Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lazy Blog

I'm too tired and lazy to blog so I thought I'd let you blog for me.

Whatcha up to?

Monday, March 22, 2010

On acknowledgements

Boy, I wonder if Hillary Clinton knew what a buzz phrase she'd create when she first commented, "It takes a village?"

Of course, the original saying comes from the title of her book, which itself came from an African proverb.
But, IMHO, the statement also fits the act of writing a good book. Or, at least, a good book that sells.

As I find myself getting closer to the time I'll have to write acknowledgements for The Pull of Gravity, I find myself faced with an ever-growing list of the people who have helped me over the years. From early readers of OTHER manuscripts who encouraged me to keep writing, to early readers of this manuscript who helped me hone this particular story; from family members who believed in me, to my husband who went out every day to earn our main living so that I could sit home and write a majority of the time; from my kids who inspire me every day, to other people's kids who helped me with bits of information to make the voice more authentic or the title sing; from my first agent who may have ultimately failed me in some regards, and did not sell the book for me, but in other regards succeeded in ways that can never be forgotten, like believing in me enough to want to take me on and try to sell my writing (putting in endless hours without up-front pay trying her best to help me to make my stories more marketable); to my current agent, who takes late night phone calls, weekend emails, and who, in a short time, has taught me so much about how to write a better, more satisfying book. And, to my editor, who will be an integral part of making my book whatever good it is.

So, back to those pesky acknowledgements. Do you list everyone and pray you don't leave somebody out, or do you make a blanket statement and hope that those who you appreciate know it; and that you know it takes a village?

Monday, March 1, 2010

what readers want...

so, according to Laura Miller in this article (and, yes, I am oversimplifying) readers want these five things from a book:

1. make your main character want something (check, phew);
2. make your main character do something (ok, presumably about what they want, eh?);
3. story, above all else (er, really, even above character and writing?? ok, yeah, yeah, I know...);
4  write well, but don't overwrite for "being writerly"'s sake (i so agree - a constant balance for me, especially in my women's fiction... i know this when I see it, and as much as I love beautiful writing, I wholeheartedly agree...) and,
5. be funny when you can (and snarky when you can't. ok, that was my addition).

what do you think?