Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Pass Or Pages Entry #2

It's feedback reveal time! We hope everyone reading can find something helpful as they work on writing their own query letters. Many, many thanks to the members of our agent panel for taking the time to critique these entries, and major props to the authors for putting themselves out their in the name of improvement. We salute you!







Entry #2: BETWEEN STARFALLS


Query: 

When a little boy gets lost in the forbidden mountains, his desperate mother, her brother, and her two best friends break the law every Rinaryn is taught from the time they can walk- never, for any reason, leave the path. [L1] [K1] 

For generations there has been a rift [H1]between the agrarian Rinaryns and the secluded mountain-dwelling Kamalti, who have faded to legend. So when the four Rinaryns[H2]force their way into the mountain, they are surprised to discover an entire civilization far more advanced than their own and filled with strange rules. Misunderstanding the Kamalti justice system triggers a fight for their lives, sparking the Kamalti to enslave them for a year as criminals. [L2] [K2]

In the face of Kamalti prejudices, the Rinaryns [L3] must reach an understanding with their captors to make their escape. Along the way they discover a horrible truth: because of a generations-old translation error[H3], the Kamalti send lost travelers to the same inescapable prison city the Rinaryns exile the worst of their criminals to.[K3] If they can't get the Kamalti to see them as peers, countless more lives will be needlessly destroyed.[K4] The way the future unfolds for both peoples will be determined by four Rinaryns: the hero running from glory, the peacemaker trained for battle, the priestess berserker, and the tall dwarf with the smart mouth.[H4][L4][K5]

BETWEEN STARFALLS is an epic fantasy novel with science fiction elements describing the clash between two long separated cultures and the little things that mean the difference between war and peace. The narrative is told through six points of view: the voices of the four members of the search party, one of the Kamalti captors, and a rebel from the prison city. It is complete at about 147k words[K6] [L5] and intended to begin a series. BETWEEN STARFALLS is The Stormlight Archive meets the Lightbringer series meets The Rain Wilds Chronicles. [L6]

**********
Lisa's Notes:
[L1] I would’ve liked to have their names. It would help to ground me sooner in the story and establish a closer connection with these characters.
[L2] Too long and it’s expository information (info dumping).  Starting to read like a book summary not a pitch.
[L3] Need to get to this sooner. Also when “Rinaryns” is used here, it was confusing. Before I figured out we were now back to the characters, for a second, I thought it was in reference to the people/race (previous paragraph) rather than the characters (first paragraph).  Again, it would help to know their actual names.
[L4] This is the most interesting sentence in the entire pitch.
[L5] The max word count for Adult fantasy is 120k. This one is a bit long, especially if this is a debut. I wouldn’t pass on that alone, but it is a red flag for me.
[L6] So nice when comparable titles are included.

Kirsten's Notes:
[K1] It feels very strange that we don’t get these characters’ names, here or anywhere else. There’s potential in this opening, but I don’t see how it relates to the rest of the query.
[K2] This is very general. What caused the rift? What is the legend? Advanced how? What kind of rules? What’s the misunderstanding? What happens in this fight, and why are you telling us the outcome before we can even get interested? Without more specifics, it’s hard to invest myself.
[K3] I thought the Rinaryns didn’t know the Kamalti existed?
[K4] Not following this logic: if it’s just an accident of translation, why do the Rinaryns need the Kamaltis’ respect to fix it?
[K5] Are these the same four people in the first paragraph? I’m at the end of the query but still have no idea who they are. Even if I weren’t confused by the worldbuilding, I’d need someone specific to care about in order to want to read the story.
[K6] This is getting into dealbreaker length for me.

Hannah's Notes: 
[H1] If there has always been a rift, then why are the characters surprised to find the Kamalti there?
[H2] A book about “Four Rinaryns” is not as interesting to me as a book about four individuals with distinct personalities, who you do not name at all in this query.
[H3] Can you give us more about what this translation error is? Otherwise, I have no idea what could be so horrible that the Kamalti imprison lost travelers over it.
[H4] Give me this at the beginning.
Also, to be clear – they’re in the mountains in the first place to retrieve a lost boy? What happened to him? He’s never mentioned again.

First 250: 

Kaemada narrowed her eyes and focused on shutting out the sounds of sparring to her left. Sweeping her long hair back over her shoulder and tying the dark honey colored curls out of her way*, she eyed the course set before her. She was stalling. Earsa’s patience was short, his temper shorter. With slender fingers curled around the familiar wood of her bow*, Kaemada lifted her chin and ran. From her left across the clearing* sped two orbs of force through the air like ripples along a cracked whip. She hurdled one then stopped short, every muscle in her body working to halt forward momentum as the second blazed by. Again she ran and dove to the ground under a third shimmering, translucent ripple. Pain shot through her knee, the old injury exacerbated by the dive to the ground. Gritting her teeth*, she picked herself up and sprinted, favoring her right knee. She must do better. Swiftly*, she nocked an arrow, drew back the string while aiming, and let loose. The arrow thudded home near the center of the target. [K1] 

There was no time to celebrate. She barely saw the arrow hit before she sped on lest yet another ripple hit her. They kept coming and she ran, sprinting and leaping and diving and slowing and dodging. She aimed, drew, and released. The arrow struck the edge of a target high above her in a tree.[H1] [L1] 
**********
Lisa's Notes:
[L1] I’m passing on this entry. I like that it begins in scene with character movement.  But I’m unable to connect with the character.  I tend to be drawn more to characters with deep inner lives.

Kirsten's Notes:
[K1] I like opening to this action, but I’m having trouble picturing it, particularly the orbs of force and the translucent ripple (another orb of force?). Also wish I knew who Kaemada was from the query above.

Hannah's Notes:
[H1] These stars mark passive voice. Be careful of overusing passive phrasing, especially in an action sequence.

Results:
Lisa Abellera: PASS
Kirsten Carleton: PASS
Hannah Fergesen: PASS

Monday, March 27, 2017

March Pass Or Pages Entry #1

It's feedback reveal time! We hope everyone reading can find something helpful as they work on writing their own query letters. Many, many thanks to the members of our agent panel for taking the time to critique these entries, and major props to the authors for putting themselves out their in the name of improvement. We salute you!







Entry #1: SUMMER

Query:

Hammond’s a programmer, an if/then warrior, with commitment issues. Then he meets an attractive woman at a Memorial Day Party who enjoys sketching, has no visible means of support, lacks any sense of propriety, loves waffles, and who might be a witch.[K1] So what's an affirmed bachelor to do?

He falls in love for the first time of course. Figures. [L1]

But Hammond can’t help himself. June helps him see things he wouldn’t have dreamed were possible, truths he didn’t know existed.[K2] Even facing his greatest fear – the mother of his girlfriend – can’t dampen his feelings for her. Only the accidental discovery of a hidden, magical world called Summer calls into question his sanity.[H1]

Now June is gone[H2] and her mother says she’s been forced to return to Summer to complete her part in an ancient pact. June is to be chosen as Dawn Goddess, and she must marry the Lord of Winter to renew Summer’s magic. Without that magic, Summer will die. And Hammond’s[K3] learns his own world is connected to Summer, and will die along with it. [L2]

Love is love, though, and Hammond wants her back. To do so, he must travel back into Summer and race to find her before the ceremony has been completed. But there’s always a catch. Mel and Fran want to come with him.[H3] And it’s not long before they’ve been separated and Hammond has been taken prisoner, leaving Fran and Mel to fend for themselves and find their way across a strange land. [L3][K4] Can the three friends succeed in Summer, where powerful forces face each other bent on forcing June to marry the Lord and save the realm… or kill her and steal the magic?[K5]

Can Hammond save June, his friends, and his heart without destroying two worlds?[H4] [L4]

SUMMER is a fantasy novel that is complete at 135,000 words. [L5] [K6]

**********
Lisa's Notes:
[L1] I would caution on using this “voice” in the query. It doesn’t work for me.
[L2] You need to get here sooner. 
[L3] Overall, this is sounding more like a book summary than a pitch to hook me.  The query has gotten confusing, especially with these added characters, so I’m not sure what I’d be getting. I suggest tightening and restructuring so it reads more like a pitch, or an invitation to read, than a summary or synopsis of the book. Focus on the main theme or plot and what is driving the story and the main character(s).
[L4] I advise against using questions in your pitch.
[L5] The max word count for Adult fantasy is 120k. This one is a bit long, especially if this is a debut. I wouldn’t pass on that alone, but it is a red flag for me. Also, I’d suggest including two comparable titles, successful ones that have been released within the last 4-5 years.

Hannah's Notes: 
[H1] Whoa! The whole lead up to this point felt like a romance.  Let us know as early as possible that we’re looking at a fantasy – otherwise, the reader will be surprised, like I was, by the revelation.
[H2] What happened? This feels like a huge event to gloss over.
[H3] Who and why? 
[H4] Half of this query is about Hammond falling in love with June. We don’t get any sense of what the inciting incident actually is, who his friends are (even though they seem to be integral to his adventure), why they go with him, what Summer is, etc etc. Additionally, there’s a lot of worldbuilding not in this query that might help me what you’re setting up.

Kirsten's Notes:
[K1] Mixing “might be a witch” into the more mundane tidbits is meant to create interest, but I’d prefer specific examples of her lack of propriety showing us who she is instead of telling us.
[K2] Again, would prefer specific examples.
[K3] Typos like these are not dealbreakers, but avoid any errors that might lead me to believe that your writing is sloppy.
[K4] I’m suddenly wondering if Hammond is even the main character, or if we’ll actually be following Fran and Mel as much or more. If that’s the case, the whole query needs restructuring.
[K5] Also comes out of nowhere, making me wonder if even understand what the central conflict is. Why spend so much time introducing Hammond and June, only to rush through the other plot points?
[K6] Within the limits of a fantasy wordcount, but barely. Make sure you really need it to be that long.

First 250:

Of course we met at one of Ernesto’s legendary parties.[H1] Where else do two twenty-something people meet these days other than parties and dating sites? The produce aisle of the grocery store is filled with older divorcees with poor fashion sense and bad comb-overs, and the beach scene is really for teenagers who don’t have the responsibilities of adulthood yet and can sit and sun and serenade each other with awkward pickup lines like, “so, if there’s a party in my pants and you’re invited, would you come?” And then there’s Tinder. Don’t get me started on Tinder.

Ernesto’s parties were the talk of our group for months, and sometimes years. The Ides of March party in 2014 was the biggest incident of drunken debauchery I had ever had the pleasure of attending, with more naked bodies than a porn shoot. But it was his Medieval Mariachi event the previous summer that we discussed ad nauseam through the long, dreary fall that followed. Even his regular New Year’s Eve bash didn’t wash out the bright memory of everyone in colorful tunics and robes, the host in his plate armor, and the near drowning that took place when the jousting went badly and Sir Edward of Chamomile—Eddie Fenton, who was a manager at the local Any-Mart chain store—ended up at the bottom of the pool still strapped into his shopping cart, his chainmail weighing him down. Bill, Melissa and Rufus all dove to the bottom to drag him out. [L1]

**********
Lisa's Notes:
[L1] I’m passing on this entry.  I didn’t feel grounded in any actual scene (not sure what’s the present action) and wasn’t able to connect with the narrator or other characters. 

Hannah's Notes:
[H1] He says “we” here but never mentions a “we” again in the next 250 pages. I’m not entirely sure why the story begins here. There is no action – even if it’s minor, placing your character somewhere, performing even the tiniest action while contemplating these parties would help me immensely.

Kirsten's Notes:
It’s hard to get really interested in these name-droppy descriptions of past parties. I wish we were seeing the party he’s out now instead, which would be more engaging. Hammond sounds bored, and that makes me think he’s boring, which makes me want to move on.  

Results:
Lisa Abellera: PASS
Hannah Fergesen: PASS
Kirsten Carleton: PASS

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Book Launch Party!


My critique partner, Beth Ellyn, is getting ready to celebrate the release of her debut novel, AT FIRST BLUSH. She has a party on Facebook planned for April 3rd. There will be guest authors and chances to win prizes! If this sounds like something up your alley, then I highly encourage you to join here. The more, the merrier!

Here are some teasers from AT FIRST BLUSH, which is a highly enjoyable contemporary (if I do say so myself!):






________________________________________________________


And not to be forgotten, Beth Ellyn has a preorder offer happening right now!





Finding the perfect lip gloss? Easy. 
Finding your way in the world? A whole lot harder . . .

Who would have thought that a teenager could have a successful career creating makeup tutorial videos on YouTube? For Lacey Robbins, this dream has been her reality. An up-and-coming YouTuber, she has thousands of fans and can't wait for the day when her subscriber count reaches the one million mark. And when she is offered a high school internship at On Trend Magazine, she figures that this could be the make it or break it moment.

But sometimes your dream job isn't all that it seems. Her editor is only interested in promoting junk products, and her boss in the Hair and Makeup department introduces her to the larger world of makeup artistry, making her wonder if making tutorials online is all she is meant to do. To top it all off, when the magazine's feature subject, musician Tyler Lance, turns his broodingly handsome smile her way, falling for him could mean losing her fans, forcing her to make a decision: her YouTube life or her real life?

Fans of Zoella's Girl Online will fall right into the world of this YA The Devil Wears Prada and stay hooked from the first blush to the last glossy kiss.







Thursday, March 23, 2017

Synopsis Critique #6 - Adult Fantasy

And now, it's time for this week's synopsis critique! The author of DARK AND LIGHT, an 85,000-word Adult Fantasy, submitted this synopsis. My in-line comments are [blue and in brackets], and I'll include a summary at the end. Feel free to comment below!

If you'd like a primer on how to write a synopsis, see my posts here and here. And if you want your synopsis critiqued on this website, fill out the form here, or email your 1-2 page synopsis to me at operationawesome6@gmail.com, and I'll post one critique per week (NOTE: I'll email my critique to the author as soon as I'm done, so the author won't have to wait to see his/her synopsis on the site). Thanks for participating!

Synopsis

Draca is the largest island in the Thalassian Archipelago, an ancient kingdom where people live in fear of Possession - being taken in the silver carriage to the Castle of Eternity and an unknown fate. [This is a nice way to establish the setting. Because there are a lot of names coming, I'd suggest deleting the reference to the Thalassian Archipelago and abbreviating that sentence to something like, "Draca is an ancient island kingdom where people..." Then you can combine that sentence with the next paragraph so you introduce the main character (I'm assuming Jubi is the main character) right away.] Nineteen-year-old Jubi’s life is upended when she arrives home from the market to discover that her father has been taken in the silver carriage. Years ago her brother had been Possessed. Grief drove her mother to kill herself. Since then Jubi has had no family but her father. Determined to rescue him, she journeys to the faraway city-state of Sammalore to seek help from Miiya, the greatest living witch. [Great paragraph. Gives us the inciting incident, the main character's goal, and what she's doing to work toward that goal.] Witches, mages and priests have coexisted in Sammalore for centuries. Asteri, the charismatic head of a new priestly order, the Custodians of Purity, wants to end this Balance and turn Sammalore into a hieratic city [I don't know what 'hieratic city' means, and I'm not sure you need that terminology here. Can you just say 'turn Sammalore into a city dedicated to the Twin God (though the Twin God isn't mentioned again, so you might be able to omit this name too)..." Or, if hieratic city means religious, maybe say 'turn Sammalore into a religious city ruled by his priest" or something like that?], dedicated to the Twin God and ruled by his priests. At first Sammalore’s elites don’t take him seriously. By the time they do, he has become the most popular leader in the city, a man who can summon a mob with a few words. Asteri forces the hereditary prince of the city to hold a plebiscite [what is this?] to decide Sammalore’s fate. Witches and mages fight back, but they cannot match Asteri’s cunning or his fiery commitment. At the plebiscite, a majority of Sammalorians vote for Asteri and his plan to outlaw magic. Witches and mages are given a choice - abjure their powers [what does it mean to abjure their powers? A lot of the terms in this paragraph seem to be specific to fantasy worlds. That's fine, but consider explaining or simplifying them to make sure any reader will understand] or go into exile. Miiya has been a witch of Sammalore for one and a half centuries. For her abjuration is impossible and exile inconceivable, not least because a witch’s power is rooted in the soil of her homeland. When a sister-witch is murdered, Miiya, overcome by anger, almost incinerates a mob. That incident makes her realize that she might push her beloved city into an internecine war [what does this mean?]. Horrified, she decides to end her life, but is interrupted by the arrival of Jubi, accompanied by Cillo, a priest who is opposed to Asteri. [I'd suggest leaving Cillo out of the synopsis. You've got a lot of character and place names already, and Cillo doesn't do much in the rest of the synopsis other than get killed. If you expand this to a longer synopsis, then you can definitely add him/her back in.] On her way to Sammalore, Jubi has been abducted by slavers and forced to endure months of brutalization in a slave colony. [I'm a little confused. In the preceding paragraph, you say Jubi has arrived in Sammalore, but here, she's been kidnapped en route. How/where does she meet Miiya?] Miiya’s initial resentment [why is she resentful?] turns into pity when she inadvertently catches a glimpse of Jubi’s memories. Moved by pity she agrees to help Jubi. Miiya, Jubi and Cillo journey to Draca. [How is Jubi released from slavery? Why do they go back to Draca?] During the weeks on the road, their necessary alliance develops into deep bonds of affection. [It's starting to feel like Miiya is actually the main character, and not Jubi. Are they both viewpoint characters? If not, and Jubi is the main character, make sure you're tracking her viewpoint throughout the synopsis. If they're both viewpoint characters, then you probably need to introduce both of them upfront, describing their stakes and what they do to achieve their goals. Maybe the first paragraph about Jubi and the second about Miiya?] Once in Draca, Miiya manages to visit the castle and uncover its secrets. Many decades ago, an illness deprived King Iretsa of Draca [just say 'the King of Draca' here without naming him] of the ability to beget a living child. He wants to stay alive until he has an heir. His solution is to kill the Possessed ritualistically and drain their spirits. The spiritless-bodies are used to create an army of non-human killers. [How does that keep him alive?] Jubi’s father is not dead. He has become a courtier. He is also the prime mover behind an impending alliance between Iretsa [the King of Draca] and Asteri. Jubi doesn’t want to accept the truth about her father. She thinks she can persuade him to leave the castle. Disobeying Miiya’s injunction she tries to enter the castle and is taken prisoner. Cillo who accompanies her is killed. [If you're deleting Cillo, take out this sentence] Miiya has no choice but to use her waning powers to enter the castle. She finds Jubi trying in vain to persuade her father to leave. But he is addicted to the idea of immortality and has arranged for Jubi to become Iretsa’s [the King of Draca's] latest wife. Miiya manages to rescue Jubi, with the help of Karila, a long time human servant of the king who has grown disillusioned with her role and horrified by the crimes she had been a part of. [I would end this senence after '...manages to rescue Jubi.' Karila doesn't recur in the synopsis, so it adds another character name that isn't necessary to the main plot description] Miiya’s only daughter, Saro, had been born without the gift of witchery. As a result, the relationship between the mother and the daughter had been fraught with disappointment and resentment. In the end, Saro, feeling betrayed by her mother had run away and died. [I would delete all three of these sentences. Since this is our first mention of Saro, you can revise the following sentence to say 'For Miiya, Jubi has replaced her dead daughter, who ran away when her mother's disappointment at her being born without the gift of witchery became too much for her to bear' or something like that.] For Miiya, Jubi has replaced the dead Saro. Jubi managed to survive the horrors she experienced by clinging to the hope of saving her father. Miiya knows that if that hope is taken away, Jubi won’t survive. Against her better judgment [is this referring to Jubi or Miiya?], she makes one last visit to the Castle, but is forced to admit that Jubi’s father is irredeemable. Miiya marshals every bit of her remaining powers and summons a tidal wave, destroying the Castle and all its inhabitants. Jubi discovers a dying Miiya and begs her forgiveness. Once Miiya is dead, Jubi realizes that it is by living that she can pay the debts she owes Miiya and Cillo. [Is this where the story ends? What does Jubi specifically do (or plan to do) to pay those debts?]


Summary


This synopsis is nicely written and the reader gets a good feel for the kind of fantasy world you've created. Here are my overall comments:


1) I've suggested places you can eliminate character/place names. Especially in fantasy, where many of the names are unfamiliar to readers, too many names too quickly becomes confusing. Further, you use some terms I suspect are specific to fantasy writing. Assume your reader isn't familiar with those terms (agents may rep fantasy along with many other genres) and use more familiar terms or explain the terms.


2) At the beginning of the synopsis, I thought Jubi was the main character, then it seemed like Miiya was the main character, and then I wasn't sure. If you only have one main (viewpoint) character, revise the synopsis with that in mind - every paragraph should have the main character acting, reacting, thinking, planning, or doing something, even if there are other things going on with other characters (subplots, etc.). If both women are viewpoint characters, then introduce the reader to the first viewpoint character (along with her inciting incident, goal, and plan) in the first paragraph, do the same for the second viewpoint character in the second paragraph, then interweave their stories as much as possible throughout the rest of the synopsis, tying both of them to the main plot. That way, without overtly stating the novel is written from two viewpoints, the reader will get that sense anyway.

Thanks for submitting and best of luck with this manuscript!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Flash Fiction Contest Winner #28



Big thanks to everyone who participated! As always, lots of good entries, and it made the decision quite hard. But in the end, I had to go with... Tabitha Bird! It was a very lyrical piece, as you can read below. Congrats, Tabitha!

_________________________________________________________


You came to the patch of dirt with encouragement from the weeds, where stray dandelions puffed their heads of seeds and you sent wishes to the sky. You came for the bark and sticks, the wind and the blue above. But you really came to escape the insides of your house. The yelling and crying. The mother who wouldn’t leave. The father who knew she’d stay. You came because it was the only stance you could take, the only way to be free in the middle of their storms.

“Nothing much here grows,” they said.
But you knew that wasn’t true. For here in the garden grew you. A little girl. Poetry and ideas. Things bigger than the little girl herself. With water from a glass jar you mixed mud soup. Fairy guests fluttered in your mind and you fed them on stories and make believe, on four leaf clovers and gum nuts.

Until the days you didn’t come. The garden left behind. You grew older with the passing days. No more stories. Too much lost and hurt within you for dreams to grow.

Then one day it happens.
Your own little boy and his own little garden. Rocks, mud pies, and sand cakes sprinkled with grass. And of course four leaf clovers.
“Play with me, Mamma? Feed the fairies?”
You stammer. “I can’t. I don’t remember how.”
His face. It falls like a star from the worlds above. And he turns away.
But you do remember. You remember all too well.
“Wait. Fairies?”
He nods. Eyes hopeful. “Let me see. Yes, they like sand cakes, but also mud soup. Do you know how to make mud soup?”
And the afternoon grows longer, the skies the color of pink lemonade. Once more you send wishes to the skies.


Waiting to Process Feedback

I don't know about you, but often when I receive feedback on my writing I immediately want to jump in and start making revisions. I've heard that "you should always wait before making changes" or "give it time to really sink in," but I didn't realize the wisdom behind that advice until recently. I had a valuable learning experience with feedback that I thought I'd share with you all.

First of all, I believe that you should wait before processing or trying to implement feedback, but you should not wait a single second to thank the person who gave you the feedback. I often send emails to my CPs the minute I receive their feedback that look like this: "Thank you so much for getting back to me with your notes! I can't wait to dive in!"

If someone takes the time to read your work and try to help you improve it, you should thank them regardless of whether you agree with all, any, or none of their feedback. Full stop.

On to my experience. I had an agent reject me back in January with some feedback that I thought was valuable. I was working on a revision plan to address that feedback when I got a full request from another agent. Not wanting to make the 2nd agent wait an unreasonable amount of time, I let her know I'd need a week to make a revision. I quickly finished my plan, took scenes out, added new scenes in, and sent it to the agent. I also sent it to one of my CPs who hadn't read the book yet to see what she thought.

A few weeks later my CP got back to me, and the short version is: she did not think that the changes I made addressed the issues brought up by the 1st agent. I was devastated. I felt like I had ruined my book, and worse yet, that maybe it wasn't worth saving. I knew that I had rushed my revision plan, and not sent Agent 2 the best version of my book. Lesson 1: Don't rush the implementation of feedback.

Going back over my CP's notes a week later, however, I started to get excited about her ideas. Instead of feeling depressed at the amount of work I needed to do, I felt confident that I could make changes and improve the book. Lesson 2: If the feedback upsets you, give it some time, then come back to it. It's amazing how much difference even a week can make in your attitudes.

What lessons have you learned about receiving and using feedback?

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Little Reminder: Take Care of Yourself

This is a short little blog post to remind you to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat healthy stuff, get some exercise. The writers’ life is pretty sedentary, and while writing keeps your brain acute, it doesn’t do much for the rest of the body. In Winnipeg, we’re still waiting for spring to arrive, so we can get out and enjoy the real world, but for those of you who already have some warmer weather and sunshine, get out and enjoy. Work up a sweat, drink lots of water and, for goodness’ sake, lay off the sugar. I'm talking to myself as much as anyone else. I'm ready to shake off winter and my extra layer of insulation. Wishing you all a spring time full of good health and great stories!

**************
Melinda Marshall Friesen writes novels for teens and when it's time to get off her duff, she enjoys running, biking and tennis. She's not fast or good at any of them but finds them fun.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The #AtoZChallenge 2017 Theme at Operation Awesome is the Publishing Journey

#AtoZchallenge 2017 Operation Awesome Theme Reveal


As our THEME for #AtoZChallenge 2017, Operation Awesome is taking you through the Publishing Journey.


From writing your story to getting it out in the world, the OA team is ready to blow your mind with great information and tips.

This April we will cover:


Agents- How to Create the Perfect List of Who to Query
Build a Following for Your Author Brand
Confidence! How to Write Big, Bold, and With Authority
Debut Authors - Why We Love Them (And You Should, Too!)
Eye-Catching Covers That Will Boost Book Sales
Falling in Love With Your Manuscript - Why an Emotional Connection is Vital
Good Books (Kara's Reading Roundup)
Healthy Minds and Healthy Writers
Ideas to Spark Your Next Story #WritingPrompt
Jump Start Your Editing
Key Steps to Writing Your Online Book Description
Letting Your Characters Listen
Misconceptions
New Tools Every Author Should Be Using
Own Your Next Writing Session
Prioritizing the Writer’s Life via a Business Plan
Quiz! Are You're Cut Out For Self Publishing?
Reactive vs Proactive (7 Habits of Highly Effective Writers part 1)
Selecting an Agent When You Receive Multiple Offers
Think like a Book Marketer
Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Query Letters
Valuable Gifts for Writers and Readers (Pens for Paws Auction)
Want to Be a Great Critique Partner?
Xenogeneic-like Ways to Use Other Genres To Improve Your Story
Yes, You Can Run an Effective Book Blog Tour
Zzz Into Zowie with These Query Tips


The #AtoZChallenge 2017 Theme at Operation Awesome is the Publishing Journey.


#AtoZchallenge 2017 Operation Awesome Theme Reveal