Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Alive!

I feel like Dr. Frankenstein.

Before I begin querying for AUC, I am sending Draft 2 out to several test subjects – ahem, I mean, friends – who will hopefully give me some useful feedback. Once I’ve collected the test data – or criticism (constructive, of course) – then I’ll run AUC through the wringer to produce a Draft 3, which hopefully far exceeds Draft 2.

So in preparing Draft 2, I may have went a little overboard, but I wanted my test readers to feel like they were reading a complete novel. I wrote a back cover blurb and made a front cover. Then the blurb looked plain, so I had to design a back cover. Then I made a hook page (you know, the excerpt that sometimes appears before the title page). So I put all these, along with the ms into a three ring binder, with the “covers” in the clear pockets on front and back. As a result AUC looks like an actual book (sorta) and as I feel like a proud mom. The fact that I’ve written a full novel never really sunk in until I was loading the binder with almost 200 ms pages. I was thinking, “Wow, I really wrote all this. All those words… all those filled pages… I did that.” It seemed unreal and real in the same moment.

Now hopefully the quality matches the quantity and AUC can make it into real bindings. Since I went to the trouble to make a cover blurb and a hook page, I’ll share them here. I’m not completely happy with the blurb and I’m sure a professional could do a far better job, but it’s my attempt to sum up the book without giving too much away while still attracting interest (a daunting task). I’d love to hear what you think of each.

Back Cover Blurb:

__She Always Wanted To Help,
______But Never Felt She Could…
_____________…Until Now

Shy dreamer Paige Moss is forcibly yanked from her ordinary, yet danger-ridden life, into a part of her world that was supposed to exist only in myth and legend.

She encounters a colony of fabled creatures that’s tense with discord as it gears up for battle, with Paige’s older sister as its commander and her home nation as its contender.

Paige must sort through layers of intrigue and outright lies to discover who’s at the heart of the conflict, a task that’s complicated by the fact that her own beloved sister tops the suspect list.

When the lives of those she loves are threatened, can Paige muster enough courage to save them?

Hook (Excerpt) Page:

A few months ago, I laughed at my mum for being paranoid. Only after several of my classmates and neighbors became victims did I smarten up.

___Adrenaline pumped through my veins and I ran harder than I’ve ever run in my life. I could still hear their pounding footsteps behind me. Glancing back again, I saw that they were gaining on me once more.
___I ducked into another alleyway and pulled on the first door I came to.
___It opened easily.
___I threw myself inside and ran through the kitchen of the pub and out through the bar room. Dozens of dining faces stared at me as I shot past them and out the front door. I doubled back into the same alleyway I started in, hoping that all of my pursuers followed me into the pub.
___The alley was empty.
___I figured if I could make it to the end and turn down the street before the thieves came out of the pub, I might make it. Hope stirred, but I still felt woefully exposed.
___I was almost at the end when the thieves jumped out of the pub door to block my escape. My feet scuffed to a halt and reversed quickly to retreat. Their expressions were fearful. Wait. Fearful? Yes, eyes wide, mouths hanging open, and they too were backing away. I couldn’t understand why.
___Claws grasped my shoulders, sending a spasm of pain through me. My feet left the ground, swinging wildly as if I could still run away.

So there you have it. Based on one or both of these samples, would you pick up my book?

As a side note, I am sad to say I lost my NaNo challenge, what with job changes, exams, and a myriad of other excuses distracting me. I think if I were juggling a couple fewer things, I’d have gotten through it, but at least NaNo gave me a good jump into Book B. I’ll likely not get any writing done until December, so my NaNo total stands at 22,600 words.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

1 comment:

Lady Glamis said...

I just had to go buy a new shredder to shred all the manuscripts I printed out for friends. I have stacks and stacks and stacks . . .

I bought a laser print just for that, too.

And binding materials.

NOW I don't print out the manuscript anymore . . . people kept asking me for a copy of the book whenever I did a major rewrite.

NOW I just have it posted online. ;) But it's always best to have people read your work printed. I will only print out copies of my work now if it's really important to me get a specific person's opinion that isn't willing to read the story online. Like my mom. :)

Sorry you didn't finish NaNo. I just finished last night. I now have a great start on Monarch! Yay! And it looks like you have a good start, too.

I would read your story based on the information you gave. I think the blurb needs to be more detailed - not longer - just not as vague.

Like when you say, "she always wanted to help" I'm thinking help who? what? I know you want to raise questions, but just a little more information would pull a reader in more, I think.

And why is her ordinary life danger-ridden? I think more explanation there would help, too. Just a word or two.

Why are the fabled creatures gearing up for battle? The line about layers of intrigue also has me squirming. It's too vague.

Do you see what I'm getting at? I'm just making suggestions. Feel free to stick your tongue out at me and tell me to go away. :) I won't be offended. ;)

I like your excerpt. It has me interested!

Have you thought about joining a writing circle? I belong to CC. It's the best thing I've ever done as a writer. Having a circle of dedicated friends who are as serious about writing as I am is absolutely invaluable.

Let me know if you're interested and I'll give you some more info.

Also, did I send you an invite to my blog with The Breakaway? I can't remember . . . and I don't see you on the list. Let me know.