Manga Mania!

>> Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I admit it. I'm obsessed. I took off Friday so I could have a four day weekend and, aside from hanging with the hubby and the two small children, I spent it all immersed in new manga. That's right, I had a terrific time with it and fell in love with two more series.

Sorry for those of you who wanted to see me around, but I don't really regret it. I love getting immersed or falling in love with new characters.

I love it. I haven't entirely figured out why I love it, but I do. I'm going to add a column to the blog on the side with a list of my favorite manga series and, given that I'm between novels at the moment until I get inspired (and because manga is behind my drawing interest at the moment, too), I thought I'd introduce some of my favorites and why in this blog.

Because, hey, the better I understand why I like them, the better I might be able to harness what appeals to improve my own work, assuming it's not all the art.

So, next time, that's what I'll do.

Before I go, some important caveats:

(1) I read mostly shoujo manga, intended for teenage girls, so it's not all encompassing.
(2) Plot, the mangas I've read have such laughably stupid stupid plots and motivations that make no sense - of course, I always felt that way about hero comic books, too, so that might just be me.
(3) social mores and priorities are not the same world-wide.

So, as I go into the mangas, I'll start with my favorites I've found so far. For those of you who'd rather stab yourself in a the eye with a sharp stick than read manga, well, feel free to skip 'em.


Not a Salesperson

>> Saturday, February 5, 2011

For those of you wondering what I'm up to, well, I've been going over the Bete novels again. I'm going to try to find an agent and/or publisher for them.

Only problem is, I can't seem to write a query to save my life. Or rather, I can't write a good query to save my life. I mean it seems like a good query when I'm writing it, but the more I read it, the more I have others read it, the more and more it seems "meh."

I read Query Shark religiously. I know intellectually what needs to go in it, but I also know the voice is the key. I can get voice is a hopeless mishmash that confuses and dazes. I can get the formula though it reads as dry as a Pentagon briefing. Despite my best intentions, my queries stink to high heaven.

My husband says I'm not a salesman. He does not mistake the case. I'm the sort of salesperson who could keep people from buying what they came to get. I stink. Part of it is that they are books about characters with the plot largely incidental, so the formula is less than effective. The characters are the selling points, in my opinion.

I also don't do lots of other things that engenders getting published. My first paragraphs are not stellar - I grew up reading classics where you might not even meet the main characters until a third of the way through the book, where character development was everything. It's what I like, but also, apparently, passe. It's not how you get noticed.

Perhaps, and it's a real possibility, my writing isn't really notably better than my sales pitch. Hard to be objective. Perhaps I'll never be published because I can't promote my work properly, even if it is good. Sobering thought, that. But plausible.

Also the drawing has taken a step back, partially because of a crowded work schedule recently and partially because stepping out with new poses and Tander's features didn't work so well. I'll have to go back and regroup and try again.

And I will. I may end up 83 years old and unpublished, but it won't be because I gave up.

But a couple of the days in between are bound to be disheartening.



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