Saturday, June 30, 2012

Introvert/Extrovert Demystified. How I Relate.

LOVE IT!!! I found an awesome blog, go to it: 10 Myths About Introverts I'm going to post the ten myths and talk about it. It's basically how I relate. Remember, these are myths.

1. Introverts don't like to talk: This is hilarious, because I love to talk. Sometimes, I need to shut up. But, at the same time, if I don't know you, or feel uncomfortable around you, I shut down. I'm like the little shy three year old who doesn't know how to do anything but smile. If I'm comfortable around someone, I'll make up stuff just to make myself laugh, and hopefully the person I'm talking to, too! One time, I heard these guys in class talking about girls. Crud, they mentioned me, they was like: she never talks. Ha, wanna bet! Also, I LOVE talking about philosophical stuff, nature and people in general. Even if I'm stupid in relation to the topic. I don't care about the latest cell phone. Again, I'll make small talk for the sake of it if I feel like it. So, if you're like, um, she never talks, it's because you're talking about something stupid. I kind of feel like a hypocrite though, because here lately, I talk about all kinds of dumb stuff.

2. Introverts are shy: Sure, at first. Definitely. Later, um, you're probably regretting befriending me, because I am so not shy. Now, that depends, however, I mean, I'm not going to do rude things, like belching and stuff, that's just gross. If I like you, I'm likely more nervous than shy. I think there's a difference. If you're complimenting me, sure, I'll act shy, but if I know you too well, I'll be like, yeah, I'm great...haha, but I'm only playing.

3. Introverts are rude: Sure. Haha, not really. I mean, when I was in High School, people thought I was mad a lot. Um, no, just...not smiling. Not mad, just there; alive. And sometimes it's nice to just be.

4. Introverts don't like people: I really didn't like people and that's because I thought they didn't like me. It was only after I started to talk more that I realized that people actually cared what I said. That, and I smiled. Even if I said something and was totally ignored (hate that) I let it roll off my shoulders (or something) and found that I was a lot happier. It was only when God came into my life that I started liking people. If God weren't with me...I'd hate everyone. Haha. Maybe I shouldn't divulge that information.

5. Introverts just don't like to go out in public: I do, but not if I'm smack dab in the middle of it with everyone looking at me. With time, I feel more secure. I just realize that they're all people like me and it really doesn't matter what these nut heads think. So I do what I have to do. I found that they usually don't dislike me after all, and if they do, they're good at keeping it to themselves, thankfully.

6. Introverts always want to be alone: You bet! No, not entirely. I mean, after a while, I love being alone, I like the silence. I love talking to myself (don't judge) and I love singing out loud like an idiot, oh, that and dancing in the kitchen, though the floor hurts my bare feet; it's hard to turn. Anyway, I mean, I used to get ultra lonely, and still get lonely sometimes, but really, I need my space. Mostly, I need someone to be in the house, to be quiet and leave me alone, to clank a dish downstairs, but not necessarily interact with me. So, in essence, I would still be alone (= good) but not utterly alone (= bad). I really enjoy time with my friend Brehonna, who comes over and writes (we ignore each other during this process, though she sits at the table with me). I like people and I like alone time.

7. Introverts are weird: You bet! Sure, they are in societies eyes because society doesn't understand them. I'm more crazy, I think.

8. Introverts are aloof nerds: Um, Brehonna and I wag our glasses. Great, what does that make us? Don't answer. People used to think I was mean. Ha. If they'd just talk to me, they'd know better. I used to hate it when people wouldn't give me a chance. I'm like screaming in my head: I am so capable! And if the rare chance arrived and I got to prove myself, they'd be IKR. JK. But yeah, I think people definitely thought I was unapproachable. One guy told me once that he'd watched me. He was like, you always sit in the back, you never speak up. And I'm watched that? Okay...and...I'm more comfortable there. If someone would shut up a half a second, I might pipe up, but it's those extroverts talking too much and I can't get a word in. Okay, I'm totally kidding, but kind of being truthful. And in truth, I did really fit better in the back, because I really didn't have anything to say. I didn't care for what the peeps were talking about. Really. I think it comes down to your company and if they're polite enough to care what you have to say.

9. Introverts don't know how to relax and have fun: This depends on what one classifies as fun. I like sitting on the floor with my friend with a pile of books around us, acting like we're agents, reading the blurbs and deciding if we'd represent or not. One, it's stupid, and two we learn: what makes a good blurb (therefore how to write one) and the sort. Why something works and why it doesn't. There's a method to our nerdiness. Fun for me is working in the flowerbed...I take that back, that thing is spider paradise. Anyway. Fun is doing nothing sometimes. Writing, drawing, playing've got it, the boring stuff!!! But that doesn't mean that as an introvert I don't like roller coasters and the idea of paint balling and rock climbing. I'm just at peace doing little things.

10. Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts: Nope, I just learn how to cope. If I'm with someone who's mad and screaming, I shut down. I'm like so not there. I then need to run around the block. I'm not the type who could ever make myself handle that better. It's happened in the past in a certain situation. As much as I want, which I really don't, I'm not the type who wants to jump up in the middle of a crowd and steal the show. Nope, I'm happy listening. I'm HAPPY doing that.

One of the good things about this post is that the writer (that I got the points from) tries to make the point that introverts are normal. Of course they are, but they're different from extroverts. Who is to say that us introverts don't view extroverts as not being normal? It's just the way we are, whether that be intro or extro verts. I think I'm a little of both, though in the past I was most certainly more introverted than I am now. Really, click on the link at the beginning of this blog and read. It's awesome. And then read people's comments, they're awesome too. I totally identified.

Rejection Babies!

Okay, so I finally got my rejection letter. Not even that much of a surprise, but still totally nerve wracking to open that email. It was a standard letter. I know agents don't have time to personalize, but it would be really nice. I want to know why. That's the biggest question: why? If I know why my manuscript was rejected, I can work on it, ponder and work, ponder and work, until I have something that they are willing to accept.

I follow the two agents that I sent to (both rejections) on twitter. It so happens that the first agent I sent to listed ten queries that she either accepted or passed on. Passed is a much nicer term, btw. Anyway, through process of elimination and a time frame, I soon became pretty sure that one of the queries she passed on was mine. Pretty sure without being totally positive. I mean, you can't really know, now can you? Still, I was pretty sure. What the agent did was tell the number, the genre and why she passed. For example:

#6 = pass. science fiction. Writing is stilted/rough/awkward (clarity is hard without specifics but 'twas my reaction.

Now, again, it was through process of elimination that I determined this could be mine. When I initially got my rejection letter, I re-read through my query. I knew I wanted to spice it up and make it better for the next agent, because obviously this didn't work. I redrafted and sent to my second agent. It wasn't until later that I saw the first agents post and the #6 business. After reading her tweet about awkward writing, I went back and re-read my original query again. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH HER. I need to be SLAPPED! (Stay away from me with those ready hands) The first sentence of my blurb had four -FOUR- comma's in it. What?! And the second sentence...What was I thinking? So, having already redrafted with what I thought was a better query letter and having sent it to another agent (had to keep trying) I got on twitter and saw what the first agent had wrote about said #6. I tweeted back:

Me: I’m paranoid this is mine! Haha. I re-read mine and fixed it. I would love to resend.

Agent: resend is fine, but make sure you’ve reworked the manuscript too. A query letter is a fairly accurate representation of book.


Having read the tweet, I was totally regretting sending to my second agent. It's like throwing an egg up inoto the air, stepping back and waiting for it to crash onto the pavement. I already knew it'd get rejected by this point. The next morning is when I got my second rejection. But that second agent also tweeted, directing us to her blog on query's she's worked with: passed and accepted.

She would tell about the ones she accepted and tell about the ones she passed on. Here's a link: Query Roundup This post really encouraged me. Though I can't be sure if she referenced mine in there (I really can't) I can still narrow things down and do a lot of learning. 

Before I send my next query in, I'm going to go through the entire manuscript before sending it to make sure that it doesn't have any awkward, unnatural sentences (which this post is probably filled with). I'm also going to work on uniqueness/grab potential - reference the above link. I tried hard to make sure my work was read and error free, but never counted on awkward sentences, nor lack of originality.

I'm really happy I sent in my two letters, even though they got rejected, because I feel like I learned and now I have something to work with. I also know that I can resend to them both in the future. Awesome. Now you know where I'm at in this process, and if you're considering sending to an agent, go for it, but make sure your work is PERFECT. Seriously, it's the small stuff that get's you. They won't overlook it. It's the small stuff, too. And of course the big stuff. So that's what I'm aiming for, perfection - I said aiming.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

During the Query Wait

Ahhh, the wait. So like I mentioned in a previous post, I've sent my first query letter. My book is young adult soft science fiction and I sent it to Sara Megibow at Nelson Literary Agency. To pass the time, I decided to check her out on a couple of websites. Query Tracker is a neat website that will list hundreds of agents, it will also provide information about them. There's also a place where people who've sent to her can comment. It's crazy to see how long it takes (2 months if Sara asks for a partial -ahh!) and it's crazy to see the form rejections...well, to read about them, anyway. I mean, so much depends on one person. There's so many factors going in as to whether or not they'll want to represent your work.

Even if the agent asks for a few pages, that is by NO MEANS any kind of guarantee. Don't even get excited. All it means is that you might have written a nice query - which you should then applaud yourself for. I must be a real bummer for an agent to request some of your work, have to wait a few months, only to get rejected. Lesson in the making...Patience is vital.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

These covers look awesome. They're intriguing.

Writing and God

Found this on Laurie Halse Anderson's blog:
“When you are not writing, you’re going to be sad. You are going to feel inadequate. You are going to feel untalented. You are going to feel incompetent. It’s crucially important to understand that the impulse to write is a reaching out to God.”
—David Milch, creator of Deadwood and so much more, in a presentation at the WGA Theater, 2001

Query Scary

After many years - okay like 3 years - of writing, I sent out my first query letter today. The first one ever. Believe it or not, it wasn't too scary. Really, it felt like jumping into a river without a life jacket. I almost completely expect to get rejected, that's how the system works. I've learned that it's normal, actually. As a writer, I should expect to get rejected. It's a part of the job, and if you think about it, I only need one person to represent me. So if I send out to thirteen people, it only figures that I will have to go separate ways with twelve of them. So it simply has to be.

It is a known fact that writers should get beta readers before submitting their work. I let my friend read it and took a good majority of her advice and incorporated it into my manuscript. Two other people were supposed to read it, but let's face it, never are (I am muy disappointed in their lack of dedication to being a constructive criticizer - it also made me think my work was whack). There was only one other person who read about half of it (it was all I could give her at the time) and she was really encouraging.

It's scary to send it out. It's a big step. It's like saying, here, judge my baby and tell me how ugly/worthless it is. I can only hope that one day it won't be rejected by everyone and that it will get one person who is willing to represent me and my work. That's what they say, it only takes one. And then I think about Twilight in the sense that so many people hate it, yet, so many people love it. I'm not comparing my work to Twilight, but I am saying that one's man trash is another man's treasure. That's why finding the right agent is key; that's why research is essential. I hope I did a good job. I've also prayed about it. We shall see...