to twist away.
           “How the tables have turned…But you were right about girls like me, leaving people dead.” She stared into his eyes, wondering where evil came from, knowing that he must see it in her gaze too, the darkness living within.
           There was a peculiar mole in his left eye. It was a second later when recognition set in. He was the kid from the grocery store—the one Luke had joked with. She snarled at the memory and stared down at the the tight fist she made around his knife. Raising the blade, she began to cut his shirt down the middle, exposing his torso; unaffected by his burbling pleas for mercy. Luke was gone. He had been her mercy, her conscience, the light chasing away the demons within her. Now the demons were back, and there would be nothing to stop them from bathing in Mike’s blood.
            “What…what are you going to do?” Mike screamed, wide eyes of panic morphing into mirrored globes of horror. “Please! Don’t do this!”
           With her other hand, Jane gripped the gun. “I’m going to do what you couldn’t. Make sure people never forget you.”
          She aimed and pulled the trigger. The shot rang, sparks sputtered from the camera. The red light blinked dead.
           Mike howled.
“I don’t like people watching me while I work,” she said evenly, a sinister smile curving her full lips. “Don’t scream to loudly, okay? It sets my teeth on edge.”

THE END

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why I Love You: Characters Brought to Life



Why are some characters more memorable than others? 

I stayed up late one night wondering this exact question and decided to choose two of my favorite characters to help me answer this. One of my notable fixations is the novel (and movie adaptation) Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. Why are we so in love with Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy? There are many reasons why these two characters—and ultimately, their stories—are so timeless, so unforgettable.

I started making a list of what I knew about them. Here is what I came up with. You will notice some patterns and thoughts that fall along the same categories. Feel free to share your thoughts as well! 


1.   Every action, thought, and emotion was true to their character. 
      Darcy was proud. He thought like a proud man and reacted like a proud man in every situation (at least in Lizzie's eyes). There was no inconsistency right up until the very end, when he finally overcomes his ego, his breeding, his good sense, all for the chance at true happiness and love. His most characteristic trait was his undeniable flaw: pride. You can say the same for Lizzie who was prejudiced from the very beginning, seeing Darcy as a rich snob who would always view himself above everyone else, with his large estate and ridiculous annual income. 

One thing to note: In your story, don't describe a character one way, make the reader have faith that they will then act that way, and then in the next scene do something different with no rhyme or reason. Gradual, reasonable, well-produced growth is essential to "believing" in your characters. Just like we cannot expect to be a new person overnight, neither can we expect the same of your characters.

      2.     They are flawed and vulnerable.
      Darcy and Lizzie's most defining trait is their flaw. His was pride, arrogance and conceit. And hers was prejudice, opinionated, unfiltered, and so on. Harry Potter wasn't the most talented wizard, but he was brave, loyal, lucky, big-hearted, and honest. Katniss Everdeen was an incredible archer and survivalist, but distrusting and paranoid, and didn't have much room in her heart to love anyone else other than her sister. I've said this before: give your characters an Achilles Heel, and we will remember them. 

      3.     They are rich. 
     What I mean by this is that the characters are rich in detail. You know their family history, their friends’ histories; their actions are justified by their personalities. They are rich with life, and yet so unlike real life people. (There is a difference.) They are unconvoluted (if that is a real word). They are honest, and stay honest. And when they are dishonest, it is usually for a noble cause, which we as readers can understand and love them all the more for it. Whereas people in the real world can both be honest and hideously dishonest in the same day, with nothing noble or reasonable about it. 

      4.     They crash and burn--over and over--before getting to Happily Ever After.
      Darcy and Lizzie's situation gets progressively worse before it gets better. Like any good story: things go from bad, to awful, to hellish nightmare--and then comes the double rainbows, filtering through after a disastrous rainstorm. Tension and suspense is what makes a good story (among a long list of other things, but for simplicity's sake let's keep it at that...If you don't know this yet, storytelling is a fine and ridiculously difficult art).

I love that one thing after another threatens to ruin them from coming together, until finally, they do what it takes to make things right, and can no longer deny themselves what they so rightfully deserve. 

      5.     They overcome their flaw.
      Both sides have some serious challenges to overcome before they finally end up together, at which point, I as the reader say, "Thank God...finally, they see what I saw all along--they're perfect for each other." And it fills me with such happiness, such gratification over a well-put-together, incredibly dynamic, and utterly romantic storyline. 

Who are your favorite characters? What answers have you come up with as to why? Try this exercise and give yourself an edge to building powerful characters. For more tips on creating memorable characters, click here

Happy writing. 

Yours,
Anna

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Writer Hermit Syndrome


How are you balancing your online presence and your writing?

One thing I have learned for certain, it is not easy.

The most dangerous limits are those in your own head.
I am currently plagued by the writer hermit syndrome. Hence my recent and abrupt MIA status.

Thankfully, it is as easy as it is difficult to fall off the face of the earth (if you are me). The wide variety of mobile devices and abundant WiFI so readily available, make checking your “online life” much too convenient—and too tempting to check all the time. Did I mention, slightly addictive? And at one point I was considering accidentally dropping my iPhone in the toilet just to escape the compulsions.

Before blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest mobile apps, life seemed so much simpler. And one thing was for certain, it was eating up too much of my writing time. Does this sound familiar? *Sly grin*

So I have gone into a semi-hidden online state. And refocused. My second draft of VIOLET STORM is back from my editor, and it is just what I needed to add some fuel to the writing fire. WHITE AS SNOW is going through a world concept review, thanks to some intriguing questions I received from my writers group (I should have those chapters back up in no time!).

What are you currently working on? And how are you balancing social media and writing? 


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