Saturday, December 26, 2009

Live-Blogging Christmas Style

I got the husband a zombie board game. This one. And although he wanted to have a guy's night in on Christmas day, I made him wait until December 26th before doing one.

Now he's in the kitchen with his friends, and they're all massacreing little plastic zombies or some such, and I'm locked away in my office/bedroom in order to write.

Unlike other live-blogging writing experiences, this one is different. First, I'm awake and hopped up on the energy drinks (I had no idea that the husband gave me drinks with espresso in them. I thought they were regular hot chocolates, not super-hot choc.) Second: I don't have a clear goal.

Or, rather, I have several goals.
  1. Revise manuscript to fit ideas for sequels
  2. Shorten and tighten synopses for sequels
  3. Write taglines for all three books in trilogy
(PS: Did I tell you that my little book is now a trilogy. Cause it is. HOW COOL IS THAT?!)

I think I'm going to tackle my last goal first. Taglines. That's something I usually struggle with, but fortunately, I've just finished reading a wonderful post by Janice Hardy, author of THE SHIFTER (which is, btw, the best MG fantasy I've read in a looooong time).  The whole article is a wealth of information on preparing to market a book (really worth your time), but here's what Janice says about taglines:
Taglines are a great thing to have, as they capture attention and can pique interest. We all know we have to be able to talk about our books in one sentence, but also look for ways that you can promote the book the same way movies do.
So, my goal is to create simple, short sentences about each of my three books that really grab the attention of the reader. This will be the taglines I display on my website, the ones I can use to market the books in other media, such as bookmarks or business cards, etc.

So no pressure. *snort*

It's 9:31PM. Let the live-blogging begin.

10:39PM: Taglines done! Holy crap, it took me over an hour to write three super-short phrases. *whew!* least I have something to show for it.
Book 1: No hope. No one to trust. And no way out. Amy and Elder are supposed to be among the first people to visit a new planet, but with a murderer on board their ship, they may never make it.

Book 2: A new planet. A new chance. But Amy and Elder can only get there if they make their enemy their friend, and find out which friend is their enemy.

Book 3: The ship's landed. The colony's settled. But Amy and Elder discover the real danger wasn't in getting to the new planet. It's surviving it.
My goal with these taglines was to create something short and punchy that showed, primarily, the conflict of the story. The entire time, I had Janice Hardy's post on taglines showing in another window of my screen. Really--she's brilliant.

OK: on to Goal 2--shortening and tightening my synopses. Can you tell which goal I am most reluctant to tackle?

(OK, actually, I'm going to Twitter a bit. Why lie?) 

10:46: Tweeting done. 

PS: PLEASE feel free to critique my taglines. They seem a bit off here, all in a row. I've worked on them too long for now...I'm going to work on the synopses first, and then come back to them.

10:48: The new plan: Pair each tagline with a pitch paragraph and a shortened synopsis. Cut each synopsis (currently around 8 pages) to no more than five pages. And...go!

11:07: I have successfully copied and pasted the original query into a new document. Not much of an accomplishment. Then I got distracted. MUST FOCUS.

11:24: Wrote second pitch. Not sure how much I like it... will attempt third pitch before working on the second one more.

11:45: I decided I couldn't work without cleaning my room. Cleaned room. Still can't work.

11:46: So, yanno how there was all these post-Christmas sales? We bought a pack of sea-salted dark chocolate...and OMG IT IS SO GOOD NOM NOM NOM.

11:52: *dies of sugary-salty awesome*

12:15: Oh, lordy, I don't think I can let myself be distracted any more. *sigh* OK, back to work.

12:19: I wrote a paragraph. Surely that merits a visit to Regretsy.

12:23: Ok, ok, OK. I will just get back to work.

12:29: I just realized. I've finished the short pitches, and the log lines. And, uh. That means I have to do the work I *really* don't wanna do! WAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12:42: How did it get to be 12:42 and all I've done is open the documents?

12:58: I am fading fast. Need a kick in the pants...or need to give up and go to sleep...

1:13: How can two super-large energy drinks fail me so quickly? UGH!

1:46: Successfully revamped original book 1 synopsis to fit new plot ideas. Also cut down Book 2 synopsis to four pages. This means all the synopses are four pages...except Book 3--which is achingly still at 8ish. Cut cut cut cut cut.

1:54: I DON'T WANNA CUT!!!!!!!!!!!

2:35: omg this one is going to kill me tell my family i loved them don't wait for me just save yourselves.

2:47: Have cut 8ish pages down to 6ish. 

3:00 AM: Have cut it down to 5ish pages...and must give up here. All in all, though, I count tonight as a success! 

3:16: Just kidding! I couldn't quit...and was able to cut down that last synop to 4 pages. YAY!!!!!!!
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