My Novels

My Novels
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Oct 31, 2010

NaNoWriMo? Not I.

Happy Halloween!!

Tomorrow is November first, that means its NaNoWriMo (aka National Novel Writing Month). Consequently, that means that a whole lot of people will start a novel tomorrow with the hopes of completing a 50,000-word novel by Midnight on November 30th.

I will not be participating (I know that I can write 50k in a month… I wrote 70k+ in 20 days). Instead I plan to focus on things that I’ve already written and work on getting them in better shape… let’s call it revision boot camp. And in lieu of boring you all with details of yet another revision, I’ve instead found this wonderful meme. I found it over at Hayden Thorne’s blog. I actually wrote these posts a while ago, but I felt that November was the perfect month to post them in.

So, enjoy another month of my blather about my books.

Oct 28, 2010

Think Before You Speak

Editing is divine grace. Granted, you don’t get it here, but there are many other places you do. Novels go through a rigorous editing for content and grammar before their published and still things are missed. I’m sure you’ve seen examples of this.

I can horrible when it comes to grammar. I’d like to blame it on one or two synapses misfiring at the moment I place an Errant Capital letter somewhere. But in reality, it probably comes from the fact that English teachers and I never really saw eye to eye in middle school and high school…

Okay, that’s not true. My 8th grade English teacher was prone to mockery and often put my work up as examples of what not to do grammatically – humiliating, as you can imagine. My freshman year English teacher hated me… mostly because one of her sophomore student’s (state spelling bee champion) hated me and so I kind of tried to stay out of any form of spotlight there. My first term sophomore English teacher seemed indifferent to me… but then again, he was one of those teachers who felt he was still in high school and could often be seen hanging out with the seniors during lunch. I always found that strange.

Sixth and seventh grade, and the second two terms of my sophomore year of high school were all okay. In fact, Ms. Becker, my second sophomore year teacher was amazing. I loved her class and was even able to tolerate the substitute teacher who sat in for her maternity leave. My junior year of high school I had some crazy scheduling conflicts and ended up taking my English courses at the local community college. I loved College English…

90% of what I learned about Grammar was gleaned from my 3 years of Spanish. And in my head… they don’t really translate well, especially when you’re writing a novel in English.

Where was I going with this? I hate when I ramble on like that.

I think the main point I was truly trying to make here is that teachers are supposed to nurture a learning environment.

If you feel that a student’s paper is a good example of what’s wrong grammatically, go ahead and make your overhead transparent with the student’s name erased. But save it with that lesson plan for next year, when you won’t mortify that student. It didn’t motivate me to write a better paper next time, all it did was make me want to curl up in a ball and never write a single thing again.

As teachers, you should especially put aside student politics in your classroom. I don’t care if you want to relive your high school days or whatever it is that compels you to treat one student differently than others, but its neither ethically right nor is it a way to nurture a creative mind. It is, for all intensive purposes, your job.

Okay. Rant over, please go about your business.

Oct 27, 2010

A Study In Subgenre: Space Opera.

By most definitions, Space Opera – a subgenre of Science Fiction – emphasizes “romantic, often melodramatic adventure.” As the first word in the subgenre suggests, these are normally set in outer space, on space ships, or on distant planets. They do not – as the second word might suggest – generally include singing.

Originally, the term Space Opera was a derogatory term, a play on words, if you will, with allusion to soap operas. Basically, Space Operas were categorically “bad” SF. And even though one of the most celebrated Space Operas, George Lucas’ Star Wars, won the hearts of our geeky nation in the 70’s, it wasn’t until the early 1990’s that Space Opera began to lose some of its stigma.

According to David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, authors of The Space Opera Renaissance, the Space Opera subgenre has come to denote, "colorful, dramatic, large-scale science fiction adventure, competently and sometimes beautifully written, usually focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, and usually set in the relatively distant future, or on planets in faraway space.”

While often confused with Planetary Romance, the Space Opera Genre takes cues from both westerns and nautical traditions, emphasizing space travel. And while both feature exotic settings of foreign planets, a Planetary Romance takes its cues from lost civilizations and cultural traditions, focusing on alien worlds.

A Few novels you might not have considered to be space operas:

The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov.

The Ender’s game Series by Orson Scott Card.

The Uplift Universe novels by David Brin.

Oct 26, 2010

Grammar 101-6: Quotations

I love quotation marks and I use air quotes enough that you might think it was a tick… that being said, here are the basic rules on quotation marks.

Quotation marks denote the exact words of a speaker. Quotations are necessary if you write something like this: “Go home,” Mark said.

They are unnecessary for indirect quotations. So, if you’re saying, Mark said to go home. There is no need to use quotes.

Quotation marks with in quotation marks should be single marks. Example: “Katie was talking to me and she said, ‘this blog is ridiculous,’ and I was totally offended”

Commas and Periods should always be placed inside of quotation marks.

No: Sally said, “I want to go home”.

Yes: “I want to go home,” sally said.

Question marks and exclamation points only reside inside if they are a part of the quote and on the outside if they pertain to the entire sentence, not just the quote.

Did you just mutter, “I wish I wasn’t reading this blog”?

“Do you want to stop reading?”

Well, if you said yes, that’s ok, because this is over. Enjoy the rest of the day.

Oct 25, 2010

Grammar 101-5: Commas

Commas… I have a serious love hate relationship with these marks. I love to use them. I hate to follow their rules. It is because of this that I thought I’d write this grammar post. Here are some of those rules I hate to follow:

• Commas set off abbreviations such as Jr. & Sr. (There is no comma when the last word in a sentence is Jr. or Sr.)
o Example: Rudolf Cline, Sr., passed away at the age of ninety-two.
• Commas separate parts of geographical places.
o Example: I grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon.
• Commas are used to create lists.
o Example: I forgot to pick up milk, eggs, and butter while I was out.
• Commas are used to separate three or more phrases.
o Example: After I write this blog, reply to emails, and feed my fish, I will continue on my WIP.
• Commas are used to separate three or more short clauses.
o Example: I am writing this post, you are reading my blog, and Katie is undoubtedly laughing at me.
• Commas separate introductory words and mild interjections from the sentence that follows them
o Example: Yes, you may have a cookie. Oh, you wanted three? No, you’ll get sick.
• Commas are used to separate the “noun” being addressed.
o Example: Amy, why are you prattling on like this?
• Commas are used to separate coordinating adjectives. (These can be determined by placing and between the words, if they sound odd with an “and” between them they’re most likely not coordinating.)
o Example: The little girl wore a black velvet, lace covered dress.
• Commas are used to set off parenthetical expressions. (Parenthetical expressions are words inserted in a sentence, though they are not necessary to the meaning. However, of course, after all, too, indeed, and perhaps are all examples of, sometimes, parenthetical expressions.
o Example: This is, in fact, the last of my bullet points.

Oct 22, 2010

The Black Hole: A Review.

(Walt Disney's The Black Hole)

It’s the year 2130, the USS Palomino is heading back to earth from a mission of deep space exploration when they discover a black hole… and a ship that went missing 20 years earlier that is somehow defying the black hole’s gravitational pull. Upon investigating further, the ship comes to life and welcomes them to dock. Aboard, they slowly discover that the one surviving crewman has turned the rest of the crew into humanoid robots and intends to go through the black hole.

#1 I love the human-robot hybrids – they are so creepytastic it is awesome.
#2 V.I.N.Cent is adorable. Power to the underdog robots!
#3 For the time and the budget I assume Disney gave them, I have to give them credit for the special effects (minus the bright red asteroids – that was just silly)

#1 As with most SF movies from that time period, it was rather slow.
#2 It was scientifically inaccurate. I don’t mind little flubs here and there but a) V.I.N.Cent should not have been able to come back to them against the pull of the gravity well. B) Human beings cannot survive the vacuum of space without some form of protection.
#3 The acting was a little stilted. Rather, the dialog was.

Here’s the thing [don’t read this if you don’t want to be spoiled]:

The ending is a total cop out. They all go through the black hole and then in a torturously long end sequence, the baddie and one of his robots seem to merge and end up in something very reminiscent to hell… and the “good guys” go through and are left flying toward a planet of undisclosed origin… presumably heaven. It’s just an annoying loose end.

Oct 21, 2010

Let me tell you a little about my writing process.

I don’t have one. Every book, so far, has been different.

(Two posts today because I don’t really feel that that last one was worth a full day and because I’m not sure that I haven’t actually already posted this one…. If I have, the other one is different. This is at least up to date.)

The first book, Duty and Death, was not in any way intended to actually turn into a book until I was well into it. Character development was done on the fly. The word “outline” didn’t exist in the same world as this book. It was 0% planning, 25% research after writing and 75% writing. (Then approximately 450%revisions – I never claimed to be a math whiz)

The follow up to duty and death will probably be something along the lines of 30% planning, 20% research, and 50% writing. This is simply because I have to fit things into a constraint now.

The second book, Forfeit Souls (which has since been shelved), started from a brief moment of madness when I contemplated death (obviously I’m not saying I was thinking about suicide) and wrote extensively on the subject from a first person point of view. The resultant pages became the first chapter in that novel, but there was much more character development and research than the first book before the bulk of the writing actually happened. It was 25%planning, 30% research and 45% writing.

Magic is for the Birds, my third novel started with a simple sentence that ended up in chapter 2… I think? (Not actually looking at the book right now) This was a strange thing. Because it kept mutating in my mind, even as I wrote it. The world kept expanding and expanding. Causing me to do a lot of mid-step changes and re writes. It was 5% Planning, 7% research before writing, 15% research after writing, 33% initial writing, 40% rewrites.

Bent, my space opera was comprised of 25% research, 30% planning and 45%writing. With my first foray into the SF Genre, most of my research was on SF novels themselves… and pacing and all of that jazz. I will admit that I did a lot of research on Cherenkov radiation too.

My untitled romantic SF novel (written in 20 days) was 100% writing – no planning or research went into this first draft at all… hence the fact that the revisions are probably going to involve 50% research and 50% rewrites.

I’m curious to see which of the projects floating about in my mind and in my “Idea’s” folder will make me finish it next and what sort of ratio it will have.

Original Thoughts

I begin to wonder if I have any of these
Original thoughts I’ve heard so much about.
Perhaps I can take an old trope
And inject some new life into it.
But is that original?

Does original thought exist anymore?
I’ve heard it said: we’re all regurgitating
The same six stories, simply changing
About the names and settings.
Can that really be true?

I’d like to think it’s not.
I want to believe in original thought.
Am I fooling myself?

Oct 19, 2010

Plot Catalysts

Stories must have three elements in them to work. We’ll begin with the first.

The plot catalyst is a major factor in your novel: it’s the thing that get’s the proverbial ball rolling, that one incident that sets all the other bits of the novel into motion. It is you’re warning shot across your reader’s nose, letting them know approximately where this is all going.

Without a plot catalyst, there’s really no reason to keep reading. What entices the reader to continue? There’s nothing at stake without the catalyst they have no reason to care what happens.

Think about it. What’s the catalyst in your favorite novel?

Here are the catalysts in some popular novels/novels I’ve read recently.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling: Harry gets a letter telling him he’s a Wizard and gets to go to a prestigious school.

Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy: A group of rovers kidnaps Edie.

Lord of the rings by J. R. R. Tolkien: Bilbo leaves Frodo the ring he stole from Gollum.

The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan: Magicians attack the Ryves brothers and Alan is marked by a demon.

The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis: Uncle Andrew tricks Polly into touching a yellow ring and she disappears.

Man from Mundania by Piers Anthony: Ivy uses the Heaven Cent and is sent to Grey Murphy.

I myself was having an issue with the plot catalyst last week. While trying to fix the beginning of the novel that my revisions to Duty and Death had created, I realized that I had no plot catalyst – none at all – the way it was written. Obviously a novel doesn’t make sense if you have no catalyst, so that had to be fixed.

What's the plot catalyst of your favorite book's catalyst?

Oct 18, 2010

A few things have been decided.

#1. My revamp of the second half of D&D (aka D&D2) will be finished by November 12.

#2. I am going to re-read the complete Chronicles of Narnia. In fact, I started the Magician’s Nephew this morning. (Also, I’m not sure I’ve read all of the books… it is entirely possible that I’ve been fooling myself all of these years by thinking I had.)

#3. I’m going to help my mother write a crime novel (I agreed to this with the forewarning that I’ve never written/read a crime novel before – that I know of.)

#4. I’ve finally dug my book boxes out of the closet and refuse to bury them again (this is the reason for point #2) in a related note – I also found the pizza stone I thought I’d lost two apartments ago!

Oct 13, 2010

A Quote for Thought

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.” ~ Woody Allen

You know. I’m not a fan of Woody Allen for the most part… but I kind of love this quote.

Also... I think in some cases I could change every "Love" in this quote to "write" and it would be true to me still.

Oct 12, 2010

Things Sometimes Happen Because You Don't Want To Do Something Else

I am a moody writer – just as I’m an emotional reader – and this tends to mean that when I get in a funk, it’s like trying to climb my way up a sheer cliff face that happens to have been slathered with Vaseline. All the while someone up above is yelling, “Good luck with that sucker!”

On the bright side, I did manage to finally tackle the revamp of Duty & Death’s synopsis….

You know, there’s something about a synopsis that is utterly annoying. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t written 87,000,000,000 of them – like I have exploring the different ways I can write a query letter. But there is something that just bothers me about them.

On the down side, revamping the synopsis was my way of procrastinating on my rewrite of the second half of that novel. I’ve come to the realization that I’m probably going to have to do a complete – we’re talking start with a new word document – rewrite of the novel, which is always something that makes me a little sad, especially after I’m 47,000-words into it. But for the betterment of the story, it must be done. I think I’m going to spend the afternoon working on the outline again.

Speaking of that: have I told you about this outline?

I’m willing to admit that it is, to date, the most impressive thing I think I’ve ever undertaken in excel as far as a novel goes.

Here it is:

Sorry I can’t let you see what’s written, but that would spoil the story! The vertical axis reads chapter 1 – 15 and the horizontal displays the names of the 12 major characters the four principal characters in that novel are the ones most often in blue – blue representing what happens IRL with Skydra present (as the novel is from her perspective) and the pink represents what she witnesses in her visions. Now, the white is what characters are doing when they are not physically present in the chapter, aka the things that you don’t know about necessarily, but that keep me in the right place with the right character.

This will of course change, as I have to fix book two to make sense with the new book one ending. We’ll see what it looks like then.

Oct 11, 2010

Two points:

#1: When revisions involve splitting a novel in two.

Let’s discuss fission – I’m staying away from physics for this portion of the blog because, well, I’m far from a rocket scientist. Binary fission (also known as prokaryotic fission) is a process of asexual reproduction where a single cell divides into two parts. Each of these two parts has the potential to grow back to the size of the original cell.

In many ways splitting my first novel during Revision Wars was much like binary fission. I started with one novel – one overly large novel – and ended with two separate novels.

Now, they have to potential to return to that overly long state that their original part was… believe me I can blow hot air with the best of them, but the first has instead ceased that growth at a manageable level. The second, while still only half the size of the first piece, has the potential to also grow out of its manageable bounds and end in an over inflated piece. I don’t plan to let that happen. I’ve learned my lesson – I hope.

I hope I haven’t lost you with that fun little tangent…

But the thing about fission and a novel is that sometimes there are bits that would logically go in the first bit that end up in the second because when you pull the second bit away from the first those subplots make no sense at all. That’s where I stand with the second half of the 87th-ish draft of my first novel.

I’ve got ten things that originally happened before the first chapter of book two and are now relegated to after the main conflict is brought up. So it’s a bit of a juggling act to get the story back to a condition where it actually makes sense.

#2: Nervous energy does nothing for my motivation.

I kind of forgot how much nervous energy I get when in the querying process… I don’t know if it was this bad the first time maybe it’s because I feel that if it doesn’t work out this time around I really do need to shelve the novel (something that pains me to think about).

I’ve got Novel #4 with editors who are diligently working away – the whole space western is a bit of a divergence from my normal genres, but I am definitely in love with that story and their characters. I’d love to keep working on it… but it’s with the editors and I’ve vowed not to touch it until I get their changes back. Novel #5, my “women’s science fiction” piece – I totally stole that genre from Sara Creasy – is printed out and sitting in my purse waiting for me to finish my content edit… but I’m just not motivated to do anything more than open my email every ten minutes hoping for that one email, whether it’s for better or worse.

Back when I was querying the first time this agent was the only one who gave the novel a chance – it’s the reason I gave her an exclusive look at it before I send it to anyone else – that’s right, she asked for a partial back when it was 131k words and no one else would even consider it. I am still and will always be extremely appreciative of that.

For now, I’m going to sit here and woolgather over my inbox a little more.

Oct 8, 2010

So, I’ve Been Reading Some More On This Whole “Querying” Concept…

when not planning my trip to Tennessee. Of course, since entering the world of the “querying” author in August of 2009 when I first started my research, not a lot has changed. One of those things is that people take form rejection way to personally.

It’s still the only tangible way to get yourself out there without having to travel great distances and without turning off agents by being one of those creepy stalkers who sit outside agencies with a neatly packaged box holding your double spaced, unbound manuscript waiting for the right time to pounce. Note: to anyone contemplating this, it’s not suggested – by anyone – and no, cupcakes will not help your cause.

And for most authors, querying is a painstaking process. Most people see a query letter as an agent forcing you to condense your entire manuscript into a one page letter, and then, you have to include other things, so you don’t actually get the entire page. Oy! What’s an author to do?

Thing is, you don’t need to condense your entire novel into a few paragraphs. You do need to use your few paragraphs to outline the plot catalyst. In other words, you need to tell the agent what happens to get the ball rolling and then give them a bit about how that problem is going to be resolved.

It’s still difficult. I’m not saying it isn’t.

I’ve seen a lot of chatter on forums lately where someone is rejected by an agent and goes on to bash said agent because of their oversight of a brilliant novel, dismissing the agent for not giving their manuscript a chance. I’m not here to tell you whether or not your manuscript is as good as you say it is, I haven’t read it. I am here to say that people really need to not take a rejection on a query letter so personally… I’m pretty sure that rejection didn’t say this:

“Dear (author’s name),

Your novel is the most pathetic excuse for a plot I have ever seen! Don’t waste the paper by submitting to any other agents, ever. And pick a different career path!

- Sincerely, the agent who has dashed all your dreams on the rocks”

Now, I could be wrong. It could have said that exactly. I doubt it.

Point is, you can get a form letter for any number of reasons. The agent didn’t represent the genre you were pitching. You didn’t proof your query well enough. They didn’t feel hooked by your hook. They thing you’re a stupid, stupid head.

Ok, the last one is highly unlikely. An agent isn’t going to know you from Adam (or Eve) and thus, there isn’t anything personal about their rejection. I don’t know why that’s such a stretch.

Oct 6, 2010

When Writing Is Like Baking And Therefore Like Chemistry

It has been said often that if food preparation was a division of science, Baking and Chemistry would most often be lumped together. In chemistry the wrong amounts in a mixture could result in an explosion blowing your head off. Baking is a little safer in that the wrong amounts in a recipe should only be as bad as an ill tasting cake. Writing a novel without the right “ingredients” will just result in a manuscript that’s unpublishable.

But knowing the right ingredients to a novel isn’t as easy as following a recipe.

If you were to write a recipe for a novel… what would yours include? What would have the chemestry equivilant of an explosion?

1cup adventure?

A dash of romance?

2tsps annoying little brother?

A barrell of grammar?

8oz condensed backstory scattered throughout?

Right now, I’m going to make some blueberry waffles and then perhaps some marshmallow cookies.

Oct 5, 2010

Holly Black’s White Cat: A Quick Review

A Summary (No spoilers I Swear):

Cassel’s just a normal kid going to an expensive private school where he’s never fit in as anything more than the rich kid’s bookie. Even his last girlfriend didn’t work out despite the fact that he tried to be everything she wanted.

No matter how normal a life he leads, it won’t change the fact that he murdered the girl he loved, or that his family is full of curse workers.

When Cassel wakes up from a dream to find that he’s sleepwalked onto the roof of his dormitory, the semblance of a normal life is shattered and he’s kicked out of school until he can prove that he’s not a liability for their insurance.

But getting back into school is probably the easiest of the problems he has to solve. Someone’s been working his memory and the white cat he followed onto the roof in a dream is still haunting him. Unsure of what’s read n what he’s been forced to forget, Cassel can’t help feeling that the cat is more than what she seems…

My Take:

First things first… First person, present tense novels are really hard for me to get into. I have a hard time investing in the story when the main character tells me what they’re doing while they’re doing it. Maybe it’s having spent so much time reading in the past tense, but it took me several pages to get back into the story each time I stopped simply because I found the tense distracting.

Overall it is a well-written, well thought out novel. There are a few things that are a little predictable, but that’s to be expected in anything, and there is something at the very end that really annoyed me, but that’s of little consequence in the scheme of things.

I’ll most certainly read the sequel when it comes out.

Buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Oct 1, 2010

A Brief Dramatization of the Query Process in Six Acts

Act I: Finishing Your Novel –
You’ve written tens of thousands of words. You’ve polished it as much as it can be polished without grabbing the buffer and going to town like a crazed carwash employee. You’ve run your hands over the printed out version like Gollum whispering some form of “my precious” and jumping at the passing headlights of cars as they filter through the curtains into your dim workspace. It is the best you can make it and you’re ready to show it to the world.
Act II: Before You Query –
First, you have to write the dang thing. How is it that one page can seem more daunting than the 300 you just wrote!?! As you pull your hair out, you meticulously pour over each word and sentence, this is all you get to use with most agents when you’re trying to sell your baby. It had better be the best thing you’ve ever written! No pressure right? So you sit down, you type out a page, read it back to yourself and then hold the delete key down… You try again and again. And again.
Now that you’ve got something you can live with, you have someone else – preferably with grammatical skillz – and have them read it over too. They either tell you all of the horrible mistakes you made while you were trying to get your voice right and sell your masterpiece, or they hand it back to you and say “it looks great” because you succeeded in creating a perfect pitch of your novel! You do a little happy dance and then you fill in all of the pertinent information for each agent you’re querying. Your finger hovers over the mouse as you read it once more before you click SEND.
Act III: The Waiting Game –
What have you done? Are you sure you were ready? Did you spell the agent’s name right?
These, along with a host of other self doubting questions run through your mind. You bite your nails, you incessantly refresh your inbox and your eyes start to bleed from the unbroken hours you’ve spent with your face glued to the backlit screen. Finally, you’re able to peel yourself away from the computer. You close out of your email only to compulsively open it again, just in case. It’s like that blasted refrigerator light!
Finally you calm down. “It can take anywhere up to eight weeks,” you say, reminding yourself of the stated response time on the agents’ websites, and you start to calm down. You delve into your next project, but you still obsessively check your inbox.
Act IV: Your First Rejection –
There it is! That email you’ve been waiting for. Your cursor hovers over the agents name in your inbox as your stomach does flips and you can’t decide if you’d rather open it or just throw up in your office trash can.
You breathe deeply, finally calming down and open the email. “Thank you for your interest in our agency, however, your project isn’t the right fit for our agency. This is a subjective business and other agents may feel differently. Good luck in your pursuit of publication.” As your eyes scan the page again and again, waiting for the follow up “just kidding” email, you convince yourself that agent had no idea what they were looking at. That it was inevitable you’d pick one agent with bad taste and fill your head with more falsehoods to soften the blow.
By the time you’ve finished trying to convince yourself you’re okay with the fact that this agent rejected you, you’re curled up in the closet, hiding behind your winter coats sobbing and wondering why they didn’t like you.
Act V: More Rejections –
Each new rejection that pours into your inbox changes a little more of your heart to ice, but that doesn’t matter, it’s why you drink your coffee black now. You slowly turn into the cynical person you told yourself you’d never let this industry make you. Now when you see a response you don’t even let yourself hope for it to be favorable. You sneer at the blip in your inbox, already cutting the agent to shreds in your mind. They will, undoubtedly, be like all the rest of the agents who didn’t understand you.
The form rejections are starting to blur together. You suspect they are pulled off an agent forum titled “how to make querying writers die a little inside,” or, you postulate, they are all written by the same jaded man sitting in his closet sized office in New York. You start to wonder how these people have jobs if none of them will buy a book. Well… you’re sure they’re buying someone’s book, but they should be buying yours and you feel cheated because no one is giving you a chance.
You slowly turn into that creature that lurks in a dark house, jumping when the phone rings – though that’s happening less often now that you’re so jumpy your friends don’t want to hang out with you anymore.
Act VI: Your first Partial –
You crawl out of bed feeling fifty years older than you are and scuffle to your computer. You’re certain that there is no light in your life aside from the humorous blogs you’ve used to replace the friends you’ve alienated and seek solace in the lighthearted banter of the blog-verse.
 As the blue light of your screen bathes you in its acceptance you notice the blinking indicator that you’ve got an email. It’s probably just from your mother, reminding you that you haven’t called, that she loves your book so she’s sure that someone else will too. You ignore it for a while, reading up on the shenanigans of your favorite internet stalkees and sage words of the agents who have or undoubtedly will reject you. You finally feel like you can deal with your mother’s nagging about not calling and potential cobbler recipe that lurks in your email. You click over and it’s another response from an agent.
Sighing, you sip on your coffee and open it. There’s no longer any fear or hope in your heart, only resignation. You skim over the note. “Thank you for your interest in our agency… your project… the right fit….” Your cursor starts to go to the delete button and then you see it. Your eye catches on the words “sample pages” and you’re heart buoys. You read it again. Someone wants to read your novel! And you fall to the floor in a panic induced seizure.