Tag: writing a novel

Oct 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Unveiling

We all know not to judge a book by it’s cover, right? But whether you’re browsing online or in the bookstore for an ebook or a paperback, the cover is the first thing you see. And it’s often the reason you decide to buy (or not buy) the book. A good cover tells the reader something about the story and should be attractive, interesting, and/or intriguing.  The cover can make a big difference in sales. All the writers tell me that seeing the cover for the first time is one of the most exciting moments in the publication process. I filled out a survey for the cover in mid-September with details about the characters and plot of Until Thanksgiving, my …

Oct 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Another Step Closer

It’s been two months, one week, and two days since I signed on with Dreamspinner Press. The initial email message from them explained all the steps leading up to a December or January release for Until Thanksgiving. The long list was intimidating and a little frightening. The message from the editor said to be patient. My manuscript was in the queue, and I might not hear from them for a while. Since then, whether by accident or design, I’ve heard from someone with my publisher just often enough to keep from losing my mind. That first message also included instructions for connecting with other Dreamspinnner writers via a dedicated message board. I can’t say enough about how warm, welcoming, and generous …

Oct 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Stressed!

Okay. I admit it. I’m stressed out. My upbeat, positive attitude has helped me to cope. But the quantity of major life events I’ve experienced this year has just about depleted the sunshine I’ve managed to set aside for dark and cloudy days. In graduate school I remember reading studies about a stress scale that assigned points to various life events. The higher the score, the more likely you are to experience stress-related illness. Thanks to my friend, Google, I found the scale this morning and filled it out for myself. Click here to check your own stress level. My score is a few points shy of 400. Scoring over 300 means I “have a high or very high risk …

Sep 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Six and a Half Weeks Later

On August 15th, I became a soon-to-be-published writer. The tidal wave I rode for several weeks has broken up into smaller waves, but I’m still very excited and busier than I’ve been since graduate school. An update on my journey is overdue. In truth, there hasn’t been a lot of action.  Dreamspinner Press (DSP) gave me access to a message board for other DSP writers and added me to the DSP writers group on Twitter right away.  Other than that and an email exchange about my desire to delete two paragraphs that don’t work with the prequel I’m working on, I’ve heard from my publisher twice. On September 15th, I got an email from the artists who design DSP covers. …

Aug 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Wildest Dreams

I wrote Glass Houses in 2010 and thought it was an absolutely brilliant memoir. My first choice agent rejected the manuscript. Then I tried a small gay publishing house that also turned it down. Solid in my conviction that the manuscript was perfect, the problem had to be with the blurb, synopsis, and query letter. I joined a local writers group for help. In the next few months I learned enough to see that my memoir had a lot of technical problems. I decided to set it aside until I could figure out a way to fix the major structural issues. Leaving it behind was okay. Writing the memoir changed me in a lot of ways, with one of the …

Jul 08, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Ready for Wednesday

Ready for Wednesday

Last night I got to hear what the writers in my group thought about the first four chapters of After Christmas Eve. Before I tell you what they said, I have to give you a little back story. Otherwise, this would be a three sentence post, and you know me better than that. Every word  counts, but the beginning of any book is especially important. It needs to lure the reader in and give him or her a reason to keep turning the page. The first 5,000 words of Until Thanksgiving, then known as Addicted, went through the group four times before I got it right. Last night, the first four chapters of After Christmas Eve got a thumbs up …

Jul 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Ready for Chapter Ten

I’ve always enjoyed a good jigsaw puzzle, whether the wooden puzzles I played with as a toddler  or the 1500 piece monsters I’ve tackled since. The more complicated the picture, the more satisfying it was to put the puzzle together. Writing After Christmas Eve is like working a puzzle. The pieces are all on the table, and I have a picture of the finished product to guide me. It’s just a matter of putting everything together. By comparison, writing Until Thanksgiving was more like going through a maze. I knew where it started, but had no idea where it ended or how to get there. There were several dead ends and wrong turns before I finally found my way to the end …

Jul 03, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Like Thinking in French

I took French in junior high and high school and plodded through three semesters of Russian in college. I never learned enough to think in either language. I was too busy in college. High school is a different story. Five years is a lot of time to have learned so little. I  should have been thinking in French. Becoming a good writer is like learning to think in French. The more you practice, the better you get. Eventually, good writing becomes second nature. Then the writer’s mind is free to focus on more interesting elements–like pacing, plot and character development. With experience, these things become second nature, too, and the focus turns to new ways to improve the writing. I’ve …

Jun 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on And We’re Off!

And We’re Off!

Nearly two weeks ago, I submitted a blurb, synopsis, character profiles, and chapter summaries for my next novel, After Christmas Eve, for critique by the writers in my group. I’ve never known enough to be able to put those pieces together without first having finished writing the book. I couldn’t wait to hear what they would say. Saturday night I got the verdict. The general consensus was that everything sounded okay. However, the devil is in the details the barebones outline didn’t provide–a fact that somewhat limited the kind of feedback they could provide. Everyone agreed that the story is chocked full of cliche characters, plot twists, and conventions. For the uninitiated, that is NOT a good thing. To some …

Jun 14, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Waiting Games

Three weeks ago today I submitted a query, synopsis, and the first twenty pages of Until Thanksgiving to a publisher. Three days later, I received a response to my query: a request from the publisher for the full manuscript. I sent the manuscript within thirty minutes and have been dancing off the ceiling ever since. Waiting is not my forte. Years ago I learned two ways to eat up waiting time. Sleep, or stay busy. Long-term sleeping really isn’t an option. Since I couldn’t sleep past seven if my life depended on it, I’ve been trying to stay busy. Some would spend more time running and going to the gym. Not me. I still try to do something for thirty …