Friday, July 29, 2011

Elevator Pitches

Rachelle Garder has been doing a series of posts about elevator pitches.  In her first post, Crafting Your Elevator Pitch, she details 8 steps to take in order to perfect your pitch.  In her next post, Elevator Pitch Critiques, she takes some of the pitches submitted by readers and details why they do or do not work for her.

I started working on mine this morning while I was on my walk.  It went through quite a few revisions, then more while I was driving to and fro.  Finally, this evening, I typed it up.  I'm sure it will be revised quite a few more times before I'm happy with it (that'll probably coincide with the completion of the book. ;))

To celebrate, I'm going to sponsor an elevator pitch contest.  I'm not going to announce the details until I get back from vacation, so you have plenty of time to work on yours!

Here's mine:

It's a young adult science fiction/fantasy/romance story about Earth's most eccentric multi-trillionairre, who has devised an evil plot to seize the Stylithium mines on Mars, free the Neptunian rebels imprisoned there, overthrow the Martian government, and destroy the interstellar treaty, casting the entire galaxy into poverty. When 17 year old Merry Underwood's father is kidnapped by the rebels, it's up to her, together with twin brother Mark, handsome but mysterious Artemus, and overgrown octopus Inky to thwart Uncle John's evil plan before it's too late.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Countdown to Vacation

I took the last five days off of my writing project and just sort of made notes and added my thoughts about the project (even though I kept up with the 750 words/day goal).  Also, today I went and purchased a binder and some paper so that I can start making visual references.  I've found them to be useful in the past, plus I am leaving on Thursday or Friday for our family reunion, so I won't be able to type much, but I don't want to lose my momentum on the story.

It turns out that either the break or the binder did the trick, and I typed more than I have in about 2 weeks.  More importantly, I typed better.  I went back to re-read what I wrote, and my screen saver kicked in, and I was like "wait!  I need to read what happens!"  Ummm... LOL!  It's very rough, but I'm pretty happy with it.  I'll share this part (which has to change, because I introduced a plot hole, but that's ok!)

Oh no! I'd forgotten where I was going! I grabbed my pack and took off running for class. I was finally becoming familiar with how the school was laid out. First a left, then a right, and then boom! I went flying backwards and landed on my rear again. This was not a habit I wanted to continue. I looked up into Stephen's smirking face. He reached both hands down, picked me up and pressed me against a wall, then stepped in uncomfortably close.

"I don't know who you are, carrot top, but you think you're safe because you have Art and Rick drooling around you, but you're not. I'll be here, watching and waiting. When you least expect it, I'll appear. You'll never know when or how, but one day, very soon, our worlds will again collide, and there's nothing that halfling can do, nothing my goodie two-shoes cousin can do."

He stepped back and motioned for me to go.

"Have a nice day."

I ran again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm on a roll!

Nineteen days in a row, I've written 750 words or more.  I'm so proud of me, this is a new record!  It's funny, but I'm writing a fantasy/sci fi/romance novelette.  The funny part: I don't remember what pushed me into it.  I'm enjoying the journey quite a lot, I had no idea world building could be such an adventure.  Anyway, that's what's been keeping me busy and quiet and out of trouble (aka - my excuse for not posting here!  Well that, and life got sucky, LOL.)

Also doing a 100 word story for Dr. Hurley's Snake Oil Cure on the etymology of the Irish town called Bloody Foreland.  I'll be interested to see if it does well there.  I had so much fun writing it, I may do another.

Last but not least, I just made a new post at The Curated Writer25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Day From Hell

I didn't have a good day.

You can tell I'm practicing my writing skills, because I did my best to not embellish that statement.  I didn't add "very".  I didn't add "!!!!!!!".  I didn't include a zillion adjectives or adverbs.  But just because I did not do any of that does not mean I didn't have a very very !!!!!!!!!!! terribly awfully horrendously abhorrently incredibly sucky day, because I did!

Ordinarily I would not share that thought with you.  I'm one of those "in with the bad, out with the good" type people - no one needs to hear more bad things, life is difficult enough!  But I shared that with you for one reason.  As I've posted about before, I've been doing the 750 words thing.  Most of the time I blather on for about 450 words, then I actually write/story tell for another 300 or so words.  That's what I intended to do tonight, since I obviously had lots to blather on about.  About 200 words into my typing, I realized I had jumped right in to my story.  No preface.  No blathering.  No nothing.  Just picked up where I'd left off last night and moved right along.

This morning I went out and did about 40 minutes of tai chi as a way to calm and focus myself.  I was pleased that it worked so well.  Tonight, writing had the exact same affect.  It took me away from my day, from my stress. I can't begin to express how incredibly amazed and happy I am about this.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm on a 6 day streak

I think I posted here about 750 words.  If not, check out my other blog, A Curated Writer.  I'm on a six day streak, so it's working.  I find that I'm making myself spend the time.  Like tonight, there were so many other things I wanted to do... had a busy day, not much down time, but there was no way I was going to ruin my streak!

I feel kind of bad because I haven't spent much time at WVU with my classes, but I feel like part of the reason I'm enrolled there is to make me write, so it's obviously working, right?

Oh, and I have to say, I am having a BLAST.  Here is what I wrote yesterday about the story that I started:
Laura Bradford tweeted today about wanting YA stories, dark intense thriller/mystery, lighter mystery/romance, and then regular historical mystery/romance. My mind has been toying with young adult stories for a few weeks now, I keep wondering if I'm capable. I mean it's not like my mind doesn't hang out on an immature level at times anyway! So I started writing in my mind late this afternoon, and told myself that I'd write it down tonight when I sat here to write my words. One of the things I was most curious about was how far and how fast I could type before I'd run out of story line. I suppose if I'm still going strong after 500 words, I might have to give it some serious consideration. Ready? Here goes!
 I'm going to keep writing and not worry too much about what constitutes YA.  I'm cracking myself up though, so that's a good thing, right?  Here's the part that really amused me tonight:

I stood transfixed as one of Inky's tentacles snaked out to snag a rock.  Back home this would be the time to make yourself scarce.  Here it was obviously the same, but my feet were glued to the dusty walkway.  I guess you'd have to be here to understand, but the "nasty little Plutonian" looked like two transparent dinner plates rolling on their sides with blue goo pressed between them.  When it spoke, the effect was mesmerizing.  The goo changed colors in places, sometimes green, but mostly red, especially when its words were mean.  I'm not sure if I should call it a he or a she, it didn't really look like anything that could ever be a boy or a girl.  Man, I sure have a lot to learn.
"Inky."  I startled myself with the sound of my own voice.  "Let's go.  It's obviously a liar.  Come on."
To my surprise, he dropped the rock. But then, before I knew what was happening, his tentacle thrust out, coiled around the perimeter of the Plutonian, then released it with a classic back spin.  Hearing its "whoaaaaaa" sounds as it rolled across the school yard was enough to make me laugh for the first time in days.  I laughed so hard my sides hurt.  Tears started coming out of my eyes.  People started staring and pointing.  I tried to stop, and then another "person" would stop and look at me, and I'd see them wondering why I was laughing so hard, and I'd start laughing again.  It suddenly occurred to me that I was now a bonafide member of a travelling freak show!  That's all my entire school was, just a bunch of freaks!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Opportunity is Knocking

I've been bad about posting - had the creeping crud - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

The following are some of today's tweets by @Laura Bradford - Bradford Literary Agency

  • Attention YA authors: I am looking for a dark, intense, psychological thriller/mystery for YA
  • I am also looking for a lighter, more episodic type of YA mystery, perhaps with some romance.
  • This specific request is a repeat: I am looking for a historical mystery with strong romantic elements

Makes me want to write something YA!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dr. Hurley Goes to the Smithsonian

That's supposed to sound something like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" but somehow it just doesn't have the same ring.  Oh well, I tried!

Today I was over at Dr. Hurley's Snake Oil Cure.  It's a site I enjoy for a variety of reasons.  One of the most recent reasons is the aptly titled Sometimes.  While I was there today, I happened to notice they had announced a new project called Smithsonian Dialogues, which asks people to go to the Smithsonian's Flickr stream, select a photo and then write, draw, paint, or some other artistic thing about it. Of course I got lost in their 2,200 image library.  I think I'm going to select a random number, then go to the corresponding image, and write from there.  Anyone else game?