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

Friday, September 20, 2013


Hope you all had a great week! Random.org's number generator has spoken and the winner of a signed copy of Of Witches and Wind, Book 2 in Shelby Bach's Ever After series and a copy of Of Giants and Ice (Book 1) is... 

(first, if you haven't read Shelby's wonderful advice on character development in a middle grade series, her interview is HERE) ...

ROBIN!!! Congratulations, Robin. Please send me an email with your address and I'll ship those lovelies out to you!
Best Agent Advice I've read this month

I've said it before: if you're not signed up to receive the Nelson Literary Agency monthly newsletter, you're missing out. Click below to sign up. Look for the blue tab at the bottom left of the screen that says Newsletter:

The September issue included an article entitled "Why Agents Stop Reading: A Case Study." In addition to pointing out three things that make an agent stop reading your pages (GO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER to read those), there was a list of three key questions agents may ask themselves while reading. Agent Kristin Nelson suggested that we writers ask ourselves those questions as well:

1) Does each chapter or scene only do one thing (like introduce a 

character), or does it do multiple things, like introduce a character, 

add a new plot element, and also plant a clue that will be referred to 

later? Each chapter or scene needs all three.

2) Is what happens in each chapter or scene interesting all on its 
own? If not, guess what? You probably don’t need it.

3) Could any events be summarized in one sentence instead of 
playing out over a whole chapter or scene? If so, chances are good
your plot pace is off. If you can answer no–this is essential–then the 
chapter or scene is probably okay to keep.

That's all for this week. Remember, it's accomplishing those small steps that prepare us for the big ones!
Tess has started pulling herself up! Walking, here we come...


  1. Adorable baby and thank you for the agent advice - signing up for the newsletter right now!!!

  2. Tess is adorable! And yes, I subscribe to the newsletter. I'm always impressed by the advice they give.

  3. I've been subscribed to their newsletter for a few months now. Those tips are wonderful! And Tess is such a beautiful baby.

    1. It's a great source of agent info :) And thanks for the sweet words about Tess :)

  4. Tess is so cute! And I subscribe to the newsletter and follow Kristin's blog. Love them both.

  5. Love how your post balanced writing with life.

    It's always nice to get inside an agent's head.

  6. I did read Kristin's article, and had already printed it out for more review. Thanks for sharing her advice--it's some of the best. And little Tess? Too adorable! She looks like so much fun :-)

  7. Great advice. Oh, boy, walking! Once that happens, seems like everything else goes so fast! :)

  8. Mmmmm! These were nice tips! Thanks, Jessica!

  9. Great tip; I love the Nelson newsletter! And wow, can't believe how big Tess is. Looking forward to seeing her soon!

  10. I just signed up for that mailing list- thanks for the tip, Jess! I look forward to seeing what tips and information it brings. I also really found those three tips included in your post to be very interesting- definitely something to think about. Great post, Jess!

  11. Tess is just adorable! :)

  12. Your little leopard is gorgeous!!!

    Good agent tips. It used to be a lot faster and easier when I wasn't aware of any of that. I could write utter crap and be blithely unaware. Now it takes me forever to revise, and I'm never satisfied...

  13. Congrats to the winner and thank you for the agent advice. :)


  14. I was trying to remember where that agent advice came from when I did my latest post. Now I've added a link back here for that advice.

  15. Adorable picture!! Thank you for the advice....saving it for the future. Have a great day!