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September 29, 2010

Prepare to revise...

I remember reading some great advice on this a couple of years ago on author Nalini Singh's website. At the time I was nowhere near having a completed manuscript, but of course I spent countless hours trawling writing how-to websites and reading the writing tips on author websites hoping for insight into things I wasn't vaguely ready for yet. Sound familiar?

September 24, 2010

Creating Compelling Characters

Illustration for CheatingImage via Wikipedia
I'm an executive summary kinda gal, and as there's a huge amount written on this topic, I thought I'd distill it to its essence. Of course, a complicated idea can always be expressed simply, and that doesn't necessarily mean it's easy to do. But if you can think of things in simple terms I think it makes them feel more achievable.

So this is my cheat sheet for character writing.

September 23, 2010

A door opens - to my new agent

It's finally happened. I've just received an offer of representation and signed with an agent. I still can't quite believe it. One step closer to my dream of publication - and my mind is having trouble shifting gear.

At the beginning of the agent search, the power relationship (if it makes sense to think of it that way) between the writer and agent is very unequal, as most of the power lies with the agent. I'll admit I was very intimidated by the querying process. I've spent months sweating over my query letter. Writing and sending multiple drafts. Tweaking and revising my first few chapters.

September 20, 2010

Book Review - Burnt Snow by Van Badham

My review of Van Badham's debut YA novel is now up over at the Infinitas Bookshop site, and I'll post it here too. It's a great read.

I've been giving lots of thought to the YA market lately, as I've been told my MS currently on submission may be positioned somewhere between the YA and adult markets, not that I intended that when I wrote it. One of the latest big things in publishing (not that new really) seems to be the YA crossover market, which refers to books which ostensibly are intended for those in their teens but hook in many readers from the adult market too.
What have you been reading lately? Do you like reading/writing Young Adult fiction, even though (like me) you may have left high school behind a good few years ago? What appeals about this kind of book?

Read on for my Burnt Snow review.

September 18, 2010

Building a writer's platform

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
 I know people who have had blogs for years and years. These 'early adopters' are usually the more IT savvy among us, but now (in case you haven't noticed) everyone's hopping on board. Social media in general has been increasing exponentially in recent times. Keep in mind that Facebook (not to mention Twitter and tweeting) barely existed five years ago, and you'll see what I mean.

The digital age is here. But what does it all mean for the aspiring writer?

September 9, 2010

Revision request from an agent

I'm getting excited now. If you've read my last post, you'll know that I'm 'in discussions' via email about my MS with an agent. Well, all the long discussing is happening on my side of the email equation, while she writes two line replies. But anyway...

The agent has read my revised synopsis and had some further questions about the 'romantic elements'. How did I feel about including more romance?

September 5, 2010

An email from an agent!

An email icon designed for my userpage.
When you're waiting to hear
back from an agent there's
nothing quite so exciting
as getting new mail...

I've had some response to my many query letters, and I've even sent out the full manuscript when requested, and now...finally! I've heard back from an agent who has read my MS.

The email was brief - only a couple of lines. She said she liked it - except for a few major problems.

Now I could have responded to this email by being cast into the doldrums and thinking I'd done everything wrong. After all, there was no offer of representation. But I didn't.

September 3, 2010

Waiting for news? Start writing a new book!

Author/Creator: Date: 1686 Physical Descriptio...

Think we haven't come far? This is what a manuscript would
have looked like before computers. And before...um...typewriters.

We're familiar with the old saying: put another iron in the fire. And that's never better advice than when you've just completed your first book.

Patience is a virtue. I know that. But gee it's hard sometimes! Having sent out my many copies of my query letter via email quite a few months ago for my first ever completed manuscript, the only way I could deal with the nervous anticipation (and fear of rejection) was to put the whole process out of my mind. No, really.

Well, actually it wasn't quite as easy as that makes it sound. But I took some good advice from my sister, who often surprises me with her wisdom and common sense - and I started writing a new book.
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