Quick writing tip

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Quick writing tip:
Having problems with too many "be verbs?" Switch the direct object and the subject. For instance:

All around the pool were rocks and boulders.


Rocks and boulders circled the pool.

I've cut the sentence by two words. Now it's shorter, tighter, and more powerful.

Now, go forth, and edit!

The Secret Link between Telling and POV

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I've got a secret to share with you. But unlike most secrets, I want you to tell everyone you know. Ready? Here it is: Telling and POV are interlinked. If you're truly in deep POV, you won't tell us your story, you'll be showing it to us through your characters thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Here's some tricks to help you figure it out:

1. The following phrases are often used in "Telling"
He felt ________
He knew ________
He wanted ______

2. Repetitive use of a Subject, verb, Direct Object pattern.
-Tina was skinny.

3. Not using deep POV (duh!)

4. Narrator intrusion (narrator (that's you) interjects statements and/or ideas that would not be the main characters).

5. Information dump-you unload a lot of backstory or irrelevant information.

Writing tip: Writing the character's actions before they speak eliminates the need for a dialogue tag.

Q4U: What other things tip you off to telling or not being deep enough in your POV?

Write it anyway

Thursday, June 18, 2009
Anyway by Martina McBride (my favorite country singer) always inspires me when I think I may never be published. I've changed some of the lyrics to fit a writer's situation.

You can spend your whole life writin'
Somethin' from nothin'
One virus can come and blow it all away
Write it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This world's gone crazy and it's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway

(Repeat Chorus)

You can pour your soul out writin'
A story you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever wrote
Write it anyway
Yeah write it anyway

I write
I dream
I love

That pretty much sums it up. I accept that my books may never be published, and after waiting for publishers for nine months, that may be the case. I will write anyway.

What inspires you?

You've found an agent! . . . Now what?

Sunday, June 14, 2009
I didn't even want to think about what would happen if I found an agent. I was too consumed with finding one first. Plus, I really didn't want to get my hopes up. So I avoided the topic altogether.

Don't do this.

Really. If you work hard enough (and I mean write hours per day for years, read books on writing, with conferences thrown in) for long enough, it will happen. They really won't tell you no forever.

So you get the big email or phone call. What should you do?

First, if it's a phone call, tell them that you're thrilled to pieces, but you need to call them back in a sec so you don't scream in their ear.


Not yet?

How 'bout now? Good

Now, get online and look up all the questions you need to ask (I'm not going over them here. This is my favorite link by favorite blogging agent--Rachelle is nice, entertaining, AND informative. ) http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2009/05/questions-to-ask-agent.html

Print this off and file it somewhere.


Q 4 U

Monday, June 8, 2009
Updated 6-9-09
So, my question is this: How do you decide the context for your blog?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It basically boils down to why you blog. Here's the thing, I blog for two reasons.

1. As a promotional tool.
2. To network and connect with other professionals.
3. To help others learn from my mistakes.

I feel pretty good about #2. I've meet some awesome colleagues. I hope I'm accomplishing #3, but that would be subjective and answered by you. I'm not so sure about #1. How can we make our blogs into a promotional tool?

First, we have to identify our audience. For me, that's lovers of YA Fantasy. The question I can't answer is how the heck to reach them.

One obvious answer is to give them stuff for free--short stories, pieces of my novels, etc. That gets a little touchy with publishers, as they won't take things "already published." Also, I don't write short stories. It's not that I don't want to. I just can't. Every time I try, it turns into a novel. I'm no good at anything under 60,000 words.

So my questions are, and I hope this turns into a discussion, how do you reach your audience and what content do you deliver to them?

Review for the Brotherhood-cause it makes me happy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009
I sent a draft of The Brotherhood to one of my beta readers. She wrote me this email back (if only publishers were this enthusiastic!).

Ok. I started the book today. I could not stop. It is your best work to date. This one should be have not trouble getting published. Move forward with this as fast as possible. It had it all romance, danger, and mystery. I loved it.

I'm just a little miffed that you killed (retracted) off. It fit perfectly with the story but I'm a hopeless romantic. I just can't stop saying how much I loved it. There was a few times the peoples names were off and you even called James Joshen once. I think there was only one line I didn't quite understand. Other than that I thought it was brilliant, just brilliant.

I have read other books along the same lines as this and I think yours is above and beyond better. Send me more. Not that I have any sway but I would write a letter to whoever and tell them they would be missing out if they didn't publish this one. Get this on to your agent Now!! I know Becky would love it. I don't think any of the sex parts are bad if anything it could have been more for me. Just great!! Need I say more.


After all the rejections and all the "nos" it feels good to have a letter like this.

Posted chapters of Witch and Priestess

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Hey all. I've posted the first chapter of The Last Witch and The Priestess Prophecy on my new blogs. You can click on them on the left hand side under the headings: Current Project and Out to Publishers.
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