Monday, October 1, 2012

Why I Both Love and Hate the Month of October

There are the usual reasons why I both love and hate the month of October. I love Halloween, but hate trying to fit into any of the cute Halloween costumes for fear of looking like a stuffed sausage. Being in the hot-as-Hades South, I love the change in weather as it begins to actually feel like fall but hate that I always seem to get sick when that happens (completely feel that coming on, by the way).

But there's more now that I have delved into the World Wide Writing Web with a finished manuscript. I have only been in the WWWW since the summer, but I am finding that October is a very exciting literary month for the unpublished such as myself. Here are a few reasons why:

1. GUTGAA is still going on and is now in the final contest--the Small Press Pitch Contest. Editors from Sapphire Star, Bell Bridge Books, Entangled Publishing, and many more will be browsing the finalists' entries and hopefully asking for more. I've made it into the first round with a completely revised query and judging starts tomorrow! I will probably be posting about everything I learned after all is said and done next week.

2. Over at New Adult Alley, they are going to be doing their Editor in the Alley Pitch Contest starting October 3rd. Since I believe my MS is most definitely NA, I am VERY excited about this. The editor is from Entangled Publishing, so I'm not sure my MS fits with them but it is still bound to be a great learning experience even if nothing more comes of it. Needless to say, I am entering and hope to get in.

3. The clever minds over at Writer Therapy are holding a first page contest. Submissions are now closed (Yes, I entered) and finalists are going to be announced this week. I like my first page (especially since I submitted the first page to chapter one and not the prologue--another lesson learned with GUTGAA I will get to next week). Now I just hope they like my first page.

And last but not least....

4. Harper Voyager is officially--as of this moment while I am typing this and not watching the Writer Therapy webisodes (gah, they make me want a critique group)--accepted unsolicited manuscripts for their digital press series thingy that they do. They'll be accepting submissions from October 1st (NOW!) to October 14th. Do I plan to submit? A big hell yes to that! I have a finished manuscript that I am currently repolishing and since it is digital press, their word count allowance seems to be a bit higher. Mine is still much higher than that, but I'm working on it and crossing my fingers that they won't turn it down based on that.

So how could any of this possibly be bad? I thought you might ask (or the announcer guy in my head might). Well, none of them are really. Just anxiety inducing. Let's go through the list one by one.

1. Querying is a pain. All writers know this. Querying an epic fantasy is a HUGE pain since you need to do it in around 250 words. I gave up on counting my words and just tried to keep the new query crisp and concise while leaving the reader scratching their head as little as possible. I'm still not sure I accomplished this though and never feel like my query does my MS justice. One of my biggest issues with it? I had to pick one character to tell the story from in the query when their are really five with equally important stories. Pretty sure working on this query has given me an ulcer.

2. See number one. Also, I will add that since I am submitting to editors, I had to prep a synopsis. If you are a writer, you understand. Synopses come in a close second to queries on the writerly pain in the ass scale. Oh, and I just finished said synopsis. (Special thanks to Lindsey for critiquing it for me!) Fairly certain my query-ulcer now has a twin in the form of synopsis-ulcer.

3. This one isn't really all that stressful, to be honest. I'm pretty satisfied with my first page and have gotten some pretty good feedback on it so far in GUTGAA. Crossing my fingers to get in!

4. Did you see the part where I said I am still re-polishing my manuscript? I have a copy editor that I refer to as the word-cutter extraordinaire when speaking about her (Stephanie, you rock) but unfortunately volunteer copy editors have their own lives to contend with. She's given me some great insight in her feedback so far and I am trying to apply it to the rest of the MS to cut the words down some. But there's still no way I'm going to finish in the next day or so seeing as how I am only on chapter fourteen of twenty nine. I'm working off a hard copy (I edit better that way), so I still have to apply these fresh edits to the digital MS. Makes me glad I am off work tomorrow.

In summary: Hey, is that an ulcer party in my stomach or is it just the month of October?


  1. Wow. We are SO in the same boat. Except for your ahead of me because I don't have an actual synopsis yet. I'm just SO dreading writing one. But I know I have to. And, even though I thought my manuscript was done, I got some advice from my betas and now I'm revising--again.

    Which entry are you on the small press pitch? I'd like to shoot over and take a look. :)Also, while I have you here, could I ask a small favor?

    I'm in a kissing scene contest at www.monibw.blogspot.com I can't tell you which entry is mine, but I can tell you I'm on Team Kissy and ask you to go over and vote. :)Just scroll down past the entries and you'll see the poll. You don't have to leave a comment or anything, just click on which one your voting for on the poll. I'd really appreciate it!!

    Good luck with GUTGAA and thanks for the info. on the other stuff going on!

    1. I'm revising my MS now too to cut the WC down as much as possible. I'll definitely head over to the Kiss Off tonight when I have more time to read. :) My entry is on Talynn's blog (inkinthebook.blogspot.com) #4. Did you enter? Which one is yours?

  2. Hi Mara. The way you feel about queries is exactly the way I'm feeling. It seems like each new query I write creates more confusion for the reader. Thank you SO much for leaving a comment over on Inkinthebook. I would LOVE fresh eyes on my query. And thank you for offering. I have a critique group--but even they suggested fresh eyes-Lol.
    I've recently discovered that less is more when it comes to queries. And trying to leave you guessing in a good way. I'm finally going over to comment on some entries myself. Very nice to meet you. my email BTW, is karenhallam(at)ymail(dot)com I'll find you on twitter too, and say hiya! :)

  3. Great post. I know how you feel about querying! Thanks for stopping by my GUTGAA small press pitch post! I was wondering if you wanted to join in a Thursday's Children blog hop that my CP and I are organizing? You can click here for details: http://www.kristinaperez.com/archives/532
    Kristina x

  4. Hey Mara! Just stopping by to say hi and thank you for the follow over on my blog! I happily returned the favor:)

    Hope your week goes swell, and best wishes finding the perfect Halloween costume:)