Paul Welch

On Fantasy, Writing & the Journey to Publication

Quick Update

Hi friends,

I apologize for being a little MIA lately. I’ve been busy teaching at the college, seeing a ton of local theatre (I’ve pretty much caught all but a few professional shows playing in Calgary this season, and let me tell you – it’s a lot. I’ve seen over 50 productions since September), and trying to get a handle on work for next year. I’ve also been recovering from a couple of colds and a bout of salmonella poisoning. Very not fun.

I’ve also been watching a lot of television – Modern Family, Parks & Recreation, Secret Circle, and re-runs of old episodes of Charmed. It might seem like a lot of slacking off, but in a way it is also research – watching how stories are being put together, how the protagonists and antagonists are defined and developed, and how the conflict unfolds.

And lately, I started picking up books again, too. I don’t read books near as much as I would like to.. it seems like they’re reserved for when I go on holidays, and unfortunately when you’re a professional actor and writer, you can’t really afford to holiday very often. But I’ve been reading The Hunger Games, and I wish I had written this book. I certainly understand the mass appeal, and I am thrilled that it’s a part of the canon.

Regarding my manuscript:

I have received a couple of e-mails back from agents who are interested in my query, but are hesitant to request a partial read of the manuscript due to the size of the book. It is currently sitting at 140,000 words. If you take a gander at my last post, you’ll see that the book was originally 198,000 words long and received some massive cuts. The target for fantasy is 90-120,000 words, and this is what the agents are wanting to see. More of them are suggesting I cut it down to 120k – or preferably 110k – words before they’ll take a peek.

I am also still waiting to hear from the NY literary agent who received the first 110 pages of IN THE SHADOWS OF THE DAWN on January 6th. I am tempted to follow up, to see what he’s thinking, but I’m not ready to rush it just yet.

And I am starting to think about plays again, too. Perhaps it’s time I tackle one of the projects that has been on the back burner to experience a change of pace. To be determined, I guess.

In the meantime, it’s hot yoga and 10km (or 6 miles, for you non-metric types) runs as the city struggles to shed winter and embrace summer.

Have you read any good books (or plays) lately? What’s on your night stand? What are the top television shows that grab your eye? I’d love to hear what you’re up to these days, so please feel free to comment below.

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4 responses to “Quick Update

  1. kyoske April 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Great books I read lately?
    -I re-read The Perks of Being a Wall Flower by Stephen Chbosky
    -Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim
    Plays:
    -I liked “The Weir” by Conor McPherson but it’s far from new.
    Television:
    The best show on TV is Community. If you’ve never seen it. I suggest finding the paintball episode of season 1, then starting from there, watch episode 1. The pilot is good, but the paintball episode is art.

    Publishing stuff:

    Well the cool thing is, agents are interested, just hesitant. A YA novel I spoke to last month said her original book was actually 2 books, which she condensed into one. Perhaps you could break your large book into two?

    I am editing my own book now, and boy is it rough. I can only imagine the hell of waiting for agents that is going to happen soon. The agent you queried who received a partial, you can nudge him/her by this point (from what I’ve read). Just check in.

    I am thinking of trying plays again. Dialogue is my specialty, so it makes sense, and I’d adore not having to deal with dialogue tags.

    Keep up the good work. I’m so jealous you’ve seen so much theatre!!!

    • Paul Welch April 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks for the comments and encouragement!

      Is “Mysterious Skin” the book that the movie of the same title is based? The movie was fantastic.

      • kyoske April 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

        They are one in the same. I adore the movie. Wish I wrote the book!

        Mysterious Skin was also turned into a theatrical production in London. I saw the directors other work, but was not pleased. So I don’t know if it was any good.

      • Paul Welch April 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm

        Interesting! I wouldn’t mind checking out the play – thanks for bringing that to my attention!

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