In the third chapter of the very bad book I have finally finished, the detective is told ‘Something terrible happened when the dentist lived in Des Moines.’ Then the detective totally forgets to look into the ‘something terrible’ until 250 pages later. Of course, the ‘something terrible’ is the key to the whole mystery. So now I think the two countries that made the book an International Bestseller are Bangalla and Bezerkistan.
The awful book I mentioned a few days ago has gone from just ‘bad’ to ‘plain stupid,’ so here’s another thought about its ‘International Bestseller’ claim. The guy’s mother is Turkish and his father is Danish. Maybe the author has a lot of relatives, and each bought three copies, more than any book they ever bought, bringing it to #1 on their individual reading lists. Would that count? I don’t think so, either.
I used to be intimidated when the submissions guidelines said ‘Only the best…’ Then this energy-saving light bulb went off over my head. That’s what EVERY submissions page says. I mean, who says “We’re looking for the best, but mediocre is ok, too?”
I am now on the Gazillionth (that’s the number half way between umpty-dumpth and Infinity) rewrite of my first YA novel, for I have discovered another significant and pervasive, but fortunately fixable, problem. Am I just doing this, because it’s an excuse for not cleaning my office? Probably.
So I had my former, and no longer former teacher, Lori Devoti, critique the first three suffering chapters of my urban fantasy, or maybe it’s a paranormal or a mystery or a mashup (I plan to call it whatever the agent is looking for). I did 90% of what she told me to, which is at least 15% more than I’ve ever done for another teacher, because in my youth when I still had teachers, I thought I was smarter than most of them. I still think so.
Oh you weren’t? Well, who’s writing this blog, you or me? I’ve found a conference in Philadelphia that looks excellent. Ignore the W.C. Fields quote.* Philadelphia is interesting. I’ve been there many times. I can vouch for it.
*Everyone who remembers that quote, raise your hand. Bonus points if you know part two. Ok, there are no points of any kind. I was just trying to encourage you.
Adding up the hours it takes to do a daily submission, I realized I could go to a conference every week in the same amount of time, if I could afford it, (which I can’t), and meet interesting people, as in agents. Conferences also come with cookies and coffee and sometimes even croissants, and they tend to take place in interesting big cities or beautiful locations. Although I make pretty good coffee, my office is not beautiful or interesting or even walking distance to a bookstore, or even a Starbucks, or anything I would walk to, except my neighbor, the doc. screenwriter, and my neighbor the artist. I really meant that, Anna and Anita. I’m not just saying that because you read my blog now and then.
Not that you’d feel deprived but I have nothing to say today. Can’t even think of a catchy title. There was a huge lightening storm here, and I only got three hours sleep, and, oh, god, this is starting to sound like a Facebook post.
Have I gone completely mad (don’t answer, I already know I have)? I’m working on three novels at once, but mostly on the first three chapters, because that’s usually what they want to see. I can always stay up for 72 hours and revise the other 63,000 words if they want to see more. I’m also working on a short story. It doesn’t have chapters.