Miss Snark's blog has been particularly snarky recently - and therefore most enjoyable. I'd love to start a Nitwit of the Week award but I think too many people would hate me for it. She does a fine job on her own. The clear information on the world of agents and publishing is so valuable. I imagine if she is stopping nitwits from annoying agents and publishers, they all thank her too.
The one thing that keeps coming up over and over is - make the writing great. Then originality and voice come a close second. And don't be in a hurry to get your book out there if it isn't ready.
I would've thought, after 8 years of rewriting, that my historical novel was getting close. I hope. It's so hard to hold back and work on a new draft when you see other similar books being published. 'No,' you cry, 'don't flood the market with them. Wait for mine!'
That's where the urge to get the manuscript out comes from. When you see publishers publishing books that you know are the beginning of a wave and you have probably missed it, you feel this unavoidable panic. The only solution is to tell yourself that if the novel isn't working well enough, sending it out will just cost you a large amount of money and time, and discourage you. That's what I say to my panicking self anyway.
One of my chapter books, accepted months ago, has been rescheduled for 2008. As it is the third in a series, and the second came out 12 months ago ...
I reworked five chapters of the historical novel while I was away, and need to keep at it. My writer friend, who loves revision and hates first drafts, can't understand my urge to put it aside and start something new. But that first draft excitement is addictive.
Just been to the shops and found the new Robert Crais and the new Jonathan Kellerman. My bribe to get me back into teaching and preparation and marking. If I finish all of that, and am ready for classes on Monday, I can start the JK. Or should I start the RC first? Decisions, decisions.
I have actually been reading short stories again. My niece very kindly gave me her copy of Ann Patchett's short stories - 'Mendicino' - and although the first few were a bit 'so what', they are improving. Her novel, 'The Dive From Clausen's Pier', was terrific.
Are the Commonwealth Games over yet? Unfortunately not. But it does give one a large amount of time to read instead!