Friday, March 28, 2014

Death Experience

Yesterday, I was talking to my family and I said, "of all the wars the United States has ever been involved with, the Civil War and World War II are the hardest for me to accept." The Civil War is the only war I am thoroughly ashamed of and World War II has always turned my stomach.

Thinking on my statements, I believe I may have identified precisely why I have always felt this way. I never rejected the Civil War because of slavery, I did not favor one side over the other for any known reason I can think of. My objection to the Civil War was the division of a nation in such a catastrophic fashion that brothers were literally on opposite sides of one of the most gruesome wars in American history. Battlefields dripped red and bodies were so thick, you could walk from one side to the other without touching the ground. I can rationalize fighting an enemy I have never shared a meal with, but aiming a cannon at my own brother seems beyond me.

Similarly, the trench warfare in World War II has always sickened me. It was the first time chemical weapons were used and the devastation was unilateral. Pictures or paintings from these wars have haunted my dreams.

In Silent Symphony, I deal with death of a beast like any hunter. It had to be done, so it was and the characters survived. But when it comes to the death of a character, will I handle writing the scene or will I make myself sick just thinking about it. My story is highly visually motivating; can I make a death scene the same caliber of experience I have used thus far?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Query Only....Synopsis = Spoilers

The void.  Darkness…emptiness…silence…chilling silence.  You cannot imagine it.  You cannot steel yourself to it.  You may think you can, but it gnaws away at you; it deteriorates your very essence, your song.  Nothing escapes its grasp.  Once it reaches you, once you fall into its trap, you cannot escape it.  You may crawl back out, you may free yourself from its murky, purple waters, but still…you are never free, not truly.  The void marked the southern border of the Village.  Its waters were shrouded by a thick, unwavering haze.  Creatures clawed their way up the banks.  Horrible, terrible, twisted creatures attacked the Village.  Only by the strength of the Wandering Bards and the Mockingbirds, the Night Owls and the Nightingales is the Village kept safe.

Ali watched her parents die to a creature from the void.  She was only two years old.  The last words she heard her mother speak made her promise to never use her song for revenge.  She kept that promise.  But things have changed.  She was once content to tend the garden, ignored by those she fed.  Now?  Now, she joins the struggle to protect the Village, to protect her friends.  But she is different.  She can hear the void, she can understand it in ways no one ever could.  She can correct it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I may have a winner!

The biggest problem I have been having with publishing Silent Symphony was my inability to pitch it. It took a while, but I believe I may have overcome that problem. Surprisingly enough, it came after speaking to someone who just yesterday quit her day job at my work to pursue a full time writing career. More specifically, it came after reading her short story "The Anniversary" on her website.

In every synopsis I wrote previously, I focused on the character development, on emotional changes, instead of the not so underlying plot. In Silent Symphony, the void is the underlying theme throughout the series, yet in my pitch, I mention it as more of an after thought. Sort of a "and she cried...Oh, and the void is destroying everything, but back to the emotional drama..."

In The Anniversary, erotica romance novelist Jesse Pearle, begins her short story about a tattoo artist remembering the death of her lover eight years prior. She focuses on mind-numbing work to distract her from her memories until her lovers best friend walks in the front door for his yearly "how are you doing on this day?" appointment.

Knowing Pearle writes romance, the back of my mind already knows where the story is headed, yet still the words are captivating. Even as the characters launch into inevitable passionate scene, the underlying remembrance of a lost love is still at the forefront of the reader's attention. Pearle does not compromise the story, does not let it slip for an instant, as she fulfills every expectation of a romance story.

I literally closed the website and I opened a Word document to begin the fifth attempt at a successful query. I will upload it tomorrow morning before I go baby shopping. Assuming it goes as well as I hope, I only need to find someone to query, whether it be a publisher or an agent. Anyway, good night world!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Problems Promoting

The biggest thing holding Silent Symphony back right now is my ability to pitch it, yet everyone who has read it thus far has said it was great. I think my biggest weakness is trying to find selling points others might like that could be marketable, but all I am coming up with is a young adult romance similar to Twilight.

My story is about a girl orphaned and outcast from society at three. She wants nothing more than to tend her garden and be ignored. But when a lost Bard escapes a fate worse than death, she risks her life to save his.

From there, her life begins to snow ball, picking up momentum and stray friends as she hurtles through countless physical, social, and emotional challenges. Using her song as a weapon, she quickly surpasses every expectation. In the end, she follows in her parents' footsteps, braving unparalleled beasts to defend everything she cares about.

The second book unveils the causality behind the greatest threat to the Village, unmasks the one responsible, and forces the party to question their own morality and their loyalties.

The third explores a dichotomy in social structures identifying the mechanisms behind an ancient feud. It evaluates the impacts of technology on a society dominated by magic and exposes the underlying threats the party inadvertently released.

The fourth concludes the series in a cataclysmic battle requiring hard decisions, agonizing sacrifices, brilliant strategic manipulation, and internal coordination. In this final book, the party must decide the fate of two societies, their families, and their own harmonies.

I have the first book done, am about half way through writing the second, and know the major plot points of the remaining two. If only I could find a way to make the first book sound as heart pounding and visually dynamic as it is so someone else would want to read it. Anyone have any successful query letters and synopsis they wouldn't mind sharing?