Sunday, December 30, 2012

Change in the New Year

2013 is fast approaching, but I don't have to tell you that.  Chances are you're already looking ahead to the new year and wondering what the hell is going to happen.  You might be making resolutions.  You could be outlining your goals.  Of course, you could also be living in abject terror about the year ahead. 

What am I going to do?  What if this year is like last year and I still don't get any further?  What if I reach 12/31/13 and I'm in the same place I am today?  Arrgghh!!

Thinking like that can utterly stall you.  Been there, done that.

It's easy enough to say 'don't think like that', but sometimes you can stop yourself.  The old worries - the 'squirms', if you will - creep up and take over.  And this time of year is harder than most.  The pressure to perform is particularly heavy right now.  The year is beginning anew and things should probably change for the better in the coming twelve months.  Right? 

It reminds me of an old joke:  How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?  Just one, but it has to really want to change.

And an old maxim: If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten.

To make things better than what you've got right now, you've got to change something.  Change occupations.  Change your diet.  Change addresses.  Change the way you approach your writing.  Whatever it is you want a different outcome for requires you to change something.

Sure, sometimes we can do everything we know how to do to make a change and the outcome ends up being the same.  But at the end of the year we can at least know we tried.  Right?

I have a couple of friends who, every year, pick a word that will highlight their year.  One of them had 'Focus' as her word for 2012.  And she used that word as a reminder of what she wanted for herself.  This year I already know my word is going to be CHANGE. 

What about you?  Is there something in your life you could do differently to achieve a more positive outcome than the one you're facing?  What changes have you made that turned out well for you?

And finally, what word do you want to describe your 2013?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Check This Out

My friend, Natalie Murphy, has a great and timely post over at The Sound of Rain: Ten Things to Keep in Mind When Writing Your New Year's Resolutions.  She's got some awesome suggestions for those of you in mind to make resolutions or even those trying to put together a list of goals for 2013.

It's the first in a two-post series, so I'll try to come back and post the link when she puts up the second part.

And there it is... Part Two.   Read 'em both.


If one of your goals for 2013 is to join a writing group, the Query Tracker Blog has posted an awesome Field Guide to Writing Groups.  I'll definitely be exploring writing groups in my own way in the future, but this is the best explanation I've seen otherwise. Almost makes me want to go join a group again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Survival Tip #3: Overcoming the Not-Writing Guilt

I don't know about all y'all but I didn't touch any of my manuscripts over the holiday.  Well, at least nothing got done Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  I'm such a slacker.  I should've been writing instead of watching The Muppet Christmas Carol.  I could've been writing during that Santa Clause marathon.   Maybe a few pages would've been edited if I spent less time enjoying the holiday and more time utilizing... well, my time.

What it all boils down to is this: I feel guilty when I don't write.

I know I shouldn't.  Writers should get the chance to have a life, too.  But as an unpublished writer, I should be working extra hard to get my books finished and out there in the world.  I'll never get published if I don't put in the time.  Right?

I feel guilty when I let the holidays distract me.  I feel guilty when some unforeseen emergency pulls me away from my work.  I feel guilty when my health effects my writing.

Okay, so maybe this isn't the Survival Tip is ought to be.  Lord knows I haven't been able to overcome the guilt yet.  My notepad and pen sat next to me for two days, staring at me with accusing eyes.  I should've done something

Maybe the only way to overcome the guilt is to just accept that there are going to be times when you don't write, can't write, or won't write.  Holidays are to be enjoyed.  Emergencies are to be dealt with.  And writing when you're sick doesn't do anyone any good.  We should all give ourselves the time we need without the guilt overwhelming us afterwards (or during as is sometimes the case).

So now I leave it up to you.  What do you do to combat the not-writing guilt?  Or are you one the rare birds who can walk away from the work and not feel guilty about it?  If so, how do you do it?

Monday, December 24, 2012

No Guest Today

I don't have a guest post for today.  With the holidays upon us and 2013 fast approaching, we've all got enough to do.  Thanks for stopping by, though, and look for more guests in the New Year.

And if you're interested in contributing to The Guide this coming year, please drop me a note either here in comments or via email, Facebook message or Twitter.  I'd love to have your thoughts to post and your wisdom to share with the unpublished writers of the world.  (Lord knows there's enough of us.)

I hope the holidays bring all that you hope for, that all your wishes come true this time of year and that 2013 rocks for all of you.

-B.E. Sanderson

Thursday, December 20, 2012

An Oldie but a Goodie - Reflections from One Writer

Here's a post from my very first blog (the original Writing Spectacle) - back when I was new and untarnished.  I'm a little more jaded now, but I think the words still apply and I don't know about any of you, but I needed to read them.

Reflections From One Writer (first posted 12/5/06)

After weeks, or months or years, sitting at your keyboard trying to get a story out of your head, you type those most wonderful words: The End. You’ve finished your first book! You feel like dancing around the house (and maybe you do, just because you can). You open a bottle of champagne (or a beer, or a bottle of Boones Farm) and bask in the glow of being amongst the few who started writing a book and actually finished it. Feeling pretty proud of yourself, you strut around your house like a god. (And why not? You should be damned proud of yourself because you have accomplished a great feat.)

But eventually, the inevitable question arises: What now?

Maybe you pick up The Writer’s Market and start attaching sticky notes to every agent who looks like they might represent you. You know you aren’t really sure what you’re doing, but you shrug and pick the one absolutely perfect agent who is certain to love your book as much as you do.

You read a little bit about what the agent wants you to send, mainly because you know there’s got to be some kind of procedure for this. Then you think to yourself: What in gods’ name is a query? You shrug and put together a reasonable looking business letter, and mail it off with a return envelope. (Assuming you’ve figured out what SASE stands for, that is.) Time passes and your envelope comes back. Your heart swells with expectation, never thinking its contents could be anything but glowing praise, only to find a nice letter inside telling you while your work isn’t for them, they’re sure you’ll find an agent in no time.

Bruised but not broken, you whip out your big book of agent names, and pick a few more. After all, Perfect Agent was sure one of his brethren would snap you right up. Same letter, different names and off they go into the blue box on the corner. And you wait.

A few more days (weeks, etc.) pass and all your little envelopes find their ways home with more rejections—all pretty much worded the same as the first. More queries go out; more rejections come back. You kick yourself, and cry a little maybe. You throw your big book of agents across the room, and curse the day they were born. You go through all the phases of loss: Anger, Denial, etc. until you get to the inevitable Acceptance.

You suck. Now you're cursing the day you were born.

Weeks go by, and dust covers your keyboard. You thought your words glowed like the sheen of love on a young girl’s face. Now you just think you’re a hack.

Finally, however, your creative juices reach their boiling point. You can’t take it anymore; you can’t NOT write, so you sit back down at your computer. You start writing your next book.

But your confidence is toast. When you started out the last time, you knew without a doubt that you could write. There was nothing to it, and the words flowed out of your fingers like a dam had burst somewhere along the Colorado River. Now, it’s like Death Valley.

Hopefully, a little light bulb goes off over your head. When you first started writing—way back when you were in 2nd grade and your teacher made you write about your summer vacation—you were learning how to put words together to make some kind of cohesive story. It was a learning process then; it is a learning process now.

Hopefully, a little voice in your head tells you to figure out what went wrong with the last book. You do some research. You pick a whole new list of agents who really do represent your genre. You find out what a real query letter looks like. You find out how to write something called a hook. You read everything you can get your grubby little hands on. When you’ve learned everything there is to know about the business, you try again.

In the meantime, maybe you realize your writing, as wonderful as it is, needs some fine tuning and a little more polish. While revising and editing your first book, you keep writing your second book, tweaking and shining until it really does glow. A short story or two come to mind, and you pour those words onto the paper while you mull over your novels.

You never quit. Because NOT writing would be like not breathing.

Maybe you’re still waiting for your acceptance letter to come. Maybe it’s waiting in line behind another slew of rejections. Or perhaps, it’s waiting because you just haven’t queried the right agent yet. But no matter what happens, if you’ve done your work, you have done your best to kick the obstacles out of your way. And you can come to realize no matter what has happened or will happen...

You are a writer.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Survival Tip #2 - One Size Does Not Fit All

I've said it before in varying posts over the years, but I think it's something that needs to be said again. 

There is no right way to write.

Over the past eight+ years, I've heard a lot of advice on how to write.  Be a Plotter.  Be a Pantser.  Write early.  Write late.  Write every day.  Write when the muse strikes you.  Dress like you're going to a job so you get in the work mindset before you start to work.  Wear something that makes you comfortable when you work so you're not feeling constricted.


And the people giving this advice make it sound like it's set in stone.  (Or at least that's how a fledgling writer can take it when their back's against the wall and they're looking for a way to make this writing thing work.)

There is no right way to write. What works for one person might not work for the next.  And what works for Stephen King or Nora Roberts or Stephanie Meyer (not that any of them are saying their way is the right way) might not work for you.

Now that's not to say that you shouldn't experiment with ways to write - at least until you find the one that works for you.  Nope.  I'm all about trying new things.  I've also discovered the courage to dump advice when it doesn't work for me.  That whole plotting thing?  Doesn't work for me.  And I found out the hard way. 

Years ago, when I was struggling with the tidal wave of rejections from my first book, I decided to hunt down advice on how to write so that I could get published.  One such piece said that books NEED to be plotted out or they don't work.  So I plotted my second book.  And for me, plotting took the fun right out of it.  I knew what was going to happen and therefore I didn't feel any urgency for actually getting the book written.  Been there done that, not interested in going there again. 

And it's a pretty flat book for the most part.

But that's me.

Plotting is not my process.  And process, like most of the garments marked thus, is a 'one size does not fit all' thing.

So take the advice you read and hear - both out there in the blogosphere and in books and magazines on the subject - and decide what works for you.  And if none of it works for you, it's perfectly acceptable to make up your own rules*.  Whatever gets you to THE END with a good, well-written story that you're proud of.

What's some 'one size fits all' advice you found didn't work for you?

* the exception here is the rules of good English.  Learn those well.  Once you have the grammar and spelling rules down, you'll know which ones you can break to make your work better.  ;o)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Guest Post: "The Unpublished Pit of Despair" by Janet S. Corcoran

The Unpublished Pit of Despair*...

You know the one - dark and musty, scattered with over-edited pages of your brilliant manuscript, ripe with the scent of anxiety and heartache! We've all been there, some of us longer than others!

I believe my wallowing in the pit lasted about five years. Oh, the first couple of years weren't so bad - I wrote some stuff (never finished), rewrote that brilliant manuscript, queried and queried, and completed some short stories. Then, the weight of 'unpublished' took its toll. I became embittered about the whole process. I questioned my reasons for writing. I let the rejections suck the life out of me*.

And one day, I stopped writing.

I still talked writing, but as they say, I wasn't walking the walk. The Pit of Despair was winning and I considered myself a fraud. I seriously considered giving up writing. Forever!

But a beacon of light called NaNoWriMo stirred my lifeless body. The Miracle Pill* that would bring back my true love, my passion for storytelling. Don't get me wrong, it didn't happen overnight and I certainly had my doubts. So I went into the project with a couple of self-imposed rules - a healthy dose of realism was necessary if I were to ever be free of the Pit of Despair.

1. I would write a crazy, over-the-top story. Crazy over-the-top stories have a way of writing themselves and my expectations for publication would be taken off the table (as opposed to setting out to write a medieval romance, my genre of choice).
2. I would find a willing reader to send every day's section to keep me accountable and focusing on the beacon of light versus the hole I had suddenly found warm and comfortable.
3. I would tell a story - not write a book, not search for the perfect sentence and certainly not sniff any of that fairy dust that brings visions of multi-book deals and agent auctions.
4. I would have fun storming the castle*!

There were moments when I started seeing stars and I had to tamp down that 'publishing' expectation. I had to stick with the plan to write for the sake of writing. To renew my love of storytelling! I ended up writing the 50,000 words, ended up finishing the story (a huge defeat over the Pit of Despair) and I found my happy place!

This is the Unpublished Survival Guide and, I think, my best tool in my survival toolkit (lesson learned recently) is to do what I love. You all know the saying "Do what you love, the money will follow." But it's not about the money, it's about the happiness and joy. If you're in the Pit of Despair, worrying about publishing, trends, rejections, accolades, you're not pursuing your true love. First and foremost, write for you - for your joy and happiness. That's the Happily Ever After I had been missing!

Please tell us your Pit of Despair stories or share with your best tool in your 'unpublished survival toolkit'. Those who are published, maybe you can share with us your best tool in your 'published survival toolkit'. And any reference to The Princess Bride is gladly welcomed!

Janet S. Corcoran - an unpublished storyteller who has rekindled her love of writing. She blogs on a daily basis at and is happy to be back in her writing chair!

*Reference: The Princess Bride - one of my favorite movies!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Blog Worth Following

If you're not following New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. in the blogosphere, You're missing out.  They do this really helpful question and answer thing, where they invite people to ask questions about the industry.  Their answers are awesome.  Definitely worth a read through and, even though they sometimes fill up my blogroll with their posts, it's definitely a must-follow blog. 

You never know when they might answer the question that's been on your mind.  Like yesterday's questions of whether it's better to wait until February to query because of the holidays (and the post holiday query tsunami), and when you've got fulls out and one agent requests revisions, should you let the other agents know?

Good stuff.

Go forth and stalk.

If you could ask an agent any one question, what would it be?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Check This Out - Dealing With Failure

This morning agent Rachelle Gardner did an excellent post over at the Books & Such Literary Agency blog called 5 Ways to Deal with Failure.  Definitely something all of us need to keep in mind - especially when the rejections are pouring in.

What about you?  How do you deal with failure? 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shared Misery is Lessened Misery

Or something like that. 

Anyway, I don't know about you, but I loathe editing.  And guess what?  So does multi-published author Carrie Vaughn (author of the popular Kitty Norville series, as well as so many other awesome novels).  Stop by her post over at Genreality: The Revision Slog and share the pain.

Or leave a comment here and talk about how editing makes you feel.  Hate it?  Love it?  Think it's a necessary evil, like I do?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Guest Post: Alexia Chamberlynn talks Contests

You know that movie 27 Dresses, about the woman who’s been a bridesmaid 27 times? Well, that’s like me. Except with writing contests instead of dresses. And I didn’t get to hook up with James Marsden. But before you get confused about my random metaphors, let’s back up a bit.

I knew in my teens that I wanted to be a novelist, but I didn’t get serious about my writing until about four years ago. Ever since then, I’ve been writing and editing and querying and getting rejected by agents, and B.E. was kind enough to ask me to write a guest post. Since I was recently a semifinalist in DL Hammon’s Write Club, we both thought that writing contests would be a fun topic. And when I started thinking about it, I realized I’d been in a LOT of writing contests. Thus the weird movie reference.

Online contests are extremely frequent these days, and it’s for sure one of the huge perks of the blogging community. Many of the new lit agents are happy to participate, and it’s a really cool opportunity to get your work in front of them (outside of the usual slushpile situation) and even get feedback sometimes.  However, you have to be aware of what you’re getting into if you enter a contest. A great number of these are anonymous, and people will criticize you, whether constructive or not. And let’s face it, even if it’s constructive, it still doesn’t taste real great going down, does it? Really though, us writers need tough skin to survive in this industry period. If it’s not peer criticism it’s an agent rejection, and if it’s not an agent rejection it’s a publisher rejection, and once you do get published you’re going to get bad reviews. So, be cautious if you get offended easily, but I encourage you to try anyways to thicken up that skin.

Write Club was super intense, partly because I’ve never gotten that far in a contest before. Two anonymous 500 word excerpts were chosen randomly three times a week and pitted against each other, and whoever got the most votes won. After about six weeks of initial rounds, all the winners started getting paired up in bouts. I managed to make it through five rounds to the semi-finals, one of four people left. In the semi-finals, I got pitted against one of the strongest entries of the whole contest, IMO, and the entry that’s probably going to win the finals. So, I wasn’t ashamed to lose to such a good writer. It definitely sucked though to lose in the last round before the agent/editor round. To imagine that victory and then not quite make it.

All in all though, it was super fun and I met a lot of cool people and got lots of good feedback on my writing. Did defeat stop me? Heck no. Right on the heels of that I’ve entered Pitch Wars, where agented writers coach unagented ones and you polish your work for a panel of agents. I’ll find out about that next week! I guess you can call me a glutton for punishment.

Anyways, the moral of the story: put yourself out there! Be bold! Grow a skin thicker than a dragon! And of course, never, ever give up. I’ll tell you one last thing – when I do get an agent one of these days, it’ll be better than hooking up with James Marsden. Sorry, James.


Alexia writes and reads fantasy books. Except when she’s not, and then she can be found watching movies, eating chocolate, drinking wine, traveling to the next place on her global wish list, or playing Just Dance with her son on the Wii.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Ledge

We've all been there.  Teetering at the edge, up so high there's no way we can safely jump, and we can't see any path to climb back down.

No, I'm not talking about the fiscal cliff.  (Although I can kinda see an analogy there... but we don't do politics at The Guide.)

What I'm talking about is that spot in your writing when it feels like nothing is going right and you can't see where the story you've worked so hard on could ever be going anywhere.  You suddenly want to put all your characters into a plane and crash it, because that's the only possible way to end this mess you've made.

This happens a lot this time of year.  NaNoWriMo forces a ton of writers to put it all out there so quickly that the beginning of December becomes like those cliffs in Africa where all the little birds nest.  Thousands of fledglings clutching the edge - afraid they can't fly, terrified they'll be crushed on the rocky landscape below, and sure as hell uncertain how they ever ended up where they are.

If you're feeling like those little birds, you aren't alone. 

If you're feeling like you're out on a ledge, hanging by a participle, stop for a moment.  You can do this.  You just might need to approach it from a different direction.  Look at it this way: It's not November anymore.  You don't have to sprint to the line.  You can take a moment - revisit the ideas that are all squirreled up in your head. 

Yesterday a friend of mine emailed me from her ledge.  She's working on a romantic suspense.  The majority is written, but she's hanging by her tippy-toes, looking down at the end and wondering how the hell she got where she was.  Plot threads were hanging all around and she couldn't see which one to hold onto to climb to safely.  My suggestion: Notecards.  Put each problem on its own card, and put the possible solution(s) to it on the back.  I think she said it took her two cards before the solution came to her.

As much as I was happy to help, it wasn't the cards that fixed her problem.  She just needed someone to throw her a rope.  She did the climbing.

And sometimes that's all you need to get off the ledge.  A rope.  A hand.  A friendly ear to listen to you vent.  Sometimes just putting your problems into words by telling someone else about them helps solve them.  And sometimes - when there's no one available - you can get yourself down off the ledge by taking a step sideways and looking at the ledge from a different perspective.

How about you?  You know you've visited the ledge a time or two.  Talk about your experiences and share how you got down.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Check This Out - Doing Enough

This morning on Facebook, Karin Tabke said this was 'a must read post', so as soon as I got to it in my blogfeed, I read it.  She was so right.

This morning at Magical Musings, Natalie R. Collins stopped by and talked about the many things she's doing.  I think it's important for all of us unpubs to remember all the things we could be doing to get our work out there.  And for us to remember, when/if we jump into self-publishing, her words to 'clean it up'.  (I don't know if hiring people to do it for us is necessarily necessary, but the idea holds true.)

(And don't mind my double comment over there.  I'm having a brain fart morning and they don't let you delete your own comments.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Survival Tip #1

As I'm working out the details of The Unpublished Writers' Guide to Survival, I'll be adding new things and seeing how they work.  I like the idea of having guest posters talk about aspects of the journey.  I like the idea of linking to pertinent posts around the web in my 'This Just In' feature.  But last night as I was trying to fall asleep, it occurred to me that something called a Guide to Survival ought to have tips.

So, here's Survival Tip #1*:

Don't Take It Personally

From your first rejection to your last bad review - with all the criticisms that fall in between - you have to remember not to take any of this personally.  And most of the time, the people who are rejecting and reviewing aren't trying to make it a personal thing.

I certainly know that rejections can feel personal.  I'm sure the one JB Lynn talked about in her guest post probably felt intensely personal.  I know the time one of my books made it to a full request only to be rejected - that rejection letter felt personal as hell.

But it wasn't.

In my case, when I went back months later and looked at that rejection, I could tell the agent in question was trying to help me be a better writer.  I don't know what JB's person was thinking, but it was probably some misguided way to prevent JB from getting disappointed.  (Ha, showed the agent, didn't she?)

The point is, taking criticism and rejection personally only hurts you.  Try to look at it objectively.  Take a step back and really look.  Was what the person said valid?  Is it something you can change?  Is it something you're even interested in changing?  If so, use it to make your work better.  If not, thank the person for their time (if only in your head) and move on.  Or plot your revenge and move on.  Whatever works for you.  But move on.  Fix the manuscript being criticized, use the knowledge to help you write the next book even better than the last - as long as you're moving forward.

Yeah, criticism stings.  But as long as you're not taking it personally, the sting fades.

What about you?  Was there ever a rejection or a critique you took too much to heart?  Dish in the comments (but no names - we're not making it personal here either).

* #1 because it's the first, not because it's the most important or the most crucial.  It was just the first one I thought of and it ties in so nicely with this week's guest post.  Sorry the order isn't more scientific.  ;o)

Speaking of guest posts, if you haven't commented yet and therefore entered to win a prize, please get thee hence and do so.  You have until next Monday's post goes up (I don't know when on Monday - so don't leave it until the last minute.)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Guest Post: "This Book Will Never Sell" by JB Lynn

“This Book Will Never Sell”

Now I don’t know about you, but I have that exact thought every time I write a book. (I think it multiple times every single day.)

Then again, if you’re like me, you must believe in a corner of your heart, that it WILL sell, because why else would you put yourself through the torture that is Pursuit of Publication?

When you query an agent, it feels like “not a fit for my list” really means “this book will never sell”. But that’s not what it means because an agent would never say that, right?  Right??


A number of years ago, I had that very thing happen to me.

Now I don’t know about you, but the idea of doing a face-to-face pitch with a literary agent is wayyyyy worse than sending an anonymous query letter. I panic. I get tongue-tied. I babble like a stream during a Spring thaw.

Still, I’m a believer in putting yourself out there in pursuit of your dreams. (If you ask me, it’s a pretty stupid belief.) Following this belief had led me to pitching to agents at conferences. (Yes, it has always been just about as miserable as I imagine it will be.)

Now for the most part, agents are nice people. They love books. They try not to let their eyes glaze over as they listen to poorly-delivered pitch after poorly-delivered pitch. They scribble notes (which may very well be their shopping lists). They drink caffeinated beverages. They suck on lozenges. They use a lot of hand sanitizer.

They smile. They’re polite. They tend to be encouraging, even while they’re rejecting you.

Or, like the agent I pitched to, they look you dead in the eye and say, “This book will never sell.”

She didn’t say she couldn’t sell it. She said it would never sell. To my face.

Once I got over my shock/outrage/depression, I mentally thanked her because she did the best possible thing possible for me. She pissed me off.

I landed another agent (who I later left) with that book and I rewrote it for two different publishing companies before I got that “yes” I’d been pursuing.  Every time I thought I couldn’t take another “no” I remembered how much I wanted to prove that agent wrong and I pushed a little further. THE FIRST VICTIM was published by Carina Press….and no, I didn’t thank the “This book will never sell” agent in my acknowledgments, but I was tempted.

What’s the worst thing you’ve heard as you pursue publication?

She is a compulsive reader, a runner (of sorts), an enthusiastic cook (who doesn't get the appeal of the Food Network), and someone who has an irresistible urge to eavesdrop at all times.
JB has a great love of her husband, dogs, coffee, purple ink, spiral notebooks, running gear, hot showers, and '80s music. Given enough time, all of these things will eventually show up in her books.

Edited to Add:  We didn't plan this but just for kicks this morning, I got a wild idea.  Comment and be entered to win either a hardcopy of Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman - the first book in JB's series - or any one of her Kindle ebooks.  (U.S. only on the ebooks, I think.  They don't let you send those things to other countries - damn them.  And U.S. or Canada only on the hardcopy.  I'm not made of money. :wink:)  Any comment before next Monday's post goes up - one comment per person. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Page Critiques and My Hitch

Hi Everyone!

Over at The Writing Spectacle, a couple people commented that I should submit the first page of one of my novels to Casablanca Authors - where Deb Werksman will read & critique every first page submitted and request fulls from the ones that interest her.  The hitch?  (at least a hitch from my standpoint) She wants only Romance or Women's Fiction. 

If you've got those genres, go for it.  Please.  You've really got nothing to lose.

I lose out, though, because I don't write romance.  Oh sure, I have a few romantic elements in my novels, but they have never been the main thrust of the story.  (Pardon the pun.)  It's not my thing.  I've tried.  Really I have, but the romantic threads fall apart or they come off totally lame.  And don't even get me started on my inability to write sex.

Talk about 'insert tab A into slot B'.  Bleh.

I do read romance.  I admire those writers' ability to write believable love stories with plots and strong characters.  My stuff is more like a deflated balloon - all limp and lifeless and just lying there.  (Again, pardon the puns.  I can't help myself.)

So, thanks for the suggestion, ladies, but I'll have to bow out of this one.  Maybe next time.

And please, if you know of any open calls for submission or any free contests unpubs can enter, let me know.  I'll post them here when I learn of them.

Also, if you haven't answered the poll in the upper left yet, please do so.  Thanks so much. 

Finally, remember to stop by tomorrow for The Guide's first guest post.  I'm so excited!  :muppetflail: Yay!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Guide Reader Poll

Hi Everyone!

(Too perky for first thing on a Saturday?  Okay, I'll tone it down.)


I know at this point there are only 5 of you actually following the Guide, but I wanted to do a little 'beginning of the blog' research. So, over there on the left, I set up a little poll to run through the month of December.  All you have to do is pick an option and click VOTE.  It's all anonymous and totally unscientific.

I think I touched on every possible short answer one could give to this question, but if you're in a spot that I didn't cover, let me know in comments.  And by 'published', I don't want to differentiate between 'traditional' and 'indie' and 'self' here. 

And just so no one feels lonely or out of place, I answered first.  I've written several books but am unpublished.

I'll leave the poll up through New Year's Eve, so answer whenever you get a chance.

Thanks for stopping by The Guide and I hope you keep coming back.

Also, watch for our first sooper sekrit guest post on Monday.  It should be awesome.