Sunday, June 14, 2015

I Predict...

Is a predictable ending a good or bad thing?

This question comes from a 2011 rejection letter where the agent requested my full manuscript of "Lane Changes" and then wrote back a nice letter saying what she loved about it then added, "the ending was a bit too predictable for me." We are in the process of making a 500 mile move and this rejection letter fell out of a file folder as I was going through our filing cabinet. I kept it because she was the first person to ask for my full MS and I'm still so proud and happy that someone liked it enough and thought of my voice as unique and fresh to want to read the whole thing. So, it wasn't 100% for her: in the end, you are entitled to your own opinion :-)

I have since changed this story drastically, adding in some mystery and more tense moments and while the ending may still be predictable, there are more in the series. I'm also working on other books branching off of LC with some very unpredictable endings--culminating in book that will be the end of the series...but that is WAAAAAY down the road.

Yes, the first book has a predictable ending because the character is predictable, she is 17, doesn't like change but she HAS to change in order to meet her goals as obstacles keep getting in her way. Why is this a bad thing?

The books "One Day" and "Elegance of a Hedgehog" come to mind as very UNpredictable endings. I was so pissed off when I read those endings. "One Day" practically went sailing across the room and I never reread it or saw the movie because I was so angry. "Hedgehog" I sat stunned then wondered why in the world this French author would write a story like this only to have it end "like that"? In the end, if you strip it down, the author did a magnificent job coaxing out these emotions from me or any other reader and that's the sign of a good writer.

I believe another sign of a good writer is to give the reader a sense of closure, satisfaction. Many of us crave that Happily Ever After (HEA)/predictable ending. Why? It could be the genre we prefer, or we had a horrible life and want to live vicariously through someone else for a bit, or it's just because we want to see something happy in this chaotic, crazy world.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG: #pitMad? Yeah, I Didn't Know What It Was Either!

The IWSG is a great way to talk about your insecurities within a net of nonjudgementalness. I happen to "like" the IWSG on Facebook and this popped up today:

"Are You Ready for #PitMad"?

(Click here to see what it is and join us on Twitter from 8am-8pm on June 4! Are You Ready for #PitMad?)

I was like, "Umm, what in the world? Does it have to to with being mad about pit bulls?"

So, I clicked on the link and as soon as I read the article I was hooked. What a great idea. Yes, it'll be crazy on Twitter for agents and writers alike. Yes, it'll require WORK from me, and any other writer, to narrow down your blurb to 140 characters that have to include "#pitmad" and "#<insert genre here>" and finally make sure to include the ever-important TITLE of your work.

Over the last few hours of working on my tweets, I came up with a system and I can't wait to get it out there. Even though I am so insecure about my writing. Even though only a handful of people have read the first in the series of "Lane Changes". Even though I have only one short story published a few years ago...I could go on and on but at some point I have to pull up my big girl panties and get "Lane Changes" out there and get it noticed. Anything I can do before it is published, by me or a publisher, will help the name stick in readers' minds.

So, if you have a finished, polished manuscript and want a safe way to try and get an agent hooked, try #pitMad.

Good luck!