There's been a lot of discussion over at http://jackieashenden.blogspot.com/ about characterization. One of the commenters suggested using astrology to help nail down a character, and that got me thinking of all kind of fun things a person might try...
The Myers-Briggs personality test...taken as your hero or heroine of course! Here's a link: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp After you score it, make sure you click on the link that will break down what the personality type means. (I'm ESFJ, for those who wanna know!!)
I've often joked that the process of submission, rejection, revision, submission, revision...so forth...is like the world's longest job interview. Your submission is your resume and the ensuing revisions and contact with the editor are like your interview.
Can you take direction? Do you meet deadlines? Are you easy to work with? Or are you a whiny, petulant artist who believes their work is perfect on arrival? The editor is going to get a sense for all of this via revisions and other contact.
Writing is a competitive business. And it is a business. We, the writer, need to make a product that the distributor can sell. That's our job. Not only do we have to write something great, we need to do it their specifications, and, I believe, we need to be easy to work with.
Because talent is only a piece of it. It matters, trust me, but it isn't the only thing.
Well, there's an absolute controversy brewing on the ihearts site due to the fact that the winner and runner up for Presents Modern are published authors. Now, as Jane pointed out, if they are not currently on contract with HM&B this not a rule violation. I will say that upfront.
However, having had two friends who entered Presents chapters, I understand why people are upset about it.
So, I'm not going into the right or wrong or fair or unfair. What I will go into is this: You don't need the contest.
The contest has given the winners an amazing opportunity to bypass the slush pile, which will save lots of time, trust me. But, as someone who didn't do well in comps (to put it mildly) and who made it through slush to The Call, I can tell you, it happens. Just because you don't place in a comp or get good comp feedback does not mean you don't have talent.
People have said on ihearts that the winners of the Presents category didn't NEED the contest. Well, no one NEEDS it. Not in any way minimizing what was won here, because trust me, getting an editor to work with you is huge. HUGE.
I got mine through slush. I needed more time to refine some things, but the editor saw the potential, even if it wasn't all the way there yet. She helped me get there.
I emailed my editor to ask her if I could enter this contest because when it was announced I was not under contract, neither did I really think I would be any time soon, and she told me that I didn't need the prize since I had an editor already. That made my week...month...let me tell you.
Success comes from these competitions, look at Lucy King and Lynn Raye Harris, and very soon, Gill Clegg :-). But success also comes from other places. This isn't the end. For me, a 'failed' contest was the beginning.
Keep writing, friends. And submit, submit, submit.
Okay, I am bursting with absolute pride and joy, because my dear friend and critique partner Jilly, Gill Clegg on the iheartpresents site, has won the Modern Heat category of the Harlequin contest!!
Her chapter was truly amazing. I had the wonderful opportunity to read it before she hit send, and I can honestly say the feedback she got from the group on it was, 'You're brilliant. It's brilliant, don't change a thing!'
She's a wonderful person, a wonderful writer, and my wonderful 'sister.' She spent lots of hours critiquing my writing and helping me get my own book in 'up to publishable standard' shape. I can't wait until she gets The Call!
So, sorry for those who didn't place, but, if it helps, I was in this exact same position the last two comps I entered. Not only did I not place, I did not receive personalized feedback. And it was tough. But, that wasn't the end of my journey, it was the beginning. So get out there and sub sub sub!!!
Congrats again, Jilly! I love you much and I'm so happy!
I just submitted my The Call story post to be posted on iheartpresents on Dec. 21st! The Harlequin fangirl that lives inside of me is dying with glee. Seriously. It's just a wonderful added bonus to not only be a full-fledged Presents fan, but a soon-to-be-published author with the line I love the most!
This conversation got started on Twitter and I thought I'd move it over here.
For me, music is just about the ultimate inspiration. I'm from a musical family, married to a musician, and it's always been a hugely important part of my life. (right up there with books!)
I have a playlist that is home to a lot of my favorite songs that have been a huge part of my MSs for the past few months. Not every song was a 'theme song' for an MS, but I have each of them on there for a reason.
Well, Paolo Nuitini is on there because my three year old likes that song. Anyway, enjoy my inspiration! And, share some of your own...what inspires you?
Many of you may have already heard this, but I'm just enjoying typing it continually because it all makes it much more real!
My title and UK release date landed in my inbox yesterday, and it looks like it's slated for August of 2010 with the title His Virgin Acquisition. (so fun!)
I haven't slept much since my Call came because now it's like every night is Christmas eve and I can't sleep because I want so much to be up experiencing the morning I know is coming. This is what it's like to be doing what you love so much.
Okay....apparently The Blog is eating comments. So I thought...maybe if I started a new post it would kinda right itself...
Oh! I got asked to blog on I Heart Presents about my call! Should be on or around Dec. 21st! And I am so looking forward to that. One of the coolest things...well, okay, this whole thing is beyond cool. And yes, I said beyond cool. Getting published didn't suddenly make me not a big geek. :-) Anyway, one of the coolest things is that I am such a major Presents fan.
I've always written, but it wasn't until I picked up a Presents about two and a half years ago that I knew what I wanted to write. And it wasn't only my dream to get published, but to be a Harlequin Presents author. I wanted the white cover with the red stripe and the circle and the beautiful people. So blessed to have it!
When I got up this morning and grimaced at my alarm clock, I did not think I would be getting any kind of life changing news. I was thinking I have to go get my son enrolled in preschool, go buy a backpack for him, clean the kitchen, the living room...etc.
I did not think I would be getting The Call.
I checked my email at about 7:30 and discovered I had an email from my editor asking if she could call me and chat about my MS. So of course I emailed her straight back with something like "heck to the yes". About a half hour after that came The Call.
I've been offered a two book contract with Harlequin Presents. Which I said yes to, of course! Actually, she said, we'd like to buy your book and I said something horribly clever like "well, I'd like to sell it to you. "*snerk*
So yes, I'm in shock a little bit. But I am set to be a published author. For the romance line I love the most. It is my dream come true and to have it happen so soon in my life is more than I could ask or hope for.
Thanks to God, my family, my editor, and last, but oh so definitely not least, the Sisterhood. Without you girls it wouldn't be happening and I love you all so much!