Firing on All Cylinders

It’s been a bit of a stressful week all around (hence the late posting; apologies), as I am now officially a homeowner and just over one week away from having a wife. Do you think it’s time I stopped saying I want to be a Toys ‘R Us kid?

(Editor's Note: Meant to put in a YouTube video of one of those Toys 'R Us commercials, but since I can't access the site at work and currently have no Internet at my house, I'll have to do it another time. Imagine that song and sing it in your head until then, yeah?)

 Still going to do it. Screw it. As long as there are action figures on my shelf, I’ll continue to say it.

In other, more oPaP related news, and though I checked my email only once this entire week, I manage to gather another Sanity’s Flaw rejection under my belt. As follows:

Dear Author,

Thanks for writing me. I apologize for the form letter, but the volume of query letters I receive makes it impossible to send personal responses to every writer.

Unfortunately, I must pass on your material. I realize it is difficult to judge your potential from a query alone, but please know that I give serious attention to every letter and writing sample I receive.

Best of luck with your agent search,

I wonder if, like the form letter above, there’s a form novel out there such authors as James Patterson simply fill out, sort of like a Wonder bra-sized game of Mad Libs where all that’s needed is the who, what, when, where, why and it simply writes itself. I bet there’s a book or movie about that somewhere. If you find it, let me know; I’ll be sure to give you credit and a wonderful shout out. Because I can.

Still, several of my queries remain lost in the cloud, though I won’t be holding my breath as I wait to see what happens on that front. Working full steam ahead, I recently (about two hours ago as of writing this, actually) wrapped up the second draft for The Nobodies: Part One, coming in at a relatively modest 52,000 words or so.

Though this sounds like a rather decent figure, a simple Google search would tell you that it isn’t up to the standard of a proper “first” novel (neither is Sanity’s Flaw for that matter). The target figure is actually between 70,000 and 90,000 words, optimistically, with some room for variation. In fact, by most standards, 52,000 words in length is just slightly beyond the maximum limit for a novella. This means that, should I continue with this approximate length as the book reaches its final form, it may not fit a publisher’s mold based purely on its size.

Fortunately, while reviewing the book’s structure and planning my next move, I realized that, while the book functions quite admirably in three distinct sections, there is also room to argue for two parts instead. This occurs approximately three or four chapters into the second section, where a decided turn in both the narrative style and the plot itself could make for an interesting break between books, should it be segmented.

We’ll see what happens with the story as I work through to its completion. For now, though, the story remains in three parts and my editor (who admitted during a recent family function that she shouldn’t be anything such, despite my objections) has now received the first. Far as I know, she’ll be relishing in it’s plot holes and misdirection while I am away, so I look forward to her chainsaw-like suggestions and edits.*

For those keeping track, I’ve now completed two of the three projects I assigned myself a few posts ago, hoping to have them all complete by the time I depart. That leaves drawing, drawing, drawing for the next week, though I confess I’ll be working on a nifty shirt design I before jumping aboard the children’s book bandwagon again. Look forward to some sneak previews next week if all goes according to plan.

One last thing: has anyone else been having odd dreams this past week? I feel like I had one every night, which, as a writer, has its advantages. I’ve already made plans to incorporate two of them into an upcoming book (one that I have yet to unveil, and unfortunately one several stories off).

Maybe it’s the stress. Does stress = creative genius?

*All the above is said with the utmost sarcasm and love imaginable.