The English language is constantly growing and evolving.
What’s that? You already knew that? Well, so did I. But for some reason, this not-so-surprising thought whapped me upside the head the other day.
A writer friend and I were at Starbucks (where else?) when she asked if I thought OMG was in the dictionary yet.
“No, but I’m pretty sure they just added ‘friend’ as a verb.”
I couldn’t find any proof of this notion when I looked, but I did find this article from cracked.com listing “muggle,” “cyberslacking,” “gaydar,” “threequel” and “frankenfood” as new words in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
While no one uses the word “bifurcate” anymore, phrases like “frenemy” and “bromance” have slipped into the common vernacular. I should know. I recently used “bromance” (correctly) in a sentence in my WIP.
And on my other blog, it’s easy to slip in an OMG. Heck, even the word “blog” itself is a relatively new creation.
It makes me wonder: Will future generations look back and laugh at the way we talk/write? Will they even be able to understand us? Or will our frenemies and cyberslacking sound as foreign to them as Elizabethan English seems to most of us?
All I can say is thank goodness “Gag me with a spoon” didn’t catch hold!
Today just might go down as the highlight of my writing career to-date. It could be the start of something big.
Today, I was one of the lucky 125 entrants selected to submit to the Knight Agency’s Author Speed Date contest. You should have heard the excited whoop I let out when I saw my name on that list. (Everyone in the newsroom sure did. A few people even came over to my desk to see if I was OK.)
Panic quickly supplanted the initial excitement: Which of my novels do I send them? (I have so darn many to pick from — six completed MSs in all.) After some thought, I chose the one with the proven track record, my Beacon finalist, “Beauty and the Ballplayer.”
When I received word a few hours later that “Beauty and the Ballplayer” did not final in the Write Stuff contest, I second-guessed my decision. Big time. Lucky for me, I hadn’t had a chance to ship off my entry yet.)
The score sheets sat in my Gmail inbox, waiting for me to decide: Do I read them now, before I send my entry to the Knight Agency, so I can try to “fix” it?
A coworker convinced me to go ahead and look. “If they make any suggestions for the first three pages, use them if you think they have merit.”
So I took a peek. I couldn’t believe my eyes: Two perfect scores! The last judge gave me a 66 of 100, though. (Hope I didn’t get that judge for the Golden Heart. 😉 ) None of them wanted to make substantial alterations to pages 1-3.
I literally just shipped off my entry (the first three pages). Now, I wait … just like I’m waiting for the Golden Heart calls. The Speed Date results will come back faster, though. I’ll know by Thursday if I advance to the next round. (Just 25 of 125 will be so lucky.)
No, not IT it. But I just found out I’ve been taking the wrong approach to query writing.
A friend and I recently exchanged query letters. Keep in mind that I’ve written my share of queries — and have read more than my fair share of advice on how to write a great one.
But the one she read was my first stab at a query for this particular manuscript — and apparently it’s no good.
What I have is more one-page synopsis than a query. Hmm … or should I say “harumph”?
My friend’s advice is to follow this formula for the summary graph:
First sentence about the heroine/hero. Second sentence about hero/heroine. Third sentence covers the conflict in their relationship. Fourth sentence either asks a question or teases the reader in some way.
I can buy into that advice — except for the very last part. All the things I’ve read say to answer any questions you ask. You shouldn’t leave the agent/editor hanging … or so I thought.
What say you, loyal commenters? Ask and answer or just ask?
P.S. On the bright side, I guess I have an even shorter synopsis I can send out. Why couldn’t I have realized that before submitting to the Golden Heart? I could have squeezed another page of excellent writing into my entry. 😉
Ever wonder if your wellspring of ideas will dry up? I do.
The thought hit me tonight: When I finish the first draft of my WIP, what’s next?
Of course there will be finding volunteers to read my newly finished baby, editing, and, eventually, writing a query and shopping it around.
But what will be my next WIP? Where will the idea originate?
I used to think I had an unending supply of ideas. After all, my imagination is sometimes sparked by a blurb I see/hear on the news (as was the case for “Blind Date Bride”) or even by something I witness in the mall.
Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that those snippets don’t necessarily have the chops to sustain a novel — of any length. They might make it into the story as part of a scene, but there’s usually no conflict … nothing at stake.
Huh. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have worried about that. Good thing I’ve learned something since then, eh?
And now that I’ve had some time to mull things over in my head, I do have some good ideas rattling around in there. First off, I can finish Drew & Lainy’s story (which could probably kick off an entire series, seeing as it’s set in a high school that happens to be a hotbed of teacher-on-teacher romance).
Brad and Kenny’s brother needs his own story, too. Matt’s buddy, Dave, has a built-in backstory (complete with secret baby). Another of his teammates could also have a tale to tell. And during my recent fit of decluttering, I stumbled on an old idea with a lot of promise.
Guess my wellspring of ideas won’t be running dry anytime soon. That’s a relief!