Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings – 24 Apr 2016

What do 46 and 79 have in common? We found out over the past week. They were the daytime temperature extremes in our little corner of the world. At least it’s been a week of brilliant sunshine. Hopefully the temperatures will settle, closer to 79 than 46. Oh well, spring is well underway.

Why I want to Write–What’s Led Me to This Stage in My Life

During the past week I picked up some valuable feedback on my writing from a publishing house.  While not successful in obtaining a contract, the feedback will help me further improve on my writing. I’m sharing what I learned as it might help those working on their first manuscript.

The good points: Powerful story, topical subject, excellent characters, good sense of place, credible background.  Perfectly publishable but could be improved by working with an editor. Areas for improvement: pick up the pace, increase the tension, dialogue needs some attention (particularly with the use of contractions).

Bottom line:  Overall, very encouraging, as this is my first work of fiction. I’ll be generous and give myself a grade of C.

A bit more from the Kurdish Connection:

“Excellent.” Admiral Blakely nodded. “Before you proceed, I want to cover a few things. First, the Intelligence Community is out of the loop regarding your operation. Few people are aware you exist. Once you deploy, you’ll be on your own, but we’ll try to obtain additional local support.”

“Admiral, any recognized events of historical or religious significance in nine days?” Jake’s eyebrows pointed toward the ceiling as he listened to the briefing.

“March Sixteenth—Halabja Day, the day all Kurds commemorate Saddam’s bombardment of the city with chemical weapons.”

“Well, shut my mouth.” Willie blushed at his outburst. “Sorry, Admiral.”

Everyone chuckled as the tension eased. Even the admiral cracked a brief smile.

As Ben closed his computer, a huge explosion shattered windows and rocked the building. The lights dimmed, and glowed so bright he thought they would explode before everything went dark.

“What the hell was that?”

More next week.

My Work in Progress

Reviewing the myriad critiques I received on ‘The Kurdish Connection’ continued, with several recommendations added into my manuscript, at least those in line with the recent feedback to help those areas. Chapter five and six were completed and re-posted to the two subscription writing sites I use. Editing of chapter seven is now underway and I hope to have it completed and posted by next Sunday.

My research of publishing houses accepting unsolicited manuscripts also continued this week. I found several requiring a query or cover letter, a synopsis and the first three chapters or ten thousand words. Five submissions went out this week, with possible response dates ranging from eight to sixteen weeks. Plenty of time to continue editing and preparing the full manuscript.  I’ve also identified several other publishing houses I’m interested in but they request the entire manuscript, so I’m not ready for them–yet.

With all of the concentration on ‘The Kurdish Connection’, work on ‘A Cartel’s Revenge’ continues its holding pattern.  Perhaps I’ll be able to do a bit more this coming week.

Books I’m Reading

This week I’m reading ‘Dark Watch (The Oregon Files Book 3)’ by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul, two of my favorite authors.  I’ve read about three quarters of the book so I’ll wait until I finish before posting my thoughts.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve now expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. Hope you’ll check out the links!

Writers in The Storm – an excellent blog by several published writers regarding various aspects of writing.

Writing Resources

A fellow writer sent me this link, which I’d like to share.  It come’s from the Writers in the Storm blog, but because it deals with a very important element in a story, body language, I thought it worth a special mention.

Body Language: An Artistic Writing Tool – by Sharla Rae.

Once again, we’ve come to the end of another ramble.  Hope you’ve found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing.  Until the next time, thank you for reading!

© Copyright 2016 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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