I don’t have much time here, but it being Wednesday, I thought I’d share a quick What-Not-To-Do on links and websites and such. To wit, I’m on the agent quest right now and it occurred to me that an agent might take a peek at my online presence. And what will he or she see?
Ooooh, grasshopper. That’s a scary thought. Because I’ve recently scanned a few articles on what a great website for a writer/author should be and I’m a wee bit concerned.
I’m concerned that I might have a few horror-type links out there. Take the vampire link, for instance. That’s the link that was doing its thing, hanging out peacefully, buried as it were, in the website. But suddenly, when I click on it…it’s not there! Maybe it’ll come back, maybe it won’t. But I can’t take that chance. So I’ll dump that link.
Then there’s the mummy link. That’s the one that’s so old and tattered, the one I’ve dragged around from one website update to the next. Perhaps it’s time to put that dated link out of its misery.
Of course, there’s also the zombie link. It may not be on your website, but it’s out there, following you around FOREVER. No matter what else you write, this link always seems to pop up around your name. WHY WON’T YOU DIE, YOU STINKING LINK???
Well. There’s not much I can do about the zombie link. But I really need to send a few queries out today, so don’t do what I did, grasshopper, and wait till five minutes before you hit the send button. Stay on top of those horrible links and keep your website and online presence alive and well.
(As for the zombie links, it’s every woman for herself.)
So, last week, I received an acceptance (wheee!) and a rejection (boo!hiss!). But if I’m being perfectly honest, I wasn’t surprised by that boo!hiss! rejection. I have only myself to blame. It was a boo!hiss! story.
Now, don’t try to make me feel better, grasshopper. It was not a good story. Oh, it was written well. It had a nice flow, good pacing, a swell plot, crackling dialogue. But it was missing something…
I sent it anyway, even though I had this mushy feeling of wrongness about the story. Until finally, after working on another manuscript, and receiving that acceptance, I had one of those epiphany moments. (Thank goodness, right?)
The boo!hiss! story didn’t have me in it. I don’t mean me, literally. I mean the connection between something that I felt to what a character is feeling. So the story, though well-executed, lay there flat and limp and blah.
Don’t write without getting to the heart of the matter, grasshopper. You may be penning a story about a little girl flying on a pig to a country known as Styheaven where all the inhabitants are flying pigs who speak only pig latin and stuff humans into sausage casings. Obviously, you haven’t had that experience. But you have probably, at some time in your life, been the “fish out of water” who was scared to death. Tap into your feelings to give your story life. It’s that whole Dr. Frankenstein thing, to use a literary allusion.
I always tell people that if they’ve ever met me, they’ll probably show up in a story, cleverly disguised, of course. But the truth is, I’m in every single story I write. At least, the stories that get published (whee!).
So. I needed ONE little thing. A simple piece of paper.
Well, not just any old piece of paper. I was looking for a piece of paper from my radio days. The copy from a commercial, if you must know. And I looked EVERYWHERE.
And when I say EVERYWHERE, I mean I emptied the entire love chest of my life. There is a ton of stuff in that love chest, I can tell you that, grasshopper. But do you know what’s NOT in the love chest? The radio commercial copy.
Eventually, I stuffed all the er, stuff back in the chest (P.S. I still can’t get it to close). I moved on. To the filing cabinet, to be exact, where I was looking for something totally different. I suppose I don’t need to tell you what I found in a completely random, unmarked folder.
Don’t forget to mark your folders, grasshopper. And here’s a link to 30 very funny books, according to Gina Barreca, Ph.D., who wrote a handful of pretty funny books herself. Honestly, we deserve a couple laughs, right?
‘Cause if you can’t laugh at the crazy stuff in life (and filing cabinets), then you might as well throw in the (paper) towel.