Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Feedback Request


A new version of the query just below this one.


Dear Agent,

In 2009, after 28 years of marriage, I lost my 15-year-old son under allegations a transgender woman was unfit to be a mother. The male disguise that had weaved the uncommon path to becoming a mother, now threatened to destroy the dream I’d had since childhood.

Accused of abusing my son, I lost everything. I became the defendant in a legal drama dedicated to protecting mother and child, dispossessed of any notion that I was the mom. Every appearance came with new threats from the court, felony charges, loss of parenting time, more legal fees, contempt of court, even jail time. Even therapists I had once sought for help were making accusations against me.

The consensus was overwhelming; no judge would ever grant me custody but I was unwilling to abandon my son. I dismissed two attorneys unwilling to defend my custody position, finally representing myself in a custody battle lasting four years.

Isolation and the economic and emotional stress, combined with the threats from the court, drove me into a near-suicidal depression but the love of my son prevailed. I regained custody while becoming the woman I had always known I was.

Whipping Girl took transgender women from the genre of Lesbian non-fiction into the realm of feminism. My book, The Transgender Myth, broadens that scope, challenging our perceptions of gender, invoking the complementary notion of gender put forth by The Feminine Mystique and asserting that men and women do in fact come from the same planet.

The book is not a story about transition. It is a journey from blissful innocence, through fear and isolation, past denial and defeat into acceptance and triumph, examining the best and the worst of living in both genders.

The Transgender Myth is complete at 93,000 words. I trust this story will appeal to your interest in LGBTQ narratives. Thanks for your time and consideration.


Notes

Here's how I would condense the first three paragraphs (into two):


In 2009, after 28 years of marriage, I lost my 15-year-old son under allegations a transgender woman was unfit to be a mother. Wrongly accused of abusing my son, I became the defendant in a legal drama dedicated to protecting the birth mother and child, dispossessed of any notion that I was the mom. 

Every court appearance came with new threats: felony charges, loss of parenting time, more legal fees, contempt of court, even jail time. Therapists I had once looked to for help made accusations against me. The consensus was overwhelming; no judge would ever grant me custody. But I was unwilling to abandon my son. I dismissed two attorneys unwilling to defend my position, finally representing myself in a custody battle lasting four years.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Feedback Request


The author of the book most recently featured here would like feedback on this version:



Dear Agent,

Growing up, I dreamed of being a 50's-TV-style mom, just like Donna Reed and June Cleaver. Just like my own mother. So imagine my shock and dismay when, nearing puberty, I was placed in the boys' section at my school.

A brutal rape in college and a violent suicide of a second love interest put an end to fantasies about men that would never be. [I think you need to mention transgenderness before you jump ahead five years. Readers could interpret your being placed in the boys section as a clerical error. Possibly add to the first paragraph: It wasn't the school's fault; my birth certificate and my body both proclaimed I was male.] I discovered the love of another woman and her young child. Through the chaos of the marriage, I found joy in our three children becoming the mother I dreamed about as a child.

In 2009, after 28 years of marriage, I lost my 15-year-old son under allegations a transgender woman was unfit to be a mother. Despite the overwhelming consensus that no judge would ever grant me custody, I was unwilling to abandon him. Acting as my own attorney, I fought a four-year custody battle.

Isolation and the economic and emotional stress combined with threats from the court drove me into a near-suicidal depression but the love of my son prevailed. I regained custody while becoming the woman I had once imagined as a young girl [always known I was].

Whipping Girl took transgender women from the genre of Lesbian non-fiction into the realm of feminism. My book, The Transgender Myth, broadens that scope, challenging our perceptions of gender, invoking the complementary notion of gender put forth by The Feminine Mystiqueand asserting that men and women do in fact come from the same planet.

The book is not a story about transition. It is a journey from blissful innocence, through fear and isolation, past denial and defeat into acceptance and triumph, examining the best and the worst of living in both genders.


The Transgender Myth is complete at 93,000 words. I trust this story will appeal to your interest in LGBTQ narratives. Thanks for your time and consideration.



Notes

In my opinion, the third paragraph is the place to start. The first two paragraphs are backstory, fine in the book, but not so important in the query. You would have been fighting for custody whether you'd been placed in the boys section, raped, etc. or not.

Of course I'm assuming the majority of the book deals with the custody battle. It seems to be the aspect that sets your book apart from other memoirs of trans women.

If you start with paragraph 3 you have room to add, right after that paragraph ,a paragraph detailing the injustice of the system and the setbacks you had to overcome.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Feedback Request


The author of the book featured in Face-Lift 1363 would like feedback on the following revision.



Dear Agent[comma]

I had a great childhood, believing I was a girl. I dreamed of being a mom like my own mother in the glamorized media style of housewife in the 50’s. Yet, there were shadows of a different reality. Like the tree of knowledge of good and evil, I’d have to partake of its fruits to understand its secrets. 

Nearing puberty, I was enrolled in a school that separated boys and girls. I encountered a social ordinance that I was a boy, and soon, the harsh realization I was never going to be pregnant. [These opening paragraphs aren't doing it for me. I'd go with something simple:

Growing up, I dreamed of being a 50's-TV-style mom, just like Donna Reed and June Cleaver. Just like my own mother. So imagine my shock and dismay when, nearing puberty, I was placed in the boys' section at my school.]  

A brutal rape in college,[no comma] left me isolated; in denial about fantasies of men that would never be.After a second love interest ended with a violent suicide, I chose to be a man. I discovered the love of another woman and her young child. I became provider in the image of my father, andmother to our three children in the traditional homemaker image of my mom. Fearful of losingthem, [Apparently the words "be./After" "and/mother" and "losing/them" come at the end of a line in your file, so you don't realize you didn't put a space between them. Whether the missing spaces are encountered by the reader depends on the size of the screen she's reading on.] I struggled against growing tension in the marriage, until my two oldest were adults and my youngest was fifteen. I lost my son under allegations a transgender woman was unfit to be a mother.

Despite the overwhelming consensus that no judge would ever give me custody of my son, I was unwilling to abandon him. Forced to become my own attorney, I fought a four-year custody battle.

Isolation and the economic and emotional stress combined with threats from the court drove meinto a near-suicidal depression but the love of my son prevailed. I regained custody while becoming the woman I had once imagined as a young girl.

Whipping Girl took transgender women from the genre of Lesbian non-fiction into the realm of feminism. [My book,] The Transgender Myth, broadens that scope, challenging our perceptions of gender, invoking the complementary notion of gender put forth by The Feminine Mystique [Italicize.] and asserting that men and women do in fact come from the same planet.

The book has a central position in gender studies for its historical context and contemporary view of gender, examining the social, political, economic and legal impact on my life as a transgender woman. It evolves within the context of feminism, gay rights, and today’s transgender movement, while challenging society’s sexual definition of gender. It is not a story about transition. It is a journey from blissful innocence, through fear and isolation, past denial and defeat into acceptance and triumph, examining the best and the worst of living in both genders.

This true autobiography, The Transgender Myth, is complete at 93,000 words. I trust this story will appeal to your interest in LGBTQ narratives. Thanks for your time and consideration.



Notes

I think your best bet is to focus the query on your quest to win custody of your son. Presumably that's the main focus of the book, but you call it an autobiography, and devote half your story description to the years before you had any children, suggesting otherwise. Even if you focus on the custody battle, you can (and should) still work the events of your early life into the book, but they may not be needed in the query. The query would begin something like:

In 19__, after __ years of marriage, I lost my 15-year-old son under allegations a transgender woman was unfit to be a mother. Despite the overwhelming consensus that no judge would ever grant me custody, I was unwilling to abandon him. Acting as my own attorney, I fought a four-year custody battle.

The specifics of your 4-year struggle may be the heart of your book, and if so, are more relevant in the query than your childhood. 

Try to limit or eliminate language that suggests this is an academic treatise. It's a memoir. A story. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Face-Lift 1363


Guess the Plot

The Transgender Myth

1. If a transgender person is allowed to pee in a public bathroom, the world will end.

2. Paula is devastated when she realizes she can never get pregnant. Especially when she discovers the reason: She's actually a Paul.

3. Having spent seven years as a woman and then being changed back into a man, Tiresias is in great demand as the only person who can settle the argument of which sex enjoys sex the most.

4. The real story of Hermaphroditus. You won't believe what happens in chapter four.

5. What happens when you're born half minotaur and half centaur? Let's put it this way: you have to put up with a lot of bullshit and a lot of horseshit.



Original Version

Dear Agent

The Transgender Myth is the curious belief that there are but two distinct sexes, each with its own unique gender that defines specific abilities

Paula’s childhood was typical of most girls[,] without knowing [with one big exception:] her assigned sex was male. She dreamed of being a mom like her own mother in the glamorized media style of housewife in the 50’s. That changed when she was enrolled in a school that separated boys and girls, providing her with the realization that she was a boy, and soon, the harsh realization she was never going to be pregnant.

After two devastating relationship[s] with men, she discovered the love of another woman and her young child. As provider in the image of her father, she went on to have two more children in the traditional homemaker image of her mother. Tensions grew during the 28 year marriage until Paula was forced out of her home under allegations a transgender woman was unfit to be a mother. [How old were the kids when this allegation was made?]

Despite the overwhelming consensus that no judge would ever give her custody of her son, Paula was unwilling to abandon him. She represented her son’s interests as her own attorney in a four[-]year custody battle. [She had two children; why is this one son the only one at issue? Has the 2nd child reached adulthood?]

Isolation and the economic and emotional stress combined with threats from the court drove Paula into a near[-]suicidal depression. The love of her son prevailed. Paula regained custody while becoming the woman she had once imagined as a young girl. [Becoming or pretending to be?]

Whipping Girl took transgender women from the genre of Lesbian non-fiction into the realm of feminism. The Transgender Myth broadens that scope, challenging our perceptions of gender, invoking the complimentary [complementary] notion of gender put forth by The Feminine Mystique and asserting that men and women do in fact come from the same planet.

Inspired by Paula’s costly legal battle to retain custody of her son: a battle against social prejudice and rigid legal norms. She examines society’s gender norms within family relationships, creating a challenging perspective on the true meaning of gender equity.

The book has a central position in gender studies for its historical context and contemporaryview [2 words] of gender, examining the social, political, economic and legal impact on Paula’s life as a transgender woman. It evolves within the context of feminism, gay rights, and today’s transgender movement, while challenging many of the media representations. It is not a story about transition. It is a journey from blissful innocence, through fear and isolation, past denial and defeat into acceptance and triumph, examining the best and the worst of living in both genders.

This true autobiography is complete at 93,000 words with an attached appendix of a short play written and performed by me in 1999. I trust this story will appeal to your interest in LGBT narratives. My manuscript is available, in part or full, upon request. Thanks for your time and consideration.


Notes

This is a little long. Removing the red words will get it closer to a good length.

It's standard to summarize the story in present tense. No reason not to here.

Perhaps it's my ignorance of transgenderness, but if Paula's assigned sex was male, why was she having a childhood typical of most girls before she went to the school where she realized she was a boy?  

I'm not clear on what this sentence means: As provider in the image of her father, she went on to have two more children in the traditional homemaker image of her mother. Maybe it would be simpler to say: After two devastating relationships with men, she discovered the love of another woman, with whom she "fathered" two children. (I'm assuming she didn't give birth to the two children, as it was previously stated she was never going to be pregnant.)

If you haven't already, check out Manuscript Wish List. A lot of agents and editors are hungry for LGBT.



Saturday, September 30, 2017

Feedback Request



The author of the book featured in Face-Lift 1353 would like feedback on the following revision.


Dear Agent,

Entering the labyrinth means you'll face your worst fears. Exiting ensures you'll return home with supernatural abilities and become one of the "gifted." With the help of her power of invisibility and an iron will Rio, a colorblind, seventeen-year-old has earned the position of Arch-Huntress. Yet when the king requires an heir he arranges a courtship between Rio, his only daughter, and Leon, her childhood friend. She will be forced to abandon hunting to become a loving wife and mother.

Just when Rio starts to accept her new life, the sound of a gunshot erupts in the middle of the night. Guns are the ancient weapons of the mechs, robotic creatures who served the Crimson God, but the false god was defeated by Rio’s grandfather. Those are all stories told to her by her now deceased mom. Believing her mother, she ventures off into the jungle of Vivuli where she finds an outsider named Slim. With shackles around his ankles, he claims to be an escaped slave of the Crimson God.

After inviting the slave into her home, things become violent when a strange curse, known as the “Blood Lust” creeps into hearts of the citizens. Now Rio must decide if this outsider is worth protecting. She has no idea who Slim is. If he’s telling the truth, he’s the key to defeating the reawakening god, bent on revenge. Her choice will determine if she’ll become Vitova’s next great hero or if she’s destined to become the next Joan of Arch.

My YA fantasy novel, Crimson Stone, is complete at 82,000 words. I selected you as a potential agent because you represented other YA novels with magical realism. I am credited for writing a short, young adult themed, screenplay named Saint Alex (2013). My manuscript is available, in part or full, upon request. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Talk Like a Pirate Day






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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Feedback Request


Feedback is requested by the author of the query whose most recent version may be seen here.


Dear Agent,

Fred’s abusive father mocked his dream of becoming a famous painter. His straight crush Malek assaulted him, landing him in the hospital. But Fred smirks: he now has Malek right where he wants him. Choosing a contract over prison, Malek becomes legally obliged to pay Fred some “reconciliatory” visits. He’s guilt-ridden after assaulting Fred, but dreads meeting with him.

During the first visit, Malek is shocked when Fred bows, confessing the urge to be his submissive. Fred knows that Malek will enjoy domination, if given a little push, like pampering his feet and preparing shisha’s for him. Fred also paints him as the sexy ruler of fictional worlds. These paintings come to life in a way Fred’s works never have.

Malek finds himself getting hard when Fred adoringly worships his feet and decides to use Fred for his erections. Things get more sexual as Malek explores this knack for domination, but fearing ridicule at university and stigma from his Iraqi family, he orders Fred to trash the paintings. Instead, Fred sells them to pay rent. However, not only do the paintings sell, there is demand for more.

Set in present Washington, D.C., THE GLORIOUS PRINCE is an upmarket LGBT erotic romance complete at 84,800 words. Similar titles are Lucy Lennox’s Borrowing Blue and Eli Eason’s Superhero.

I am a Lebanese gay man. After years of celibacy, I earned my sexual victories through role-playing, giving me first-hand insight to write about my character’s experiences. I have been published by The Gay and Lesbian Review, as well as Penny Fiction.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Best, 

Monday, September 04, 2017

New Beginning 1073


They have all gone into the Jungle, and have not come back. Their bodies are here, walking, sitting, breathing, staring at nothing because they cannot truly see. But they are gone, and I am alone and afraid.

Hands reach for me, nearly covered in hexagonal patches of black material. I turn, staring up into my mother’s empty black eyes. I duck and scurry out from beneath her hands, running down the stairs to the glass doors that look out on the Jungle.

They all gather here, staring at the Jungle with their empty eyes. Mom, dad, and the three other adults who came with us to Farethraun Jungle. A dark figure emerges from the greenery. They all stand still, tracking the figure with their eyes. As it walks through the door, I see that it is completely covered in the dark, hexagonal scales.

I am no longer afraid. No light reflects off of the figure. The scales on the others begin to spread, creeping out across their faces. Those are little details; I am paying them no attention. Only two things matter: the figure and the Jungle.

I am walking towards the Jungle, with the figure behind me. The others simply stand and watch. I am in the Jungle now, following the dark figure down an old path. The dark figure blends into the shadows under the trees. Dead leaves litter the ground underfoot. Wet brush slaps at my hands as I reach out to the sides of the path, but the leaves beneath my bare feet are surprisingly dry. Behind me, now running, it reaches out as if to touch my shoulder.

But no matter how fast I run, how quickly I dodge, the hands grab me. I am carried, screaming, back, back, back to the Jungle. My parents stand, stone-faced, eyes black as I am forced into a padded chair and a sheet is thrown over me. Angry, frustrated, defeated, I have no choice but to submit.

"Hold still," says my mother. "It won't hurt." 


The figure collects her cutting implement and moves towards me. Snip-snip--and I watch as bits of my glorious hair fall to the floor. 


Opening: Fiona Green.....Continuation: khazarkhum

Friday, September 01, 2017

New Beginning 1072


I woke up suddenly, lying completely still and straining my senses for any hint of what had woken me. Another knock came at the entrance. Jumping up out of the leaves I slept on, I sprinted over to touch the spot in the pulley system that would quickly roll the stone away. Vole was standing outside, looking guilty.

“It’s coming for you.” he said, “The most we can do is warn you. I’m sorry, Snaps.”

He stretched out a hand to me, holding a blue and gold Hope Tree leaf.

“I understand.” I said, taking it.

As he walked away, I let my feet wander while I thought. Hopelessness hardened into resolve as I walked: I can’t make a difference by fighting back, but I can sure as hell try. I found myself at the river, the water reflecting the torn clouds and bloody colors of the sunrise and the dragon-scale dull red of the Blood Flats. Cupping water in my hands, I dropped the Hope Tree leaf in and waited until its color leached into the water before drinking.

As I swallowed the soothing liquid, a mystifying realization crept into my mind: if my hands were cupping water, from what did I drop the leaf into them? My skin flushed and beads of sweat formed on my brow as I looked down, horrified to discover that I had three hands! How had I never noticed the hand growing from the crook of my left elbow, the hand now straining toward my throat as if with a mind of its own?


As the life drained from my body, I couldn't help wondering whether, behind my left knee, there might be a previously unnoticed third foot.


Opening: Fiona Green.....Continuation: EE

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Face-Lift 1362


Guess the Plot

The Least of Us

1. We are the ones who care about no one except ourselves. The ones who would sell our souls to the devil for a few dollars or for the opportunity to watch innocents being tortured. The ones with no compassion for the downtrodden. We are the members of the Republican party.

2. A corn grower must decide whether life is really worth living if he must sell his family farm. Yeah, that's it.

3. Decades ago, American leaders built walls separating the wealthy coastal states from the loser interior states. But soon the coastal states will be underwater, so the haves want to tear down the walls and move inland. Will the have-nots forgive and forget?

4. The Zombie--sorry, Living-Impaired--Civil Rights movement has been gaining ground over the past year. Yet Zed and Tibbs have strong objections, even if their current state of life would say otherwise. Plus the usual brains, moaning, and rotting flesh.

5. Samantha, a divorced poet, lives on the picturesque New England shore where she rents her home from Carl, a widowed veterinarian. Just as they begin to forge a relationship, she discovers she has cancer and you've already stopped reading this because it's boring and overdone.

6. When Adilade receives a free curse that will make her obnoxious, over-achieving older brother shrink to the size of a mouse, she implements it without reading the warning label. Now she must work together with her worst enemy (her brother's best friend) to get her brother back to normal before the plague he's now spreading gives everyone in town his worst traits.




Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

In 2060, Jessie lives in [a] world that was long ago divided. The Others – the leaders of the old world – took over all the coastal states and built two Walls to keep the undesirables [deplorables] out, convinced that they would eventually kill each other due to their violent nature. [Not sure whether that means the undesirables will eventually kill each other or the undesirables and the Others will eventually kill each other.] [Also, did the Others make the undesirables pay for the Walls?] Jessie is the third generation living on this side of the Wall, [Which side? Of which wall?] she knows no other way. [Replace comma with period or semicolon. Better yet, delete "she knows no other way." It's vague.] Jessie's smart, but naive. Though she knows that the Others aren't bogeymen, the Others are just stories to her.

In 2016, Matt is a teenager living his life. His [whose] main worry is doing well on the SATs. But, something is changing. The government announces that it’s going to build Walls to separate the coastal states from the rest of the country. Matt writes in his journal, documenting what his life is like, and writing about all the scary changes that are affecting him, his friends, and his family. [Is Matt in a coastal state or an inland state?] [The only specific scary change you mention is the Wall, which you already told us about in the previous paragraph. I'd dump this whole paragraph. You can tell us who Matt is when his journal is found in paragraph 4.]

One day, Jessie and Lucy make a trip to the Wall. [Who's Lucy?] While there, they hear voices. They overhear two men speaking of their plans to tear down the Walls so that the Others can move inland. [Can't they move inland by flying to inland airports? Or building bridges that go over the walls? Or blasting holes in the wall at ground level?] They have to, the coastal states will be under water in a year. Jessie and Lucy are terrified. They have only ever heard the worst of these people. It wasn't so long ago that the Others stole their homes and abandoned them to die. [If you steal my home and abandon me, I'm not gonna just keel over and die. Is there something about the world you haven't told us?] 

Jessie must learn all she can about the Others, as soon as she can. A journal that she finds will tell her a very personal version of the history of how things devolved in the first place, how her group survived it, and where Jessie fits in all of it. [Not clear how a 45-year-old journal written by a teenager can tell Jessie where she fits in "all of it." Possibly because I'm not sure what you mean by "where she fits in all of it."]

Inspired by current events, The Least of Us is a young adult novel, which is complete at 96,000 words.

Thank you for your consideration.


Notes

Do the undesirables have any interest in getting to the Others' side of the Walls? If so, they might wish to consider these possible methods:


Click strip to enlarge.



Also, grappling hooks, jetpacks, bulldozers and parachuting from hot air balloons.

It's not clear what made the undesirables undesirable. It's not like they were homeless. Not only did they have homes, but they had homes the Others considered worth stealing. Was it their beliefs? Looks? 

We need to know a little more about the world. How is life different on both sides of the Walls than it was before the Walls? More specificity would give us a clearer picture.

When you say the Others abandoned the undesirables to die, did they abandon them on the coasts? If so, how did the undesirables get to the other side of the Walls? Or did the Others transport the undesirables to the interior before closing up the Walls? If so, I wouldn't say they were abandoned to die. Many food crops are grown mainly in the interior states. Also, why do we keep capitalizing "wall"?

Identifying and transporting all the undesirables on the coasts to the interior seems too daunting a task. Plus, with all the undesirables gone, who does all the menial jobs? 

What if you lived in New York but most of your family lived in Chicago? Were they all lost to you? Were the people who lived in the interior but weren't undesirables, like Warren Buffet and LeBron James and John Cusack, forcibly transported to the coasts when the Walls were built? Or were they just abandoned to die?

No way would Californians tolerate being walled out of Las Vegas. 



Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Beginning 1071


Natalie soared downwards, wind rushing past her face, hair streaming behind her as she reached the lowest point of the arc. Then pushing her legs out in front of her she willed the swing up higher and higher. The swing reached its highest point. For a split second, she was no longer moving upwards, but not falling either. For a pinprick of time, she was suspended, the miracle of gravity paused.

And she let go. Her hands continued to clutch the rope, but she let go of the swing, of the park, of the world, of this universe.

She let go and she was ‘There’.

Natalie had no idea where ‘There’ was, even though getting ‘There’ was both easy and impossible. Her heart raced as it always did when she jumped into this world, but it soon slowed back to its regular pace.

She scanned the landscape, the familiar-but-strange grey earth and reddish light. To her left, a rusty toaster protruded from the ground. A toaster the size of a garage, its slots gaping skywards as if awaiting mattress-sized bread slices to fall into them. It hadn’t been there last time.

The dream ended suddenly as she hit the cold water. Gasping for air and kicking frantically while swallowing salt water, she thrashed to the surface. Her black hair covered her eyes and while swiping at it, she went under again. 

It was dark, well after midnight, without a moon. Her cries for help could not be heard over the shore party noise. She tried to grab the dinghy but it pulled free of its cleat and drifted away. She banged on the yacht with her petite fists until fatigue set in and poor Natalie Wood slipped down for the final time.


Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: Mister Furkles

Monday, August 07, 2017

Success Story


Khazar-khum reports that "a short version of The Trouble with Larry (Face-Lift 1354) has been published in the Fark 2017 Writer's Anthology. Proceeds go to benefit St Jude's Children's Hospital. You can get it and the 2016 Anthology at Amazon. 

I did try to get minions involved, so if anyone else submitted and were accepted, I think we'd all like to know."

Q & A 192


Whatever happened to the strange angelic man?

This question comes up because the strange angelic man was named Erick and a character in the query that inspired the question was also named Erick. As I have nothing better to do, I present an incomplete retrospective of Erick the Strange Angelic Man's appearances on the blog.


First appearance of Erick, the Strange Angelic Man

Casting of the Evil Editor movie


The Decline of the Blog



So, it's been a week since our last Face-Lift, and there are no queries in the queue. Except for a few NaNoWriMo openings, we haven't posted a New Beginning since October, and there are no openings in the queue. [Update! Crisis temporarily averted. We now have openings needing continuations and queries needing fake plots. And more to come, I hope.] Comment trails are shorter all the time; writing exercises were discontinued due to lack of participation; rarely do more than five people show up for a Book Chat.

The handwriting is on the wall. If it's longer than 140 characters, it's too long. Maybe that's what's killing the publishing industry. They demand books of 80,000 words, when readers want books of 140 characters. Preferably fewer; those who use the full 140 characters need to be more concise if they want to make it as writers today.

The only way to survive as a blogger is to adapt to the changing world.

What does this mean for this blog? Basically, two things:

1. Instead of editing openings and queries, Evil Editor will edit tweets. Minions submit tweets they are planning to publish, and Evil Editor fixes them so that the tweeter doesn't sound like an illiterate twit. Or, say your tweet is longer than 140 characters; EE makes the cuts that make it legal.

2. Currently, EE's blog is a place you can read Mrs. Varmighan's tweets if you don't care to officially follow Mrs. Varmighan. This could be expanded so that each day the tweets of Mrs. Varmighan, Evil Editor, Evil Psychiatrist,








 


Unethical Attorney (in which a defense lawyer ignores privilege and tweets his thoughts during a murdertrial),





Erick the Strange Angelic Man, 














literary agent Hannah Rogers,
Public Confessor 
(in which a priest takes confessions in tweet form), and















Kind Serial Killer are posted. First you'll have to vote on which of these twitter accounts you would follow. Only those with the most votes will come to fruition.


To ease the transition, we'll still be accepting queries and openings, at least until we hit #1000.



From the 3rd annual Evie Awards:

Best Supporting Actress: Carlotta the Snazzily Dressed Lit Agent for Erick the Strange Angelic Man








Cartoons













                                    Cartoon 1000