Lengthening my word count

As a chronic under-writer (not to be confused with an ‘underwriter,’ which sounds much more complicated and outside the scope of my abilities) I’ve always struggled to hit word counts.  From 500 word essays in school to NaNoWriMo’s famous 50k finish line to the industry standard of 70k I always fall short.  As a result, I’m constantly on the lookout for shortcuts (longcuts?) to stretch my stories without being accused of fluff.

ava
Unlike this double-coated cutie, who has no problem being fluffy and is very grateful that fall is coming

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The 5-3-1 Rule

I was first introduced to the 5-3-1 rule at an anime convention in college.  No idea when the concept was invented, but that was my introduction.

Anyway, as I was perusing the con’s schedule I discovered a full-page notice, recommending that all attendees follow the 5-3-1 to prevent the spread of avian flu.  (I think it was avian flu.  It was either that or swine flu.  Whichever it was, places with lots of people were very concerned about it spreading.)  Below the big, scary letters they outlined what 5-3-1 actually meant.Read More »

Querying is scary!

This past Thursday I sent out my first three query letters. I had meticulously edited them into perfection, had Kevin read them over (he’s a sticker for punctuation, which is my major weakness) and compared them to successful queries the agents I was sending them to had received. (Thanks Writer’s Digest!)

After I sent them off I panicked, tracked them in my spreadsheet, and vowed not to think about it again until the two to three months they said it took to get a response had passed. In the mean time I’d edit some more, start on book two, and prep my next batch of query letters.

Because all the websites say that, right? “Response in 6 weeks,” ” can take up to 8 weeks.” Well guess what.

I woke up the next morning to TWO responses! One rejection (not as painful as I had been expecting, possibly because I hadn’t actually been expecting it yet) and one REQUEST FOR THE FULL MANUSCRIPT!!!!

I was wildly unprepared for that. I’d prepared myself for months and months of rejections and pointed silences. Nothing had told me to anticipate a request less than 24 hours after my first-ever query.

As a result I’ve spent the weekend (thank goodness it was a holiday, right?) making my manuscript as perfect as it can possibly be. Tomorrow I send it off with my heart in my throat. It’ll probably be rejected, of course, but what a start to my querying process!

Do any of you have any querying advice? Stories of woe or elation? What query number are you on? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. You already know my big news, but just in case, my current status is 1 rejection, 1 request for a full manuscript, and 1 confirmation of receipt. Aah!