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Monday, February 25, 2013

Counting Down

Did not get any writing done over the weekend, but I did download the "Game Faces" print galley and started to proof it. So far, it's pretty clean with only three corrections for missing/misplaced italics in the first 50 pages or so. Maybe I have gotten better at proofing the initial manuscript.

I'm really eager to get back to "Seer, Tyro, Fiend", especially after a long break over the previous weekend. As always when I don't get to write even a little bit for a period, my mental gyroscope starts wobbling a bit. I need that outlet for my imagination to keep things spinning levelly. I've also been having other thoughts about the title and the cover. Two images play in my head for the cover, very different from each other, but both represent a significant plot line. There's the search for a missing woman on the one hand, and my early cover design would reflect that story. On the other hand, there's Stefanie's exploration of her psychic talent, also an important theme. Unfortunately, my thoughts on which one to emphasize have begun pointing to which one will attract potential buyers of the book. I feel an element of shame for being so mercenary, but all things considered, either cover will be a little work of art, perhaps my own, and will represent something important in the novel.

With only a few days left on my day job remaining, I've also started contemplating a side line in editing services. My idea is to offer to review, for a fee, the first few pages of a manuscript. I would return a mark-up copy with both simple proofreading corrections as well as a critique of sorts. Did it draw me in? Is there enough story introduced early enough? What about character development, especially for the point of view? Is there anything that might cause a publisher or agent to reject it?

Certainly, I don't see myself as an expert, but I guess having six published novels qualifies me to some degree. The idea of doing complete manuscripts seems a bit overwhelming, and I don't want to take away that much time from writing my own stuff. But perhaps ten pages for a nominal fee would be an attractive offer for new writers looking for a little guidance in the face of past rejections. I have mentioned before that I always try to take lessons away from any criticisms received with rejections, but the fact is, so many "no thank yous" arrive with nothing at all in the way of advice or reasons. Sometimes, all I got back was a strip of paper, not even a full sheet, with a formula response. Somewhere in my files, I have my own query letter returned with a handwritten note of "Not for me, thanks." I need to work out the mechanics of this idea--the exchange of payment and documents, a disclaimer of sorts, where to advertise, etc.--before I can pursue it further.

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