Pub Rants

CSS Template Code Success!

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Status: I was frazzled until the amazing Ryan Bruner, whom I know from Backspace, came to my rescue.

He said, “Kristin, just email me that pesky Blogger template and CSS code. I can do that while eating lunch and leaping tall buildings.”

Actually, he didn’t say that but he should have. He took care of it in something like 30 minutes. What a guy.

Just goes to show you that literary agents really shouldn’t be messing around with CSS code. I’m the one who screwed it up. However, I do have to be a little miffed with Blogger help. I did read all their instructions and FAQs. They left out some key details on how to change the color template for the Rounders3 version. We still have a few tweaks to work out—as in the corners aren’t rounded—but in time, in time.

What song is playing on the ipod right now? SAILING by Christopher Cross (trust me, I needed something mellow today.)

So, I had a great rant planned today but I’ve already spent too much time trying to fix my blog template so alas, it must wait until tomorrow. But then I’ll be back on track. Promise.

In the meantime, Angie and I read partials yesterday.

Our Katie, Kate, Kat, Cat, or any derivative name for the heroine is up to an 11 count.
Yesterday, we read 6 partials that featured this name. The week before that, we counted 5.

And, I finally remembered another overused character name (because two partials yesterday had this name): Raven.

Lots of heroines with flowing dark hair floating around.

And the kicker? One of the partials featured a male character named Raven. Whoa. Sorry. That so didn’t work for me because of how many sample pages I have read where this name was used for women.

Until tomorrow…

26 Responses

  1. Faith said:

    I’ve seen a lot of submissions with JoAnna in various spellings lately.

    Read a book the other day with a Jameela. Blech. (Apologies to all the Jameelas in the world, lol.)

  2. Joely Sue Burkhart said:

    Wow, the colors look great! I’m so glad Ryan was able to help. I know just enough HTML to get myself into trouble. I’m also relieved to say I have no Kates/Katies or Ravens anywhere! 🙂


  3. Lara said:

    Well, I guess I’d better stuff my query I was planning on sending you–a story about my heroine, KATE, who has to pee on a portal to get to a magical world where her new friend Rhiannon awaits her company, along with her rakish brother (and Kate’s love interest) Devlinar. (But Devlinar is a bad boy. You can’t tell at first. Nothing about him gives this away.) But soon Devlinar’s true colors come through…

  4. NL Gassert said:

    I love reading about your issues with character names and plot devices. I love it simply because it takes the sting out of rejections. No, no, I’m not crazy. It just shows that it’s not always the quality of the writing that turns the agent off. When you receive hundreds of queries, it’s okay to set limits.

    Since I’m not a writer of chick lit, I’m not familiar with your agency’s website. But I hope somewhere on there is a tip that mentions the problem with Katie, Kate and portals to different worlds. Writers should have the chance to rechristen Katie.

  5. RyanBruner said:

    Actually, Kristin, I probably COULD do it while eating lunch…but while leaping tall buildings is a bit trickier, because it’s hard to balance the keyboard, type, and fly all at the same time. You know how it is. 😉

    Glad to help.

  6. Pennyoz said:

    Makes you wonder what these marvellous characters had to do when they had freckles and try to survive a school playground before they turned into sex symbols doesn’t it.

    “Hey Birdie how about we go to KFC for dinner…”

    I just couldn’t fall in love with a man who was called Raven in real life so why would it be different for a fiction character. I wonder if the manuscript reflects the loss of imagination in a name? But then if they appear in the same m/s maybe the fancy Raven (tall, dark and handsome) needs a corresponding minus in Plain Jane or Kate.

  7. December Quinn said:

    Good point, Penny. While I don’t think “Kate” is such a cliche-obviously it’s becoming one, but I haven’t noticed an overflow of Kates in books in stores yet-a hero named “Raven” is a bit of a cliche-I wouldn’t read it, because I’d assume other cliches right off the bat that bore me. (I like some cliches, and will keep reading them.)

    Plus, yeah, it’s a girl’s name now. I’m going to start a campaign to have dark, brooding, leather-clad romance heros named Ted or Joe from now on. The character should be sexy enough to make his name sexy.

  8. Tempest said:

    Blogger Help is A$$. I’ve had ‘dealings’ with them before and finally gave up. Wrote a nasty letter to them, too. They won’t provide any support if you’re using a template you designed yourself, which I think is just annoying. And they provide bad support for the templates they provide. It’s enough to drive me to WordPress…. except I don’t know how to make the templates over there work, either.

  9. The Beautiful Schoolmarm said:

    Congrats on the redecorating.
    *Checks manuscript* No Kate’s, Kat’s or other variations (It is my grandma’s name, though). Raven . . . ooh, I have a Rahvan, but that is completely changeable, if neccessary.

    My current pet peeve with books is when many of the main characters, and major hisotrical figures, have names that start with the same letter. Really, does every elf on the planet need a name that starts with ‘a’ or ‘e’?

  10. Amie Stuart said:

    Raven makes me think of THE CROW with Brandon Lee =)

    I’m with Joley–I know enough to be really dangerous and get myself in big trouble at times in terms of CSS but hey it’s all fixable, right?

    Lara….thanks for the great laugh

  11. Anonymous said:

    hehehehe, I mentioned Raven in the last post about names. I knew it was one that was over used and abused. Thus, I don’t use it. In one story I have a character called ‘The Crow’, but then he’s actually a bird/Crow.


  12. Anonymous said:

    I don’t want to rain on the redecorating parade, but is anyone else having a hard time reading the info in the sidebar? For me, there is not enough contrast between the background and the colors of the type.

  13. the green ray said:

    Kristin, how about a car named Raven? Raven, the black Camaro, is actually a character in my book. I had no idea it was such an overused name. Well, I’m leaving it in for now. Not that this matters in fiction, but Raven really was the name of my black Camaro years ago. I’m hoping for cars, it’ll be all right!

  14. Anonymous said:

    When I hear the name Raven, I think of the Disney show, That’s so Raven. (I have a three year old daughter)-LOL

  15. RyanBruner said:

    Okay. I’m a bit nervous. While my main protag is not named Katy, my main protag’s MOTHER is. At least, in my current work-in-progress. Is that a bad thing? Short for Katherine, but still…now I’ll all nervous, and worried that it will just ruin the entire rest of the story now.

    Hmm. I really wanted a K name. Uh…how about…”Kristin”?

    Now then…I admit I can’t stand the whole portal thing. Just how many portals are there, anyhow? Although, I thought Stephen Lawhead’s use of the portal idea was done well.

  16. Bernita said:

    Raven, besides being a great road-kill disposer, has lots of mythological associations.
    Hard to see it as a female name though.

  17. Bill Peschel said:

    If any bloggers get sick enough of Blogger’s non-existent support and don’t want the complexity of MT, try Pmachine’s Expression Engine. The core software is free, but you have to host it on your site (which is down to $7.50 a month on some servers, like mine).

    It’s easy to use and the template doesn’t fall apart, either. Great software.

    And, to wrench this post back on topic, I took the hint and excised Katie from my manuscript as well. It must be something in the water.

  18. Rick said:

    I guess I should be relieved – to friends I habitually speak of my protagonist as Cat, but in the book she’s Catherine.

  19. Zoe said:

    From the Mary Sue Litmus Test: “Does the character have a name you really, really like? Is it Raven? Is it a variation of Raven?”

    No Ravens in my books. One of my projects does have a Kat, but she’s a villain. Does that count?

  20. Anonymous said:

    Oh Kristin, you know your tech savior Ryan Bruner is currently looking for an agent–perhaps you could pay him back by inviting him to submit his query and a sample to you (if he hasn’t already)? It may not be your thing, but it would be a tangible way to say thank you for his good deed, no? At least you could offer him some feedback.