Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Writer's Sunday

I've advanced 21 pages this month, and by now my protagonist has been through the mill: an FBI raid, 2 murderders, a week at Burning Man, and now her colleague has disappeared. She also has a lover and a whole bunch of "stuff" going on in her life. The novel is coming down the home stretch, with leads for her to follow up and people to interview. One of the people she must pull information out of is a retired professor of computer science at MIT. We have already seen them lunching at Legal Seafood and walking by the Geary Center. So where to set the next scene with him? First I decided they would walk around the Charles from Longfellow Bridge to the Harvard Bridge and by the Hatch Shell and along both sides ofthe River. Lots of Boston local color. He is telling her something very important to the plot, and I need an interruption 2/3 of the way thru the story such that she learns a lot but not everything.

The really bad guy is now tailing her and he sure doesn't like to see her with the professor. At first, I was going to have him push the professor down the stairs at the MIT T stop. Didn't like that. Then I thought he could attack the professor during the walk, and that had its own problems. I spent (wasted) a lot of time yesterday researching poison dart guns and blow guns. Learned a lot, but decided that scenario was too far-fetched. In the meantime, I had found the "around the Charles" scene in my Forever On the Shelf Book. Pulled that out. Shoot, it was better than I remembered and I still kind of like that book, silly as the plot was. Anyway, S.O. and I finally decided the Professor would have a boat moored at the Charles Yacht Club, and the bad guy would throw a Molotov cocktail at the boat while my character and the professor were using it for a chinwag. This had really good dramatic possibilities, so this afternoon, S.O. and I drove into town and scoped out the marina. Thank heavens no one was nearby to her our conversation, because we were talking Molotov cocktail and how to get away and fire and the rescue boat and taking all kinds of photos. Being there, one saw exactly what could and could not occur, and the possibility for a really dramatic scene loomed large.

After the scoping out, we had a nice stroll over to Lechmere, popped into Paparazzi for wine and a snack and walked back. A good day's work.

Yesterday I went thru a list of agents that were going to a famous writer's conference. Now, presumably, agents going to a writer's conference are looking for new writers, right? Sorry, no. I had the sad experience to talk to one of these agents at a conference. He asked for the whole book (sayonara $10 in postage). That was 2.5 years ago, and I've yet to hear from him. Anyway, I email one of the agents with my query and got back a reply that she wasn't taking new clients. Thought about that for a while and decided to email her back with an apology for bothering her, but noting that I assumed she was taking new clients because she was going to the Writer's Conference. Now comes the good part. In answer to my second email, I got the same response as to the first email, in other words, a canned response and she had never read my query or my answer or anything thing else. I am tempted to send her my grocery list and see if I get the same response.

Don't be stupid. You never want to burn a bridge in this business. Besides, who am I to care if she just wants to fly off to a wonderful conference in a lovely location and have a good time. New writers? Who needs them? Not this gal. What are we doing?
We are sucking it up.
Big time. Always. Now and god, I hope not, but maybe forever. Anyway, I am ready to write the big scene with the Molotov cocktail, the boyfriend coming to town and all that good stuff. I went onto the AAR site and found 7 new agents to query. In theory, they are all open to new authors.



We shall see.
Grapeshot

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