ellen mcbee

She's always up to something…

Wow, I’ve been neglecting this blog!

on November 14, 2014

I didn’t even notice!  Anyway, I was trying to compete in NaNoWriMo, but have had to give it up due to having youngest child at home for nearly two weeks.  First she was home for a week while the teachers moved into the new building, and then she went to school for half a day, and now she’s been home for two days sick with a bad cold/fever/sore throat.  She doesn’t have strep but she’s in a lot of pain and cries a lot.  So I’ve been pretty much holding her on my lap and watching Spongebob.  I didn’t finish last year either; November is just a busy month around here.  I’m thinking of doing it on my own in February instead.  At least I figured out that even for a World War II book that has a clear and obvious enemy, I’m going to need one who is closer to home.

Meanwhile, I’ve heard back from the agent who had my first thousand words (it was part of a class I took).  He had 8 comments, nearly all of them positive.  One noted that I had already ushered a character off the stage and she speaks again; one suggested I was using a few unnecessary words; the rest appreciated my sense of humor and phrasing and closeness to the character’s viewpoint.  All in all, I thought it was valuable feedback–but it wasn’t clear to me why he didn’t ask me for more pages.  So I’m debating sending him an e-mail to ask for that clarification.  And I’m considering workshopping those first ten pages again; in my heart I still think my “executive summary” isn’t doing its job.

I’m also gearing up to try to sell this book myself.  I KNOW it’s a good book and I’m not sure I’m patient enough to jump through the hoops that seem to be required to land agent and/or editor.  And New Adult readers don’t seem to be picky about self vs. traditionally-published books.  So I’m going to start posting to Goodreads more and maybe take on being a Beta reader for other writers.  At least I’ll be able to help them with grammar (I was a really good proofreader, in another life).


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