Saturday, March 29, 2008

A fourth brief service announcement - Decisions . . . Decisions

I’ve started to notice that my blog is changing, which isn’t a newsflash to my few readers. This blog is evolving. My first intention was to simply use it as a dump site for the overload of story ideas. An archive - if you will - to store the pieces of loose imagination so they can have a place somewhere else outside my abused mind so I can concentrate on writing my manuscript. I wanted to post those stories of my past, the many adventures in the wedding biz, and the short stories I don’t plan to submit anywhere. But that’s not entirely the case anymore. I’ve become, shall we say, more active? I’m more personally HERE in this blogosphere since the beginning of March.

What does this mean?

I can’t answer that, because I never had a reason to worry about it before. I’ve never believed other people would have an interest in my words. (Thanks again, Adaora, Kate, Josephine, and Patricia Wood - who deserves mad props for the success of her book "Lottery" and selling the pilot rights for it to Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, Sarah Michelle Gellar.)

Okay, enough with the name-dropping. The point I’m trying to get at is this: I’m curious over the progress of my manuscript. I’m down to five chapters left to write (longhand) and then type into my computer. I’ve already broken . . . let’s see . . . one, two, three, FOUR finish dates for this project that was started back in August of this year. I know how the story is supposed to end, although I always leave it up to my typing fingers to surprise me with a new twist to the plot. Also, I already have both my query letter and synopsis done.

So why am I dragging my heels?

If you haven’t read my bio already ( I’m talking about the OTHER bio), I’ve had my trust burned when searching for an agent to my first-first manuscript. It happened before the days when I had Internet access and didn’t know a thing about the publishing industry. (No, this isn’t an excuse for my ignorance. I accept full responsibility for my actions and have stopped hanging my head in shame because of it.)

Anyway, this person was a very smooth talker and had convinced me to part with some of my money, which is a big NO-NO TO DO. When I finally found out about the scam, he had already changed his business name, address, phone number - and probably left his pets behind to cover his tracks. Although such an unfortunate thing happened, I’ve been able to move on.

Sort of . . .

See. This is where the snag starts. My hesitation. I’m wondering if the reason I’ve skipped my deadlines is that once the story is finished, I’ll be stepping back into the realm of shadowy publishing. I fear the depth of the murky waters. Could this also be the reason I have been personalizing my posts? I’m using the blogosphere as an escape from finishing the manuscript?

Oh God, I hope not. I hope this is merely my evolution into a better writer. I hope this change is a wish to post entertaining stories. Also, I hope my evolving is because I’ve become more personal toward my readers while letting them know I’m here and alive and appreciate the camaraderie offered along with the helpful feedback. And I do consider your feedback very helpful, so don’t be afraid to post anything negative. I won’t get angry.

But what is fueling my avoidance to my project?

Maybe I’m the spur-of-the-moment gal. I like the unknown and love to ad-lib my writing (even now I don’t know where this post is leading to or what I’m going to type in.) Perhaps this is the reason I’ve been procrastinating. I know how the manuscript is suppose to end. The surprise has been diluted. Yet this doesn’t change the fact that I want my story out of my head or to write it to the best of my abilities. I just need some motivation.

I need a kick in my rump. I need a foot in the posterior, backside, the place that many people talk out of instead of from their mouths. Any takers? I’ll accept smack-downs in the form of comments, email, IM, Paypal (I would love if you send them by Paypal) or any other means that you see fit. Make me shake my tail-feather and get my project done. I’ll even spring for the earplugs so you don’t hear my pleas for mercy.

Wow, I had to stop and go back to read everything with a mixture of shock. I’ve always tried to be brutally honest about things. So I guess the day had to come where I needed to be brutally honest with myself. Take your bows, dear readers. You deserve it for opening up my shell of shyness and self-delusion. I feel a great weight taken off my shoulders. My mind is a bit clearer on where I stand with my writing. Hmm, I guess I owe you something.

The idea has been floating around in my gray matter that I should perhaps post my query letter and synopsis for some helpful (and brutally honest) feedback. Maybe I’ll even post my first page. I wouldn’t post it on this blog. I’ll probably create a second one for it, although I’m not sure if I would allow everyone to read it. Perhaps I’ll restrict it to only those people who are truly interested in THE SURLY WRITER blog.

What do you think? Would you be interested to read what my project is about? Do you want to get a first showing and gaze your peepers at my writing style? Should I create another blog? Should I restrict access or allow the world to see it? If I do restrict access, would you have an interest in being the few select people to come visit my other one? Should I make it a first-come first-serve basis for about three, five, or seven people? (Okay, I realize I’m deluding myself into thinking I have that many readers. Allow me a little of my fleet fantasies.) Also, what should I name the other blog?

Will you answer my questions so I’ll stop asking them and get back to work on my story?


  1. Yes, dear readers, I'm making the first comment because I was remiss in answering all of Josephine's comments from a previous post. I hate doing that. I was in a rush earlier today and could only type in a few words. Completely my fault. I like to answer everyone fully whether it is on my blog or theirs. So I am rectifing the issue by answering her questions now.

    First off is Josephine's comments, then my answers will follow:

    First, I love your sketches. Very nice.

    Second, great post on queries and why you should approach it like they were a blog comment - short and sweet - and yet so many writers go on and on, explaining to the agent every little thing. Jeesh!

    Third: I refuse to "enable" you with a prompt. I read a novel - forget the title - with a writer character who just came up with sentences. That's it. Just sentences that represented a line from a story or novel idea he had - he wasn't capable of taking an idea past a lone sentence. A spoof - no doubt - on writers who jump around from one idea to the other without finishing, but still, I think there's a message there: you gotta finish what you start.

    Fourth: In your blog roll, you might not want to call your WIP a "fiction novel" - pick one, or the other - agents will nail you on that one!
    My answers:

    I'm glad you like the sketches. All black and white artwork down with a charcoal stick, a tissue, an eraser, and a felt pen.

    The query thing concerning length really bugs me also, which was why I did not post my comments on Agent NB's blog (you know who I'm talking about.) I was reading the three critiques thinking that they would make fantastic synopses! I'm not saying this to sound mean. I loved all the storylines. It was that they had captured most of the major plot points within their queries.

    As for the prompts, I'm not really looking for anyone to "engage" me in them. I just find it interesting that if you pay attention to a person's comments, they can sometimes give you story ideas in the simplest of wordplay.

    And lastly, as for the WIP/fiction novel snafu, I've taken your advice to heart. I have no right to even use the word novel unless it's followed by a title found in a bookstore. So I've already made several changes to my blog. I hope I can catch them all.

    Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to give my answers. I will do the same for all of you.

  2. Wow Michelle, I never knew some scam artist tried to swindle you. I'm pleased to see that you've come out on the better end. Thanks for the shoutout, you're a doll. Thank you for reading BOTH of my blogs. That's greatly appreciated.

    My OverExposed Notes was a more restrictive format at first. I'm discovering more people have been visiting after loosening it up a bit. It seems people like to read my blabber!

    Don't be afraid hun. I'm telling you, it obviously can be scary - and you've got great reason to be apprehensive - but the saying does go 'nothing ventured, nothing gained.' What if you're sitting on the best book seen in the last 10 years for your genre? Wouldn't youv be shelfish to not give society the opportunity to lap that up? I think you would be!

    I want a tasty morsel. I'd be very interested!

  3. Sometimes, Adaora, I think you are my clone! I know the saying goes "Great minds think alike" but the way we think alike is starting to scare even me. LOL! (Then again, maybe I'm your clone . . .gasp!)

    I read the blogs that interest me, even when I don't ever leave a comment. I give kudos whenever I can. It can brighten up anyone's day when they know that they've been acknowledged.

    Fear? Yes, I've chewed my nails to stubs time and time again. But you know some of my life story on your "Keep the Peace in the School" forum. I believe it might be the introverted side of me that is hesitant because of those bad experiences.

    Look at me, I'm babbling like this is a therapist blog. Back to getting to the subject at hand.

    I have one vote of interest in my project. Anybody else?


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