Posts Tagged ‘NARWA’
Again, I say, just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I’ve been slacking.
No, I’ve been busy. I had to trim a five-page synopsis to a single page for the Harlequin American Editor Pitch contest. (Amazing what becomes important and what you suddenly realize can be left out when you have to tell the story in one tiny page.) The deadline was Monday and I shipped it off late Sunday night — or early Monday morning, depending on where you live.
We had our NARWA board meeting last Friday, then plot group on Saturday. As usual, plot group was inspiring. Of course, I had to head to to day job when it was over, so I lost that charge of momentum our meetings always provide.
After work Saturday night, I stayed up reading through Bree & Mike’s story until daylight started to seep through the blinds. (Then I slept until 3:30 p.m. Sunday, so I didn’t get to put in any writing time at BN before heading to work.)
When Monday rolled around, it hit me: The NARWA newsletter had to be done. So I stayed up into the wee hours putting it together, suddenly thankful the only Diet Dr Pepper in the office vending machine was super-sized. (This was about an hour after I used my Facebook status to complain that no one needed 20 ounces of caffeine at 9 p.m.)
So even though I haven’t been doing much blogging, I’ve been a busy little writer. Today, I finished a rough draft of a query letter for “Beauty and the Ballplayer.” I also spent some time tweaking the beginning — yes, I finally settled on ditching my opening line in favor of putting Meg and Matt in the same room on Page 1.
Now that I’ve brought you up to date, I’m going to get back to Meg & Matt. After I whacked out the first two scenes, it suddenly became 500 words too short to be an American Romance. That must be fixed.
Thanks to one of my NARWA sisters, I found another contest to enter … a chance to win a pitch with a Harlequin American editor. Since I’ve long envisioned “Operation Snag Mike Brad” as an American Romance, I decided to go for it.
I can’t say I always envisioned it in that line. When I first wrote it, I had the Love and Laughter or Silhouette Yours Truly lines in mind. But since those are both defunct (sadly, if you ask me), I switched to AR.
The entry requires a one-page synopsis — something I’m getting better at writing, I think — and a logline.
Having never heard of a logline before, I did a little poking around at eharlequin.com. Apparently it’s also known as a “concept line” and is designed to give the editor a broad picture of your story.
One way to write one is to start with a well-known storyline, then reveal the twist that makes your story stand out. You can also use a familiar book or movie as your starting point, so you come up with something like “Elle Woods meets the Terminator” or “Beauty & the Beast set in outer space.”
The advice is straightforward enough, but I’m finding myself confused. Maybe it’s just because my MS is a big, confused mess.
I hope not.
Anyway, here’s the logline I’ve come up with so far:
“Operation Snag Mike Brad” blends “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” — but in reverse.
In “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” you have a reporter working on a story and using outrageous advice to get dumped. (Erin is a reporter following a book’s outrageous advice to snag “the man of her dreams” while she’s chasing a big story that’ll get her out of small-town Indiana once and for all.)
In “Some Kind of Wonderful,” you have a guy who thinks he’s in love with one girl but ends up realizing he’s in love with his best friend. (Erin thinks she’s in love with Mike but ends up realizing he’s more like her best friend and she’s really in love with with Brad instead.)
So both flicks apply — at least loosely. The “reverse” part is the whole using the book to snag the guy (not lose him) and the fact that it’s the girl, not the guy doing the falling.
I’m still not wild about it. At least I have a few more days to play.
No, I didn’t sell my MS … or even sign with an agent.
What I did do — no small accomplishment, let me tell you — is surpass my goal to write 100,000 words this year.
Yes, I said THIS YEAR — and it’s only June. Since NARWA’s word count challenge began in January, I’ve kept track of words written. My goal was to write 100,000 by our November meeting.
This afternoon, while sitting at Barnes & Noble, I hit 100,967. (I might not have been faithfully updating my “Word count countdown” widget in the sidebar, but I have been keeping track in my Excel spreadsheet.)
Thanks go out to Meg & Matt, Bethany & Cody, Bree & Mike and Cassie & Dustin, the characters that have helped me meet my goal. Thanks also go out to my NARWA sisters and the gals at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, all of whom have provided support and encouragement. I hope I can return the favor.
Of course, I’m not going to stop writing. Unofficially, I think I’ll push to write another 100K before the end of the year. With Bethany & Cody talking to me practically nonstop, it’s entirely do-able.
Forgive me for not blogging lately … It’s not that I haven’t been working, let me assure you.
Most of my long weekend was spent on my new WIP, which is now in Chapter 3. Did I mention that there might be something to writing a synopsis first? 😉 I thought a lot about my plot before I started and came up with a summary of about three pages.
I also took some time to perfect my query letter and synopsis. This morning, I sent out a handful of queries … including one to my Dream Agent. I just wish that “I want to puke” feeling would go away. I always feel that way when I’m sending out queries: excited, but slightly nauseous.
Anyone else feel the same way?
On another note, I need to get busy writing a synopsis for “Beauty and the Ballplayer.” That was the other goal I said I’d accomplish before the next NARWA meeting — and since it talks so long for me to do one of those things after the fact, I’d better get started.