Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Answer the following questions and apply the answers in your current manuscript:
*What happens in your story that makes your protagonist the most angry? Anticipate that anger three times in the story before the big event.
*What does your protagonist believe beyond all else? Create a story event that forces him or her to accept the opposite.
*What does your hero or heroine see about people that no one else does? Find three times when he or she will notice that thing at work.
*Why does your protagonist’s life matter? At the moment when that’s most true, allow your protagonist to humbly grasp their importance to someone else or to the great scheme of things.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Well, as I was going through the exhaustive submission sprocess, it occurred to me, how much trying to get published could be compared to...dating. The awkwardness, the nervousness, the fear of rejection:
Step 1: The Meet-Cute
SUBMISSIONS PROCESS: Writer researches agents (online, in agent books, by word-of-mouth), looking for agents who are compatible with his/her work. Then, writer holds breath and sends a query letter.
DATING: Girl keeps eye out for cute/nice/intelligent guys with similar tastes/beliefs. She searches at work, at the grocery store, at bookstores, maybe even online. She sees an interesting guy and makes initial contact.
Step 2: Reaching Out - Best Foot Forward
SUBMISSIONS PROCESS: Writer's initial query is polite and professional, presenting only his/her very best self. No typos, no grammar mistakes, no over-the-top/unprofessional gimmicks.
DATING: Guy asks girl out, and she presents to him her best self at the dinner table (cute outfit, big smile, good mood, dazzling conversation). No smeared eyeliner or obsessive talk about The Ex or food stuck in her teeth.
Step 3: Waiting (and waiting...) for the Phone to Ring
SUBMISSIONS PROCESS: Hours, days, weeks, even months go by, and still the writer is made to wait for something - anything - from prospective agencies. Sometimes, he/she hears nothing at all. Ever.
DATING: After a good date (or what she presumes was a good date), girl is made to wait hours/days for the guy to call. Sometimes, she hears nothing at all. Ever.
Step 4: The Final Verdict -- Acceptance or Rejection?
SUBMISSIONS PROCESS: One of two things eventually happens: The Call ("Yes! I'd love to represent your manuscript!") or The Rejection ("Sorry, not for us...").
DATING: The Call ("Would you go out with me again?") or The Rejection (Silence).
Friday, June 4, 2010
But what about a conscious effort to be creative? Why is it that when we try too hard to be creative, the ideas dissipate, or fall flat?
I have a couple of techniques here that work for me. They're each one step below "trying too hard":
1) sitting down and opening my brainstorming document and reading back over previous ideas. More often than not, just immersing myself back into those original ideas creates newer ideas, and the juices start to flow.
2) letting my mind "go there" - as I'm going about my day, I allow my mind to drift (notice I didn't say "force" my mind, because that's when I usually run dry) and to think about the characters, mull over the story, in general. No pressure, here - just setting my mind on the book throughout my day. A sort of "relaxed" focus. Many times, when I do that, I'll begin to think of NEW/fresh ideas, and they slowy start to tumble on top of each other, one-by-one. Then, of course, I scramble to find a way to write them down. :-)
*edited to add: I just found this quote at a literary agent's site. Exactly what I was saying (but better-worded, lol). Great timing, no?
I don't find ideas so much as they find me. A writer needs to be available to the lightning that, if he or she is lucky, strikes. ~Frederick Busch
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it's work … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything. ~Stephen King (link)
So true. If a writer crafts it well enough, then a seemingly-meaningless object, a piece of dialogue, a gesture, can mean everything. It goes back, I think, to BEADS. The importance of symbolism and of carrying those symbols (subtly) all the way through a work. Something about those beads immediately enriches a work with meaning and depth.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
And so on. You get the idea. I remember with great clarity the seriousness of that conversation, but looking back, it was really something along the lines of THIS <--video found at The Gatekeeper's blog. Hilarious stuff!! LOL