Newsletter July 2007
Summer is here in full swing, but summer in San Francisco is different than summer growing up in the South. The air is dry, and even when it is sunny, it can be cold. Fortunately I've been able to wear shorts the past week, so I'm happy. Having to wear jeans in the summer depresses me. It is wrong.
I’ve made some changes to the site. The current newsletter is now the home page, and I have sections for science writing and game making (my other all-consuming hobbies). Enjoy.
June was a good month for my writing. At long last, I finished rewriting the first third of A Clockwork Murder. I moved a bunch of scenes around, and then I added a lot of new descriptions of the city and the steam-era technology. Then I wrote a new set of scenes that has the main character investigating a new suspect. I worried that all the effort would have that “tacked on padding” feel, but it turned out great (if I do say so myself). Not only did I hit 82,000 words, comfortably above the 80,000 word lower limit, but the story is stronger as well. And if that weren’t enough, I managed to situate the story even more firmly in the “steampunk fantasy” genre. No one should get confused about what kind of story they are getting into when they read it.
And speaking of reading it, I got a nice decline from an editor. “I liked it but didn’t love it.” I seem to get that a lot, which is encouraging. That means my writing is technically good, and that my Voice is unique enough that some people will love it and some won’t. I suppose the editors comments could mean that my Voice was bland, but it isn’t. Trust me (and my critique group).
So that means it will just be a matter of time before I put the story in the hands of someone who loves my Voice.
You know, the whole querying process would work a lot better if they had a match.com type service. I have a database of hundreds of agents, but how do I find the few with my sarcastic sense of humor? Hmmm. I wonder if publishingmatch.com is taken. Hmmm.
I do have the first 60 pages out with an agent right now. I googled her before I queried, and discovered that she had written a humor article while in law school, so that was a plus for me. We’ll see if she asks for the whole thing.
Next up, do I write my complicated plot “message from the future” story or do I work on a near-future science fiction with an environmental setting (not preachy, just a thriller or mystery set in a future where we’ve had environmental trouble)?
As for summer reading, I’m working through Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. A tough read, but interesting. Maybe better as a winter read when you are stuck indoors. I need to finish so I can consume some thrillers and mysteries. Randy White has a new one.
Have a fun summer, --Todd