Today I'm going to talk a little about my experience with being rejected by agents and publishers. To keep it on the professional side I won't name any specific group or give actual text from letters. But I figure it has to help someone to know about the process during the submission period.
To give you some stats as of today, 6/29/13:
12 for THE ICE ENCHANTRESS'S PLOT
46 for THE PSYCHIC STORY
27 for THE CHOSEN FOUR (ON THE DAWNING)
~15 from publishers, 70 from agents
Requests for More Material
5 total (for THE PSYCHIC STORY)
2 full manuscript requests
Revise & Resubmit
1 total (for THE PSYCHIC STORY)
2 total (agencies)
1 scam weeded out by P+E (since then, I've checked before sending out)
1 conditional on R&R (didn't pan out)
Assuming you didn't die after the last post, here's the next section --from tenth grade through today! I'll see you again Saturday for a post about rejection letters. Yay!
Today, I'm going to post something I've never really shown anyone before.
Starting in the middle of high school, I started this list of every achievement I'd ever done, both for college application stuff and resumes, and also because this one guy kind of spurred me to wanting to make a list of why in the world I was awesome enough that he shouldn't bother me.
So I'm going to post this list up here for you, sort of a history of my life along with a list of my achievements. It's pretty long, so I'll have two consecutive posts covering this. If you do actually read this, and decide to feel jealous or something, remember, this is all the good stuff. I never bothered to write down all the bad stuff... well, not in a list anyway. I do have a lot of diaries, though, covering just about everything that's ever happened to me.
I just wanted to show you this, I guess, because it's a somewhat detailed history of my life that I thought you might like.
Here it is: another writing rant, this time about tropes and other common story elements that I find problematic, because they're overdone, ethically questionable, or have a tendency to negatively affect the quality of a book. Some of these are more of a personal preference, but they're all things I'd like to see less of!
*Updated 3/23/2018* *For more thoughts related to this topic, check out this, this, and this post.*
Love triangles make your character seem wishy-washy, they're often used to add conflict to what would otherwise be an easy romance, and they're super cliche. I rarely guess wrong about which person will be chosen in the end, which adds to my frustration. Seriously, why are teenage girls in stories always in a love triangle? I've almost never seen one in real life--unless it was called "cheating." To my eyes, love triangles make your main character into someone who has a serious problem with commitment and loyalty, and I don't have a lot of patience for that. You need to make your choice and then be loyal to the person you're with, you know?
(Usually, with love triangles, the girl is the one who has to make the choice. But don't make the mistake of thinking that if a guy is the center of the triangle, it's better.)
A few exceptions apply, as with almost anything. I've mostly enjoyed love triangles that shake things up a bit. For example, though the The Hunger Games' triangle did get cliche at times, it had power because Katniss really didn't care either way. I also appreciate the fact that many love triangles ultimately represent a greater life choice, not just a choice between two dudes--but it's easy to make that symbolism way too obvious. So if you're leaning towards a triangle in your own writing, please consider other ways of spicing up your plot and of addressing your character's major life choices.
Today, I thought I'd show you the contents of my bookshelf, just to give you some idea of my reading tastes. I am possibly the most voracious reader of all time. I haven't gotten into adult fiction yet, and there are some genres and styles I'm less into, but I'm likely to read just about anything I can get my hands on, especially in the YA sector.
Because of my voracious appetite, I have found that I don't have the money or shelf space to feed this habit. Therefore, libraries and I are very well-acquainted. But of course, I want books of my own! What reader doesn't? So when it comes to buying books, I'm picky. I only request to get a book if I honestly see some real exceptional merit in it, and if it doesn't hold up, I get rid of it. Therefore, my bookshelf is very well-maintained.
So it's time for the master tour. Keep in mind, these contents change, often. Twice a year at the least. Books are organized alphabetically by author's first name. That'll probably change too.
This is going to be a long post. Hold your horses and hang onto your hats. *Check out an updated tour from January 2017 here.*
This is actually going to be interesting to cover, because this isn't a topic I'm as focused on or familiar with as others I've talked about, but I thought it merited some sort of response. I mean, someday, I might win one (hahahaha).
So I shall be doing some research today!
The one opinion I remember having in the past, way long ago in elementary school and such, was that Newbery Book Award winners stunk. The Newbery Award focuses on children's books, and it grants one Medal, and a few Honors, to a set of books each year, focusing on "original creative works from American literature." When I was still reading (and writing) only specifically children's books, not YA, this was the one award I was super-aware of, probably mostly because my mom made a point out of buying the Newbery Medal winners all the time.
She asked me once if I thought I'd win a Newbery someday. My answer was an unquestionable NO. Why? Because they would never consider my books worthy of their award, especially since they seem intent on picking books I absolutely hated.
Researching now, I see that wasn't entirely true... The majority of Newbery Medal winners through the past have been books that bored me as a kid, like Kira-Kira. Yeah, it had my name; that's why I read it. Then Bridge to Terebithia. Depressing. Actually, the majority of these books were either boring, scary, or too depressing for me as a youthful reader. (I don't know what I'd think now, though.)
A couple of them were pretty legit. The one I was always aware of, the one time Newbery got it right, I used to say, was The Giver by Lois Lowry. I've talked about this book before a good few times. The Giver is one of my favorite books ever. There are also a couple others there that I liked: A Wrinkle in Time, The Tale of Desperaux.
Once before, when I first finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I wrote a spur-of-the-moment bonus post expressing my feelings and thoughts. It wasn't so much a book review/recommendation as a word-vomit related to the story and my own personal situation, but nonetheless, I thought it to be a good post. Which is why, today, I'd like to do that again, although maybe with a little less word-vomit and more of the recommendation part.
Today I read a book that I found through a TED-related blog, Wonder, by R. J. Palacio. It's a children's book, but man, was it heavy. I found it wrenching and painful within the first few pages, which is actually saying a lot. I love to read but rarely do I get so emotional over books. The emotions and brilliance just continued, too, right to the end, and I definitely cried. Would you believe it, I'm a waterworks in real life, but I rarely cry at books. This one made me cry.
So I'd like to recommend it to all of you. Wonder.
So, I really like movie trailers. A lot. I guess that's almost a given seeing how much I imagine the movies/trailers for my own novels. Some people get really annoyed with movie trailers and refuse to watch them, or just grumble during the theatre screening. But I like to have all those story snippets in my head, to get the images, the mood, the combination of the music and the words. I guess it's like the music video thing, but with a longer story.
If I really like it, or if I'm already invested, naturally I go see the movie. But mostly I just want the movie trailers. I also like to read critic reviews, not for the critique, but to hear the story.
So now I'm going to analyze some movie trailers, some old and some newer, like the cool person I am.
I've been nominated by dear Julia. This blog and I are now "versatile!" Cool story. Problem is, once again, Jules stole all the people I could have nominated for this, which means it's a dead end with me. Whoo-hoo! So I'll just answer the questions and be on my way.
I've got to tell you seven things about myself. Oh dear. On top of the 50 I've already done? Hmm. Seven things...
1) I discovered Doctor Who just a couple weeks ago, beginning with the Ninth Doctor, and I have not been able to stop watching it since. It's killing me. I'm sitting in my room bleeding out (by which I mean bawling) because too many people leave/die/whatever on this show, but it's too beautiful for me to stop. I'm up til the wee hours of the morning watching it. I keep talking in a British accent. I can't get the theme song out of my head. It's terrible and wonderful and my gosh make it stop.
Why I Hate James Pat...
Hitler and Mother Ter...
The Lesser Evil: Femi...
Guest Post: 5 Fandom...
PTSD and the Hunger...
Successful People W...