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#ROW80 Midweek Check-In 8/10/11

This is how I’m feeling right about now. My best childhood friend’s mom passed away, and yesterday was the funeral. I spent a lot of time of time with her growing up, and she was a great lady. She did a lot for all of us kids and put up with even more. She was only 65, and losing her is very sad. She died in her sleep, so we’re grateful she didn’t suffer. Still, the experience is exhausting, and I can only imagine how my friend is feeling. Losing my parents, especially my mom, is my greatest fear. I have no idea how I’ll cope. My thoughts are with her family. We were all blessed to have had her in our lives.

Sad stuff aside, I’ve been focusing on my query letter for Light and Dark. *Grumbles, stomps, and throws stuff.* It’s going better than I thought, and I’ve been learning a lot. Catie Rhodes has given me a ton of advice, including some cool exercises. The first one is writing about your book in three sentences or about 70 words: story set up (inciting incident) in one sentence, the major disasters are one to three sentences, the ending is one. Character gets one sentence, the conflict one sentence, and your book’s unique aspects get one sentence. It’s challenging, but it’s a great practice.
The second trick is to write about your book in one sentence – 25 words or less. No names. It’s tough, but again, great practice.
I’m also working on the synopsis. Even more stomping and grumbling about this one. Hate writing these with a passion. But Kathryn Craft from the Blood Red Pencil and TJ Proofs gave me some great tips: go through your book chapter by chapter and write down how each chapter moves the story/character arc along. Summarize the main theme of each chapter and then go from there. This has really helped me from being all over the place with my synopsis.
I also have to thank Donna Galanti for reading my query letter and giving some great feedback. She’s had some experience with queries and is able to give some great advice.
My goal is to have a draft of the synopsis and query letter ready for critique/editing by Friday.
On The Prophet front, still in planning phase but getting closer. Working on the setting: a picturesque historical town in Mississippi, deep in the heart of the Bible belt. Very excited!
And on the way down to my parents yesterday I came up with an idea with another story. Thank goodness for voice recorders on cell phones. This one’s definitely going in the to-write vault:)
Thanks to you all for your support of my blog and on Twitter. How’s your #Row80 week going?

20 comments on… “#ROW80 Midweek Check-In 8/10/11”

  1. Your query is getting better each time I read it. I'm confident you'll come up with something you're proud to send out. I'm glad The Prophet is getting closer to being written. However, since I'm in on the planning stages, I'll get fewer surprises. ::pouts::You know when I have my best ideas? When I watch the TV shows Disappeared and Vanished. My ideas are all for romantic suspense, which I don't write. But some of those shows really have great RS ideas. LOLI'm so sorry to hear of your friend's mother. Loss is never easy.

  2. Stacy, I was glad to help and thanks for the mention. You have helped me greatly too! I would love to read the revision(s). I think the query should also be called a WIP! LOL

  3. Enjoyed reading your blog, except, of course, the part about your BFF's mom’s funeral. I have one of those, and honestly I was closer to her than my own mom growing up, so that will definitely be a tragedy I am not looking forward to experiencing.As for losing a parent, that pain I know all too well. Lost my father at thirty-nine, still hurts like a dickens. (What is a dickens anyway? Gotta look that up!)Anyway, thanks for sharing. Sounds like you have great critique partners, always a must in this subjective business. Happy writing, Stacy! Keep your chin up and your fingers on the keyboard.P.S. Note to self: Always proof BEFORE posting a comment, not after… Duh! To sure of myself sometimes.

  4. JulianaThanks for commenting and the link. I'll definitely check it out. Roni has some great stuff on her blog.CatieI know it. It's going to be hard for you to be surprised. I haven't told you all the deets yet, though.;) Disappeared and Vanished are great shows. I'll have to watch them more since apparently I'm a romantic suspense writer, lol.Thanks:)DonnaYou're welcome. I'll definitely share the revisions. Really appreciate your help, and you're right, the query is a WIP for sure.

  5. TJThank you. I hadn't seen her in a long time, but I was close to her growing up. Just feel really badly for my friend. Her mother is gone way too soon. I'm sorry to hear about your father. I just can't imagine.Yes, I'm very lucky to have fantastic critique partners. Their help has been invaluable. Thank you for all your help and advice. LOL, I've learned the hard way to proof before hitting comment!

  6. I'm sorry about your loss. That is emotionally and physically draining.I am happy to hear you are making progress with writing your query letter and synopsis (since you know how I feel about the synopsis 🙂 )Hugs!

  7. Thanks, Amber. The worst part is my friend's suffering. Feel very bad for her.LOL, yes I do. Progress for sure, although I wish I could click my heels together and be done.Thanks:)

  8. First of all, I'm so sorry for your loss. That's tough. Having a close friend's parent pass away can feel a lot like losing your own parent.As for your query, it sounds like you are going to wind up with a great one. Good for you for doing all these exercises.I'm working on my new WIP and I'm about halfway finished. Still loving it!

  9. Likewise, sorry for your loss. It always hurts to lose somebody we love for the rest of THIS life.Still, great news on the query and synopsis progress. You're my new hero!

  10. KellyThanks so much. Yes, it's an awful reminder of what's to come for me. I hope I do. Working hard it on it. We'll see how it goes. Still somewhat leery about traditional pubbing. Great job on getting halfway through and hope you continue to enjoy it. Thanks for commenting!

  11. BeverlyThank you. It does hurt, but my pain isn't near as much as my friends.LOL, thanks. I'm working at it:)

  12. This is all the stuff I should be working on right now. I will look over your exercises and put them to work. Stopping by from shewrites.

  13. FloridaThanks for stopping by! These exercises are a pain but very helpful. Definitely recommend them:)

  14. Sorry for your loss. Hard to say goodbye to people who made a difference in your life.As to synopsis, I loved Jen Talty's class about synopsis writing. It was very clear and gave me an outline from which to work.My ROW80 is weird this time. I think I'm about to change my goals yet again. I'm learning what does and doesn't work, however, so that's good. Sounds like you're doing great! Keep it up!

  15. Yes, it is. Really? I wish I would have taken it. I'm sure Jen had a lot of great info.Learning what does and doesn't work is a good thing. I think as long as you're moving forward you're find.Thanks!

  16. Thanks for the mention, Stacy! Glad to help. I'm one of the weirdos who actually likes to write synopses, lol. And I'm sorry for your loss. My Dad died this spring and it is definitely hard to slap on your happy marketing face (needed to write the synopsis) while in shock and grief. Give yourself some time.

  17. You're very welcome. Your comments helped me quite a bit. I'm sorry about your father. I can't imagine losing my parents and yet it looms over me every day. Thanks for stopping by.

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