clarentine: (Canum)
Well, that was quick. Last night I sent an e-query for In the Shape of a Man, the first book in the Canum series, to the agent who'd liked the voice and pacing of Cavalier. Overnight, she sent me a request for 50 pages.

I think that, over the holidays, I'll be going over that manuscript very, very carefully.

I'm also looking to send the query to several other agents. There is no guarantee that she'll want to see the whole thing, or even like what she reads. It's all about right desk, right day. And luck. And persistence.

Ignore that fluttering in the stomach. That's the price for persistence. *g*

*****

I'm baking today in preparation for a cookie exchange at the day job, and also because I really wanted to try out the Brown Bag Cookie Co. cookie molds I bought off eBay recently. Shortbread! The double ginger variety is chilling in the fridge as we speak, prior to slicing and baking. The molds work great. I need to get a couple more of the small ones, though, I think, because it seems wasteful to only bake one or two at a time.

*****

While I'm buying gifts for others it only makes sense to buy some for myself, right? So now I'm the proud owner of yet another pair of really nifty Birkenstock clogs, this pair black leather with white Western-style topstitching. (That's the Oklahoma style, if you want to track down a pair for yourself. Birkenstockcentral.com is my friend.) I've been looking for a pair like this for a while now. And now I have them!
clarentine: (Default)
Hey there, all you clever people, you Masters of the Universe in disguise, you manipulative masterminds. I need to borrow your brains.

I have an antagonist who has a problem. He wants to provoke a neighboring nation (let's call it Ess) into declaring war or something like it, but he doesn't want that provocation traceable to him; he has a king who'd be on his case in a big way if that got out. This antag happens to have control of the standing army in our little city-state, Gee. He also has friends in low places, people who will happily break a few heads just on his say-so. There are plenty of Ess's former citizens living in Gee. They like to hang out together but they don't live in a walled enclave or anything like that. There are also other citizens of other neighboring countries in the city to keep it from being too black and white.

What might you suggest this antag do to provoke the Esses into unwise action, so that the antag has an excuse to counterattack?

*****

(I need a new icon. My default is a cavalier, which was perfect for the time spent working on Cavalier Attitude, but this is a different book and a different protag and I really need something different. Does it tell you something about this rewrite I've undertaken that I'm looking forward to wasting time looking for that icon? *g*)

*****

Said rewrite - this book is In the Shape of a Man, called Shape for short (because no one in their right mind wants to roll the whole title out unless they have to, even if it is perfect in numerous ways for this book) - is coming along. The hardest thing I had to do was rewrite the first chapter, because there are some fundamental changes in my understanding of this story and they had to be there from the start. Now that I have that first scene, it becomes a matter of analyzing the succeeding scenes with an eye to how well they play with the book's new focus, determining what needs to change, and tweaking here and there until the words are aligned appropriately.

I had to cut a shitload of exposition out of my first scene before I was happy with it. It was important exposition, however, and it's taken me most of three subsequent chapters to get those background details back into the narrative.

In addition to unearthing additional external plot nuggets for my protag to fall over, I've got to go through each scene and make sure the attitude change is correctly reflected. I've discovered that this makes for an extremely tedious and frustrating time. It's difficult to hold the breadth of this story--in both its former and current configurations--in my mind's eye so I can compare and make changes in keeping with the new tone of the story. I think I am going to have to print the damned thing out and resort to pen-and-ink and highlighters to track those changes.

Kill me now, please.

*****

(Don't worry, [livejournal.com profile] jmeadows; I'm going to bake those cookies first. You should be able to smell the gingery-lemony-buttery goodness all the way up at your place. *g*)
clarentine: (Default)
A quiet day at the day job, so I've made some progress on this rewrite of the WIP, Kith and Kin. This is a real rewrite, rather than a polishing; the ms was first put together some ten years ago, and has seen minor edits since, but changes made in the book that precedes it (In the Shape of a Man) forced major plot thread changes. That, and my skill level has changed, shall we say, since I last poked this tale. (For the better, I think. Less angst, more intensity--see last rock.)

It's no fun reworking for plot. I had to resort to writing out a synopsis to find the holes in my plot and subplot arcs, and am now plugging along, mopping up the mess. The good news is the fleshing out is providing much needed wordage, as the draft I started with after cutting all the unnecessary scenes and boring dialogue left me nearly 100 pages shy of my usual goal of 300. The bad news is, I've now been working on this rewrite for the better part of a year.

My intention is to finish this blinking rewrite before starting anything new. I want both Shape and Kith done, clean, and ready for eyeballs before I start hunting an agent for what I think is my best work to date, Cavalier Attitude (a fantasy cross between Zorro the Gay Blade and James Bond, believe it or not).

At the moment, I'm roughly at page 194, chapter 7, scene iv (of about xiii; it's a long chapter, 34 pages or so). If reporting wordage is any incentive, maybe I'll see the end of a couple more of those scenes before the weekend is through. >;-]

Skoal!

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