It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted. The conference went quite unexpectedly. A publisher didn’t sign me. Neither did an agent (at that time) but other important things happened.
I met up with friends from my on-line critique group and formed strong, life-long? bonds. I met up with old friends and laughed and laughed. And that’s always good.
Two very talented writers read my stuff, and gave me glowing endorsements that I’ve been able to use in marketing myself to potential agents and editors.
One of those writers is a new author: Don Brown. He wrote a fantastic book called, Treason, which is out in stores right now. The main character is a Navy Jag officer (Zack) and the story centers around a love story between him and rival lawyer, Diane. It’s unusually written in short action packed chapters. I wasn’t able to predict what would happen next and that’s always a treat. So, if you’re looking to see what kind of first time fiction gets bought, check it out.
I’ve mentioned before those endorsements from other published authors do get your MS read by potential agents/editors. Of course, your stuff has to be able to stand on its own once it does get noticed.
Also at the conference, I learned what was lacking in my work. I took a class by author Ron Benrey. He put my opening paragraph on the screen for the class to rip apart. The paragraph that I’d rewritten a hundred times. Both he and his wife seperately rewrote it and something clicked in my brain as I read their suggestions. I finally understood a technique that had been elusive to me.
He calls it the “magic paragraph”. Basically, its firmly placing your reader in the pov charactor’s head by layering on the senses and internal monologue whenever you switch povs. Simple? It really is. But makes a huge difference.
So, I’ve been typing my fingers off, rewriting my first novel to include this magic paragraph. I was working at the frenzied rate of a chapter a day. That along with working full time and caring for two children turned me to ashes at about chapter twenty, as you can imagine.
I’ve been working so fast because…the day after I came home from the writer’s conference, I received a call from Alive, a giant in the world of CBA agents. The agent told me he was going to pitch my stories! I’m not officially a client. I kind of think whether I do become official has to do with what kind of response my works receive from publishers.
But, it’s exciting to dream that maybe some editor will take a chance on a newbie. The first book is being marketed as finished. And I need to hurry and get it there. I’m on chapter 26 of the rewrite and plan to finish in the next two weeks.
My second book, The Demon Chaser, is half finished and I’m dying to get back to writing it. I’m really quite sick of rewriting the first one. (I’ve been rewriting the ding-dong thing for 2 years!). But, I want it to be right. Even if it never sells, I want a MS that was as good as I was capable of writing at the time.
Oh yeah, another cool thing happened at the conference. I was sitting outside, laughing with writer friends and down sits this guy who starts telling us this incredible story about “The Bell Witch”. He wrote a screenplay about a demon that tormented a family in TN years ago. He calls it “Our Family Trouble” and apparently the whole haunting was very well documented. I listened to the guy (Neal Sibley) and thought, the story sounds crazy, but he seems perfectly sane. (Awesome story telling btw).
I told him I was writing about an exorcist and he gave me a copy of his interview from Art Bell’s coast to coast. All three hours worth. I listened to it on the way home. Suddenly, I had just what I needed to finish my story, and clarity on my purpose for writing it. The world needs to know demons are real, satan is real and they should be afraid. And Christians need to know they don’t need to fear if they’re right with their Father. In fact, they have power over demons, in Jesus’ name.
I think I was taking the demons in my story too lightly and that was wrong. I’ve got a lot of great ideas from Neal. I can’t thank him enough!
Well, there you have the update. For the next few weeks, I’ll continue to be elusive as I complete Saving Eden….again. I’ll keep you posted.