naomi_jay: (halo girl)
Progress as of this evening:

 
60005 / 60000 words. 100% done!

I'm not done though, I reckon another 5 - 10k to go. I'm going to lay some serious smackdown on this book over the weekend; I want to get it done before I go away to stay with [livejournal.com profile] madlee276  [Bad username or site: madlee276" @ livejournal.com]next Wednesday. Here's hoping!

Ooh, and in Death for the Born Afterlife news, I just had a request for a full, after months of tumbleweedy silence. Should hear back by Sunday/Monday so... here's more hoping!
naomi_jay: (scarlett)
So, first of all I'm excited to announce that my short story Burned will be appearing in this month's Ethereal Tales. Yay! I love short story writing, so I'm always pleased when I actually get something published, and I'm especially pleased in this case because it's a Scarlett story. Scarlett and her gang of werewolves, necromancers, lost gods, and pyschics being my first writing love and all that.

Anyway, I've seen this on a few people's blogs, but[livejournal.com profile] kazdreamer  is encouraging everyone to do it, so here we are.

'I wish you were coming with me tonight.' - SILVER KISS (which is rolling along nicely, thanks!)

A fire storm was brewing. - Wonderland (which has stalled because I'm too lazy to work on the much-needed worldbuildling).

She ran through the forest, the metallic tang of blood in her nostrils - Wild (which one day I will finish rewriting because I love it, damn you).

The vampire slunk through the dead leaves and damp earth, a parody of the woman it had been in life - Death for the Born (don't really have any witty comments for this one).
naomi_jay: (whale)
So I've recovered enough from watching Mega-Shark v Giant Octopus (except I dreamed about it all last night and haven't stopped thinking about it all morning) and now I've realised that I need to add a new subplot into Death for the Born. This is highly inconvenient given that it's out on submission and I'm still waiting to hear back from two agents with partials.

I guess if everyone rejects it, I can add in the new subplot and start over, but if everyone rejects it, is there any point? And I've learned from the epic mess of an ongoing rewrite that is Wild that adding in new subplots drives me mad. Grr. This is why I need to be working part-time. If I had more writing time, messy rewrites wouldn't annoy me so much because I wouldn't feel like I was cramming everything in around my damnable day job. I'd feel like I was cramming the day job in around my writing. Which would be much nicer.


naomi_jay: (cat)
It's been roughly two months since I left Ex Agent and started anew, and I've observed some things both about myself and the publishing industry that I thought I'd share. Hey, it beats doing the stack of data entry on my desk, right?

1. In a funny way, I feel liberated - Yes, I did the whole "OMG my life is over!" schtick when I first jumped ship, because melodrama is my thing and I need to indulge every now and then. I convinced myself no other agent would ever be interested again. But once I'd thrown my tantrum, yeah, I felt free. Free to write whatever I wanted without thinking "this has to be the one! This has to be the novel that sells!" And as a result, I think, my writing is better.

2. In a not-so-funny way, I feel anxious all the freaking time - I opened up a new email account just to deal with querying. So I know if there's a message in there when I sign in, it's either a request for more or a rejection. My nerves are shredded.

3. There are a lot more agents out there than you think - Seriously. I seem to find someone new to query every day. And it's usually the agents I thought would laugh me out of cyberspace who have requested a partial.

4. People are awesome - Let's face it; my writing is important to me, but it's hardly earth-shattering if I don't sign with a new agent. And yet people are perfectly prepared to listen to me bitch and moan and rant, and still offer support, encouragement, and advice. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory , [livejournal.com profile] preyforhuntress , [livejournal.com profile] kazdreamer , and[profile] j_rah 

5. Sometimes it's all about the journey - This ties into 1. I suppose, as the last couple of years I'd been tearing myself to pieces trying to finish up books and fire them off to my agent, praying this time, this novel would be The One. Now I'm not doing that, I've remembered why I started writing in the first place - I love it and it's fun.

5 (and a half). Sometimes it's all about the journey again - Even if Death for the Born isn't the novel that wins me a new agent, I've learned a hell of a lot from being back on the query-go-round, things I didn't know this time three years ago. How to write a truly kick-ass query letter, how to be organised and sensible about querying, and how to keep up that candyfloss mentality when you get a rejection. So should I be doing this all over again with another novel in a year's time, I'll be well-prepared.*

*But of course, some smart, sophistocated agent will fall in love with my crazy novel any day now. It's inevitable, surely?
naomi_jay: (clock)
I've just about recovered from seeing Matt Berry on Wednesday. Other things achieved this weekend (in no particular order):

1. Posted the full manuscript of Death for the Born to the agent.
2. Found Pip a man.
3. Got incredibly drunk on cocktails (one Polish Bullet, one Russian Bride, two Strawberry Woo Woos, one Electric Lemonade and three different flavoured vodka shots for those keeping track).
4. Went on an expletive-filled rant against Stephen Hawking in the taxi home after said cocktails. The taxi driver found me hysterical, but probably quite scary.
5. Got amazing birthday presents from Pip and [profile] j_rah , Rupert, and Kizzy.

Things not achieved:

1. Finding myself a man (here's to next weekend and the Four Man Plan!)
2. Spring-cleaned the house (here's to next weekend and a packet of Flash Wipes!)
naomi_jay: (whale)

I resolved that every time I got a rejection on Death for the Born, I would immediately find another agent to query with to stop myself dwelling in angst over the rejection. So today - one pass on a partial + one new query promptly sent out = one more request for a partial. It's all karma, baby. Or something.

So as well as frantically going over the rest of the manuscript over the weekend for the requested full, I'll be checking over the first three chapters again, just to make sure they're as polished and shiny as can be.
naomi_jay: (stewie)

That's the lesson I picked up from my writers' group last night, anyway. Apparently chapter twelve of Death for the Born is so creepy, one person couldn't concentrate enough to comment on it, lol. Or maybe they secretly hated it and didn't want to say, I don't know. Still, lots of good feedback, all of which will go to making the book shiny and exciting.

I've had three requests for partials now, all of which have been sent off, and in the mean time I'm trying not to obsess too much. Difficult for me, as obsessing over things I have no control over is practically one of my hobbies. Luckily I'll be nicely distracted for the next few days as the clever and fabulous [livejournal.com profile] madlee276  will be here. Yay! Time for a reunion of epic proportions as she, I and [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory  will be together for the first time since university. Yes, I get all the girls!
naomi_jay: (windswept woman)

So Death for the Born is doing the rounds at my writers' group, and one of the issues that keeps coming up is wraith physiology. My main character, Yasmin, is a wraith who can take either the form of a human being or mist. And this seems to be a huge sticking point, because everyone wants to know if she has a fully functioning human body when she's in human form. Does she need to eat, sleep, use the toilet, etc? Does she breathe? If she has lungs, a heart, whatever, where do they go when she turns to mist?

And the answer is mostly, I don't actually know. I wrote the first half of this book for Nanowrimo 2007, so at the time it was just a case of "get the words down, sod it if it doesn't make sense!" So I didn't stop to think about whether or not Yasmin had human needs whilst in human form. I know she sleeps (mostly for narrative convenience; a character who's awake 24 hours a day requires a lot more plot than I had at the time). I know she eats human food, but she doesn't need to - it's a comfort thing. (The last chapter reviewed had her in bed eating a bacon sandwich which bothered one of the group who felt it ought to be a vampire sandwich).

Most of the other undead creatures in the book are pretty well set. I know my vampires, my Lich Lords, my ghouls, how they function, what they need to survive, and what can hurt them. Yasmin is a bit different and I hadn't really figured out all the answers by the time I finished the first draft. Having spent hours agonising over whether or not she has kidney stones, I came to the conclusion that I might be overthinking things. I'm not sure. Are these the tiny details on which the whole book will rise or fall? Or are they the tiny details that readers will overlook because they accept that we're dealing with supernatural creatures?

I'm setting the rules in place as I redraft, figuring out how much physical damage she take, what happens to her bacon sandwiches when she turns to mist, and whether a vampire could kill her. I swear though, if I have to spent another writers' group meeting trying to explain why vampire sandwiches are not going to happen, I'm scrapping the whole book. It's bacon all the way.
naomi_jay: (cliff red woman)

Three days back at work after a week off, and my arm is killing me and I've wrenched my left shoulder - again. I don't know when I became so fragile. Laura the Physio says I'm too tense, a lot of which I put down to work/money-related unhappiness. So watch this space while Nome moves to New Zealand and becomes a shepherd.

In writing news, I've sent a few queries out for Death for the Born, one of which has turned into a partial request from a great agent, so yay! Night and Chaos is trying to turn into a novel, and Wonderland, which is actually a novel, is threatening to turn into a sprawling epic of staggering proportions. I know this because, even though I'm still writing chapter one, I've already got titles and plots for two sequels.

Of course whether or not I get round to writing them depends entirely on how soon I get out of this job and into the sheep-herding business.

naomi_jay: (jean grey)

* Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum. This post has nothing to do with explosions, car chases, nudity or espionage. Sorry.

Anyway, I've been thinking for ages I need to write this post on how books are like boyfriends but then I signed up to Facebook and Twitter and the world disappeared... But now I'm sort of overwhelmed by Facebook and Twitter and have stepped back to write the post. So:

Books are like boyfriends (or girlfriends if that's how you roll). Writing a book is like being in a relationship, each one having a different affect on you. I take my own work as examples:

Fire and Moonlight: My first love, the novel I will forever see through rose-tinted glasses despite it's many faults. The one I measure all other ideas, characters, plots, and novels against, despite it's flaws. This is the novel I loved first, and after this I just loved love. Or novels. Or something. Whatever. It's inevitable that I will return to this and we'll kiss in the rain, or I'll write it in the rain or something.

Wild: This is the bastard boyfriend/novel who made your life miserable but you loved him/it anyway and you keep daydreaming about getting back with him/it even though he/it took drugs and probably cheated on you with other women/novels. I'm convinced I can make this book work. It just needs a year of rehab and some anger management.

Death for the Born: This is the current relationship, and whilst everything seems to be going well now and we're having fun and he/it makes me laugh, I have a sneaking suspicion it will all be over soon. Because, you know, I'll finish the redraft and have to send it out to agents. And it's like that whole "if you love something, set it free" and you sit at home and chew your fingernails and wonder what your life would be like if you'd stuck with that drug-taking bastard/novel from before.

Night and Chaos: Now, this is destined to be a short relationship because it's only a novella, and it's like that guy I dated at university where I knew we'd break up when I graduated but I didn't really care. It's fun, it's sweet, but it's not serious and it's never going to take the place of the first love. Or even the drug-taking bastard/novel.

Okay, I'm probably not making much sense. I did put a lot of Baileys in my hot chocolate tonight. But I think I have a valid point in here somewhere. You develop relationships with your WIPs. After all, they're in your life for quite some time and they take up a lot of your energy. And you're always holding out for The One that will be perfect and take you away to Paris for the weekend win you that elusive publishing contract. So here's to promiscuity of the writing kind!

Oh, and this is the first picture that came up when I Googled "nudity and espionage." So, you know ... enjoy ...

naomi_jay: (stewie)
I hope someone told you they loved you today. But do remember that your love is not as good as Laurell K Hamilton's. For the record, nobody has yet told me they love me today, and I put this down to me not being LKH.

On the other hand, I have added 4k to Death for the Born since I started redrafting it. this continues my tradition of making my novels bigger by editing them. It's now at a respectable 77k instead of a slightly wimpy 73k, with more "editing" to be done. Yes, I hurt. Yes I'm not supposed to be typing today. But fuck you, repetitive strain injury. Fuck. You. I've got agents to query.
naomi_jay: (phoenix)
... That I want to rewrite an entire chapter in Death for the Born just so I can have my PI say "I'm a complicated man" and make a joke about pistol whipping?
naomi_jay: (windswept woman)

Living with [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory  has opened my eyes to a whole new world of online insanity.

Okay, so the query letter for Death for the Born continues to kick my ass. What is my story's hook? Does it even have one? Why didn't I write a generic paranormal romance instead of this crazy mess of dead people and private eyes and Bloody Marys?

I also got to a chapter last night that needs a big rewrite and I'm not sure how to do it yet. Will no doubt spend the day at work battering my head against the desk in my desperate fury to get the hell out of there, come home, and start ripping my book to pieces.

On the plus side, the lovely [livejournal.com profile] goth_huntress  has provided some query first aid, so all is not lost.
naomi_jay: (looks like lizzie)
I've polished the first seven chapters of Death for the Born. Will do more tomorrow, but my brain is starting to shut down for the day now. I need to do some research on writing kick-ass query letters, since self-promotion is something I utterly suck at. I know this is/will be a good novel, but putting that goodness across to a total stranger will be difficult. I can't find the query letter I wrote to my first agent for Fire and Moonlight, but I suspect it was crap.

I'm still excited about the awesome idea I had yesterday, but I'm going to let it stew for a bit before I start writing it. It's not like I have nothing else to be doing.
naomi_jay: (redeemer)
I think I must finally be an adult. I have a job I don't like, too many bills, not enough sleep, and nowhere near enough free time. Money is particularly tight in the [livejournal.com profile] naomi_jay  - [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory  household at the moment, which is always guaranteed to depress me. I've decided to put off my Paris trip until later in the year when things are easier. I now have the added incentive of trying to synch my trip there with Brian's research trip, since apparently three years of not speaking to someone doesn't mean you can't simply pick up your relationship where you left off.

So, no Paris in February. But I'm not particularly bothered, since the money is needed more elsewhere right now. And it gives me a week off work in which to really go for it with querying Death for the Born. I've got a great list of agents to query (thanks everyone who pitched in with that :) ) and although I'm not as far ahead with the editing as I'd like, I can catch up over the weekend. In the mean time, I'm toying with a novella that I started last summer. It gives me something to think about when I'm at my desk wishing the Institute would explode.
naomi_jay: (halo girl)

Zokutou word meter
73,606 / 73,606
(100.0%)


The first draft of Death for the Born is done! A little shorter than I'd like, but longer than I expected. Now to let it stew for a few days before giving it a quick going-over and sending it to Ricia. I'm off to celebrate by having a cup of hot chocolate with caramel Baileys and going to bed early. Because that's how I roll, yo.

Right...

Jan. 18th, 2009 02:32 pm
naomi_jay: (Default)
Death for the Born currently stands thus:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
69,223 / 75,000
(92.3%)


Can I finish this book before the end of the day? [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory and a bottle of Baileys says I can!
naomi_jay: (cobra commander)
So I wasn't going to be doing any blogging this month, on account of the PAIN, OH GOD, THE PAIN!!! But I'm weak-willed and full of fascinating insights that people need to hear.

Seriously though, I went back to the doctor yesterday about my RSI because, frankly, when you struggle to lift a pot of coffee without dropping it all over the kitchen floor and flooding the place and stinking of coffee for the rest of the day because you had to get down on your hands and knees to mop it all up with tissues things have gone too far. Sadly there's really nothing the doctor can do except recommend I take painkillers and wait for the physio.

This all means I'm not officially doing Nano, but I have set myself some reasonably achievable goals for November which I can probably do without crippling myself. 1) Finish a short story to submit to a gay werewolf anthology at the end of the month and 2) Finish the first draft of Death for the Born. I reckon that's about 30 - 40k anyway. Then I'm going to take December off entirely and do no writing whatsoever, and start the new version of Fire and Moonlight in the New Year.

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