The judge I got for the [livejournal.com profile] fangs_fur_fey hook contest was kinder than I'd expected, but still -- my hook was too vague.

Well, I really wasn't ready to submit my first five pages anyway (especially since I'm still working on the first draft). And I have a much better idea now of what specific parts of the hook need to be clarified and expanded, so even though I didn't make it to Round 2, I can still feel that entering the contest was not in vain.

Ow, my wrist. *stops typing and goes to look for brace*

*facedesk*

Apr. 17th, 2007 06:48 pm
rj_anderson: (Touching Indigo - Thea)
I've just seen the first batch of hook critiques on [livejournal.com profile] fangs_fur_fey, and come to the realization that my hook for Indigo (which hasn't been judged yet) is terrible. It's flat, passive, and gives no indication whatsoever of the characters's personalities or my voice as a writer. About the only thing going for it is that it's short -- which may be a plus when you've got one agent reading hundreds of hooks a week, but when you're competing for the attention of a judge with only 10-20 hooks to review, not so much.

On the plus side, I suppose this means I don't have to worry about polishing up my first five pages.

*sigh*

On a more positive note, I do want to say how much I appreciate all of you who've contributed your thoughts, advice, and words of encouragement in response to my Writing Angst. I apologize for being such a downer -- thanks for bearing with me.

P.S. In case anybody wonders what I'm on about, this is the hook I sent in )
I'm not supposed to be working on Touching Indigo today, but I keep getting ideas just the same... this must be a good sign. And speaking of ideas, I'd like to acknowledge those of you who've sent me links to stuff about synaesthesia -- thanks! I really appreciate it.

I was kicking myself all day Friday for staying up so late Thursday night, especially since I'd made my word quota by just after 11 and still didn't get to bed until 12:30. However, it's a good thing I did stay up, since the [livejournal.com profile] fangs_fur_fey contest started at midnight, and they got way more entries than they'd anticipated -- so if I'd waited until morning to send my hook, I might very well not have made it in. As it was, though, my number is 92. We shall see what the judges make of it when they post their comments in a week or so. In a fit of optimism, I plan to rewrite the first five pages of Indigo this week, so they'll be ready in case I'm one of the fortunate few (well, sixteen) to make it to the next round.

In other news... uh, I got nothing. *hides*
[livejournal.com profile] raleva31, otherwise known as Uber-Agent Rachel Vater, is looking at a bunch of query letters right now and saying what does and doesn't work for her. As some of you will recall, I tried this a few months ago with Miss Snark and didn't pass muster, so I worked hard on revising my hook before sending it in this time. Here's the result:

Knife - The New Hook )

Ms. Vater's Comments )

So it seems I'm finally doing something right, hook-wise. Yay!
Okay, okay, so I got distracted and am... well, not exactly behind schedule, as I still have until the 15th to complete Day 1-6, but not exactly on schedule either.

Mind you, I don't have enough information in my head yet about the secondary characters for Indigo to write down more than a line or two for each of them, and I already wrote down all the thoughts I had on Thea and Leith on Days One and Two. Today I'm supposed to be making notes of the various settings in the book, and compiling a research list -- but I don't know yet what specific settings I'm going to need, and since the majority of the book's action takes place in a town where I lived for ten years, I'm not too worried about getting the details wrong.

On a tangential note, though -- I'm trying to decide whether to set Indigo in the actual Sudbury, or a fictional northern Ontario town just like it. The advantage of a fictionalized city is that I can rearrange landmarks and make up new ones without local readers saying, "Hey, there's no such place as Trufflehunter's on Lasalle Boulevard!" It also prevents any potential English readers being confused (since there's a Sudbury in the south of England which is manifestly different from the Canadian one).

On the other hand, it's just possible that nobody actually cares about that stuff so long as the general feel of the place and the major geographic and historical details are right. [livejournal.com profile] james_bow, care to weigh in on why you chose to invent Clarksbury rather than work with an actual town? It might help me to decide what I want to do. And, of course, anyone else with experience of reading or writing about contemporary places is heartily invited to comment.

***

BUT I DIGRESS AS USUAL. The actual point of this entry is to present the fruit of my distractableness, in the form of my revised hook for Knife:

The New NEW Hook )

I've tried to include the added plot and conflict details that Miss Snark and the Snarklings requested, and I think the result is an improvement over the original, but I'm still not sure if it covers all the necessary bases. Thoughts? Suggestions? Squashy tomatoes?

ETA a totally different version of the hook, just to confuse the issue for everyone and MAKE YOU ALL SHARE MY PAIN.

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