Monday, January 7, 2013

Chuffed, Not Chum



Found on this Facebook page: 

I planned to write another MagPie prompt post, but the picture wasn't speaking to me. I've been steeped in so much kid's lit, the nakedness on the cover clashed with my writing brain. I did recently read The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, so it's not like I don't read books for adults. But my writing head is in a children's mindset.


How's your writing going?


I'm currently querying an old middle grade I spent the summer of 2012 revising.  I started in December, but it wasn't going anywhere.  Thanks to  Susan FieldsSharon Mayhewand especially,  Robyn Campbell, I revised my query and sent it again.

I finished a rough draft of a YA in the late spring and revised it in the fall of 2012. It's with a second reader now.

I'm 17k into a rough draft.  I think it's going to be upper middle grade. The inspiration hit me in August when I visited my dad in Maine. I wrote several thousand words down, and then put it aside.  I've picked it up again in December 2012.


Do you guys know  Query Shark? I'm a big fan. Although I read a lot about querying, I'm never very confident about writing queries. I comment on nearly all of Query Shark's queries and revisions. I guess I had a moment of clarity because Janet Reid liked my comment and quoted me on her agent blog HERE!

Nice to be chuffed instead of chum!  


Happy writing!  
xo
Theresa

60 comments:

  1. That's cool the agent quoted you! You're probably better at writing the query than you think.

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    1. Alex, I hope you're right. Robyn told me to go with my second version. We'll see how it goes...

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  2. My niece just told me about Query Shark, I'm going to check it out. Writing a query for my middle grade novel is at the top of my to do list.

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    1. Sheila, good luck with your query writing. Elana Johnson's From the Query to the call is free and also very helpful. Check out the link on her blog.

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  3. I agree with Alex. That's just awesome!! Love the ladies you highlighted. Some of the best I know...

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    1. SA Larsen, yes, they ARE some of the BEST I know too! You're not too bad yourself. ; )

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  4. I'll have to check out Query Shark as I'm going to redo my query for my upper MG fantasy again soon. I definitely struggle with the queries. Sounds like you've had a productive year. Hoping we all have a productive 2013.

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    1. Natalie, I'm curious what makes your manuscript upper middle grade. Mine is fantasy too! My novels are always contemporary fantasy. I hope you have a productive 2013 too.

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  5. I saw you quoted over on Janet Reid's blog - so very cool! :)

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  6. Yay for upper MG! That sounds fabulous--good luck! And those words of wisdom in the first picture are SO spot on. :) Happy New Year, Theresa!

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    1. Meredith, I love that poster too. Happy New Year to you! Good luck with your resolutions... when you make 'em.

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  7. H Theresa .. I just popped over to Janet's blog - great to have that quote noted ... you do write well, and you're always pertinent ... Love the FB poster though .. so true.

    Happy New Year - lots ahead of you in 2013 ... here's to success - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, thanks for the compliments. Wishing you success too! Cheers!

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  8. Good for you! You are so prolific and dedicated that it inspires me. I'm trying to decide if I actually want to start taking my writing seriously, or if I am just going to remain one who dabbles. You make me want to take it seriously.

    Happy 2013!

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    1. Shelly, you should take your writing seriously. I always enjoy your posts. You have the write combo of heart-tugging and humor. Keep at it!

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  9. Thanks for reminding me to take the time to write! You are an inspiration!

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    1. Bossy Betty, after the year you had, you're an inspiration too.

      I tried to get on your blog, but it blocked me. I'll try again from home later.

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  10. Thanks for the nudge and Shark! Both are very stimulating for this writer. :-)

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  11. Hey Theresa, if you ever want another set of eyes on a query, you know where to find me. =) I'm still so stoked you got quoted, and way to make this a productive year, eh?

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    1. Crystal, thanks for the offer. If these next 5 don't land me requests, I'm sending my old and new versions to you. I hope this will be my most productive year ever. Hope it is for you too.

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  12. Ha!! Well done, Theresa! And well said!! How super awesome to get quoted by an agent.

    Good luck with that querying process. I always want to poke out my eyes during that process.

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    1. Lynda, thank you! Yes, querying is tough going.

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  13. Nice. It's good to have a bunch of things going. At least, that's what I've decided works for me.

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  14. Once again, Theresa, congratulations! Does Query Shark only review queries for book-length material or short stories as well? I'll have to check it out when I get a moment.

    It is always a good idea to get a second pair of eyes to look at your query--and NOT your family, unless of course you are lucky enough to have an editor or successful writer in it. Thanks for everything, Theresa.

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    1. Victoria, just for novels. Good luck when you query!

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  15. Well done on getting your quote!

    Awesome. And all the best with your querying process.

    BTW, congrats! You won the Gilly Fraser giveaway at Romance Book PAradise!

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  16. Well done on getting the attention of an agent for your quote, I'm sure the manuscript will be next :)

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    1. Charmaine, I hope so. This agent doesn't rep children's, sadly.

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  17. That's a huge compliment to get quoted by Janet. I tend to write a little bit of this, then some of that, then pick up something half-done too. I'm trying to focus on two novels for the next six months - but those other ones are calling me.

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    1. Tonja,I like to have a few things going on, so I always have something to do. If I'm querying something, I need something to write. If a partner has a manuscript to critique, I also need something to write. For me, it's about no excuses. I need to keep busy! I do complete my projects.

      I hope you get your projects done. Ignore the siren call!

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  18. Good luck with the query! And kudos for already writing 17k on your draft. I set aside my draft for a while too, mainly because I got caught up with other work and writer's block. But I started reading a couple of Natalie Goldberg's books on writing (I love her), and her words encouraged me to get back to my fiction writing.

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    1. Neurotic Workaholic, I haven't read Natalie Goldberg. Maybe I should check out her books. Thanks!

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  19. So cool that she quoted you!!!
    Good luck querying. HOpe 2013 is a wonderful year for you!

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    1. Kelly, I was floored. I wish you luck and a wonderful 2013 too!

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  20. Love the quote (or quotes!) you shared. So encouraging, thanks. Congrats on your writing progress! Cheering you on. :)

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    1. Karen, thank you. Thanks for cheering me on. I'm cheering you on too!

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  21. I think we learn so much from reading queries. I bet you a pro after wading in the shark waters or so long!

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday and are raring to go this year! Happy writing!

    Angela

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    1. Angela, I WISH I were a pro. I spend more time agonizing about the query than the manuscript.

      Happy writing to you too!

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  22. Perhaps I should read more... I've stopped querying.. I needed a break. It can become quite tiresome.
    Yay for you going so well and getting quoted.

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    1. Michelle, I take breaks too. Sometimes it's so disheartening.

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  23. It was totally awesome that you were quoted on Janet Reid's blog!

    I only read grown up books if a writer friend writes it...

    Best wishes with your querying...I know how terrific that mg is...It's going to find a home!

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    1. Sharon, thanks! Each year, I find myself reading fewer adults books. I feel guilty. But I barely scratch the surface of what's out there in Kid Lit. Thanks for the confidence about my book. I need it!

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  24. You got quoted by the shark??? Very cool. And didn't you also get quoted once by Nathan B? You are eminently quotable, Ms. Milstein! :D

    j/k BEST of luck with all your new projects! Awesome that your critters got you back on track with that old MS. I'm kind of doing the same thing over here. Dusting off old MSs...

    Here's to a super 2013~ <3

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    1. LTM, you have a great memory. He did quote me. But he didn't rep me, and then he stopped being an agent.

      I've never been called, "eminently quotable," before. I like it!

      Super 2013 to you too.

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  25. That's awesome! Janet is indeed a shark and that's very cool that she quoted you. I'm with you on query writing. I'm horrible. I usually have a general idea of what's wrong in someone else's, but not enough to provide adequate feedback.

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    1. Hannah, I can see flaws in other people's queries, but I stink at my own. If I ever had a query on Query Shark, she'd rip it to tiny bits.

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  26. I may have found your blog originally because of query shark. It was one of the earlier blogs I followed, and I used to click on the user comment profiles to see who wrote what.

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    1. Stephsco, that's cool to know. If I like a comment, I often check out the blogger too.

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  27. "Follow your heart - not the market" - love that. Congratulations on getting chuffed, Theresa!

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    1. Victoria, thanks! It's a nice feeling while it lasts.

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  28. How awesome that the agent quoted you! That must have given you a thrill. :)

    I love the opening image and had to laugh a little about "write scared." I think that's all I ever do! Got that one covered. :D

    Have a great weekend, Theresa!

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    1. Julie, being quoted was a nice boost.

      I query scared, but doesn't everyone?

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  29. I can see why she quoted you. That was a good point. I had never thought of it like that before.

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    1. Missed Periods, I'd heard a similar quote way back, and I finally understood what drives plot. The idea has stuck with me.

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  30. Nice to not be chum. Congrats! ;)

    I haven't stopped by query shark for a while. Should pay it a visit.

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