Monday, May 10, 2010

On Writing: Updates

Boy do I hate Mondays. Today is even worse because I don't have anything planned for the blog. It's supposed to be about writing. More specifically about querying, but hey one can only take so much talk about querying right?

I'm trying to work out some kind of schedule for this thing, but I just don't know if I'm organized enough for that. We do have two obvious features; one of which is the most awesome part of this blog: The Friday successful query guest posts. They are why most of you are here and the reason I find the energy to keep doing this. Okay, it's not that bad but ... you know. Then we have my own horrible queries that I wrote over a year ago and that I hope other novice writers can learn from without laughing at me too harshly. Actually I don't care, laugh away; some of them are definitely so bad that you pretty much have to laugh.

Other than that I suppose you have Glee Wednesday's but that doesn't really count as official and besides I'm starting to realize that not everyone watches it and I don't want to alienate any readers.

So anyway the bottom line is that I'm trying to figure out a schedule I can stick to. I want to cut my blogging to 3 days a week so that I can spend more time on my WIP but currently I love blogging too much to cut down. Hmm, that kind of sounds like addictive behavior, but oh well.

For now I guess I'll stick to random posts but be warned that some kind of more concrete schedule might be coming. In the meantime here are some updates on all things writing related to me:

- My first 30 pages are still in the hands of Marietta Zacker. I sent them to her on April 12th so it has been not quite one month yet. I am trying to be as patient as I can but I am starting to wonder if she got them. I will not email her for at least another month.

- I was inspired by Tahereh's flash fiction piece over at Ink's Alchemy of Writing blog to write one myself. I submitted it to him this weekend and after a few minor but excellent editorial suggestions he said he thinks he can use it. He'll let me know soon when it's going to go up.

- WARRIOR-MONKS is the working title of my WIP Novel. As many of you know the first draft came in at an unbelievably hefty 477,000 words. This is a major roadblock in my desire to get it published. After months of editing I did manage to cut the MS to 300,000 words but I've recently discovered, with the help of some advice from a beta reader, that the story would do much better with a re-write. So I have begun to undertake the daunting task of re-writing the whole story from another point of view. The first version was in third person, somewhere between omniscient and subjective. I have started to re-write it in first person. Considering the YA target audience this will likely make it much more commercially viable as the reader tends to connect more quickly and easily with a narrator writing in first person. The practical advantage that I have already noticed after re-writing only one chapter is that much of the description can be left out so the first chapter already ended up being only about half as long - so I am hopeful this will make a big difference in my overall word count. Please wish me the best in this endeavor.

- I won a contest a couple of week's ago on Rachele Apline's blog Freckle Head. Hopefully you all will remember her and her awesome query for CANARY. In the contest she was offering a query critique. Considering the re-writes my novel is undergoing I haven't been working on the query lately, but I did send her the current version and hope to share her critique with you all soon.

- Jessica from The Alliterative Allomorph has asked to interview me for her blog. I'm not sure what she could possibly want to know about me that isn't already up on this blog for the world to see but I agreed nonetheless. We've tentatively agreed to do it on Wednesday 5/19 but I'll let you know if that changes.

- Oh and I finally got to 50 comments on a single post! Sure like three of them were my own comments but still, yay! Thanks to Lisa and Laura Roecker for sharing their query with us last week (I'm pretty sure is was more due to their fame than anything).

That's it for now. Let me know in the comments if there is anything you would like to read about (I need topics to post on).


Kelly@ JustWrite said...

How funny...I just blogged about my love for Mondays! But I totally understand the blogging thing. I have no schedule yet and I'm considering something...So far I just kinda get on and type. I'm afraid it shows :(

Love your blog! Thanks for putting forth the effort.

Anne Gallagher said...

Well, now, this was a nice post, where you commented about, and shouted out to a bunch of people.

I think you should talk about your writing, how it's going, what struggles you face re-writing it from 3rd to 1st. It's what we all do.

I'd also like to give you a small little piece of advice... I know you have an agent looking at your work, and I know you didn't say anything bad about her, just remember that most agents put their own name in Google Reader. IF you trash them on your blog they'll never rep you. I don't know how many times I've been caught by an agent when I was a newbie and though I didn't trash them, I had a few notes in my inbox. It's a scary thing, like BIG BROTHER.

Unknown said...

Happy Monday! I never like Mondays but I figured if I sent happy vibes the day might be better!!

Having ideas for the week is tough, I have a schedule that I created it is tough though, and I'm like you and would like to spend more time on my WIP! I've devised a plan though where I have my posts ready by Monday that way each morning I can copy and paste and viola all finished! Makes life so much easier on me!

Awesome on the comments!! I love it when I see 50 comments for one post! Talli Rolands interview racked me up a ton! I loved it!

Matthew MacNish said...

Hmm, that's a very good point Anne. I certainly didn't mean to imply anything bad about Marietta, in fact she is totally awesome. I didn't really expect her to get back to me before now, it's just one of those writer things where you get nervous not knowing if they actually got your email. She had asked for an attachment so I guess I was just worried that her spam filter might have caught it.

If you do happen to read this Marietta, please don't think I'm complaining! The fact that you even offered your critique services to Hilary and her blog is amazing and I realize you have much more important things on your plate than reviewing my pages. People are curious to know what you have to say and would like to read about it on the blog, so I just wanted to update them, saying I haven't heard back yet.

And thanks Jen, that interview was pretty awesome.

Christina Lee said...

Yeah I used to feel kinda boxed in as a blogger. Now I just write about anything and it feels freeing--your bound to have different groups who follow you that you'd alientate based on the topic anything (at least that's what I figure). Good luck with the partial!

Emily White said...

Ha! Good luck with the rewrite. All I can say is changing from omniscient to first person is an...interesting experience.

Vicki Rocho said...

I'm only 40K into my story and decided over the weekend I had to change to first person, too. Like I really want to re-write all of that, but I'm three pages in and it's made a HUGE difference.

Good luck with your rewrite.

Joanne Brothwell said...

A re-write of 300,000 words! My brain sweats just thinking of it! Good luck.

Laura Pauling said...

Random posts are fun too. They let us see your personality.

Lydia Kang said...

g'morning to you...I decided a little while back to blog MWF (although I'm breaking my rules by blogging every day this week--I fill in T and Thurs with little announcements or blog award stuff) and I think it's made my blogging life a little better. Good luck with finding your schedule!

Candyland said...

Uh 1) It's HARD to be patient when you want answers, right?!!!
2) Mondays are not my easiest post day either
3) Can't wait to read a piece of your writing! Please share when it goes up:)

Hannah said...

I am absolutely no help. You may have noticed, I don't blog about one thing and am very random.

What are you currently working on?? (besides the book you are querying)

Slamdunk said...

Congrats on the 50 comments--that is quite an accomplishment (and lots of moderating work as well).

I cut back to 4 posts per week awhile ago, and with all of the other stuff necessary in having a decent blog, I can understand how you would want to go with 3.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A little random variety is good. I have certain topics I blog about, but no longer on a designated day. I tried at first, but I don't always see movies on the same day, so it didn't work. I'm actually trying to insert more writing stuff into my blog. My readers probably think all I do is watch movies.
And sorry, can't get into Glee. But I won't stop reading your blog!

Jaydee Morgan said...

I don't blog about set topics for set days but I stick to a three-day schedule. I need some time to work on my WIPs.

Good luck with your edits - and the waiting (I'm not sure which is harder).

Tara said...

I like the random posts, myself.

Unknown said...

Not sure what you can blog about, but if I go to the gym tomorrow, I'll let you know what I come up with. ;-) Actually, you bring up some good thoughts about pov and genres. You could go into more depth on that for a future post.

Old Kitty said...


Sorry, I think my mind just went into meltdown.. 477,000 WORDS?!?!?!

I am so, so, so AMAZED.

Oh my goodness - that's not a novel -that's at least 3 novels!


But well done for editing and GOOD LUCK with the re-write!

And have a great Monday - looks like your blog's gonna be busy for a while with all these planned things.

Good luck again with your Warrior Monks!!

Take care

Jessica Bell said...

LOL. Can I call you a dag? Do you know what that means? ;) Ask any Australian and you'll get an instant reply. :)

Jessica Bell said...

Oh yeah, and schedules schmedules. Just let your mind take you where it wants you to go. We have to deal with schedules in our every day lives, why make something fun turn into a chore?

Sage Ravenwood said...

This post certainly filled in a few blanks, seeing as I'm a fairly new follower.

I think at the end of the day, whatever you post will still draw people in. Why? It's the journey we're all on, the writing experience as a whole. (Hugs)Indigo

Sage Ravenwood said...

Forgot to mention, Mondays are lame days for me. So much so that I turn it into a cleaning frenzy kind of day. Otherwise it's just a lump of a day. Not sure why, it just is. (Hugs)Indigo

Jo Schaffer said...

My Monday is also very rainy.
I love rain...but it's not easy to hike in and the mountains are calling me.
I have to tackle my query today. Ugh.

Unknown said...

I never have a schedule....which means I sometimes just drop the ball. I know some people feel it's important to be scheduled and consistent, but I don't. I say: blog when you want!

You could also consider breaking your posts up into series--having shorter posts on one topic than one long post.

Matthew MacNish said...

That's not a bad idea Beth, considering my posts are rather long.

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Hey Matt! As you know I have two days during the week that meet a 'format'.

Mondays - Monday Memos. I love doing this because I get to just ramble/blog as well as mention some posts from the early morning that have gotten my day going well. I also use it for various contest reminders.

Wednesdays - Wednesday's Written Word - Well this is my break. My escape from the box of my life. currently it is revolving around tiny slips of paper & their word torture! ;o)

As for the other days - well it is whatever hits me. Scheduling too much can be too cumbersome and also reigns in the creativity that I love about blogging. Blogfests are really the only thing that I usually allow to detour my two set days and well those are just too much fun to pass up!

Anyway, I think that your Fridays are wonderfully set! I love your Glee recaps, but I also love Glee, so really just feel out a schedule, we will all come back no matter what! ;o)

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Creepy Query Girl said...

Congrats on winning the contest! It sounds like rewriting your ms is a good idea- and I think you'll find that now when you go back to it, you've got so much more figured out and so much more experience. I don't doubt you'll be able to trim it down this way and still keep the same story. Good Luck!

Christine Danek said...

Wow a re write of 300,000 words. Holy cow! You will get there. Keep at it. You sound like a busy guy. Hopefully your Monday will get better.

Arlee Bird said...

The length of Warrior Monks is pretty darn impressive. How about paring it down into the lean mean 150,000 wds or less commercial version and if it goes well you can do like they with DVDs and release the longer "author's cut".

I seem to be stuck in a 1000 wds per post rut. I've been getting down to 600 wds sometimes, but there's always so much I want to say. And I'm committed to posting everday until September 21st. Oh well, I didn't sign a contract or anything--it's just a personal thing.

May 17th Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites

Shannon said...

Good luck on the rewrite, Matt! You can doo ett!

Kelly Polark said...

My blogging goal is to post 2-3 times a week. I cut down so I could have my book writing time!
I like when people have scheduled themed posts (like your query posts) but I'm one that likes to "know" the bloggers I'm visiting. So some random personal stuff is okay too!

JE said...

Wow! You've got a lot going on too. First, I'm still wishing you super duper luck on the 30 pages you sent out! Second, as much as I love my blog, I might have to cut back one day too. Boo! But, I do love the idea of organization and more topics! Why not let people volunteer there first worst queries too? I've got a REALLY bad one...but I really don't think I'm brave enough to share it. Yeah, it's that bad. cool is it that your getting interviewed? I mean, that's pretty neat! Officially jealous here. Sticking my tongue out at you from the distance :-P

No matter what you do to your blog, I'm totally stalking you until the end!


Sarah Ahiers said...

oooh exciting about the re-write - i think switching to first person sounds like a great idea and i'm sure it will help tons with your word count.

K. M. Walton said...

Quite the full plate, sir. The re-write sounds like an interesting project. Good luck with it.

karen m said...

Best of luck, Matthew. I was about halfways through my first novel and decided the third person bit just wasn't working. It's much better in first. Anyhow, I know what a pain it can be to change persons but it can make a much tighter, better work.
Again, best of luck.

Laura S. said...

This is funny because I just posted my blog schedule today! I needed to make one because I was running out of insightful posts from the top of my head, haha. Good luck figuring out a schedule, and I'm sending positive thoughts and energy as you take on rewriting (or re-righting!) your WiP!!!

Unspoken said...

Thanks for dropping by and your kind words! 50 comments? That rocks!