Welcome! Please sit down, make yourself comfortable, and have a brownie or three...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Keep Your Protagonist's Growth Authentic

We all know that an engaging external plot can keep readers turning pages. But what about the internal plot of your manuscript? Because in a whole lot of great novels, the protagonist we start with is NOT the one we end with. The external journey they've taken will fundamentally change something about them~ their perspective, their heart, their confidence level, etc.


Yesterday I was taking a few goofy photos of my daughter and the matter of authenticity sprang to mind. Here is my daughter's hair shortly after birth (about 5 weeks ago):

And here are two pictures of it yesterday:

Most readers can spot a contrived external plot and critique partners/beta readers will generally point those out for you.
Okay, okay, so I faked it.
But the internal plot is something you, as the writer, really need to consider in terms of 
what you want your character to do internally with the external plot elements you hand him.
How do you want him to change because of the experiences you've put him through?

Today I challenge you to take a look at your current manuscript and see whether or not your character has internally changed and if that change is authentic, having gradually built on all of the external factors that you've presented to the reader.

(And I also challenge you to take goofy pictures of your children/spouse/pet/self~ it's a great way to spend a few minutes...until someone walks in the kitchen and says, "Um, what are you doing with the baby?" Then it gets a little awkward)

Friday, February 15, 2013

What Agents Want in the First Five Pages

Searching for agent tips earlier this week, I came across Amy Trueblood’s First Five Frenzy series. This series is GOLD for both the agent-seeking, querying writer and for any writer looking to improve those all-important first pages.

Via Amy’s blog:

The First Five Frenzy is a series of agent interviews that helps aspiring writers understand what works and what flops in those first pages they submit. With each new interview agents reveal what lines caught their attention, and how good writing draws them in and encourages them to request more. This series is a must read for any aspiring author who wants their first pages to shine in the submission process.

Please head over there and check out the following interviews when you have a moment!

Michael Carr – VeritasLiterary Agency
Kate McKean – HowardMorhaim Literary Agency
Mary Kole – Movable TypeManagement
Amy Boggs – The DonaldMaass Literary Agency
Diana Finch – DianaFinch Literary Agency
Brandi Bowles – FoundryLiterary + Media
Alyssa Eisner Henkin –Trident Media Group

You can follow Amy Trueblood on Twitter @atrueblood5

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What Agents Are Chirping About

Early info for the Monday, February 18 Secret Agent contest on Miss Snark's First Victim can be found HERE:

*Eligible genres are: Romance, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult (contemporary, historical, sci-fi/fantasy) and new adult (contemporary, historical, sci-fi/fantasy).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As always, I encourage you to follow literary agents/editors on Twitter. They are a treasure trove of publishing information and are another way of getting to know the movers and shakers of your chosen passion :) For today's post, I found these tweets at the hashtag #pubtip.


Looking for a way to get a fresh take on your opening pages? Have someone else read them outloud to you. #pubtip

Most authors do not sell every book they write. This is true even after that first book deal. #pubtip

Hey, hey you. Don't say this in your query letter to us: "I'm on the seemingly impossible task of finding a literary agent." #pubtips

Unless you're already a famous bestseller, your new book will probably be rejected by someone. Agents, editors, boards. #pubtip

I find out about my clients' events via social media, & so do their fans. If you aren't promoting, you're asking for an empty room. #pubtip

"I wrote this book because it's something I'd want to read" is a better pitch than, "there's nothing good to read, so I wrote this" #pubtip

#PubTip Send your query letters to yourself 1st & Check formatting. It could look good in the writing window, but WEIRD in the inbox window.

2 queries in the last 10 in the voice of the main character. Oy. Please don't do this. I represent YOU, not a character. #pubtip

Authors: you don't need to send me a pre-query. Just email me a query without pre-querying. Take a chance! Jump in with both feet! #pubtip

OK, everyone needs to realize my reading priorities go: contracted ms > option material > agented subs > non-agented subs. #pubtip
Retweeted by agent Michelle Witte

Panicked over writing your query letter? Some tips today on my blog:

Great post by @MissDahlELama asking multiple agents to answer industry questions! http://bit.ly/YRr02S #pubtip #querytip

(great list of questions/answers that apply to both agented and non-agented writers!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My New Inspiration!

*I'm keeping this up for my Friday post~ will return with Agent Tweets on Tuesday!

Here's the reason why my blog posting and commenting has been a bit inconsistent lately.

Joining big sister Charlotte and bigger sister Quincy and big brother Collins is...

Baby Tess

Tess sleeping in her snow outfit (we call it the Blue Lagoon)

Tess in her custom-made owl hat~ thank you, Dijana!

Tess with big sister Charlotte

Auntie Sheena trying to convert Tess to the Broncos (we're an Eagles family...yeah, it was a bad year for Philly)
Tess getting some Zzzzzs