Standing in the shower thinking.

and the water is so fucking hot.

But I had an idea, an epiphany, a golden ray of light, a big ass light bulb go off over my head.

The biggest obstacle my manuscript faces is its length. Period, end of story. No agent, or publisher wants to see any new manuscript over 100,000 words. Midnight in Vegas (working title until I come up with something else.) is 124,000 words. I have tried hacking on it, I got it down to 110k but I hated what it did to the story and I had continuity issues to work out. Some stuff didn’t make sense anymore because the chapter that led up to them was now on the cutting room floor.

But the bottom line is you really, really, really have to get lucky to publish over 100k on your first book. I didn’t believe this until I went to BEA last year and every agent I pitch to flinched when I told them that it was 124k. They can sell it over 100k but it is a lot of work, and would you sign somebody if you knew they were going to be a lot of work?

Exactly.

SO

That is established over 100k is bad. BUT I am at 124k. What to do. The solution until now was to keep pushing it. Like I said you have to get really lucky, but like I said you have to get lucky to publish anyway so I am only adding a “really” to the lucky, so lets put that in poker terms. I need a Royal Flush instead of a Four of a Kind to win. Easy peasy right? Wrong. But what choice do I have. None until this morning. 

My shower solution: break it into two books. Ha! You say then you would have two 60k books and a novel should be 80-100k. Not to fear I actually will break off just part four and end the book with Abby’s escape giving book 1 a nice 87,000 words. Perfect Novel length. I also will go back and add some to her escape to give it that nice climatic finish feel so I might end up around 90k which is good.

Then I get to go back to Part 4 and turn Ziggurat into its own novel! This is awesome for me because I had to rush the ending because I knew I was over the magic 100k  mark and had to get the book finished. I can turn part 4 into a whole novel no problem there is sooooo much stuff I had to leave out.

So I am happy this morning, but I would like to hear from those of you who have read the book and hear what you think.

Tchuss

Lystra

Published in: on April 23, 2010 at 8:32 am  Comments (3)  

Professional Edit

This is what a manuscript looks like after a professional editor gets through with it.

 Pitts edits visible

I met Jami Carpenter at the Las Vegas Writers Convention and sent her these first few pages of my manuscript. Keep in mind this is after I have gone over the work, over and over again. I don’t know if it means I am a bad writer or if she is a good editor. I have to tell you she is pretty awesome so maybe I am not that bad.

If you are interested in an editor she can be found at www.redpengirl.com I highly recommend her.

Dear Lucky Agent Contest

I am submitting Midnight in Vegas to the Dear Lucky Agent Contest posted on Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog. The contest features an agent judge who looks at your first 150-200 words. The winner gets a free critique by the judge-agent (and hopefully a request for more, although that isn’t guaranteed). I think it is a very exciting and cool idea for a contest.

Wish me luck.

Tchuss

Lystra

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 12:14 pm  Comments (2)  

Smashwords and Authonomy

I am always thinking of publishing Midnight in Vegas on various eBook websites like Smashwords or Authonomy. The only reason I haven’t done it is that I worry that it might hurt my chances of being published by conventional publishers. I have read that some publishers like to see an author has published on these sites and is already marketing the book and others don’t like it and will actually refuse to publish a book that already is in eBook format. They don’t want the competition.

So here I am on the fence.

What to do?

Personally I like the idea of publishing on Smashwords. People can download the book on a bunch of formats and read it on Stanza (an App for iPhones, iPods and eventually iPads), Kindles, PC’s or Blackberries. Another benefit is you can set the price for your work on Smashwords. I can actually make money on the book. But I hate the idea of some “real” publisher not buying my book because it is on there.

I still don’t know.

So I thought I would put up a poll. What do you think I should do?

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm  Comments Off on Smashwords and Authonomy  
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Vegas Baby!

I will be attending the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference on April 15th – April 18th. You can check out their website here .

It looks like they have great program this year and some really interesting agents, authors, and publishers to hobnob with.

The other great thing about the conference is they limit attendance to 150 people. That makes it a little more intimate. I never got the final numbers from BEA last year but there were hordes of us there. You can read my thoughts on that here and here.

They also have dinners and “meet and greets” where they make the illustrious ones mingle with us dirty hungry ones.

I am looking forward to going to a west coast convention. It seems that everything in writing is so New York centric. Which is great, if you live back east. It’s a pain in the ass for those of us who can’t throw down a thousand dollars in air fare to cross the country for every major convention. 

Of course even as I write this part of me is still jumping up and down screaming and shouting for joy that the World Science Fiction Convention (where they give out the Hugo awards!) will be hosted in Reno next year. RENOVATION! I am so there.

Tchuss

Lystra