What Did You Learn?

July 29, 2011

Getting Published: Why Agents Can’t Always Provide Feedback

Filed under: Getting Published — Tags: , , — ax20 @ 11:55 am

It’s natural, when your submission is rejected to want feedback, but the fact is, most agents won’t (and more importantly can’t) provide it. Here’s why:

Why an agent can’t give you feedback at the query stage

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July 21, 2011

General Writing: What Makes It YA

Filed under: General Writing, Genre — Tags: , — ax20 @ 1:01 pm

What makes a story YA (aimed at 13-19 year olds) as opposed to Middle Grade (aimed at 8-12 year olds) and adults (20 and up)? Check out this post to learn more about what puts a novel in this specific genre:

what’s considered Young Adult fiction?

General Writing: Surprising Your Readers

Filed under: General Writing — Tags: , , — ax20 @ 12:57 pm

Keeping your readers surprised requires a good deal of manipulating. Read the Healing Wars author Janice Hardy’s take on how to keep your readers off-balanced and interested in your story:

Write What They Don’t Know: Manipulating Your Reader for Better Plots

Getting Published: More on Queries

Filed under: Getting Published — Tags: , — ax20 @ 12:54 pm

There are so many things that it takes to get a manuscript requested. Read about one manuscript reader’s day and what she chose to request:

Getting Past the Gatekeeper

Getting Published: Improving Your Query Letter

Filed under: Getting Published — Tags: , — ax20 @ 12:52 pm

Knowing what to put into your query letter is a tricky thing and there are tons of small mistakes you can make to hurt your chances. To see some mistakes you should avoid, read here:

Spot the Deliberate Mistakes

General Writing: Character Overload

Filed under: General Writing — Tags: , — ax20 @ 12:50 pm

Some book have a lot of characters. They key is to make sure those characters are distinctive and memorable rather than background blur. Here is a great article talk more about this idea:

Write What They Don’t Know: Manipulating Your Reader for Better Plots

July 20, 2011

General Writing: World Building

Filed under: General Writing, Genre — Tags: , — ax20 @ 10:50 pm

There is a lot to take into account when creating a new world (typically in the Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Dystopian, and Paranormal genres). This post brings up a few topics to keep in mind when thinking about your world:

Sample World-Building Questions, By Request

General Writing: Backstory

Filed under: General Writing — Tags: , — ax20 @ 10:40 pm

Backstory is a very important element of your story. It makes your characters who they are. This post talks about various ways to reveal your backstory without it feelings like annoying exposition:

Keep the Boring Out of Your Backstory.

General Writing: Traps to Avoid

Filed under: General Writing — Tags: , , — ax20 @ 10:17 pm

There are a lot of easy pitfalls to fall into as a writer. They usually come from a lack of detail or forethought on the part of the author and ultimately weaken the strength of the story. I recently came across a series of posts called “It’s A Trap” that go into detail about such issues and how to avoid them:

Purple Hair, No Personality–Unusual Physical Appearance in Place of Personality
Your Protagonist Knows EVERYTHING
The Easy Ending
Opening with a Nightmare
The “Multitude of Genres” Novel
Curing Mental Illness with Love
Overdescription & Repetition
Quirky Character Names

General Writing: YA Common Cliches

Filed under: General Writing, Genre — Tags: , , , , , , , — ax20 @ 10:07 pm

I came across this series of posts that talks about various cliches in YA books. A number of these cliches apply to adult books as well, but they are particularly true of the younger genre.

By Genre:
Dystopian
Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Romance
Paranormal Romance

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