tamela_j: (Default)
Wow. Sorry I've been MIA. It's been a busy couple of months. I keep telling myself to take a break and come here and update, and then more stuff comes up and now it all seems overwhelming just to try and remember. Lets see if bullet-points will help me keep it brief and manageable.

Read More )
tamela_j: (Dorothy Parker--alas)
I’m asking this not only because I’m too lazy/broke to go and procure a Writer’s Market or other type book, but also because I’d rather have real people who I can interact with and question further their opinions than just a bunch of random lists of way too many places with no real sense of pros vs. cons of each.

So, a quandary for all you writer/novelist types: What organizations, groups, guilds and the like are you a member of? Why? What do you look for in this sorts of shenanigans? What are some pros/cons and what should be avoided?

I have no opinions yet, so all suggestions, opinions and information will be much appreciated.

Thanks.
tamela_j: (It mocks me)
Augh! Why are summaries so hard?

So, now that people know that I have written, finished and am having a book published, after their "YAY! That's awesome!" is the question that stops me cold. "So, what's it about?"

Um...

Uh...

Well...

*blanks*

And it's not that I don't know what it's about, I just have a hard time gauging just how much the person asking really wants to know. You see, I've been to a lot of writers' events. I've seen people's eyes glaze over when they very innocently (and a bit n00bishly) ask, "What's it about?" and are then subjected to a 15 minute description of this person's book. I've seen that "Save Me" look so many times. I've given that "Save Me" look so many times. It's not that I didn't want to know and was only being polite (okay, sometimes that's EXACTLY what it is) but there's a difference between "What's it about?" and "Tell me every detail of your latest book, including what influenced it and if there will be sequels."

So, I find myself doing the opposite by giving too little information. I find I'm okay with this usually, but there have been times when people look at me with the "And then what?" look. This look is still preferable to the "Kill Me Now" look, but there has to be a happy medium.

The major problem as I see it, besides that I am overly sensitive to looks people give, is that it is much harder to swiftly articulate the summary of a character based story then a plot based story. Again, not implying that my story has no plot. It's sick with plot, but just not easily explained plot. It's all about the characters and how the plot effects them, defines them and ultimately changes them. That's the part that's hard to describe without glossing over or giving too much away.

So, I could really use your help. I will give you a few options of the answer to the question (hopefully without giving too much of the plot away) and you can tell me which one sounds adequate without glazing over your eyes and causing you to scan for the exits.

Summaries )

Any of those work? A mix perhaps? Want more? Need more? Less?

What do you look for in a summary? What turns you off of a summary? More importantly, please feel free to share any secrets you have about writing them.

Please...
tamela_j: (Default)
You know what's even better then a good Fandom!Wank?

PUBLISHING WANK!

OMG! This shit is GOLD!

It started when an author at AbsoluteWrite.com discovered a writing competition that she brought to everyone's attention here. The contest is being held by First One Publishing. It is the most ridiculous contest ever, but when I went to refresh myself about it at the site, I saw that all the information had been taken down. Hmmmm...I wonder why... But thankful, the folks at Absolute Write have it all documented pretty much in the above thread.

Absolute Write is a great place for writers of all genres and levels to share information, share stories and also to snark. They had a great time snarking...and then Karen Hunter from First One Publishing came to school them all. And she kept coming and kept coming. What was awesome about that was that she went from super friendly and very thankful to the authors for telling her what needed to be addressed to really, really belligerent.

After reading her comments there, it became clear to me (and most there) what this "contest" was all about. It was to lure the n00b writer who wants to get published and thinks the reasons the publishers haven't taken their work is because there is a "system." Not because their stories are no good, but because they're not "connected." So, it's either pay 149. dollars to submit your work (which they know is AMAZING if only someone would truly read it) or you can spend THOUSANDS (according to First One Publishing) to get it self published. Plus, self publishing doesn't give you what First One does--self publishing won't supply you with publicity and marketing or send you on a tour. According to First One, they will. Sound good? No. Not to me either. But there was a time, a time where I didn't know what I was doing, a time that my writing had progressed as far as it is now (not that it still doesn't need work by any means) that this would almost seem like something to consider.

But wait. There are rules. Or, at least there were. This is where the Twitterverse and the Blogosphere exploded in indignation, warning and yes, more snark.

Janet Reid highlights Clause 13 here
Laura Anne Gilman (Suricattus) breaks it down a bit more here
John Scalzi tears apart Clause 13 and also this gem "In the event that there is an insufficient number of entries received that meet the minimum standards determined by the judges, all prizes will not be awarded."
John Scalzi again after First One took down the contest.
And finally, because a story like this can't have enough snark Evil Wylie's "Evil Contest"

So, I think we can all agree. This contest is a bad idea that hopefully died before it began. But please, if you need help sorting out what is a good contest/agent/publisher vs what is bad, please consult Writers Beware and Preditors and Editors

/psa

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March 2015

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