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Amy Parrish Is A Genius and I Heart Her

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 27 May 2012 · 194 views

Yeah, so if the title of this post doesn't significantly convey how I felt about my photography shoot on Friday, allow me to go into more detail.

Amy Parrish of Granville, OH is just frickin' grand. Loved her, loved her ideas, loved the fact that one of the first things she said to me when I got out of the car was, "So, how do you feel about climbing?"

Yeah. We got along.

She put up a few of the shots from my session on her blog, [url="http://www.amyparrish.com/parrishthethought/?p=4296"]Parrish the Thought[/url]. Enjoy!



[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-5049193923940940626?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 25 May 2012 · 319 views

Meet the BBC Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description RC Lewis 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.



[center][url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MAvrORptKTc/T4xRk0x9XQI/AAAAAAAAAeM/G_WLmt8stog/s1600/UseSaturdaySlash.tiff"][img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MAvrORptKTc/T4xRk0x9XQI/AAAAAAAAAeM/G_WLmt8stog/s200/UseSaturdaySlash.tiff[/img][/url][/center]


We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch 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. Also, at the end, I'm going to tell you what I think your story is about, based on your query. I know how hard it is to get your ideas across succinctly, and how easy it is for your author's brain to fill in the blanks and not see the gaping holes that the average reader may very well fall into.






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 AgentQuery Connect. 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!






And now for our next brave soul. For clarity, my comments are in [color=yellow]yellow[/color].
Liz has already proven that she is a terrible mother who does not deserve her child. After all, what kind of mother doesn’t even know she’s pregnant? [color=yellow]I get that the "already" means she's proven that she doesn't deserve the child even before it's born, but I almost think this hook would be better if you chopped the "After all," of the second sentence and just used that as your hook. It's short and to the point.[/color]

Twenty-two year old Liz is shocked to discover that she is [color=red]eight months[/color] pregnant. Sure, she’s gained some weight, and sure she’s been feeling a little off lately, but pregnant? She is too young to have a baby. [color=yellow]Is she really? I'd say no, she's not. That might be *her* rationale but it's not really working here as a statement of fact. [/color]She hasn’t spoken to the father in [color=red]months[/color], and certainly doesn’t want to now. [color=yellow]If the father doesn't figure into the story, don't mention him in the query. If he's not mentioned it's assumed he's not in the picture.[/color] It has taken [color=red]eight months[/color] for her to even figure out that she is pregnant. Nonetheless, in a brief six weeks a new baby will be born, and she has a rapid decision to make. Choosing an adoption plan is the only thing she can do, and the only way she can survive it is to carry the detachment her denial provided along the way. [color=yellow]Here's your crux right here - this is what you've been getting to with everything you've said before this. We don't need her rationale for why she's giving it up for adoption - you said so yourself she's already proven she doesn't deserve her child (or at least believes that to be true)[/color] She [color=yellow]Use the proper name here, you've been sticking to the pronoun for a while.[/color] speeds through the process, visiting an agency, speaking to a social worker, and choosing adoptive parents, all the time believing she is simply a surrogate for the deserving parents [color=yellow]Here we are again with this word "deserving" - this is your plot point and you're throwing a lot of distractions out in front of it. [/color]who will adopt this baby. [color=yellow]I've highlighted all the uses of "eight months" and "months" in this first para. Lots of echoes here. Personally I think you can kill all of the rationalization and get down to the point - detachment, deserving - more quickly.[/color]

Now, [color=yellow]Kill the "now" it makes this read like a synopsis instead of a query [/color]a week after signing surrender papers to finalize the adoption, Liz enters therapy hoping she will be able to [color=yellow]you need some re-phrasing for simplicity in this sentence. "Will be able to" can be changed to a simple "can"[/color] put these events behind her and [color=yellow]The last two clauses of this sentence are pretty much saying the same thing. Choose one to not weigh down the query [/color]return to life as normal. [color=yellow]Wait - has the baby been born yet? Is she still pregnant while going through therapy? [/color]After[color=red] eight months [/color]of convincing herself she wasn’t pregnant, she finds no problem distancing herself from the supposed grief her therapist tells her she will feel. But as she tells the story to her therapist, who seems relentlessly insisting she have an emotional breakdown, she finds herself viewing her therapy as a game of chess she must win. [color=yellow]Convoluted sentence here - we can assume she's telling her story to the therapist, I'd slash that and simplify. Accentuate the "chess" idea. [/color]He pushes her to accept her denial, and her emotional detachment as natural coping mechanisms, while she views them as proof that she is unfit to be a parent. [color=yellow]And that right there is the sum-up of what your novel is about, right? Yet it's buried down here in the middle of the second para. [/color]When he invites her to explore her relationships with her family and her best friend, she struggles to maintain they’re denial is irrelevant. [color=yellow]I don't understand what this sentence means - "struggles to maintain [/color][color=red]they are[/color][color=yellow] denial is irrelevant." You probably mean "their denial" but even then... denial of what? Her? Her relationship with them? Her pregnancy? [/color]Why can’t this just be something that happened? The deeper he digs, the harder she works to keep her composure. It takes the work with her therapist to help her realize that her decision is rooted in more than necessity. It is a life-changing event that will live in her heart forever.

At 76,000 words, Detached is a work of literary fiction. It is my debut work, and inspired by the true story of choosing an adoption plan. Thank you for your consideration. [color=yellow]Good to state this here, that you know the system and the emotional intricacies. And I love the title, by the way, but it needs to be either ALL CAPS or[i] italicized[/i].[/color]

[color=yellow]The story sounds quite interesting, and I like the implied complexities of this character, but that's where your meat is and it's kind of floundering along with the little details that aren't relevant to the query that I mention above. Also, as it stands right now my biggest hang up is that I don't know what her relationship with the therapist is - does she resent his digging? Does she get angry with him? Does she look at him as a partner or an opponent? You brought in the "chess game" idea but then you don't take the analogy anywhere. It sounds like a cerebral internal journey read, and I like the way you're approaching it, you need to carefully look at what the main sell is here before you pitch.[/color]
[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-6761287773571329757?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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Author Photo Friday!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 24 May 2012 · 316 views

Well... I've got an appointment today to make my life better. Or something like that.

Today is the day I put on a dress, do my hair, paint my nails, and pack some comfy clothes to get the more casual shots that I'll probably end up using.

In any case, I think everyone is aware of the conundrum that (to me) is an [url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2012/03/my-one-year-blogiversary-my-first-vlog.html"]author photo[/url]. So wish me luck.

And the poor photographer.
[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-6276278781859976943?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 23 May 2012 · 182 views

Today we're going to talk about recycling, and other green-type things. Because that's where my mind has been.

1) I love going past these new green communities and seeing their slogans. My goal is to find one that says, "We're so green, we eat our own shit!"

2) I understand that packaging is a big part of the problem. No packaging. Packaging bad. Don't buy things that are over-packaged. But... if it's already packaged, then the damage is done. If nobody buys it, then the product that is packaged is wasted along with the packaging. This is a serious chicken / egg situation, if you ask me.

3) Have any of you ever been near a recycling plant? Wo - ow. Stanky. I know that sometimes you've got power through the bad to get to the good. I'm a country girl - I've smelled some smells, and that smell gets a gold star.
[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-8802273140253202727?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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CRAP! A New Interview Series (& Giveaway!) Ushered in by A.G. Howard

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 21 May 2012 · 229 views

[center][url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-43QefNxPt1U/T6v3nP_5gEI/AAAAAAAAAf0/D-3UrS5738w/s1600/splintered.jpg"][img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-43QefNxPt1U/T6v3nP_5gEI/AAAAAAAAAf0/D-3UrS5738w/s640/splintered.jpg[/img][/url][/center]

I love talking to debut authors. Our experiences are so similar, yet so very different, that every one of us has a new story to share. Everyone says that the moment you get your cover it really hits you - you're an author. The cover is your story - and you - packaged for the world. So the process of the cover reveal can be slightly panic inducing. Does it fit your story? Is it what you hoped? Will it sell? With this in mind I put together the CRAP (Cover Reveal Anxiety Phase) Interview.


Here today to usher in the new interview on Writer, Writer is my fellow debut author A.G. Howard. She's a great gal that I knew back when we were just anonymous screennames bouncing off the same agent entries over on [url="http://www.querytracker.net/"]QueryTracker[/url], so I'm thrilled to be sharing the astounding cover for her book [url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12558285-splintered"]SPLINTERED[/url], available from Amulet in January, 2013.
[b]BBC: Did you have any pre-conceived notions about what you wanted your cover to look like? [/b]


[center][url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6ugBXjSdNfE/T6v4EjZbiwI/AAAAAAAAAf8/HUjF_k1Y-pg/s1600/image003.png"][img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6ugBXjSdNfE/T6v4EjZbiwI/AAAAAAAAAf8/HUjF_k1Y-pg/s320/image003.png[/img][/url][/center]AGH: I did. I’m very visual and I actually like to “construct” my own book covers for fun sometimes. I always assumed it would be a dark gothic-type cover with Alyssa as the centerpiece and some sort of symbolic details woven in, like maybe the broken toys and the bloody roses. Here’s the mockup I made:

Granted, I was WAY off in the color scheme. But once I saw what they had done, I was thrilled. Choosing vivid colors lent a whimsical feel which is so important, so the reader goes in knowing to expect some strange silliness along with the creepiness. The model is beautiful, but also looks very innocent, like my MC. I also loved the fact that Alyssa’s face is partially covered by her hair (speaking of her hair, the model’s is exactly how I pictured it!!!). One thing both our covers had in common was the actual vision: Alyssa front and center, and plenty of subtle details woven in (the bugs and flowers who talk to her, the snaky vines, the key around her neck, and her wild and haggard expression, because believe me, she goes through some crazy stuff…heh).

[b]BBC: How far in advance from your pub date did you start talking covers with your house? [/b]

AGH: November, so about three months after I signed.

[b]BBC: Did you have any input on your cover? [/b]

AGH: Yes. My agent arranged a “Meaningful Consultation” clause in my contract, which meant I got to watch the entire evolution and actually had back and forths w/my editor along the way. But honestly, their ideas were so amazing, I hardly had anything to say. Although there was a lot of swooning going on. LOL

[b]BBC: How was your cover revealed to you? [/b]

AGH: Since I was involved throughout the process, it was a gradual evolution. My editor would send me mockups along the way to view and comment on.

[b]BBC: Was there an official "cover reveal" date for your art? [/b]

AGH: There was a little bit of confusion there, because I’d told my editor I wanted to do a reveal, so they needed to let me know before it hit the online catalogue and went live. Then I was googling myself one weekend, and there it was, up in the catalogue. I emailed my editor LIKE FAST and she wasn’t even aware they’d already posted it. It had only been up that one day. Evidently, designing and editing are kind of worlds apart even though they’re both in-house. She did some checking around for me (this was on a Saturday, mind, so she really went out of her way there) and got the okay for my reveal. I had been in contact with a very delightful gal named Tami, who runs the lovely [url="http://krazybooklady.blogspot.com/"]Krazy Book Lady[/url] blog. I appreciate her so much because she was so flexible and pushed aside everything so I could post it first thing Monday morning before anyone else got wind of it on the catalogue. I spent all day Sunday making my [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN5Y-5hx3DA"]book cover reveal trailer[/url], and then it all went off without a hitch. Whew!

[b]BBC: How far in advance of the reveal date were you aware of what your cover would look like? [/b]

AGH: The day I contacted my editor that the cover was in the catalogue, I actually had to make sure that was the final version because there had still been a little back and forth going on between the designer and the artist. So, two days before the reveal, unless you count watching the evolution.

[b]BBC: Was it hard to keep it to yourself before the official release? [/b]

AGH: Well, I have select group of online pals (my critters/beta readers) that got to watch every step of the progression w/me. That helped me reign in my excitement until I could share w/the world.

[b]BBC: What surprised you most about the process? [/b]

AGH: I didn’t realize it took both a designer and an artist (two separate entities) to make up the cover. I always assumed it was the same person doing both. But instead, the in-house designer looks for a freelance artist who has the qualities in their artwork that would best capture the book’s feel. Really, it’s pretty amazing how many people actually had a hand in it along the way. The model, the artist, the designer, my editor, the publicist. LOTS of involvement in-house and out of house.

[b]BBC: Any advice to other debut authors about how to handle cover art anxiety? [/b]

AGH: Have your agent get a Meaningful Consult clause in your contract. It really does help if you get to have a little input, if for no other reason than you get to see the progression of the cover, and fall in love with it along the way!

Thank you so much for helping me introduce a new interview series here today, Anita. To sweeten the deal, Anita is offering a swag-pack giveaway of a SPLINTERED bookmark, button, and signed bookplate! Comment on the blog below and Anita will pick a winner using random.org

Good luck!
[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-8344203866656576166?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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I Don't Care

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 20 May 2012 · 419 views

[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MHK0WMC4Y_Q/T7Z8su-A-CI/AAAAAAAAAhY/1-2tKonnqBQ/s1600/pierre.jpg"][img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MHK0WMC4Y_Q/T7Z8su-A-CI/AAAAAAAAAhY/1-2tKonnqBQ/s1600/pierre.jpg[/img][/url]That was my go-to phrase when I was a kid.

Parent: "Mindy, you didn't clean your room."
BBC: "I don't care."

Parent: "You're grounded you for a week."
BBC: "I don't care."

Parent: "You're making me angry!"
BBC: "I don't care."

As you can see, I learned early on that apathy is the biggest stick you can carry while walking softly. So my parents found the perfect book for me: [url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/120715.Pierre"]PIERRE[/url] by Maurice Sendak.

PIERRE is the story of a young boy who uses that same catchphrase to dismiss, irritate and otherwise flaunt his independence to his parents. Tried beyond endurance, Pierre's parents go to the movies one night to get away and a lion marches into the living room and announces he's going to eat Pierre, who boldly claims -

"I don't care."

And is thus eaten.

After this little literary gem had been installed on my bookshelf, my parent's automatic response to my defiant "I don't care" was -

"Okay, Pierre."

Which was a really nice way to say, "Get your shit together or you'll be eaten by a lion."

I hear "I don't care," everyday in my job, and it never slips by without my brain tacking on, "Okay, Pierre." So Maurice Sendak is going to be with me for a long time, haunting my steps and reminding me to care.

Or be eaten.
[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-772588478697812439?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 18 May 2012 · 184 views

<div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">Meet the BBC Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description RC Lewis 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.</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MAvrORptKTc/T4xRk0x9XQI/AAAAAAAAAeM/G_WLmt8stog/s1600/UseSaturdaySlash.tiff" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="188" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MAvrORptKTc/T4xRk0x9XQI/AAAAAAAAAeM/G_WLmt8stog/s200/UseSaturdaySlash.tiff" style="cursor: move;" width="200" /></a></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch  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. Also, at the end, I'm going to tell you what I think your story is about, based on your query. I know how hard it is to get your ideas across succinctly, and how easy it is for your author's brain to fill in the blanks and not see the gaping holes that the average reader may very well fall into.</div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">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 AgentQuery Connect. 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 style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">And now for our next brave soul. For clarity, my comments are in <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">yellow</span>.</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">Sometimes a virus is more than just a medical problem, it's a political weapon. <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">Here's the thing, this hook feels like it's for a techno-thriller or a medical mystery. Your genre is dystopian and that needs to be clear from the beginning. When I read your hook, my original reaction was, "Meh... OK but let's spice it up," then I was immediately confused once we got to princes and thrones, because I was already geared for a contemporary political thriller.</span></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">On the verge of his coronation, Prince Anton gave up the throne, <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">eliminate some of these commas, if you read it aloud and actually give the correct pauses for the commas you'll feel the slow pace </span>and set out to eradicate a devastating virus that causes its victims to slowly bleed to death. For over a hundred years, his family's power has come from their immunity; the only treatment is derived from their blood, but Anton's quest threatens their hold on the empire. <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">OK that's actually very interesting - they've got power because they are the living immunity. So... what's his motivation here?</span></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">In the imperial capitol, Anton flaunts a fabricated playboy persona in order to shield what is most dear to him from public judgement. Abroad, Anton has cleared nation after nation of the virus. But his most difficult task lies ahead; eradicating the virus in the homeland of his estranged wife, Tia, a radiant beauty who hides a deep sorrow behind her delusional sense of optimism. <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">The writing here is fine, but I'm going to raise some questions. It seems like if he were voluntarily giving up the throne and going out to all these countries to use his own blood to make people immune, which in turn will undermine his family's power - how the heck does anyone buy the playboy persona? He sounds more like Gandhi. Also, I assume from the mention of Tia in this para that she is "what is most dear to him." But why would the public judge him for loving his wife?</span></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">Anton and his forces <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">he has forces? Why? If he's just going around like a reverse bloodmobile why does he needs them? </span>return to the distant war-torn island where a tragic secret gave rise to his quest against the virus. <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">OK - so here you're *toying* with answering my question from para one - Why is Anton doing this? Because of the tragic secret? Not sure you can float "tragic secret" out under an agent's nose in a query and expect them to bite at that for the motivation that moves the whole plot.</span> From the moment they arrive their well practiced routine is thrown into chaos. Survival instincts have bred strange alliances. Tia is both hated by her countrymen for her past connection to Anton, and an integral part of the militias fighting Anton for power. <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">Awkward sentence here before this comment, the "both hated..." implies that there's a "and loved for..." coming up, but you don't give us that. Instead you say she's an integral part of the militia fighting Anton... but the sentence isn't quite working. </span>The public, desperate for a cure, become pawns in a violent clash of ideologies. <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">Confused on what ideologies are clashing here? Why are they fighting Anton if he wants to give them his blood to cure everyone? If they don't want him to have power anymore, they would let him do EXACTLY what he plans to do by giving people the immunity, thus undermining his power.</span></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">As time runs out Anton's motivations are revealed to be not nearly as altruistic as the public's been led to believe. <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">Again - so if the public has been led to believe he's a good guy, why is the army fighting him? </span>He faces a choice between his own morals, and his love for Tia, only one of which can survive. <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">How do his morals come into this? And how are his motivations not altruistic? You're going to have to come clean in the query about what his motivation is, and the "tragic secret," otherwise you're just floating this out there asking the agent to trust that you know what you're doing. And they see hundreds of queries a day from people who *don't* know what they're doing plotwise, so don't give them any reason to dismiss you as one of them.</span></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">WHAT THE WATER GAVE US is a dystopian novel complete at 99,000 words.</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: yellow;">Ending thoughts - love the title, and the writing here is solid. You just need to get the actual motivations of your main character "out there" and not shroud it in secrecy.</span></div></div></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-8750347086459581229?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>

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BBC Book Talk - Books for Boys

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 17 May 2012 · 425 views

Today on the Book Talk I've got a couple of good titles for boys. A lot of the time I hear people insisting that boys don't read as much as girls, to which I say, "No, you just have to give them the right books." Here are two examples of exactly the kinds of books that boys can dive into.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PwoLnW64NoI/T7UR3bjfWCI/AAAAAAAAAhA/XK8MbuIaUpA/s1600/Darkness.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PwoLnW64NoI/T7UR3bjfWCI/AAAAAAAAAhA/XK8MbuIaUpA/s320/Darkness.jpg" width="209" /></a></div><a href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11451112-in-darkness">IN DARKNESS </a>by Nick Lake (Bloomsbury, Jan. 2012) Shorty is a child of the slums in Site Soleil, a Haitian city torn to pieces by gang wars and daily violence. A gunshot wound lands him in the hospital the day before the earthquake of 2010 obliterates the city, bringing the building down around him. His only solace in the pure blackness is a voice that speaks to him of courage, and visions of a different time. Shorty is a twin, which is sacred in Vodun. His sister was stolen from him during the gang wars and he is now considered a half-soul. Touissaint L'ouverture, the Haitian rebel who led a slave revolt two hundreds years ago was born a twin as well, but his other half died as a child. From the confines of his underground prison cell in France to the rubble of modern day Haiti, the two half souls converge for an ethereal conversation about the future of Haiti, and their own purposes in life.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bng53_zh-U8/T7UUrWwR7fI/AAAAAAAAAhM/N9voXyw8lOU/s1600/Aristotle.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bng53_zh-U8/T7UUrWwR7fI/AAAAAAAAAhM/N9voXyw8lOU/s320/Aristotle.jpg" width="212" /></a></div><a href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12000020-aristotle-and-dante-discover-the-secrets-of-the-universe">ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE</a> by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Simon &amp; Schuster, Feb. 2012) Aristotle depends on the summers to help define himself in 1987 El Paso. The youngest child in a family of much older siblings, Ari is constantly reminded that he cannot become what his older brother is - a jailbird. The summer after his fifteenth birthday he meets Dante at the pool, who offers to teach him how to swim. Dante's open and easy going manner immediately attracts Ari, who keep his own emotions as closed off as his father, a Vietnam war veteran.   Dante's love of everything spills over into animals, and he is nearly killed in the street while attempting to save an injured bird. The only reason he lives is because Ari shoves him out of the way, breaking both his legs in the process. Dante's family goes to Chicago during the school year, following a job lead for his professor father. Though Ari is reluctant to open himself up in the letters they exchange, Dante has no problem confessing his sexuality, and his feelings for Ari. As the next summer approaches, along with the return of Dante and his family, Ari is left to question if he can continue being Dante's friend, and if there was more than just friendship in his own feelings as well.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-6328554054575627597?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>

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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 16 May 2012 · 238 views

More Mindy thoughts coming your way this Thursday:

1) Facebook really enjoys being the last word in social networking. When you accept a friend request from Bob it says, "You are now friends with Bob." Yeah, 'cause before you were totally faking it.

2) I think [i]nerd [/i]is just another word for someone who's discovered that 90% of society is bullshit and removes themselves from it.

3) When someone says, "Race ya!" and you immediately say, "You win," without breaking stride, it totally takes the wind out of their sails.
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Ohioana Book Festival & How Awesome It Is To Be Excited To Meet Someone and Then They're Excited to Meet You

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 14 May 2012 · 434 views

This past weekend I volunteered to work at the COSCBWI (Central Ohio SCBWI chapter) table at the Ohioana Book Festival, and no, it's not just because I'm awesome and like to donate my time to good causes. (Although those things are true as well).

I've been blogging for a little over a year, and the course of those twelve months have brought me in contact with some amazing writers and bloggers, many of whom are from Ohio. So I took the liberty of walking right up to them and saying, "Hi, you kind of know me."

I got to meet [url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/03/interview-with-tricia-springstubb-sat.html"]Tricia Springstubb[/url] and [url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/05/interview-with-cinda-williams-chima-sat.html"]Cinda Williams Chima [/url]who were both kind enough to give me interviews here on the blog when I had roughly 5 followers. I also met [url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/06/interview-with-rebecca-barnhouse-sat.html"]Rebecca Barnhouse[/url], author of [url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7740216-the-coming-of-the-dragon"]THE COMING OF THE DRAGON[/url] based on the tale of Beowulf (there's a companion novel out now - [url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10508424-peaceweaver"]PEACEWEAVER)[/url] who was awesome and posed for a picture with me which I was really excited about even though I appear to be distracted by something shiny off camera. There were lots of people and things were moving around, so I was like a labrador puppy with OCD who just did crack.


[center][url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-e4KAb1jE5Tg/T7HBO6IwEvI/AAAAAAAAAgI/KHlj8nI5L2s/s1600/Rebecca.JPG"][img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-e4KAb1jE5Tg/T7HBO6IwEvI/AAAAAAAAAgI/KHlj8nI5L2s/s200/Rebecca.JPG[/img][/url][url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZcmK4QZEYVw/T7HBoZVs5QI/AAAAAAAAAgQ/LJTEDRawUjc/s1600/Dragon.jpg"][img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZcmK4QZEYVw/T7HBoZVs5QI/AAAAAAAAAgQ/LJTEDRawUjc/s200/Dragon.jpg[/img][/url][/center]

[url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rXXQ8H8g3W0/T7HCQXIQYOI/AAAAAAAAAgg/YKUQG2-BOyk/s1600/Leah.JPG"][img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rXXQ8H8g3W0/T7HCQXIQYOI/AAAAAAAAAgg/YKUQG2-BOyk/s200/Leah.JPG[/img][/url][url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eUTfMO5xz2I/T7HCFqT4Y_I/AAAAAAAAAgY/q1vXBwvl0PQ/s1600/Mortal.jpg"][img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eUTfMO5xz2I/T7HCFqT4Y_I/AAAAAAAAAgY/q1vXBwvl0PQ/s200/Mortal.jpg[/img][/url]Right next to Rebecca I found Leah Clifford, author of the [url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8428050-a-touch-mortal"]A TOUCH MORTAL[/url] series. Leah is a longtime member of [url="http://www.querytracker.net/"]QueryTracker[/url], which makes her even more awesome. And then she took a picture with me, which gives her another +10 Awesome.

And the good times kept rolling, as I walked past a familiar face and thought, "Hey... I know that lady." Checked the name and why yes, yes I did know that lady. But I had to get back to my booth and do my duties so I did, all the while not-so-casually glancing down the way to see if she was still at her table. Duties observed, I skittered my butt over to meet... [url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/07/boa-wow-with-musings-from-slush-pile.html"]Julie Anne Lindsay[/url], the blogger extraordinaire behind [url="http://blog.juliealindsey.com/"]Musings From the Slushpile[/url], and author of [url="http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Killer-Confections-Series-ebook/dp/B007JZ0GBW/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1337050176&sr=8-6"]DEATH BY CHOCOLATE[/url] and [url="http://www.amazon.com/Bloom-Seeds-Honey-Creek-ebook/dp/B00736DKQA/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1"]BLOOM.[/url] I had a surreal moment when I introduced myself and she started bouncing up and and down because *she* was excited to meet *me,* despite my awkward introduction of, "Hi, we know each other, but you don't know we know each other," before I handed her my card with my name and (much more recognizable) Le Chat Noir avatar. And hooray! She's fun and awesome! And a good dresser!


[center][url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QvwaYpjFah4/T7HFY_nWpSI/AAAAAAAAAgs/0fJJ5TqguJE/s1600/JulieLindsey:Me.jpg"][img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QvwaYpjFah4/T7HFY_nWpSI/AAAAAAAAAgs/0fJJ5TqguJE/s320/JulieLindsey:Me.jpg[/img][/url][/center]

[left]And while meeting all the YA people who have been so kind and awesome while holding the door open and letting me into their incredible world, I made sure I didn't leave before meeting [url="http://donaldraypollock.com/"]Donald Ray Pollock[/url], Ohio native and author of the short story collection [url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1704719.Knockemstiff"]KNOCKEMSTIFF[/url] and [url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/10/bbc-book-review-devil-all-time-by.html"]THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME[/url]. The man is one of my literary heros. And he signed my books... weekend complete.[/left]

[center][url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-651NJiPHGLI/T7HHoahrDBI/AAAAAAAAAg0/EjfM9q8-oLA/s1600/Knockemstiff.JPG"][img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-651NJiPHGLI/T7HHoahrDBI/AAAAAAAAAg0/EjfM9q8-oLA/s320/Knockemstiff.JPG[/img][/url][/center]


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