Welcome to A Writer’s POV. If someone had told me that writing a novel would cause me to loose sleep, gain weight, snap at my husband, pull my hair out, (literally and figuratively) and kick the dog, if I had one, I never would have put pen to paper. But as they say, ignorance is bliss, and I plunged in and began writing my book with the na├»ve expectation that I’d be finished in a year. Needless to say, five years and seven drafts later, I’m still on my quest for the Holy Grail, a published novel. Although frustrating, I spent that time growing as a writer. Every rewrite, revision and critique taught me something. Every book I read or workshop I attended offered new insights and ways to improve my craft. My goal with this blog is to share with you what I've learned so far. To talk about issues that plague all writers, to talk about the nuts and bolts of writing. Despite the fact that it's all been said before, each of us has our own way of telling a story and hopefully you'll visit often for help, support or just for the fun of it to read the posts written from this writer's point of view.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oh well. Time to add another layer to that thick skin all writers need. One of my full manuscript requests was rejected.

About three weeks after sending the submission, I received a very professional and compassionate note from the agent I met at a writer's conference. I have to give her and any agent a lot of credit because it can't be easy telling a writer that for one reason or another, you don't feel the same passion for their story. And although disappointing to the writer, it's the right thing to do.

Imagine you're a realtor contracted to sell a home, but you really don't care for the style, floor plan or paint colors. Even worse, what if it's in desperate need of re-modeling? Could you in all honesty be fully committed to selling this home? That's what I imagine it must be like for a literary agent. An enormous amount of time and effort goes into pitching a book to publishers who spend even more time and money producing and marketing it and if an agent can't put 100% into selling that book, it's not getting the justice and chance it deserves.

During my agent query and submission process, not feeling strongly for my story has been the primary reason for passing on my book. I feel a little--and I do mean a little--heartened that it wasn't because of poor writing, plotting or characterization. They just didn't share my passion to sell it effectively. Using the realtor or house hunting analogy again, it's like shopping for a new home. The agent is like a buyer rejecting house after house. But when they walk into that special house, they know it's the one for them.

So believe in your book. There is an agent out there who feels as strongly as you do about your baby and eventually, you'll find each other.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's been far too long since I've posted on my blog. I'm not lazy--honest--just busy. You see I took my own advice from a previous post and polished my manuscript as best I could. And when I attended the FWA (Florida Writers Association) conference this past October in Orlando, I was ready.

It was my first conference experience and I found the classes, workshops and networking opportunities invaluable. Best of all were the sessions I reserved with two literary agents to pitch my paranormal romance novel. Well worth the extra expense, these ten minute sessions gave me the chance to pitch my story face-to-face to a living and breathing agent. Granted, for most a well crafted query letter is the only option, but one-dimensional words on a page can't show the enthusiasm or passion one feels for their book.

With the timer counting down the minutes, I opened with the "hook" then introduced the characters, the conflict and expanded on the plot. After five minutes I stopped talking and the agent asked a few questions. Then to my utter surprise she requested the full manuscript! A repeat performance during my next session the following day garnered the same favorable result.

Now I realize this does not guarantee representation. But it's a big step in the right direction and I remain cautiously optimistic as I wait for "the call."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Getting Started: The First Step...or it Should Be

Of course having a completed manuscript edited, revised and revised again is essential when beginning your search for a literary agent. You might feel that with the time it takes to get representation, that you'll get a jump on all the other writers and query agents before your book is nipped, tucked and neatly polished. Wrong! Agents read hundred of query letters a week and if yours is as good as you think it is, you could get a request for a partial or full before you prose is ready for the discriminating and often jaded eye of an agent. And being unprepared or sending in shoddy work when you get "the call" does not bode well for a professional relationship. "What do you mean wait? It took five years of my life to write this thing!" you cry outraged. "I want to see it in print and enjoy the rewards while I can still travel to book signings without a walker." We all feel that way, but don't rush things. Besides, you're going to need time to develop a writers' thick skin in preparation for the inevitable rejections you'll receive. Hopefully, their numbers will be few.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Once upon a Time I Searched for an Agent

Up until now, my posts have been about writing in general. Now I'd like to include another subject; my search for a literary agent. Oh man, I thought writing a novel was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. But if querying agents could be likened to a fairy tale princess kissing a lot of frogs before finding her prince charming, right about now I'd be covered in warts.

Everyone who's written a novel or memoir wants to see their work in print. Indie publishing is one alternative, but if you choose to go the traditional route, you'll soon discover that there are few, if any, publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts. You must have an agent to represent you.

So check back for posts where I'll share my experience, frustration and hopefully eventual success at securing a literary agent.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Some time, some time. My kingdom for some time!

Please excuse my cheesy Shakespearean reference, but like Richard III, I feel as if I'm fighting a losing battle when trying to find the time to write. We've been led to believe that modern technology frees us from daily mundane tasks and to some extent that's true. But I believe the same technology that's supposed to free us actually requires more of our attention. In reality, the only ones with more time are the companies that no longer perform the services we now do ourselves online or by phone. So where does that leave us? In order to get any work done we must be determined, persistent and yes, sometimes unavailable to family, friends, our spouse or significant other.Writing is our job so close that door, turn off the TV, ignore your email and turn off your cell phone if you dare. It may be difficult. It may even seem rude, but you'll emerge hours later feeling satisfied and content with pages and pages of prose.Your family will be happier too. Remember: "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."