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Messages - DmGuay

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words A Day Club 2016
« on: September 06, 2016, 06:22:38 pm »
Did 2,834 words today....

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is my book a failure?
« on: September 05, 2016, 08:21:43 am »
I like your cover and the title is fine, But frankly, you're blurb isn't doing you any favors. The blurb is a sales piece. Make it active voice, make it exciting, make it hint at the action and the stakes.

I love them. Well done!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Traditional publishing: Are there any benefits?
« on: September 03, 2016, 12:59:17 pm »
I'm not afraid to run my own publishing business if it comes down to it.
I'm already a freelance journalist, so in a way I've already been running my business for the past eight years.
I'd have to learn a few tricks about marketing fiction, but the rest of the business part (taxes, deadlines, etc.) are already in place!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Traditional publishing: Are there any benefits?
« on: September 03, 2016, 06:27:11 am »
Uh, this thread has given me a lot of things to think about.

I've spent a good portion of the last three months sending out queries for my debut novel. Sounds like my time might be better spent writing the rest of the series asap and self pubbing!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Who basically writes a book a month and how?
« on: August 31, 2016, 06:04:22 pm »
Gee. I'm amped that I've gotten to 2,500 words the past few days. I suppose being able to do 6k to 10k is partly skill and part real-life obligations. I have two little kids and this is the first time they're both in school all day. I have about 6.5 hours a day to do everything I need to do, like writing, groceries, errands, and exercise. Maybe I should be happy I get to 2500 at all!

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's your Nanowrimo goal for this year?
« on: August 31, 2016, 07:28:19 am »
I wish every month was NanoWriMo at my house! I'm trying to speed things up!

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's your Nanowrimo goal for this year?
« on: August 31, 2016, 05:14:49 am »
I'm planning to write a standalone YA magical realism novel. Classic geek to chic, and all of the unexpected problems that come with getting what you think you want, rather than what you really need. It will be much lighter and funnier than my works to date. I have a good outline already. This will be my first NanoWriMo, so we'll see how it goes.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Who basically writes a book a month and how?
« on: August 30, 2016, 10:10:56 am »
I have read and re-read this thread. This is post is how I found KBoards.

I found it by searching google for ideas to write novels faster. I took forever writing my first novel-- six years (albeit in spurts, with 7 revisions thrown in). I cant afford for numbers 2, 3, an 4 to take as long.

Writing a novel in a month, or less, or even two months seemed so impossible to me. But once y'all broke it down into your daily word counts, it seemed more approachable.

Last night, I set my word count goal at 2,000 words per day. Today, my first day, I wrote 2,517. So thank you, for helping me turn an abstract goal into a daily word count goal. I can't promise I'll make my goal every day, but it helps to have something to push for!

Writers' Cafe / Contests for self-published books?
« on: August 29, 2016, 10:59:09 am »
As I'm sitting here prepping and sending contest entry forms for my unpublished novel, I'm wondering...

Are there contests/ awards for self-published books? It seems like there should be. Y'all should be recognized for good work!

Writers' Cafe / Re: How long do I try to trad publish?? YA?
« on: August 29, 2016, 06:22:24 am »
I'm pretty sure they were canned rejections!
It's early days.
The plan now is to keep querying until I have book 2 finished, because it sounds like I can't do much self-publishing wise without at least two books in the series!


I love love love the idea of it. Who didn't have tons of buttons??
Maybe put the title on something that looks like ripped notebook paper?

Writers' Cafe / Re: How long do I try to trad publish?? YA?
« on: August 28, 2016, 12:50:06 pm »
I have a lot of things to think about now that I've read all of your responses.

To answer a few question:

- This book is the first in a trilogy. There will also be a fourth novel set in this universe. The fourth is an historical paranormal romance. It can be stand alone, but in the context of this universe, it's the background story of a character mentioned in books 1 and 2.

-I am seeking traditional because I wasn't sure YA did well as indie. I'm also unsure of how to market the book, although being on this board has helped take some of the fear out of that part.

-My first two query letter probably weren't great. (I didn't find query shark until a few weeks ago) I have a new, revised letter that will go out this week.

So far, based on your insights, my new plan is to keep at book 2. I will keep querying until book 2 is finished and polished. Then, if no dice, I will self publish.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How long do I try to trad publish?? YA?
« on: August 28, 2016, 09:05:25 am »
Let me add that ..

- yes, I did use critique partners and beta readers. They loved the book, and did tell me where I could have been clearer with plot/character, etc.
- I entered it in a contest. My judges (all three, 2 pubbed authors and 1 book editor) wrote me very long and helpful notes and told me they absolutely loved the book.
- it's been professionally edited. 

I'm not saying it's the best thing ever, but I know it's not the worst!

Writers' Cafe / How long do I try to trad publish?? YA?
« on: August 28, 2016, 06:04:24 am »

I write supernatural YA. I have finished/polished my manuscript (debut novel). I sent my first round of query letters in mid-July. I sent 21. I have received 8 rejections.

My question: How long do I try to traditionally publish before I throw up my arms and self publish? How many more agents/ publishers do I send it to?

It's a very frustrating experience. You have no way of knowing why you are rejected. Does the book suck? Is the storyline too cliche? Did the agent have a fight with her dog before she read your query?

I write YA (with adult crossover potential). Does YA sell if self published? I had heard teens tend to buy trad published books?


Writers' Cafe / Re: Show Don't Tell? How important is it?
« on: August 28, 2016, 06:01:01 am »
Cool link Cherise!

I entered my novel in a contest recently and all of the judges mentioned my problem with telling instead of showing. I combed through the manuscript again and with a few minor changes corrected that issue. (My tells were mostly in describing other characters' reactions to things, not in the setting, etc.)

If you're already out there with good reviews, chalk it up to experience, and think about it more when you're writing your next novel.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you research historical fiction (quickly)?
« on: August 27, 2016, 05:41:33 am »
Hi all.

I went on the research field trip and it was a great success. Incredibly worthwhile. I took gobs of photos, found some handy source books in the museum shop, and had a long conversation with the curator, who filled me in on some handy details. He also gave me a list of original sources for more information, which are in the research room of a library not too far from me.

Thanks so much for all of your input.

I start writing Monday. Wish my luck on my first historical fiction project!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Active vs Passive writing
« on: August 25, 2016, 11:04:22 am »
Funny. I just dealt with this. I entered a contest and the judges loved my entry but said I used too much passive voice. I combed through the manuscript again. They were right. I didn't even see it!

I cleaned up all my "was going"/ "Was thinking" --those kinds of phrases. Anything with was were followed by an ing word is probably passive. Look for that. There's always a better way to say it.

I combed through my 81,000 word manuscript, and by tightening up passive voice and making sure I "showed" emotions instead of "telling" them, I cut 3,000 words while making the book more solid.

Good luck.

Writers' Cafe / Tips for handling a series?
« on: August 25, 2016, 10:35:09 am »
Hi all.

I started book 2 of my trilogy this week. (supernatural romance mystery) This is my first series, and frankly, only the second book I've written ever. 

My questions are...

1. How do you handle backstory (the events from book 1) in book 2?

I've read some books that seem like info dumps in the first 2 chapters, recapping the major events from the last book.  It's not my favorite format. What are other options?

So far, my action picks up immediately after the events of book 1. I'm dealing with the backstory issue because what happened in book 1 is front and center in the character's thoughts. I'm just wondering how much backstory I have to include for folks who might not be reading the books back to back.

2.How do you handle character development and story arcs over multiple books?

Just curious.

I envision book 2 as my "Empire Strikes Back." Book 1 was action, mystery, and a huge final life-death blow out. Book 2 I envision as dark, going deeper into the world and characters as they struggle to deal with the social and emotional consequences of the events of book 1. (All while laying groundwork for a huge blowout and looming villain in book 3).

My characters will also not win against the villain in book 2. They're going to lose. People will die and this time, there will be nothing the main character can do about it. Do you think readers are receptive to that kind of shift in tone? Or, will they pick it up expecting the same sort of story line? If the characters temporarily lose, will that be too disappointing of an ending?

Probably silly questions. Just curious how all of you handle character and story over a series.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you research historical fiction (quickly)?
« on: August 23, 2016, 03:08:43 pm »
Thanks for all of the advice people. I am taking it to heart. And, all the links. Thanks!

I've decided to take my field trip to the historical site this Friday, then start writing. The story is clear in my mind.

My characters will have to meet and interact while doing the work that would have been done in this kind of settlement in the 1780s. Hopefully, I can get a sense of the daily routines and chores for each gender while on my trip. That should be enough to get started.

As for the more nitty-gritty details...

After considering your advice, I think I will do my  best to write the story. As I go along, I will make notes of any missing or unclear details, then try to tap some sources to answer those questions during the revision process.

Thanks again!

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you research historical fiction (quickly)?
« on: August 22, 2016, 05:26:40 am »
Wow. Thanks to all of your for your thoughtful replies!

I should clarify. I'm not looking to cut corners on research. I'm looking for ways to stay focused and on track. It's so easy to get lost in a sea of the wrong documents, and waste time looking for details that won't end up in the book. 

I've been mulling this story over and collecting bits and pieces for two years.

I have a few wonderful books from the early 1800s outlining in detail the historical events, the words, meals, and ceremonies of local Native Americans at the time, even how the settlement in question laid out its streets, etc. I even have a diary from a the founder, but boy. He didn't say anything about what they ate, what they did for clothes, etc. And I can't use him as an accurate measure of speech, because his account was written in high German. I doubt the average frontier settler used that!

Y'all gave me some great ideas.Sounds like it will be beneficial to go ahead on my field trip this Friday. While I'm there, I'll pick the brains of the locals and see if I can make connections with local history buffs.

Anyway, thank you all so so so so so much for your input.

Introductions & Welcomes / Re: Hi. I'm the noob
« on: August 22, 2016, 05:06:30 am »
I don't know Christopher, sadly, but we probably are way back cousins from 300 years ago. Guay is short for Du Guay, a French Acadian name. My family is still in Canada, mostly, but a lot of us were driven out of Canada hundreds of years ago, a scattered, some all the way down to Louisiana. That whole "Evangeline" thing, you know?

Funny you should mention journalism and not being on top of the stack. I'm going through that now. I went freelance eight years ago when my kids were born, and busted my bottom pretty much doing my old job on a part-time salary with a screaming baby in my ear.  My boss told me last summer he purposefully didn't tell me about full-time openings because I'm a mother and he didn't want to 'deal' with that. Argh. I about threw him through a plate glass window!! All those years of work for nothing!!

So, I have to decide what is next. and for now, it's fiction.

Writers' Cafe / How do you research historical fiction (quickly)?
« on: August 21, 2016, 07:17:15 pm »
Hi y'all.

I'm starting a paranormal historical romance (a lot o' genres) based on the legend of a real woman who lived in the northwest territory during the Revolutionary War. Locals legend claims she could raise the dead and bring storms down on her enemies. Seriously. I'm not making that up!

I've booked, saved, PDFed, and photocopied every old book with a reference to her. I have tons of information on her supposed magical powers and how she used them, etc.

But, now that it's time to write, I'm struggling to find sources that can help me set the scene. As in accurate speech, social customs, meals,prayers and ways people would think about themselves and the world during this time.

I can't drop her into 1780 talking like a Kardashian!!

What is the most time effective way to research the daily lives of people in a particular time period? If y'all have any tips and tricks, I would greatly appreciate them.

So far, my best plan is to take a field trip up to the settlement where she once lived (it's a museum now), and hope I can find something useful there, whether it's diaries, documents, etc. from the gift shop.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Comedy sci-fi - is there a market?
« on: August 21, 2016, 03:14:42 pm »
I think so. I like sci-fi and I like funny. Think Firefly. It was serious, space-opera, space pirate, but they put a lot of humor in.

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