Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Good Rejection??

If you've ever read Stephen King's On Writing, there's a great part where he talks about his early rejections. Yeh..he was like eleven years old at the time, but the image of a writer, sitting in front of their typewriter with letters pasted on the wall around him, was a strong one. Those letters? His rejections. His motivation.

So when you get a rejection letter, what do you do with it? Do you trash it and your story? Or does it make you more determined than ever to keep going, keep trying, until you see your work in print?

Nobody likes receiving a rejection letter. You've put so much time, so much sweat into your masterpiece that its hard to believe that its not wanted. But there's a magic to them that is often overlooked.

Each and every one of these letters that you receive is validation that someone, somewhere is acknowledging that you are in fact a writer. Some are the standard form letters, some are encouraging. Others may even be personal; trying to help you understand what you need to change so that the rejections will stop coming.

So here's what I do when I start getting smothered to death in "I'm sorry's" or "We regret..":

First, take a look at your query letter. Does it meet professional standards? Can you change your hook to make it grab the reader?

Second, make sure that the agents or publications that you are sending it to are interested in your work. Or look to your writing and see if it could be considered another genre.

Third, keep writing..keep sending...Even if they say no, you're learning with each and every one of them. And hey, what's better than someone taking you serious at your craft, right??



Sunday, December 27, 2009

While I do not bow even to Scrooge in my bah-humbugism this time of year, even for me it’s still kind of a letdown when the most recent or any other holiday is over. Days, if not weeks, of excited anticipation, gone in a few hours, not to reappear for another year, and then it’s back to nothing more than normal everydayism.

But what’s normal for a writer? What is the status quo for those of us who lie for a living? Especially for a writer such as my humble self, with a yen—not to say an insistence—on the thrill, the joy, the excitement of story story STORY. Give me vampires and shapeshifters, space ships and dragons, murders and explosions, love, hate, romance, loss, tragedy, comedy…in other words, give me a book or seven to read, or one or eleven to write, and I’ve got all I need to be happy—well, other than endless glasses of iced tea, being the true blue Southerner that I am.

Those of us born in the South must have tea. Coffee is for you other folks with the misfortune to be born on the wrongest side of the Mason-Dixon Line. (Of course, as everyone knows, the Mason-Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, to resolve a border dispute between several British colonies in Colonial America. Everyone knew that, right?)

Forgive me. I tend to wander off into history at the slightest provocation. I spend much of my time in Elizabethan England, or Regency Bath, or Sherlock Holmes’ London…seeing a trend here? I’m a serious Anglophile. I’m sure other countries have history, but you couldn’t prove it by me.

So, as I was saying: the cure for the end-of-holidays letdown is something new to read or, for those of us who lean that way, something new to write. Right now, my co-writer and I are hard at work on book two of our paranormal series THE BALEFIRE CHRONICLES. Keep in touch for more information on that and our other projects.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Writer's Life

Hi diddle de dee, the writer’s life for me.
A high silk hat and a silver cane
A watch of gold and a diamond chain
It’s great to be a celebrity
The writer’s life for me.

(with apologies to Mr. Disney, Pinocchio and lyricist Ned Washington)

Well, maybe being a writer isn’t all that—the silk hat didn’t fit, the silver cane broke, the gold watch stopped, the diamond chain is actually cubic zirconium and the celebrity hasn’t quite arrived—but the writer’s life for me, regardless.

I’ve always thought that the perfect job consists of sleeping late, going to work in your pajamas, and doing something you love. Well, that’s writing. Oh sure, it’s hard work, and sometimes it can be disappointing, especially when no one recognizes your obvious blazing talent. Rejections, from agents and editors, can be hard to bear. Questions from family and friends along the lines of “When are you going to get a real job?” and “Why are you staring off into space all the time?” and “Don’t you think you’re getting a little old to be making up stories about witches?” can strike a sour note.

But for those of us who love it, we would not, could not ask for anything better that to be allowed and, with any luck, actually paid for writing down the tales that are always running through our minds anyway.

We love it. It’s what we do. And we don’t want to do anything else.

Of course, a diamond chain would be nice, come to think of it.

Twas the Night Before...

The best advice I've ever heard for new writers is don't give up. I know...I know...it's dreadfully corny, but if you look, it has a double meaning. The first is obvious: don't give up on trying to get published! A great writer once told me that writing for the closet is like playing by yourself. Sure its fun, but really, what's the point??

Ok, you're saying...so what's the point of this, Cyn?? Easy. Don't give up your writing time; even for holidays. Sure, sure-you may not be as addicted to your keyboard as I am. But its awfully tempting to stop writing all together when you fall out of the habit of doing it every day. You promise yourself you'll get back in the swing of things. And six months later your glorious novel is still sitting at twenty thousand words. It's a tragedy, people....tragedy!

Writing shouldn't be thrown in the back of your closet like those exercise machines that you get and forget about. It's a gift....a real one! Its amazing how good you feel when you get it off your chest!

Yes, today is Christmas Eve and there's a thousand things I need to be doing. But here I am, wishing you all a happy holiday! Scattering my brain trying to come up with new scenes for my characters, Tommy and Anya, and forcing a time limit on myself to get something on the page. If you're a new writer, or even an experienced one, this is the best thing for you. Read my blog (of course!) but then close it, open up that novel, and write something!

And with images of the dust covered dumb bells laying in my closet dancing through my head, I wish you all a fabulous holiday filled with lots and lots of writing time!



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Welcome to My Musings!!

Welcome and salutations!!

I hate introductions....they're so formal! Cross my heart-this is gonna be a short one!!

Cynthia Gael is the collaboration of writers K.G. McAbee and Cynthia D. Witherspoon. Her genres include paranormal romance, scifi, and thrillers. Be sure to check out her latest series The Balefire Chronicles! Look for the first book, Balefire and Moonstone, in stores during 2010!!

See?? I promised!! And I always keep my promises. Well, within reason of course!

Check back for weekly updates and more from your newest favorite paranormal romance writer!!