Friday, April 13, 2012

Catching Up

The ladies say "Hi".
I just got back from a week out at one of my field sites in eastern Oregon and in addition to having no internet access (which was a nice break) I got to see some of my ladies (elk). The fur is flying out there (literally- they're shedding their winter coats) and the whole place is a mud hole but I had a good time, saw some cool wildlife (great grey owl, ermine, bald eagle, etc), and had a wonderfully quite setting to FINISH MY WIP!  That's right, after countless rounds of revision I am calling my current epic fantasy WIP ready for query. I'll probably be posting my query letter and asking for feedback soon so stay tuned.

Also, I know we're not supposed to talk about our rejections on our blogs (I promise, I won't do it again) but I received my first ever official rejection letter a couple days ago. I'm sure I won't feel so enthusiastic about all of my rejections but for this one, my very first, I had to celebrate the milestone. Now I'm a writer for sure!

In other news, I wanted to thank the always wonderful Veronica Sicoe for mentioning me on her blog and I encourage everyone to check out the site On Ficton Writing where Veronica is an editor. It's a great resource for writers.

Finally I would like to thank everyone for stopping by my humble writing blog. It's been a little over a month since I dusted the cobwebs off this thing and changed it from a me-bitching-about-politics blog to a writing blog. Since that time I've had roughly 1,000 page views, over three-dozen comments, and I'm up to seven followers (hooray followers!!!)! Thank you to everyone who's visited and commented. I'll do my best to keep saying interesting...stuff.

Pippin is excited!


  1. I was preparing to yell my congratulations for the awesomeness of finishing your WIP!! and the successful snatching of the first rejection in the prettiest CAPS I could think off, but then you had to mention me and I nearly lost an eye on the keyboard.

    Thank you so much! How could I not have mentioned you since you're part of the writing critter clan! Also, thanks for the link to OFW, it's a crazy great community despite the "classic" camouflage of the website.

    Oh, and CONGRATS on FINISHING YOUR WIP, ADAM!!! That's a huge thing! Enjoy it, dislodge the editor inside and make him Pippin's new chewbone. Lean back and celebrate, maybe there's even a foot massage in it if you ask your wife nicely. (it doesn't always work with my hubby but one never ceases to hope)

    What is your WIP about? Got a pitch for it yet? How about a cover blurb? (I won't ask about synopsis and query letter until after you celebrate)
    If you need any help with them, I'd be glad to serve, and so will my more experienced colleagues over at OFW!

    1. Thanks Vero, I'll have to start negotiating for that message.

      I would love any feedback that you and your colleagues are willing to give on my query letter. I plan to post the latest revision early this coming week. For now, my elevator pitch sounds something like this:

      "When an oppressed populace transforms the gladiator-slave Sol into a symbol of defiance, the Empire tasks its most ruthless assassin with ending the insurgence. Sol’s only chance is to do what no slave has ever done: escape the Coliseum and the only home he’s ever known."

  2. That's a very good pitch, Adam! Straight to the point, no fluff.

    I have only very little things to add as suggestions.

    Is this the epic fantasy story? If so, you must include something in the pitch that makes it apparent. As it reads now, it can just as easily be historical fiction.

    "The Empire" has no face, if the antagonist is the Emperor, name him. If not, name him still.
    --> "Emperor XYZ tasks his most ruthless assassin, name, with ending the insurgence."

    Also, I'd like it to tell me if Sol wants to escape to survive, or if he also wants to free the oppressed people. The protagonist's goal is very important, and you can easily include it by
    --> "Sol's only chance to reach goal X is to do what no slave has done before: escape the Coliseum and leave his only home behind."
    "Leave" because one does not escape his home, grammatically. :P

    I hope I could be of some little use. :)

  3. Thanks Vero! I'm not sure how to represent the Epic Fantasy genre in the pitch. Do you think there is a word I could use instead of "exotic" to convey that the beasts are crazy-fantasy-critters?

    The Emperor doesn't have much to do with the story but there is a General that plays an important role. I'll try to figure out a way to include him.

    As to whether you can "escape" your home, that's one of the dynamics of the book. The Coliseum is Sol's home but he's a prisoner there, trapped and unable to leave. If you lock anyone in their home long enough they'll want to escape. Do you think there is a better way for me to convey that?

    Thank you so much!

  4. Yeah... the elevator pitch is too short to include the fantastic beasts. I was thinking more of a blurb, where the size is a bit more generous.
    But the assassin's name is only 1 extra word, as for the coliseum being his home and a prison that's perfectly true and possible, but "leave" just sounded a bit weird in my ears. :)
    I think it's a really tight pitch, all in all, and I wouldn't tamper with the basic structure.

    1. I think I see what you're saying. Thank you so much for the help.

  5. Ha, love the picture! Almost as much as I like the fact that you apparently work with elk. XD

    Good luck with the queries!


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