Jump to content

Disclaimer



Writer, Writer Pants on Fire



Photo

Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 07 February 2013 · 106 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HJjujzx2SCY/URKcvoGkbAI/AAAAAAAABmE/uaeEJ2yIcAw/s1600/IMG_1449.jpg"]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HJjujzx2SCY/URKcvoGkbAI/AAAAAAAABmE/uaeEJ2yIcAw/s1600/IMG_1449.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="[url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HJjujzx2SCY/URKcvoGkbAI/AAAAAAAABmE/uaeEJ2yIcAw/s320/IMG_1449.jpg"]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HJjujzx2SCY/URKcvoGkbAI/AAAAAAAABmE/uaeEJ2yIcAw/s320/IMG_1449.jpg[/url]" width="238" /></a></div>Thoughts lately revolve around my recent trip to NYC...<br /><br />1) You know you must be an odd duck when a Japanese tourist gives you a funny look in Grand Central Station. Yes, really.<br /><br />2) Writers seem to be fueled by coffee. And other liquids.<br /><br />3) The lobby of the Hyatt has an interesting 2001 type-theme. I'm not an artist, and I'm really not sure what's up with the huge white head, but it was quite useful when trying to locate my crit partners during the cocktail party. I sent a text that read, "Hey, I'm under the left ear of the head - where are you?"<br /><br /><br />

Source


Photo

Wednesday WOLF

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 06 February 2013 · 85 views

I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications. I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF (oh, how clever is she? She made an acronym out of her agency's name!) Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.<br /><div><br /></div><div>Here's something interesting - because I majored in Religion in college, I learned Koine Greek so that I could read the New Testament from the source. And while that particular language has kind of slipped away from me since then (you try finding someone to speak Koine Greek with in the Midwest) I can still nail down a word or two that we've inherited in English.</div><div><br /></div><div>One of these is a little piece of punctuation that everyone loves like a puppy with floppy ears - the <i>apostrophe</i>! And what does that word mean?</div><div><br /></div><div>If you know anything about Greek plays (and why don't you, I ask?) you know that there was a word that applied to just about everything contained therein - for example, an <i>ode</i> is composed of a <i>strophe</i>, <i>antistrophe</i>, and an <i>epode</i>. And no, there won't be a quiz later. But if you ever walk up to me in public and reiterate any little piece of knowledge I bestowed on you during the WOLF I'll be totally flattered.</div><div><br /></div><div>What does this have to do with <i>apostrophe</i>? A lot, I swear.</div><div><br /></div><div>In Greek plays, an apostrophe was when the actor addressed someone who wasn't there, whether they be offstage or simply uh... not there. Is Hamlet's speech to Yorick technically an apostrophe? Um... yeah I'm not as smart as I pretend to be so you'll have to ask someone else that question.</div><div><br /></div><div>So what do we use an apostrophe for in English? To smash up our words, of course. "Do not" becomes "don't" - and the apostrophe stands for... the "o" that's not there.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>And while I know you're getting ready to blindside me with the ownership argument, (as in <i>Mindy's pants</i>) let me put it down in the ground with Yorick. Old English used "es" to denote ownership, and we dropped the pesky "e" and put in... the apostrophe to show that we went ahead and ditched the "e."</div>

Source


Photo

An Successful Author Talk with Sci-Fi YA Co-Authors Katherine Ernst & Chelle Bruhn

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 05 February 2013 · 239 views

Today's guest for the SAT (Successful Author Talk) are a pair of talented Sci-Fi YA co-authors. Chelle &amp; Katherine have been concocting stories together since they were 15—or, well, 14 if you count the stories they’d tell their parents to get away with things. A few years ago they discovered a play they wrote together in the 10th grade and thought they should take a serious stab at this whole writing thing. They’ve been hard at work writing novels ever since. They’re represented by the amazing Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron &amp; Associates, and their YA Ottoman-inspired Steampunk novel, VEILED, will soon be out on submission. They eagerly anticipate seeing their names in golden typeface on the cover of a book (not that they’re picky or anything).<br /><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Writing Process:</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Are you a Planner or Pantster?</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">KE: Can I first say that I hate the term pantster? It sounds like you like to run around pulling people’s pants off (not that I haven’t been known to do that). But seriously, in my own writing, I am definitely a planner. If I didn’t have an outline, I’d just stare at a blank screen all day. Working with a co-author only makes planning even more important.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">CB: I’m a planner with panster tendencies. In solo projects I’ll plan an overarching story and then dive into individual scenes without much planning. I have found, though, that I’m way more likely to actually stick with a project if I have a detailed outline, because, like Katherine said, no plan equals a lot of time staring at a blank screen. There’s no way to not outline if you’re working with a co-author though. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>How long does it typically take you to write a novel, start to finish?</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">KE: I guess it depends on the project and how much time I have to dedicate to writing. The young adult and middle grade novels I’ve written have taken about two-four months, but I’m currently working on an adult project that requires a lot more research, and I have a feeling it’s going to take me six months or more.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">CB: Katherine and I have written two novels together—one took about four months from start to finish, and the other about two. Honestly, if I wasn’t accountable to a co-author I might never finish anything, as evidenced by the half-written manuscript I’ve been kicking around for about a year now. :)<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Do you work on one project at a time, or are you a multi-tasker?</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">KE: I only actively write one novel at a time, but I’ll start working on a new project (conceptualizing at least) while I’m editing the most recent one.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">CB: I definitely stick to writing one project at a time, though sometimes new ideas pop up that demand a little attention. Switching between projects can be difficult when you’re trying to maintain separate and distinct voices. I also try to pay attention to my kids every once and awhile. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Did you have to overcome any fears that first time you sat down to write?</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">CB: I had to convince myself that I could actually devote the time and energy to finishing something. I have a tendency to jump into things full steam ahead and then get overwhelmed or bored with a project and abandon it. Finishing the first novel, even if it never sees the light of day, went a long way in convincing me that I might actually have a shot at this whole author thing.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">KE: I thought I wouldn’t be able to write description because I’m not a visual person. Writing with Chelle helps for that because she’s the description queen, and when I write novels solo, I just don’t get too description-heavy. Problem solved.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>How many trunked books did you have before you were agented?</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">CB: If we’re talking finished manuscripts, then just the first project Kate and I wrote together. I actually stepped away from writing for awhile after that, both because I was finishing a masters degree and because I was pretty discouraged by the first round of rejections. But then Kate had an amazing idea and very generously asked me to work on it with her. It was way too good to pass on, and I’m very glad I put on my big girl pants and got back to the keyboard. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">KE: Other than what Chelle mentioned, I’ve actually written two other novels on my own. One of them actually did gain representation, but that novel never sold when it was on submission. That agent, sadly, didn’t represent YA Sci-Fi, so when Chelle and I finished VEILED, our current novel, we had to query for a new agent.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Have you ever quit on an ms, and how did you know it was time?</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">KE: I don’t quit things.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">CB: Never officially, but, like I said before, I’ve definitely abandoned them for “later”. That’s why Kate is the perfect co-author. She keeps me motivated when I’m ready to give up.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Querying and Agent Hunt Process:<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Who is your agent and how did you get that "Yes!" out of them?&nbsp;</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">KE: We’re currently represented by Pooja Menon, a new agent at Kimberley Cameron and Associates. We queried her in the traditional manner, but we also entered a few contests at the same time, one that she incidentally was a judge for. Did it make her jump on our manuscript even faster? I’d like to think so.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>How long did you query before landing your agent?&nbsp;</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">CB: We queried for about a month with just a few nibbles, so in the second month of sending out queries we started entering contests as well. That definitely raised the number of requests we received and eventually helped snag our agent. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Any advice to aspiring writers out there on conquering query hell?</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">KE: Don’t give up. Don’t despair. Make writer friends. They’ll send leads your way and otherwise keep you sane.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-f4AL3-XKKP8/ULU0jM9oyHI/AAAAAAAAADQ/Esk7F6cPcSw/s1600/1.jpg"]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-f4AL3-XKKP8/ULU0jM9oyHI/AAAAAAAAADQ/Esk7F6cPcSw/s1600/1.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" height="145" src="[url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-f4AL3-XKKP8/ULU0jM9oyHI/AAAAAAAAADQ/Esk7F6cPcSw/s320/1.jpg"]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-f4AL3-XKKP8/ULU0jM9oyHI/AAAAAAAAADQ/Esk7F6cPcSw/s320/1.jpg[/url]" title="" width="320" /></a></div><b>Social Networking and Marketing:&nbsp;</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Do you have a blog / site / Twitter?&nbsp;</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">CB: We’re glad you asked. We maintain a <a href="[url="http://katherineandchelle.blogspot.com/"]http://katherineandchelle.blogspot.com/[/url]" target="_blank">joint blog</a>, and we’re both on twitter (<a href="[url="http://twitter.com/@chellebruhn"]http://twitter.com/@chellebruhn[/url]" target="_blank">Chelle</a>, <a href="[url="http://twitter.com/@kernstwriter"]http://twitter.com/@kernstwriter[/url]" target="_blank">Katherine</a>). Katherine also has a <a href="[url="http://www.facebook.com/katherineernstwrites"]http://www.facebook.com/katherineernstwrites[/url]" target="_blank">Facebook</a> page. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>When do you build your platform? After an agent? Or should you be working before?</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">KE: Before, for sure. We’re trying to increase our web presence now, but we began building our platform before landing Pooja, but I definitely wish we’d put more emphasis on it before. It takes months to years to really get a following going and make connections with other writers and readers.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Do you think social media helps build your readership?</b><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">CB: I guess we’ll find out!</div><!--EndFragment-->

Source


Photo

The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 02 February 2013 · 104 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/"]http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.<br /><br /><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg"]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/url]" width="246" /></a></div>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch &nbsp;them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />Also, for my brave Saturday Slash volunteers I will gladly do follow-up slashes (each more kindly than the next) on your query if you post them on the Query Critique board over on&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"]http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/[/url]" target="_blank">AgentQuery Connect</a>. You'll get advice from me, and also people who are smarter than me. If you do post on AQ, be sure to follow the guidelines and let me know you posted so that I can follow up!<br /><br />Influenced by comic book heroes, Jason Conner’s dream was to become a hero <span style="color: #38761d;">Echo here with "hero" I think you can safely cut "heroes" from "comic book heroes" and still get your point across</span> and show the world mages can use their powers for good. But thanks to the International Mage Council (IMC) and their army called the White Knights, no dream is possible. <span style="color: #38761d;">I'm a little thrown here - you say that Jason is influenced by comic books, and he wants to become a hero, which automatically has me envisioning a contemporary setting, but it can't be with a Mage Council, or any kind of acceptance of mages at all </span>With a growing anti-mage sentiment, hope for any future is lost. Jason didn’t want to give up hope <span style="color: #38761d;">"hope" echo</span>, but his dream was completely shattered with the murder of his parents when he was just a boy. <span style="color: #38761d;">Why would the death of his parents when he was young shatter his hope- and which hope specifically? His hope to become a "good mage," or just hope / will to survive in general?</span> Now 18 years old and with no hope <span style="color: #38761d;">"hope" echo again</span> of a future, Jason’s only wish is justice for the death of his parents. No longer caring about his academics, Jason begins a life-changing quest to hunt down the murderers across England, taking the law into his own hands. But is it really justice? <span style="color: #38761d;">Hey look at that - here's your hook. But it's at the end of your para. Everything preceding this isn't hook-y enough. Dead parents, dreams dashed, a bad controlling power - that's all well and good, but nothing original. Here you've got it, he's going to get vigilante justice, which goes against hero qualities. Get this front and center.</span><br /><br /><br />Silent and reserved, 19 year old Gray Maelstrom, <span style="color: #38761d;">unnecessary comma </span>only wants to live a quiet life of peace with his brother Jako and his lover Sarah. He always believed he could adapt to the IMC’s unfair treatment of mages. The last thing Gray wants is to join <span style="color: #38761d;">you need a "his" here or "a"</span> deranged father’s crusade if it means helping the man who took him away from his mother when he was a boy. <span style="color: #38761d;">I had to read this sentence a few times to untangle it. It's convoluted</span>&nbsp;But everything changes when the IMC strikes and Sarah is murdered by the White Knights. Unable to forgive the IMC, Gray’s grief morphs into a hunger for vengeance. Joining his father’s crusade against the humans, <span style="color: #38761d;">Ok wait - so mages and humans are different things entirely? I thought humans could be mages, also, I wasn't sure from the first reference to "father" if his crusade was for or against the IMC. Now I get that it's against, and also implied that all IMC members are humans, but I had to untangle all that</span> Gray begins his quest to avenge the deaths of his loved ones, forgetting that his choices have consequences.<br /><br />Set in modern day England, HEROES: VENDETTA is an 111,000 word character-driven science fiction and fantasy for YA. Emotional, dark, epic, and with a bit of teen humor, the story shows us how hatred consumes an individual, teaching us there is a line between justice and revenge. <span style="color: #38761d;">Great line here, could be used for a hook</span> The world of X-Men meets the world of Final Fantasy. <span style="color: #38761d;">&lt;-- not a complete sentence here.</span><br /><br /><span style="color: #38761d;">It looks like there's some great stuff at work here, but I had to mine it out of the query, and that's not what you need a query to do. I think the line I marked in your last para there could have a lot of hook qualities about it, also the concept of choices having consequences. It sounds like the biggest question of the book is what these choices to pursue and eye for an eye mentality means for your characters, how it will change them as people in ways they probably don't want. But again, I had to mine that feeling out of the query while trying to get past some things I'm not understanding.</span><br /><br /><span style="color: #38761d;">Biggest questions- are humans and mages two entirely different things? How do these two characters that you've mentioned above relate to each other? Without the obvious shared background, there could technically be two mini-queries up there. Do they end up working together? Tell us that.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="color: #38761d;">There's a possibility for great depth here but you need to get that front and center. The details that are being thrown out early on can be a turn off, but if you can hook them with a great concept, they'll want to keep reading to see the details of how it will be delivered.</span><br /></div>

Source


Photo

Book Talk - THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 01 February 2013 · 108 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354155885l/12291438.jpg"]http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354155885l/12291438.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="[url="http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354155885l/12291438.jpg"]http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354155885l/12291438.jpg[/url]" width="211" /></a></div>Thrown from a life of privilege into one of servitude in a London medical hospital, Juliet Moreau has kept her intelligence to herself and always made sure to attend church services in an effort to shed the family scandal caused by her father's horrendous experiments. Her memories tell her that Father was a kind man, and that the rumors of his work must have been born of professional jealousy. But when she walks in on an illegal after-hours vivisection, her own interest has her questioning if madness is hereditary.<br /><br />When evidence arises that her father may be alive - and continuing his work - on a deserted island, Juliet leaps at the chance to leave a life of drudgery behind her. Solving the mystery of her past and learning the truth of her father's character drives her to a place no dignified young lady would go - a place both dark and powerful, one where walls are built to keep the monsters out at night.The island's power over Juliet's natural curiosity only intensifies when she finds her father's operating room- and what it's been producing.<br /><br />The island isn't the only thing raising questions. Juliet's attraction to her childhood playmate and assistant to her father flies in the face of propriety. Meanwhile, Edward, a noble young castaway saved by her passenger ship on the way to the island, can offer her a life like the one she left behind - but with restored respectability.<br /><br />As Juliet dissects her father's character she makes gruesome discoveries about her own, and does not know whether she will choose the dark path of the unknown, or the respectable one her father insists upon. More importantly, she questions which one she was truly born for.

Source


Photo

Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 31 January 2013 · 107 views

Thoughts lately...<br /><br />1) All stairs should be made out of a spongy material. That way when you fall you won't get hurt, and you have the added benefit of struggling to go up them all the time to create great calf muscles.<br /><br />2) Women spend a lot of time on our hair and fingernails to make people believe we are beautiful. Technically speaking both of these body parts are dead, which makes us all necrophiliacs.<br /><br />3) Migraines really suck. Mine tend to pounce unexpectedly, and I've come to envision them as the Eye of Sauron suddenly spotting me and saying I SEE YOU!!!

Source


Photo

Wednesday WOLF

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 30 January 2013 · 115 views

I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications. I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF (oh, how clever is she? She made an acronym out of her agency's name!) Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.<br /><br />Here's an interesting little bit of language history that I happened upon the other day, involving silent letters.<br /><br />I've always been kind of amused at the fact that you don't pronounce the "h" in <i>ghost</i>. It's kind of funny, if you think about it. It's there... but you never hear it, and no one dare say it... Oooooo. Anyway, why is that pesky letter there?<br /><div><br />People were writing long before the dictionary existed. Mostly it was the monks who did the copying and writing of books, and pretty much everyone wrote words however they felt they should be spelled. Likewise, the printing press existed before the dictionary, and we ended up in the same situation. Lots of people from all different kinds of backgrounds were printing in the English language, but bits of their own heritage were filtering in to the mix.<br /><br />The word <i>ghost</i> was originally spelled without the "h," nice and phonetically. But printers from Holland tossed an "h" in there because that's how they spelled it, and for some reason, it stuck.<br /><br />Interestingly enough, the printers weren't only tossing in letters because of cultural differences. They also liked nice straight lines (who can blame them?) and so if they had to knock an extra letter off of a word or two in order to get a nice, tidy justification, they'd go for it. Words like, <i>logic</i>, <i>magic,</i> and <i>music</i> used to have a "k" at the end, but they got nicked.<br /><br />In 1755 Samuel Johnson had enough of arbitrary spelling, and made the first English Dictionary. Shortly after the American Revolution, Noah Webster waged his own kind of war against the English by writing an American Dictionary, in which he knocked the "u" out of words like <i>color</i>, <i>flavor</i> and <i>honor</i>.<br /><br />How do I know all this? Well, it's because I read books. Most of this stuff was news to me, I learned it from <a href="[url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6139991-the-word-snoop"]http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6139991-the-word-snoop[/url]" target="_blank">THE WORD SNOOP</a> by Ursula Duborsarsky. If you're as big of a nerd as I am, you might want to check it out.</div>

Source


Photo

Debut YA Author Stephanie Diaz Talks About the Submission Process

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 29 January 2013 · 122 views

If there's one thing that many aspiring writers have few clues about, it's the submission process. There are good reasons for that; authors aren't exactly encouraged to talk in detail about our own submission experiences, and - just like agent hunting - everyone's story is different.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://static.wix.com/media/ac0516_0229362101cf5713c32a5c8e838a8e14.jpg_srz_376_488_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz"]http://static.wix.com/media/ac0516_0229362101cf5713c32a5c8e838a8e14.jpg_srz_376_488_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="[url="http://static.wix.com/media/ac0516_0229362101cf5713c32a5c8e838a8e14.jpg_srz_376_488_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz"]http://static.wix.com/media/ac0516_0229362101cf5713c32a5c8e838a8e14.jpg_srz_376_488_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz[/url]" width="246" /></a></div>I managed to cobble together a few non-specific questions that some debut authors have agreed to answer (bless them). And so I bring you the submission interview series - Submission Hell - It's True. Yes, it's the SHIT.<br /><div><br /></div><div>Today's guest has been in the mire along with me for quite awhile. Stephanie Diaz and I met on AgentQueryConnect and I knew as soon as I read the first few chapters of her work that she was going to make it. I'm thrilled to tell you that her YA Sci-Fi title&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16210411-extraction"]http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16210411-extraction[/url]" target="_blank">EXTRACTION</a> will be available from St. Martin's in 2014.</div><br /><b>How much did you know about the submission process before you were out on subs yourself?<o:p></o:p></b><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">SD: I'm one of those people who devoured interviews about writers and submission (many of them found on this blog) before (and while) I was out on sub, so I went into the process feeling fairly knowledgeable. And my agent did a great job keeping me in the loop.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Did anything about the process surprise you?<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">SD: Even though I knew a lot about the process, I was still surprised by how difficult it was to deal with on an emotional level. Yes, I was mostly okay, but there were a number of times when I kept imagining people reading my book and hating it to the point where they wanted to throw their computer at a wall. I also couldn't stop comparing my book to other books on the market. (Don't do that.)<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Did you research the editors you knew had your ms? Do you recommend doing that?<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">SD: I'm 100% guilty of researching editors. Twitter and google were my homeboys. It definitely made me more on edge. Once you look up a twitter account once, it's easy to end up checking it obsessively. I'd recommend steering clear of research if you can.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>What was the average amount of time it took to hear back from editors?<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">SD: It's hard for me to say because my agent sent me batch responses as opposed to individual ones. Two weeks in, we hadn't heard from anyone. Four weeks in, we had a fair number of rejections but also some interest from a major press. About two and a half weeks later, we had an offer. There were still a couple editors we hadn't heard from by the time we accepted.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>What do you think is the best way for an author out on submission to deal with the anxiety?<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">SD: Hundreds of people have said this before me, but it's simple: write, write, write, and keep on writing. The only reason I stayed (relatively) sane through the process was because I had a new novel to focus on, a new world and new characters I believed it. I was also lucky that NaNoWriMo happened during my submission time, so I had encouragement to work on said novel. You can also take the time to read more books and hang out with people IRL. That will also help.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>If you had any rejections, how did you deal with that emotionally? How did this kind of rejection compare to query rejections?<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">SD: I'm not gonna lie, the rejections were tough. In my case I was lucky because I found out about interest at the same time as the rejections, but I was very aware that “interest” did not automatically lead to “pub deal.” The rejections still made me worried, perhaps even more so than query rejections. Querying a pub is a one-time gig for a particular novel. You don't usually get a second chance, whereas when querying agents you can sometimes revise the novel and send it out again. So, that gave me quite a bit of anxiety during the process.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>If you got feedback on a rejection, how did you process it? How do you compare processing an editor’s feedback as compared to a beta reader’s?<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">SD: The majority of my submission responses cited the same reason for rejection: the market. My book has dystopian vibes that made editors wary, but most of them had lovely things to say about my writing. In this case, the feedback was easier to process than beta reader's because it came down to a lack of passion for the story. My agent and I still thought the story was strong and where it needed to be. Thankfully an editor ended up agreeing!<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>When you got your YES! how did that feel? How did you find out – email, telephone, smoke signal?<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">SD: It felt AMAZING. My agent had set a closing date for offers during the week of Thanksgiving, so I knew I was going to find out on a particular day. It was also a school day. I was on my way out the door when I received an email that the phones were out of commission in my agent's office, but we had an offer. I squealed a bit and quickly arranged to call my agent as soon as I got to campus. The twenty-five minute car drive was full of smiles and blasting music out my windows. I got to school, called my agent, and we went through all the details. I called my mom right afterward, and then I had to go to class and pretend to be focused. I stayed silent about it that whole day, but the news was bursting out of my chest.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Did you have to wait a period of time before sharing your big news, because of details being ironed out? Was that difficult?<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div>SD: We accepted the offer the next day, and then I had to wait about a week to spill the beans. It was difficult because this week fell right during Thanksgiving Break, when I didn't have as much to keep me busy. But I told my family, as well as my closest friends and writing buddies, so I didn't have to stay completely silent. When the news went up on Publisher's Marketplace I was ecstatic, though.

Source


Photo

The Narrative Needle & Other Revision Stories

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 28 January 2013 · 122 views

Doing a major revision is a lot like surgery.<br /><br />I recently finished a massive revision on a book that I wrote eight years ago. Yep - eight years. It's actually the first YA book I tried writing, after trunking two finished adult mss and a third adult ms that was about a quarter finished. This YA title was a total watershed moment for me, as I sat in my office at work and said to myself, "Mindy, you're a librarian for teens. You're around your target audience forty hours a week and completely immersed in the market. You're kind of an idiot for not writing YA."<br /><br />And yes, I really was kind of an idiot. So I scribbled down a few ideas and wrote my first YA novel over a period of about eight months. And I've put in a year of editing for every month that I spent writing it.<br /><br />A lot of that is my own fault. I was practicing another sort of idiocy in not having any crit partners or joining any writer's forums before gleefully sending off queries into the ether for a sub-par ms that was about 30k longer than necessary. But beyond that, I wasn't doing the right thing with pacing, and I was very vague about things that I thought my reader should fill in on their own.<br /><br />Oh, and also it was written in the wrong tense for the voice I was using. Ahem.<br /><br />So, like a I said. There's been a year of revising for each month that I wrote it.<br /><br />This last revision was the most invasive- the equivalent of triple bypass surgery. Typically I revise on the laptop, but this was such a huge undertaking that I printed it out (sorry, trees) and jumped in with my hatchet and red pen.<br /><br />I ripped the skin off.<br />I peeled back the muscle.<br />I found the heart.<br /><br />And guess what? It was in the wrong place.<br /><br />Yeah. A major reveal moment that answered a massive question and is the crux of the story was happening about 100 pages too late. You read that right - 100 pages.<br /><br />So I tore the heart out and moved it to another location. And that meant I had to rewire the entire circulatory system, didn't it? Everything in every scene following that moment had to be re-investigated, as the pivotal moment occurred much earlier now than it had before. Characters knew a vital piece of information much earlier now than they had before- it changed everything.<br /><br />Circulatory system safely pumping, I got critical with the skeleton. It only makes sense that if you move the heart, the ribcage probably ought to get a little re-arranging as well. And it did. The Crux Moment Movement changed a lot of things, for a lot of characters, and their individual stories needed some tweaking for continuity. There were some bone grafts involved. Some scenes were literally jutting out, saying -- "HEY! I don't fit here anymore!! CONTINUITY ISSUES!! DANGER!! DANGER!!"<br /><br />Some of those I had to push back into place and graft onto the scenes nearby. Some of them I pulled out entirely and tossed into a bio-waste container. Some were transplanted elsewhere.<br /><br />I laid the muscle back on, checking to be sure it was attaching to the bones in the right places, not pulling anything out of joint. The skin went back on last, a re-insertion of everything that worked nicely and just had to be the cohesive covering that held everything together.<br /><br />And with everything in place I whipped out what I call The Narrative Needle. I had squished everything back into a package that was working, but there were still holes, little places where things hadn't grown together quite yet. Things like scene jumps that could conceivably be melded together for flow, or a nice fact-delivering organic bit of dialogue that moved my characters from one scene to the next seamlessly, even if one scene was written eight years ago and the next one was eight minutes old.<br /><br />With everything tied off, the end result is a much different looking creature than what I made eight years ago.<br /><br />But everything inside is pumping much more effectively.

Source


Photo

The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 26 January 2013 · 117 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/"]http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.<br /><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><br /><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg"]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/url]" width="246" /></a></div>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch &nbsp;them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />Also, for my brave Saturday Slash volunteers I will gladly do follow-up slashes (each more kindly than the next) on your query if you post them on the Query Critique board over on&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"]http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/[/url]" target="_blank">AgentQuery Connect</a>. You'll get advice from me, and also people who are smarter than me. If you do post on AQ, be sure to follow the guidelines and let me know you posted so that I can follow up!</div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><br />Thirteen-year-old Parker Ward never believed his little sister's stories about monsters, not until he was mistaken as one. <span style="color: #38761d;">I'm digging the hook, I'd cut "not" for flow and phrasing, and also separate it from the next para physically to give it a little more impact visually. Other than that, good job.</span><br />After Parker discovers the body of his little sister, he is inadvertently <span style="color: #38761d;">I think the fact that he's "sucked" kind of implies the "inadvertently" part, but that could just be me.&nbsp;</span>sucked through a portal into a world humans are forbidden. <span style="color: #38761d;">Possible phrasing problem here - are you missing a "where" so that it reads "where humans are forbidden" or is it a world humans are forbidden to enter? It could technically work without the "where" but it tripped me up, and could be read as a mistake.</span>&nbsp;He ends up <span style="color: #38761d;">"ends up" implies that the Academy wasn't his original, or intended destination, might need to rephrase. Also a lingering question - if humans are forbidden, why is he there? I realize that may be the crux of the story, but it raises the question.</span>&nbsp;at Underlake Academy, a quirky, supernatural refuge from his grief, but unlike his classmates, his body parts don’t grow back. <span style="color: #38761d;">This felt kind of out of left field - do all his classmates body parts grow back?</span>&nbsp;Now that everyone thinks he’s a vampire <span style="color: #38761d;">This feels like a jump from body parts growing back to vampires</span>, hemophobic Parker must keep his identity a secret if he is to survive. <span style="color: #38761d;">Why? So he truly isn't a monster? Now he has to pretend to be one to keep from being killed? Also, is he attempting to find his way back into our world, or just rolling with the punches? And what's with dead sister? Is her body still just... lying there?</span><br /><br />Parker adapts to this new world where valkyries blow things up for fun, Cupid’s arrows have real barbs, and the school’s favorite sport has rules against unnecessary decapitation. <span style="color: #38761d;">Awesome sentence here.</span> Just as he starts to fit in, his sister begins to haunt him, warning him of an ancient evil threatening Underlake, determined to destroy the supernatural. Parker must choose between sacrificing himself or once again being the only survivor among all he has grown to care about. <span style="color: #38761d;">This para is great, and I love it.&nbsp;</span><br /><br />Shortly after receiving my BFA and MBA, the last of my immediate family passed away. I then left for Baghdad, Iraq to work as a government contractor. These experiences were the inspiration for the parallel challenges and dangers my protagonist must overcome. I am a member of SCBWI and attended the 2012 Backspace Conference. <span style="color: #38761d;">Good bio here, not sure <i>all</i> the information is relevant, but I think it could fly as is.</span><br /><span style="color: #38761d;"><br /></span><span style="color: #38761d;">My biggest questions are already covered in the first para above. I think you need to get the answers to my questions into that first para, which will be doable with some clever phrasing. There's some good visuals here, but get the main conflict out front - does Parker even <i>want</i> to go home? And is he actually human and in danger simply because of that fact?</span>

Source






Search My Blog