Posted by: drizl | August 30, 2011

Dear Agents..Please explain

Dear Agents,

I have a question for you. I recently came across an article about the book The Help. The author talked about her search for an agent and the SIXTY, yes 6-0, rejections she received from agents and editors. What does that say about the agents who rejected the book? Could you tell me the reasons you rejected the story? You do realize it’s a movie now right…I’m wondering if you think rejecting the story was a good business decision?

In truth, I’m wondering if you agents are in the business of selling things? Many of the rejections I have received talk about personal taste. I have to say that I have been in many industries where I have sold things or services and I don’t always absolutely LOVE the product. For instance, a few years ago, I sold tickets for a living. Okay, I was a ticket scalper. I didn’t even like all the events I had to deal with. I’m not a race car fan nor do I absolutely love baseball, but I know a lot of people who do love those things. I still sold the tickets because doing so made money for the company.

I guess I don’t understand agents. A good story is a good story. If I were an agent, I would be thinking of the public. I know I can write a good story. I’m sure it’s not perfect. I never claimed to be perfect, but I do know that people like to read my stuff. I’ve been practicing over on fan fiction. I’m getting off track.

When I first got the idea to write a story and sell it, I seriously thought that the publishing industry was in business to sell books. And with all this new technology at their disposal, I thought they would be excited to publish new stories. Apparently I was wrong because first you have to get past the wall of agents and they don’t like letting new people inside.

I guess I’m wondering if you agents keep a list of the books you passed on that are now best sellers. Who were the agents who passed on Harry Potter, because I know there was a few of you. What were your reasons? Were you one of the people who passed up Stephen King? I know he had so many rejections that he staked them to the wall.

Maybe if I knew the answers to these questions, I would better understand agents. Remember you are in a business to make money…

Sincerely,

Me

Posted by: drizl | July 20, 2011

Screw the Box…

I’ve been avoiding writing a post for a few weeks. I know what I have to write and what I want to say, but it scares the piss out of me and if I write it down or say it out loud, it means I have to follow through. I made that decision when I started writing. Finish what you start…do what you say…

I tried. I really did. I tried to fit in their box. I stuffed myself and my stories into a neat little cardboard box wrapped with a wonderful ribbon. I followed all the rules to the best of my ability. Querys, Synopsis, cover letter, first five pages, first three chapter…Agent after agent, all requesting something different. And then the waiting…waiting..waiting…until I forgot what the hell I was waiting for…eventually, an email would pop up with a NO…but most of the time, I couldn’t remember what the no was for, since it had been three months when I sent out the original query.

I was getting frustrated with the world of publishing….Imagine that…the scary thing about this whole process, is that I really did want an agent. I wanted to do things the traditional way. (I may have equated traditional with right) I’d stuffed myself in their box, rewritten the story so the heroine was seventeen not nineteen…because nineteen doesn’t fit in the box, I attended writer’s conferences, did research and wrote, wrote and wrote, but nothing changed…Eventually, I couldn’t breathe and I found myself trying to claw my way out of the box again.

I think their box is collapsing. Another huge book retailer is disappearing. The article on Borders was depressing. I truly do not want book stores to go away. It would be sad not to be able to walk into a shop filled to the rafters with books, to wander the aisles running my finger across the new spines of books and looking at covers, wondering if the words are as great as the art.

So here I sit typing away on my laptop avoiding saying the words….

Fuck it…A few days ago I found the song Lighters by Bad Meets Evil (featuring Bruno Mars) Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″ are Bad Meets Evil… Oh my god, the lyrics may be raw and a bit nasty, but hell, they hit home for me…

Feel free, but from now on I’m refusing to ever up

You and I know what it’s like to be kicked down
Forced to fight
But tonight we’re alright
So hold up your light
Let it shine
Cause this one’s for you and me, living out our dreams
We’re all right where we should be
Lift my arms out wide I open my eyes
And now all I wanna see
Is a sky full of lighters
A sky full of lighters

So with that said…big breath…I’m going to move forward with self publishing…screw the box. I’m burning the stupid thing. I’ve never fit into anyone’s box and I can’t force myself to be something I’m not…I’m rewriting the story…again…the character was originally nineteen and she will be again. I’m going to post more on this blog, probably some teasers from the story…We’ll make this journey together…Me and my words….

Posted by: drizl | July 2, 2011

Wanted: A brain that understands publishing

I used to consider myself fairly intelligent. That idea is slowly going away as I read more and more stuff on publishing and self publishing. Since all I’ve been getting is rejections from agents lately, I’ve been entertaining the idea of self publishing. A friend of mine recently went on Create Space, went through the entire process and then actually pushed the button to create her very own book. It’s a POD or Print on Demand version meaning that as people purchase the book, their copy would be printed and mailed to them. Oh uh, Create Space is affiliated with Amazon.

Anyway, I asked about an ebook. Apparently that is a separate process that one must go through. So, I signed up for Create Space and it seems that I have to do Print on Demand book and then a Ebook…I think…I’m not really sure…I think the ebook costs money to create whereas the POD book was free along with the ISBN number..which, even though it’s the same book, a POD book and anEbook will have different ISBN numbers. Are you with me. I lost about 1/4 of my brain looking at the stuff. So, I wondered about other companies. I checked out ITunes…things really started to get confusing here. I ended up on a site where you can purchase ISBN numbers…then I found a list of companies who format your work for ebooks…I looked at a couple of the sites…Libre Digital and INscribe Digital…yeah, I lost another 1/4 of my brain trying to figure out those sites. Then I found a site called SmashWords. I like the name….from what I understand from their site is you get free ISBN #s for you work and then they are ready for the Apple gadgets, the Sony Reader, the Nook (Barnes and Noble) and a few other names I’ve never heard of…I still don’t understand if you go through SmashWords where you ebook ends up…maybe floating around in space somewhere? And then since the book would already have an ISBN # how would that work if you wanted to add the book to Amazon? FUCK…no wonder people still want an agent and shit…this stuff is confusing…BUT on the flip side…since my friend pushed the complete button, it took about two weeks and she’ll have a published book in her hand. If you manage to land an agent, who in turn sells your manuscript to a publisher to print the book…you won’t have an actual book for about a year…that’s crazy. I want my stuff now. We are a society who can get our hands on stuff immediately, yet our book world insists that we wait…for a long time…to get the product…I also realized that if I did go through the traditional publishing industry and now had a release date, I couldn’t even do a signing in my home town in a large bookstore because within the last year and a half, both Barnes and Noble and Walden Books closed their store fronts. Agents and traditional book publishers regularly pooh-pooh self publishing but when the traditional avenues to sell the actual books are closed…what next? And don’t say that the publishing world doesn’t get down on self-publishing, I’ve been to enough writer’s conferences. I’ve heard the agents say the bad words about self publishing. Don’t get me wrong, because if an agent or an editor or publisher came calling I would elope with them immediately. I”m just asking the questions that I’m sure a lot of people have in their heads, including me. Our world is changing and although I don’t want to see the bookstore disappear or the physical book go away, there are other options out in this world and I don’t want to shut the door on them. Plus, I’d like to see my work published in my freaking life time.

Posted by: drizl | June 30, 2011

ADVICE REQUESTED….ARGH!!!

Holy shite…it’s been a month since my last post and right now I’m totally freaking out…Advice…I need Advice…this world of publishing is going to drive me over the edge. Actually, I think it already did and I’m barely hanging on by my fingernails. Today I was all set on signing up to go to another writer’s conference and in the middle of registering I had to stop. The person I wanted to do a blue pencil with was not listed. As far as I could tell he wasn’t seeing people. He’s just at the conference to teach a few workshops. Now I know you can approach these people and pitch your work to them but I’m absolutely terrible at just walking up to someone and launching into a pitch. Hell, I’m terrible at making small talk with people I don’t know. Holy hell…so now the major dilemma is should I spend large amounts of money to travel and attend this conference? Maybe the money would be better utilized somewhere else, like self publishing. I managed to get two more lovely rejections from agents in the past week. One popped up on Saturday evening at 10pm. The other came yesterday afternoon. I’m pretty sure the first one was a form rejection, but the second one was a bit more personal. Still they were both NOs.

I need the magic formula or whatever. Someone tell me what to do. Giving up and burying my head in the dirt sounds like a good idea at the frecking moment. 

Posted by: drizl | May 31, 2011

Hunting & Pecking for the Perfect Words

ARGH! I’m having all sorts of problems with the writing. Started a new story, because I need to step back from the jumpers for a few weeks before I rewrite….AGAIN…so I have a new story outline but I cannot for the life of me find a starting point that I’m happy with…at all…it’s driving me crazy.

Sooo..what do I do when I need some inspiration? I run to my Ipod and look for new songs to inspire.  Here’s what I found to help me find those perfect words. First song I stumbled across was on my Tumblr feed. Haunting song called…My Sweet Prince – Placebo by Marty. Don’t ask me anything about the song or singer because I’ve never heard of either. Just know that I love the song…I also watched Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball on HBO and a few interviews with her. She’s a fascinating woman. Weird fashion style but whatever shakes your banana tree…Her song Edge of Glory is freaking awesome and the back story of how the song materialized is wonderful. She wrote it for her grandfather when he passed away because as she said he nailed life!

I downloaded a couple other songs but for the life of me I can’t remember what they were or who sings them…rolls eyes and runs to look at the Touch…Snort… I just passed Katy Perry’s song PEACOCK…I wanna see your Peacock..cock..cock…okay losing my shizz here…um, aw here it is Memories by Panic! At the Disco…it’s a good bike riding/working out song…not many new songs have rocked my boat lately. I heard one in the car and wrote down the artist but I can’t find where I wrote it down..story of my life…

So besides the music, I’ve tried writing in different places and at different times but nothing has worked so far…What do you guys do when you need a change of pace to find your inspiration? I’ll try anything…maybe…

Oh and next time I query…I’m sending this with it…

Posted by: drizl | May 18, 2011

Action Action and More Action…

The headache from hell is back again. It always shows up when I have decisions to make about my writing. It has come to my attention that people want action in the first line to the last line of the book. The back story of the character has to be carefully woven in to the plot through out the book. No one wants to know anything about the characters right away. They just want action. Fuckin’ hell…so now that big question is…do I rewrite again…or move on with the a different story…for fucks sake why can’t anything be easy? Rolls eyes. I’m sure everyone asks that question at least once a week.

I wasn’t going to mention this here, but who really cares…On a good note, my two of my fanfiction stories have been nominated in the Slash Awards. When the Night Comes was nominated for Best Angst and Best Break-up/Make-up and 180 Days was nominated for Best Comedy. I’m going to cling to anything positive. So, if any of you are Fanfic Twilight Slash readers, head on over to The Slash Awards and vote.  http://theslashawards.blogspot.com/  Um…oh yeah, you are supposed to be eighteen or older to read my fanfic shizz…

Posted by: drizl | May 13, 2011

Fantastic Opening Line…But still NO

Sigh…I kinda feel like I should be snot sobbing right now, but I don’t have it in me. Rejections have become my staple. Nice rejections. Since the rejections have been nice ones, I feel like I’m standing in a long line waiting to get into some exclusive club. I’m not sure if I’m in the fucking right line and I’m probably wearing the wrong clothes. It could be I’m here on the wrong day or it’s the wrong time. No one will answer my questions. I’m probably asking the wrong questions or asking the wrong person. Maybe my shoes are the wrong color Whatever the reason, I can’t seem to break into this exclusive club and it’s driving me mad.

The rejection had words like…I was intrigued by the premise, and you’ve created some interesting back story. 

But then, it said the story reads more like genre than contemporary teen fiction…I’m not sure what that means. There’s a secret language in the publishing world and until you figure it out, you’re on the outside peering in…

And then a bit of advice…if you decide to revise…I think I yanked a chunk of hair out when I read that sentence…The best freaking sentence of the whole email was Especially with your fantastic opening lines in chapter one!

So…now I really wish the answer fairy would swoop down and bring me some answers. I don’t know what to do? I’m frustrated and confused, but I still can’t seem to let that story go…I’ve been working on a few other projects and suddenly, I’ll be thinking about the jumper story. Ugh…

Anyone have suggestions?

I’m freaking pulling my hair out.  At the moment, indecision is my middle name. With everything! Since all has been silent on the agent front, I’ve been thinking about my jumper story a lot. Self Publishing has come to the forefront again, but I can’t decide if I should publish it as a true young adult or go back to the main character as a nineteen year old. Wouldn’t it be great to prove that there is a place for 19, 20 and 21 year old characters…Of course, then indecision shows its ugly face, asking the question, are you sure you want to self publish? I want to scream I DON”T KNOW! QUIT ASKING ME THAT FUCKING QUESTION. QUIT ASKING ME ANY QUESTIONS BECAUSE I DON’T SEEM TO HAVE ANY ANSWERS!

I’ve recently started a new story and I’ve rewritten the beginning four times already. The part that’s driving me nuts is my indecision with the style. Twice I’ve tried third person point of view. I recently rewrote the first seven pages in first person and tonight I was rewriting back in third person again. I’m losing my fricking mind!

Where the hell is the answer fairy when you need one?

Even though, I just started a new story…okay, the truth is, I have like five story ideas in the hopper and I have no clue which one I should focus on…AND then I start wondering if I should try my hand at writing a script. I totally envy people who can focus on a goal and follow through with it…Fuck….

I found a coin flip quote that might help me, but of course, I don’t just have two choices…

If you are stuck between two options, just flip a coin in the air

It works.

Not because it solves the problem….but because while the coin is in the air, you will get to know what your heart is really hoping for…

I suppose I could just toss a whole fucking bank up in the air and see what happens!

I keep telling myself that I just need to find that ONE person who believes in my work…Sigh…

If anyone has any ideas…shoot them my way…

Posted by: drizl | April 23, 2011

From a Notebook to the Big Screen

Just returned from a screening of Water For Elephants…Stunning..Robert Pattinson was awesome…But the real reason I’m writing is because I am totally overwhelmed with the idea of what it feels like to see your work up on the big screen. Does any other writer ever feel like this or am I just absolutely stark raving mad…Maybe I’ve just had too much caffeine today, but I want to experience that with my own words. I want to hold a book in my hand and then see it transformed into pictures on a big screen. Just turn my brain inside out and dump all the contents out, there’s got to be some stories in there that are worthy of it. And ya want to know what was really eerie…when I was walking out of the theater, I glanced up at the big screen and my first name was up there, staring back at me…It’s not that common of a name so it took my breath away…I do believe in signs…I can only hope this was one of them, telling me that I’m on the right track….

When the world says give up, hope whispers …try it one more time…

Posted by: drizl | April 19, 2011

Flamed again…

So…I got totally flamed for one of my fanfics again. WTF is wrong with people that they feel the need to be an asshole? I don’t get it…and from what I understand, it happens a lot in the Twilight Fandom. If I was getting paid for my work…well, feel free to lambast me left and right, but I write fanfic to escape all the NO’s I get from the real world of publishing. I write it for fun, to test my skills and expand my horizons. I didn’t write it to have some freak who can’t even write a complete sentence tell me I suck and I should grow up. I don’t know how else to explain to people that it’s a freaking story and they are under no obligation to read it…It was written as total CRACKFIC and for fun…It is in no way shape or form, a serious work of fiction…Groan…Sometimes, I freaking hate people…Man, that felt good to write…

Ever have one of those days when your middle finger seems to be the answer to everything…

and now back to our regularly scheduled program….

Um….so, I’m trying to figure out what to concentrate on at the moment. I’ve started to work on a new fic I started a while back. I love the main character and I have part of his story but I haven’t figured out the entire outline. Outlines and me don’t get along all that well, but some people seem to think that they’re important. I am seriously trying to write an outline, but it’s fighting me….I figure I’ll just write for a bit and see where the story takes me….I figure writing something is better than twiddling my thumbs waiting to hear from agents….

Oooooh, and in the hurray, I can’t wait category of my life…the 100 Monkeys are coming to a bar near me! Well, okay, it’s going to take at least four hours of driving time, but I’m sure it will be worth it…

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