(Photo Credit to Eigirdas)
As I'd mentioned on my blog, I put out my first round of queries (six in all) a little over a month ago. Well, one of those queries resulted in a partial request for the first 100 pages of my book. As you can imagine, I was overjoyed. Thrilled. Excited. Absolutely aglow (I don't feel the word "aglow" gets used enough these days.)
But then, a few weeks later, I got a very nice note from the agent saying that she just could not figure out where the dragons fit into my world and that this omission distracted her so much that she wasn't able to get into my story. Rejection.
While I appreciated the feedback (afterward), my first reaction was much less productive. (I crashed to one of those dramatic lows of "I'll never be able to do this!" and "My life is ruined!") But after a few hours of reveling in my angsty angstiness, I started thinking about how to use that feedback to improve my book. We writers can be tempestuous folk.
So now I'm revising my book, and this time around I'm working on my descriptions and world building.
Evoking the 1950s - My book takes place in an alternate 1950s, so I've been watching White Christmas and Leave It To Beaver and Daddy Long-Legs (all from the 1950s, all on Netflix) and taking note of speech and dress and attitude. I did some of this before writing my book, but I'm going back and taking notes. In my writing, I'm trying to add in 1950s clothes and surroundings whenever I can (without going overboard). I know these films create a more ideal version of the 1950s (and, trust me, my book doesn't go in for 'ideal') but they're a great place to go for descriptions.
General Description - I hate adding in description. When I'm writing, it always feels like a distraction from the actual story, but I know it can add a whole new dimension and help the reader feel even more enveloped in my world. So I'm making a concerted effort to describe things like the color of my main character's hair, the fabric used in the living room couch, and the location of the lamps in the living room. (Yeah, I just wrote a scene in the living room, which is obviously affecting this list.)
Descriptions are a key part of world building, but there is so much more to it. You've got to decide upon the rules of your world, the look of your world, the different segments of society and how those delineations in society affect architecture and fashion and so much more! I'm thinking about trying to do some drawings. I've already picked out photos that are good references, but I just don't have them all together in one picture that is solely my world. I need to make certain I have this world solidly in mind as I revise and I need to add in little extra glimpses of the greater world beyond just the view of my main character. This is a whole world, and I need to make it feel like a rich and full world.
So that's what I'm up to these days.