- Who is the narrator?
- their goals/advantages/disadvantages
- Where is the story set?
- time and place
- What's the story about?
- if your story is in the mystery/horror/thriller/postapocalyptic genres, I think present tense will increase the tension and make readers turn pages faster.
- if your story is in any other genre, though, it can still be present tense. You just have to make sure it's the right fit for your narrator and plot.
- What kind of ending do you have in mind?
- does your narrator die/disappear without a trace?
- is your world under threat of destruction, or is it moving along just fine?
Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
When scientist-in-training Joanna Lyon learns her rich uncle plans to have their rock legend ancestor, Sean Lyon, cloned, she’s disgusted. Uncle Jack pushed her into music when she was younger, and she hated it. So it’s particularly galling that he wants her to travel through a wormhole to an alternate universe and sample Sean’s DNA. She only agrees to go so she can secretly sabotage the project. But meeting Sean forces her to re-examine her feelings about her family, including her estranged father. Can she protect the unborn clone from her uncle, and will she have to sacrifice her career and new-found love to do so?
What I liked: This book definitely contains a lot of science but it wasn't so bogged down in it that it lost me. Sometimes the technical aspects of SciFi books can get overwhelming, but this had just the right touch of "ooo that's kind of cool" without being so over-the-top technical that it's impossible for anyone without a PhD in Genetics to understand.
Jo is a great character, very real and relatable and I connected with her right off the bat. It was fun to watch her in a situation she didn't want to be in and to watch how it changed her. Her love interest, George, is just lovable and I liked that their romance was very present in the story without overtaking it. It was woven very well into the main storyline. This book just had a little bit of everything; science, time travel, romance, major character growth, a bad guy you want to smack upside the head, heartache, and hope.
I also liked that the story felt complete. Many novellas I've read do not. While this is Book 1 in a series, and there is definitely more to the story, this book does well standing on its own and doesn't feel like it was just cut off in the middle of the book in order to create a series as many novellas I've read do.
What I didn't like: The only thing I didn't really like (and this is very nitpicky) was that one of the characters called the woman who raised him Aunt Grandmother (or various versions of this). It got a little confusing. Every time I saw an instance of this, I found myself wanting to spend some detailed time with his family tree instead of paying attention to the story. However, this was a very minor part of the story and didn't affect my enjoyment of it.
Overall, I loved it :)
If you'd like to purchase a copy of Sandra's book (and I'd highly recommend you do) :) it is available through the links below. I will be posting an interview with Sandra on my blog tomorrow, so everyone be sure to head over!!
Barnes & Noble
Friday, October 28, 2011
Ever noticed how a lot of YA books have a Prom or a Winter Formal or some such thing? It's immediately understood by readers to be a big event, a rite of passage, or at least a social ritual where certain expected things happen. If you want to be different, though, or if you write something other than YA, another easy way to get that reader identity wrapped up in your story is...
Personally, I love reading about holidays in books. For one thing, usually something plot-related happens during the holidays. In a paranormal book, holidays can be particularly exciting if there's some ancient ceremony that has to take place in order to save/destroy the world or bind all faeries to your will... or something.
In contemporary fiction, I love to read about how different people celebrate the holidays so differently. It immediately makes the characters more real to me, because traditions are part of everyone's life. Even if I've never celebrated Rosh Hashanah, I know it's a Jewish holiday and would love to see a character going through the tradition/meaning of it.
Holidays are something we all just understand. We know there are meaningful holidays and those that have lost meaning in our culture and are just for fun... like pinching on St. Patty's day if someone isn't wearing green. There are also holidays from the homeland which people in America may never have heard of... or maybe your father made up a holiday involving a Festivus pole. Your story will be completely unique.
Personal story time: My mother didn't like the spookifyzation of Halloween and the growing danger of trick-or-treating. As a family, we developed our own tradition, which turned into a second Christmas. We called it Santa-Claus-Christmas or Halloween-Christmas. We dressed up, passed out candy canes to trick-or-treaters and told them "Merry Christmas!"
You should have seen their faces.
We watched Christmas classics like Miracle on 34th St. or It's a Wonderful Life. We popped popcorn and ate junk food (a rarity in my healthy household). And best of all, we got one gift each from "Santa."
If I were a character in your book, you could have a heyday with something like this. How did I feel about doing something so different? Well, it was cool. It was something my weird, kooky family did that made us closer even as it made us different. As I got older (teen years), I started to want parties with friends instead of the traditional staying in with my family. But when I left home for college, I missed the family tradition. Halloween became a downer for me, kind of like New Year's Eve (which is the stupidest, shortest holiday in existence). I developed my own personal tradition of crappy things happening to me on Halloween.
Now that I have kids, we've created our own traditions, including dressing up to a theme and decorating pumpkins. I'm not sure what traditions we'll have in the future or how our current ones will change, but the traditions of my past definitely affected my future traditions with my kids. Family time trumps the spookiness.
I have a friend whose family has a traditional prank war on Halloween, which definitely fits the commercial meaning of the holiday and sounds fun, if a bit horrifying. Unleash your imagination. There are endless possibilities for holiday fun/chaos.
Whether your main character reveres and anticipates a holiday or almost completely forgets it, including holidays in your fiction can draw readers into your reality. For fantasy or paranormal, it's an anchoring element. Even if nothing else about your paranormal creature is familiar, if she blows out candles on her birthday, I can relate. I feel anchored.
Halloween is coming up, and I've seen some great spooky scenes in books and TV based around this holiday. Costume parties have provided a golden opportunity for the villain's infiltration, and haunted houses instantly create an atmosphere of confusion and chaos.
Christmas presents are a prime time for characterization through gift-giving. Does he give her a pre-wrapped gift he bought on Christmas Eve? Or is his gift her favorite candy wrapped up in something she collects? Or maybe he's given her a family heirloom/talisman to protect her from the supernatural villain, and she just thinks he's being romantic. Yeah, I've been watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix.
Think of the traditions you've observed in your own life, or the ones you've heard about from co-workers during a one-up-this-awful-holiday-story session.
How do you celebrate the holidays? Or what's the best holiday story you've ever heard?
Let's create a mini-wiki for writers to draw from. :)
P.S. Mystery Agent contest launches November 1st. Be prepared with a twitter-length pitch PLUS the first 500 words of your completed MS. Entries will be capped at 50. Genres include: Picture book-YA/Teen: commercial fiction, romance (contemporary and historical), historical fiction, multi-cultural fiction, paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy in YA or romance only, dark novels and fairy-tale/legend spin-offs
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I thought I had.
I mentioned that I did indeed proofread. He commented that he thought not, considering I'd misused the semicolon 5 times on the first page. (And yes, I did use a lot of them in the early years). So at that point, I researched the proper usage of a semicolon. And considering that all the writers in my local writing group had no idea the proper usage (and one is a copy editor for a newspaper), I thought I'd post the rules of usage on here.
The most common use of a semicolon separates two complete sentences, closely related. Two independent clauses. Two sentences that could stand on their own. So basically, if you can't replace it with a period, you can't use a semicolon. There are some other usages, that I will share, but that is the primary one that I see misused with a lot of writers. Here is a pretty good description, taken from Wikipedia.
And if you still don't believe me, here are a few more links to convince you.
UsageSemicolons are followed by a lower case letter, unless that letter is the first letter of a proper noun. Modern style guides recommend no space before them, and one space after. Modern style guides also typically recommend placing semicolons outside of ending quotation marks—although this was not always the case. For example, the first edition of the Chicago Manual of Style (1906) recommended placing the semicolon inside ending quotation marks. Applications of the semicolon in English include:
- Between items in a series or listing containing internal punctuation, especially parenthetic commas, where the semicolons function as serial commas:
- She saw three men: Jamie, who came from New Zealand; John, the milkman's son; and George, a gaunt kind of man.
- Several fast food restaurants can be found within the cities: London, England; Paris, France; Dublin, Ireland; and Madrid, Spain.
- Examples of familiar sequences are: one, two, and three; a, b, and c; and first, second, and third.
- (Fig. 8; see also plates in Harley 1941, 1950; Schwab 1947).
- This is by far the most frequent use currently.
- Between closely related independent clauses not conjoined with a coordinating conjunction
- I went to the basketball court; I was told it was closed for cleaning.
- I told Kate she's running for the hills; I wonder if she knew I was joking.
- Nothing is true; everything is permitted.
- A man chooses; a slave obeys.
- I told John that his shoe was untied; he looked.
- Between independent clauses and semi clauses linked with a transitional phrase or a conjunctive adverb
- Everyone knows he is guilty of committing the crime; of course, it will never be proven.
- It can occur in both melodic and harmonic lines; however, it is subject to certain restraints.
- Of these patients, 6 were not enrolled; thus, the cohort was composed of 141 patients at baseline.
- This is the least common use, and is mostly confined to academic texts.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
1. When I say, "Just give me ten-twenty minutes. I'll be right in," it really means, "I'll be writing for the next several hours because I can't fight the muse and I'll probably need you to drag me to bed at some point."
2. When I say, "I just got feedback from my critique partners," he hears, "You know that movie we were going to watch tonight? Umm, can we postpone it for an hour so I can read what my critique partners thought about that last chapter?"
3. When I say, "I feel so close to the end. I just want to work on it until I can type THE END," he knows he'll come out later and find me playing The Sims3.
4. When I say, "One more round of revisions, and I think I'll be set," he knows I really mean, "I'm down to the last five rounds of revisions, but I may decide to rewrite it completely at the end of the month."
5. When I say, "I'm gonna start querying next week," he hears, "Buckle up, Buster!" and gets ready to join me on yet another writerly roller-coaster.
Here's a shout out to all the spouses of writers out there who continue to be supportive (for the most part) and help us maintain balance when we're crazy. And especially thanks to my husband, without whom I wouldn't even be giving my writing a shot.
Thanks, Bill, for all the weekends you let me sleep in because you knew I had a writing hangover. Our kids appreciate it, too. :)
We all have our muses, but who are the people in your life who balance that out and keep you grounded in the joys of reality? Feel free to give them a shout-out in the comments!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
As with everything, there are many, many ways of going about this. But, this is what worked for me.
You really can find just about everything on Google :) When I first set out to look for a group, I had no idea where to begin and lived in a remote area where finding another writer was going to be difficult, if not impossible (or so I thought...but that's another story) :D So I hit the internet. I googled for “online critique groups” and started scrolling.
Going about it this way is going to turn up a lot of results. So choose carefully. In my case, I found a group with an extensive screening process. I had to submit an application of sorts, with a bio and writing samples. I was reassured that this group was legitimate because they were obviously very careful about who they let in. Keep in mind, this was six years ago. Things have changed a bit...there are a lot more legit writer forums, etc out there where you can find crit groups, so googling might not be necessary. If you go this route, I'd definitely be sure to check on the members of groups you find, just to be sure everyone is a good potential crit partner.
I very much enjoyed my time with that group, and learned A LOT. I was a very green writer when I started with them; they showed me the ropes, the rules, helped me get my writing under control. Finding a good group is invaluable.
2. Writers Websites and Forums
This is probably the best way I can think of to find some good crit partners. When I first starting seriously writing, I joined as many writer websites as I could find. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the whole publishing world. I did okay at writing, but I wanted to be better. I found a ton of sites; only a handful were really good, valuable places. Through these sites, a met a few good writing friends. We exchanged some material, and I had my first few critique buddies.
Again, practice caution. Not all sites are there to help writers. Some just want to take advantage. But you can find some really excellent sites. I usually enjoy AbsoluteWrite. They have some excellent information available to writers and I met some really great people there.
But my all time favorite site is QueryTracker.net. I just can’t say enough good things about QT. I joined the site and forum when QT was just getting started, and I was lucky enough to become very close with the members of the site. These people have not only become my critique partners, but are close friends as well.
3. Local Writing Groups
This isn’t something I’ve tried myself as I have such a great online support group and live in a fairly small community. But in larger communities, you should be able to find writer’s groups. Your local library is a great place to start looking. Check the newspapers as well. Being able to meet with your crit partners in person can really be a great experience.
4. National Writers Groups
Organizations like Romance Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators have many different chapters you can join. I know with RWA, there are chapters specialized in the different sub-genres of romance as well as chapters by location. These types of organizations are a great place to find critique groups or partners. Check out the forums…there is usually a thread devoted to people looking for crit buddies.
I truly believe no writer should be without at least one critique buddy. A fresh set of eyes is always a good idea :)
How did you find your crit partners?
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Finding the perfect name for your MC can be tricky. You might spend 30, 000 words calling your character something, but realise the name doesn't fit. Then you are back to the drawing board (and using the Find/Replace feature a lot).
I'll admit that I don't spend a lot of time thinking of the perfect name (my characters have told me their names when they show up *phew*). But, sometimes, names need to be period specific. Or have a meaning.
And here are a few helpful links:
5 Tips for Naming Your Character.
Baby Name Generator
What about you? How do you come up with names?
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Have you ever had a fleeting idea for a story, gotten busy with something else, and then seen a suspiciously similar idea pop up somewhere else? On a TV show, movie, or even a published book?
It's eerie. How did they come up with such a similar idea to yours? *gasp* Is someone stalking you?
Every kid I know invented the concept of A Bug's Life before A Bug's Life began. They had to have stolen the idea from some six-year-old kid.
Or have you ever written something you thought was completely unique only to discover that Western Space Dystopian Steampunk was now the over-saturated trend in the marketplace? Darn that Firefly!
But even when there isn't a TV show or movie to revive an old concept, most writers I know have accidentally written something that fits within a trend. Here are some of the things I've seen sink into the universal psyche in the past few years:
- Victorian England steam punk with a touch of paranormal
- mermaids/water elementals
- fairy tale retellings
- dystopian society where some form of government controls everybody's minutiae
- school/orphanage for gifted or troubled kids
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
And you send off the query:
When a new message shows up in your inbox:
Or the post drops through the door:
The face you make when someone asks you "If you've heard anything yet?"
And you have a "I hate waiting" moment:
Then you get a new idea:
And the waiting isn't so bad, right?:
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
So it's been seven months since I submitted to a publisher's open door submission. I've waited, and instead of a rejection, my manuscript has slowly ascended to the ranks of the chosen few. Out of nearly 1,000 submissions, mine is one of approximately 24 that made it to the editors desk. I feel great about that accomplishment! However, the waiting tends to drive me a little batty at times.
Sure, I know all the tricks. Write. Do something. But when the publisher posts twitter comments and posts about giving us an answer "very soon", I know-- from my experience--that soon means nothing in the world of publishing. That "soon" was posted over a month ago. And still I wait to know my fate.
A couple of months ago, I also submitted to a twitter contest for Random House UK, for a picture book. They asked if they could take my manuscript to a meeting. "Sure!" I replied. "Next week" has come and gone. A month ago they said that emails were going out "today". Well, "today" has long since come and gone.
It brings me to wonder, is there a secret language only known to editors? Do they have a code that "soon" actually means 3 months? Or does "next week" actually mean give or take a month or two. I have yet to discover the hidden secrets in the editorial lingo. I have learned though, that one should never take an ambiguous "soon" as gold. Things happen. Meetings are pushed back. Things appear on their desks. And as one of many writers, we must learn patience (dang it). Makes me wonder if agents, editors, publishers, are teaching us to wait. Maybe we'll finally get used to it all when we get that contract. For if/when we do, we have to wait for our books too. :o)
Monday, October 10, 2011
Peyton Brentwood is pretty, popular, and Harvard-bound. Or so she hopes. Her only distraction from AP classes and entrance exams is the prank war with her ex-best friend, Jess Hill. Peyton is used to getting what she wants, and she’s not about to let a loser like Jess gain the upper hand.
For Jess, the prank war is an outlet, a way to get revenge on the best friend who left her behind. As if Peyton has the guts to do what it takes to win. Please. There is no way in hell Jess is going to lose this one, even if she has to hit Peyton where it hurts.
These two girls are about to discover it’s best to keep your friends close… and your enemies closer.
Friday, October 7, 2011
The incredibly talented Mystery Agent for October is...
Sara has been with the Nelson Literary Agency since early 2006. Her first responsibilities included reading the query letters, sample pages and full manuscripts that were submitted for representation. In early 2009, she was promoted to Associate Literary Agent and is now actively accepting submissions of her own. From sexy romance to epic fantasy, Sara has loved reading since picking up her first copy ofThe Hobbit. Sara has a B.A. in Women’s Studies and a B.A. in American History from Northwestern University. She lives in sunny Boulder with her beat-boxing husband, adorable son and two fuzzy cats.
Read about Sara's submission notes, clients and sales at Publishers MarketplaceFollow Sara on twitter @SaraMegibow
Sara's TWO winners (and why) in her own words:
#39 Title: HARBINGER
Genre: YA cyberpunk fantasy
With her brother scheduled to become a Golem, a cybernetically enhanced soldier (love the concept!) , 17-year-old Kai will do whatever it takes to save him,(spot on character motivation in under one sentence - great work!) including using the abilities she promised her brother to keep secret--she can see the threads of time and manipulate them.(In this short pitch, the reader gets a spot on sense of what's at stake, what's the character motivation, what's the story. To me, this means that it's a really well-written pitch. The concept is strong although not totally unique and that's the one sticking point I see here. I love that I am 100% clear on the inciting incident - brother is scheduled to be turned into a Golem and that I get the story, the world, the characters. Those things sway my decision and push me over the edge toward ask-for-sample pages.)
#31 Title: THE ELITE
Genre: YA Thriller
Sixteen-year-old Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. (this first sentence is blow me away good. It captures the narrative voice, is totally unique and well written. Absolutely perfect! See how powerful even one sentence can be?) They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Elite and they need Avery as a pawn--or want her dead. (this sentence is a wee bit awkward. Her "newfound family" - I'm assuming that she's been reunited somehow and that's part of the story. The writer does the right thing here by NOT fleshing that out too much and leaving it to mystery. However, the wanted-dead-or-alive hook isn't as well written as the first sentence)
Her only hope is a race across Europe with the two boys the family sent to kidnap her—beautiful, volatile Stellan and darkly intriguing Jack—to decipher the ancient mystery that’s putting her life and the world in danger. (this sentence is clunky and if this had come through the slush pile I probably would have ended up passing on asking for sample pages. The first sentence is soooo good that I'm going to go out on a limb here and accept it anyway, but now we see how tough the slush pile is. I don't need to know what Stellan and Jack look like, and the "her only hope" hook feels generic.)
Thanks to everyone for participating! I am very much looking forward to reading THE ELITE and HARBINGER. Feel free to cyber-stalk me on twitter @SaraMegibow or read about my clients/ sales/ personal tastes at: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/SaraMegibow/
Katrina: As far as dream clients go, pick three authors, dead or alive, you would have loved to represent.
Sara: Ooooo - so hard to choose! I love to read, so I'm constantly buying books and falling in love with new authors!
Kody Keplinger - author of THE DUFF - one of my all-time favorite Young Adult reads.
NK Jemisin - author of THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS - an absolutely brilliant debut epic fantasy novel that I recommend to everyone.
Megan Hart - because I love her style on twitter and her funny posts convinced me to buy NAKED which I absolutely loved!
Amparo: Which of your favorite TV characters (teen or not) would make a great YA protagonist?
Sara: uh - last time I owned a TV was the year that Friends debuted. No kidding - no TV for a long time. Next question?
Sara: Young teens who learn they have a magical power that will save the world and Greek goddesses. However, these would be compelling to me too if done really well.
Sara: Coffee of course...Or a trip to Hawai'i to take my son snorkeling.
Katrina: And, of course, please share any agency/client news. We love to get excited about up-and-coming bestsellers!
Sara: I just love the words "bestseller" and "client" in the same sentence. *smiles*
Do you love contemporary, fun, funny, romantic young adult novels? Try CATCHING JORDAN by debut author Miranda Kenneally (www.mirandakenneally.com) - it's about a girl who is captain and quarterback of her high school football team when her position (and potential college scholarship) are threatened by a new player...a player who is also really hot. We're enjoying great early buzz on this book and ridiculously amazing reviews!
Or, do you prefer deliciously sexy, contemporary, hot, compelling romance novels? Pre-order CRASH INTO YOU by Roni Loren (www.roniloren.com) about a social worker from a difficult past who chooses to trust a former lover. CRASH INTO YOU is the lead title in January's Writers Digest magazine and has already earned this review: ""Hot and romantic, with an edge of suspense that will keep you entertained.” --Shayla Black, New York Times Bestselling author of SURRENDER TO ME.
And, for the epic fantasy readers out there - THE FALLEN QUEEN by Jane Kindred just hit pre-order status tonight. Woo hoo! Jane is online atwww.janekindred.com and her novel is incredible - stuffed full of Russian mythology and beautiful writing (as well as love, lust, epic battles and magic). It's about the heiress to the throne of Heaven, deposed in a celestial coup, who is hidden on earth by a pair of nefarious demons.
THANK YOU, Sara!! Congratulations to the winners! And another thanks to all those who entered. I can understand why Sara had a tough time choosing. Stay tuned because there will be a November contest on the first of next month.
A few of the books/authors repped by the Nelson Literary Agency:
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Also note that I did not list each and every genre. In fact, I only mentioned a few that go outside the norm, because for the most part, when we are talking novels, they fall into one of two categories – YA novels, and adult novels. Middle grade books could generally be classified more as novellas and picture books are in a realm of their own.
So, after much searching, here is what I came up with:
Children’s – age range – 0-12 (avg word count is 200 - 20k)
Middle Grade (Juvenile) – age range – 8-12 (avg. word count is 20k – 40k)
Young Adult – age range – 12-18 (avg word count is 50k – 70k)
Adult – age range – 18+ (avg word count is 80k – 100k)
Word Counts – I scoured the internet, agent blogs, writer forums, and helpful websites…and just about everyone had a different answer on exact word counts. However, there were some general trends. So, while there are exceptions to every rule, you should be safe if you follow these guidelines:
Novella – anything under 50,000 words
Novel – 50,000 – 110,000 words
Epic or Saga – 110,000+
Most adult mainstream fiction will fall between 80,000 – 100,000 words. In other words, if you have written a novel in any genre other than the three listed below, this range is a good one to shoot for.
YA - tends to be a bit shorter, around 60,000 – 80,000 words.
SciFi/Fantasy – traditionally these seem to be longer, but that is not always the case. In general, keeping them around 100,000 words is a good bet. However, because of the world building necessary for these books, longer lengths are generally more acceptable.
Historical Fiction – like SF/F, these generally run longer (with the necessary world building in these genres, longer word lengths are to be expected. In fact, I read a few places where editors were hesitant about shorter length novels in these genres because it does take time to get that setting established) but are usually between 90,000 – 100,000 (though sometimes as high as 150,000).
Every book is going to be different, and a longer word length isn’t necessarily going to get you rejected (though it might, especially if the word count is WAY out of average range). For an average novel, try to keep the word count between 70,000– 100,000. For YAs, 50,000 – 80,000.
Please, PLEASE do not read this and decide you need to chop up your novel. These are only average lengths found on one person's search around the interwebs. Some novels need the added length and work well with the wordage and some get the story across just fine with shorter word counts. These are just general guidelines; you must do what is best for your particular story.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Why are you writing about that?:
When will you get an agent? Will you get your book published? *insert question you don't have an answer to here*:
Yeah. You just type, right?:
What's it like getting a new idea?:
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Taylor was also kind enough to answer a few questions!
A huge thank you to Taylor Martindale for being our September Mystery Agent!! And thanks to all of you who entered! Remember, our October Mystery Agent is currently reading your pitches, so if you didn't win the September edition, stay tuned for the October results!
Have a great day, everybody :)
When plotting, we talk about character’s internal and external conflicts. Internal conflicts are the forces that drive them personally, and external ones are forces in the outside world that impact the character.
In writers’ lives, we also have internal and external conflicts.
How will I find time to write when my job, school, or family demands so much?Internal:
Will I get an agent?
Will my agent like this idea?
Will I sell a book to a publisher?
What will my reviews be like?
Will the chains carry my book?
Will I ever be good enough?The internal conflicts are what stop me. How can I can take time from other demands – family and paid work – if no one ever wants to read what I write? In the summertime, the answer was that I couldn’t. Now I’m winning out that internal conflict, and I hope to knock a few of the external ones off the list.
Do I have permission to keep writing even if I never accomplish my external goals?
Donald Maass on Writing the Breakout Novel
Therese Walsh on Internal and External Inspirations
Mary Frame on Internal and External Stakes
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Let the pitches flow! The Mystery Agent contest is here and officially open!!
1) THIS IS NOT A ONE-LINE PITCH CONTEST! Sorry for yelling. Just wanted to be sure I had your attention. :) Pitches can be 2-4 sentences long. Entries must be left in the comment section of today's post. (Please do not email us your entry.)
2) You must have a completed manuscript and be ready to send it upon request.
3) You can only pitch once per contest. So if you participated in any of our previous M.A. contests, no worries--you can submit your pitch today, too.
4) Please include TITLE and GENRE along with your pitch.
NOW FOR THE DETAILS:
Our agent will choose one winner out of maximum 50 entries, and that person will get a 50-PAGE PARTIAL REQUEST!! And guys, this agent is amazing! (I'd elaborate, but I don't want to give anything away. Just trust me on this.)
The Mystery Agent's requested genres:
Single Title Romance
- all subgenres in the 100,000 word range
- no inspirational
Young Adult and Middle Grade
- all subgenres
Fantasy and Science Fiction
- all subgenres
- for Adult or Young Adult readers
- including women's fiction, chick lit, historical fiction and high concept mainstream commercial fiction