Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Saturday, January 9, 2010

MWF seeking writerly relationship with DAW

Except... DAW doesn't stand for anything--that I know of.

Phew, I'm whipped already today, but I'm determined to finish this rewrite of Honor Among Thieves. (For a while, I was abbreviating it as HAT--but then I couldn't find anything and I kept thinking "What's with all these hat documents?") This morning was my family's turn to clean the church building. So, two and a half hours of mostly vacuuming has wiped my energy. I'd make a lousy janitor, I think. Our turn rolls around about twice a year and it's a testament to how much I believe in my church because, with no paid clergy and manned/staffed entirely by the voluntary efforts of the members, a lot falls onto the plate of the members. Nothing less than a strong testimony could inspire me to vacuum for two hours--trust me. I'm tired.

Anyway, so, I need opinions. Anyone responding to this post will be expected to render an opinion of some kind. Got that? Good. Here are my questions:

1. What would be your upper personal word limit for an urban fantasy for adults?

(a.) 125,000 words
(b.) 100,000 words
(c.) 75, 000 words
(d.) 42
(e.) none of the above
(f.) all of the above because I'm contrary
(g.) celery

2. If you read that a publishing company had a policy of exclusivity, would you assume this included not querying agents?

(a.) yes
(b.) no
(c.) I'm waffling.
(d.) none of the above
(e.) 42
(f.) chicken lips
(g.) bacon

3. If you received a rejection that included specific and personal advice on what your manuscript needed in addition to a comment to "consider them in the future," would you revise and resubmit the same manuscript?

(a.) yes, that's what they wanted in "publishing speak."
(b.) possibly--if I felt like I'd addressed their issues
(c.) no, a rejection is a rejection
(d.) no, but I might submit a different manuscript
(e.) the voices in my head have no opinion
(f.) 42
(g.) it's a secret

4. If you did resubmit, would you include a copy of their previous comments or refer to them?

(a.) 42
(b.) yes, a copy
(c.) yes, I'd refer to them in my query
(d.) no, start fresh
(e.) no and it's all just a big conspiracy
(f.) I always wanted to be a pirate
(g.) snakes have no arms that's why they don't wear vests.

5. If you've read Honor Among Thieves, how did you feel about the exposition of the lore of "Vampire", "Mother Earth", "Father Rock", and "Vesuvius" with the Master in the council room?

(a.) It got a little wordy and could be spread in other places.
(b.) I loved it and I love you to death, Wendy.
(c.) 42
(d.) It could be slimmed down.
(e.) I don't really have an opinion.
(f.) I haven't read Honor Among Thieves--or HAT as some might call it.
(g.) chowder

6. If you've read Honor Among Thieves, how did you feel about the flashbacks that Honor has in her dreams?

(a.) LOVED THEM! Seriously, I adore you in every way, Wendy!
(b.) Some were good, but the one with (the Shift Hunts, the funeral, her waking up, her in the hospital with the colorblindness thing) could be cut.
(c.) The Shift Hunt ones should be condensed somehow.
(d.) I hated all of them and I nearly ripped my eyes out and threw them against the wall.
(e.) 42
(f.) turtle
(g.) Seriously, I haven't read it--what's with the third degree?

7. If you've read Honor Among Thieves and you're familiar with DAW publishing, do you think this is a good fit?

(a.) 42
(b.) Yes, go for it!
(c.) I think other publishers might work better.
(d.) Go back to concentrating on the agent thing.
(e.) penguins are cute
(f.) Enough already! Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
(g.) I'm torn on this--literally.

Random Comments/Praise/Insults/Muffin Jokes: (Psst. This isn't multiple choice. It's fill-in-the-blank or essay.)

Okay, so those are the questions. Answer these seven. Start at the beginning and when you get to the end, stop. These seven are to be answered. If you're too afraid, go back while you still can. They are not to be answered in random order. You must be over the age of two and still breathing to be considered eligible to answer these questions. If you answer 42 to every question, I'll know that you are a geek--and seriously, could you have been less helpful?

Here is how the answers shall be scored:

Those scoring between 0-20 points will be shot. 19-37 points will meet a stranger today and fall hopelessly in love. 30-31 points will receive $20 in the mail from Microsoft. 38-1425 points will experience a Saturday in the near future. Those scoring negative points will be forced to experience the same day over and over until they get it right. Thems the breaks.

Okay, so, good luck. Oh and you will be timed--just for fun. Don't use a number two pencil on your monitor, btw. It won't end well.

(I should warn you that my muffin joke is the best, and I wouldn't even bother trying to top it.)


  1. Answers:

    1. Between B and C - 75k - 100k. (Yes, I know you are struggling to get your word count down, so I pandered.)

    2. Sheesh, I guess I have to go with C) I'm waffling, because I am not sure what it means. Does it mean you can only query them exclusively? (Don't shop around, just send US your query, and then you are required to wait for our decision before you can query elsewhere. Kind of reminds me of the guy I dated who already had a girlfriend, but didn't want me to see anyone else.)

    3. A) Yes! Resubmit! What's the worst that could happen?

    4. C) Refer to it in the query, and I would do so in specifics. Like with quotes and stuff. ;)

    5. D) I picked the slim down option to hopefully help you with your word chucking.

    6. A) Don't your dare cut or condense the flashbacks! Puh-lease? Don't. do. it. I love them dearly.

    7. G) I am no help here. I googled DAW but don't have enough information to make an informed decision on this one.

    Um, so there are my seven wordy answers. Did I pass?

  2. Yep, Amber, you passed and scored a 42. :) I know that will come as a great relief to you. Thank you.

  3. For those that were wondering, when I recommended you not use a #2 pencil on your monitor, I was referring to your computer monitor and not your monitor lizard. I've since realized they are spelled the same and this could cause some confusion. I apologize for not anticipating this dilemma.

  4. Ooooh learning AND fun!! Here are my answers:

    1) Upward limit? Hmmm, would I have one in an excellent story? B. 100,000 words or a little over (neeners). Final answer.

    2) D, none of the above because my answer would have been: H. The publisher means they don't want other publishers or any agents to see it, but that works the system in their favor, and as nearly every bloggy agent advises, exclusivity is detrimental to the author. Interpret it as exclusive to publishers, obey that much of it, and send out Honor to agents. Only good can come of it. If you get an offer from an agent, they will be able to sell it and even DAW won't turn down an excellent story over some rule they set up to benefit themselves.

    3) A. Yes, they might have meant they wanted to see future manuscripts, but they gave you detailed revisions so there would absolutely be no harm in sending the very revisions they suggested. Even if they sent another R, you're no worse off. Do it! Do it!

    4) Hmmm, can't decide between B and C. Normally if you were sending a different manuscript the rules are fairly clear-- don't bring up previous rejections. I also recall a recent agent saying never quote a rejection, no matter how glowing. Refer to the pleasure of corresponding previously, or thanking them for previous responses. But this is not a different manuscript, it's the same one........ I'm sorry I don't have more help. If it were me, I'd resubmit with a specific mention in the cover letter of what you changed according to the suggestions of the second reader.

    5) A. Start with some hints at the story and let Reeve tell her after she wakes up that one time, when he elaborates on it. Sighhhh. So great.

    6) B. I enjoyed most of them but I treated your manuscript like an agent might, and they all advise that if a scene doesn't move the story forward it is unnecessary. Definitely seek the advice of others because I think it's all beautifully written backstory. Obviously others disagree.

    7) A. Yes go for it!

  5. Phew…Glad you cleared up the lizard thing because Harry, my monitor lizard, doesn't like pencil tattoos.

    Oh man. This is a tough test. I had to write it out in word first.

    1. b. and maybe a smidgen over
    2. b. I think that means just publishing companies. I would send to agents too.
    3. d. Take their revise advice and send that manuscript to other agents but not this one.
    4.d. No, do not send a copy or refer specifically but I’d mention something like what Di said.
    5. Dang it, I have not finished. I was just telling Diana that I was trying to read it today. I know, I know, six years later I’ll get back to you.
    6. I’m torn between d. and g. though I have not got to that part, I think the answer d. is super funny but g. might be more on target.
    7. e. I don’t know DAW

    Random Comments: I suck, I can’t even give you any kind of real advice. I like what Diana had to say a lot. From the little I’ve read (to chapter 5) I think she is on target. I’ll dive back in and see if I can’t give you a better answer.

  6. There was a "learning" moment for you there, Diana? Weird. Your point about exclusivity is both cynical and probably spot on. Thank you.

    GwOE, you might as well wait, actually. That way I can send you along the latest version and you can just scan for typos for me. One last typo run with a fresh set of eyes.

  7. Oh, Diana, you were so close to a perfect score at 1423. Next time, try a little more imagery possibly.

    GwOE, I graded yours in metric, and I haven't done the conversion just yet, but it's really close to Diana's.

  8. 1) Okay, I know it's multiple choice, but I didn't see the answer, so I'm just going to say it. I just read an article by a pubbed author about getting started in the business. She said her first conversation with a publisher was started with the comment, "I won't even look at anything above 90K." So, that would be my answer.

    2)No. I have a friend published with DAW and she got her agent after her publishing contract.

    3)I would.

    4)I would definitely refer to it in the new query and provide a copy when requested.

    5)I'm not sure...42. Seriously, though, I didn't find it wordy enough to make it instantly spring up in my mind. I guess if anything, I would say to spread it around a little.

    6)I was slightly annoyed with the flashbacks only because there was no Reeve, or shirtless Reeve, or whispering into her neck Reeve, but I do believe that they were important in delving deeper into who Honor is. Her resourcefulness. Her strength. I wouldn't cut. Just do the find option to cut out wordiness, but no scene cuts.

    7) Yes, I do.

    Sadly I have no muffin jokes, however, I can say that you are AMAZING. *blows kisses*

  9. Tina!!! All this time and you actually know someone who got in with DAW? I'm going to take off some points for never mentioning that. Then, I'll add in bonus points because I'm not immune to flattery. So, you get 1333. It's prime and odd. Also, I recently cut both "softly" and "slowly" from my manuscript and you can have those too. Did the friend with DAW get in on a slush pile or some other way?

  10. I'll ask her. I do know for sure that she got her agent after her publishing deal. So, at least I helped a bit, yes?

  11. http://ginikoch.blogspot.com/

    I haven't seen her since October. The holidays are awfully busy, but she just got her cover copy so she posted it on her blog.

  12. Tina, you helped a ton! Thank you. I'll go stalk her now. You get all my extra adverbs for the rest of the day. xoxo

  13. Wow, an almost perfect score. Man, I always forget to add imagery. SO bummed. *kicking self* *grumbling* *stomping foot* *wondering if this asterisk stuff helps with imagery*

    And FYI Wendy, you're officially banned from my blog until my next blog post. Hunger Games and Catching Fire spoilers ALL over the place, especially in the comments. Do not come over to play. Even with a face mask... even in a hermetically sealed suit... but once you read both of them and are immune to spoilers, do come and see what we all thought :)

  14. Alright, I'll give this a whirl.

    1. B 100,000
    2. A I would not query them. Closed is closed.
    3. D No but I might submit a different manuscript.
    4. C Yes, I'd refer to them in the query.
    5. B because I do, and Chowder because I love potato and corn chowder. (I only read the first three chapters so you might want to consider that with my answers)
    6. A and E (but I'm not telling you why I like 42)
    7. E because penguins ARE cute and G because I don't know...therefore I'm torn.

  15. I've never been banned from a blog before. Wow. That's just.... Wow. Impressive. I feel like a rebel.

    Catherine, thanks for answering. Penguins ARE cute. You got a 42 also. Sometimes, scores are like golf, though. Low isn't bad--especially when it's forty-two. Plus, you won't be shot, so that's always good.

  16. 1. A, because I can read any length of book if it's good.

    2. B, because you aren't looking for a new publisher.

    3. B, and you summed it up to a tee, if you feel like you addressed their issues than you can resubmit.

    4. D, Start fresh, because what if you were wrong and they really did mean it as an all out rejection. They'll see what the previous person wrote and go...that's just our form rejection letter. This must suck, I'm not even going to reread it. DENIED!

    5. A. I really like the back story...it just does seem to be repeated twice. I understood it the first time. ;)

    6. A and C. I love them ALL!!! BUT if you have to "trim the fat" The shift hunt is the longest so it could be shorter. Even though I like all the details it has in it. DON'T TOUCH THE OTHERS! Seriously.

    7. A, E, and F. Seriously though I know nothing about DAW.

  17. Jaime, you just squeaked through at 38 because you used the word "denied" and that's not allowed. I'd ask you to redact, but mostly just because I like to use the word "redact." I don't know why.

  18. Phew! The falling in love with a stranger thing would have been hard on the Marriage. But I was really hoping for 20 dollars.