Subjectivity and Why You Should Get Multiple Opinions

When I first started writing seriously, I didn’t understand the importance of getting multiple opinions on my work. I wrote a draft, sent it out to one person, incorporated that person’s thoughts, revised, sent to another person, and so on. Can you see the issue here? I was relying too heavily on one person’s opinion….

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Missouri SCBWI 2013 Conference Recap

On Saturday, I attended the Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. I would categorize this as more of an inspirational than a working conference. It consists of a series of keynote addresses with one breakout session. There was the option to attend an additional breakout session on Sunday morning, but as I…

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Patience: A Work in Progress

I am always in a hurry. Whether it’s getting the kids dressed and out the door, doing a freelance project, reading a book, critiquing, drafting, revising, or querying, I want it done now or possibly yesterday. This was a perfect fit for my first career choice. I worked for a public relations agency for seven…

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If You Have to Explain It, Something’s Not Working

The other day, Writer’s Digest tweeted the following: “If it needs explanation, it’s not working. #writetip” It’s such a simple statement, and so true. If your query or sample pages bring up the kind of questions that confuse readers instead of intriguing them, something’s not right. I’d also reverse it and say that if someone…

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What I’ve Learned in Two Years of Querying

I really hoped I wouldn’t have to write this post, but here we are. It’s officially been two years since I sent my first round of queries. During that time, I’ve queried two manuscripts, one of which underwent a major revision before restarting the querying process. I posted last year on what I’d learned in…

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When Is It Time to Query?

I’ve written posts on when it’s time to revise and when it’s time to wait, but I started this blog after I’d started querying DUET, so I didn’t have a reason to write about when it’s time to query. Until now. Because even though I still have a few DUET submissions out there, it’s time…

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Those Pesky Crutch Words …

I had this whole post written and WordPress deleted it–twice! Thank goodness I discovered you could retrieve a draft, although I’m still having to cut and paste it. Anyway, there’s a lot of advice out there telling you to eliminate words like: just very kind This rule is so ingrained, I don’t have an issue…

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Without CPs and Betas, I’d Never Get Past the Slushpile

This morning I finished up revisions from my second round of readers and sent my work-in-progress off to a third round. I’m always amazed at the things I miss when I’m editing my own work, and I came to a definite conclusion. If I didn’t use critique partners and beta readers, my manuscripts would never…

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The Benefits of Reading Your Work Aloud

Do you ever hear advice and discard it because you don’t understand why you would do that? For me, one of those pieces of seemingly pointless advice was to read your work aloud. I didn’t understand what I would gain from an exercise that would take much longer than just reading the way I usually…

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The Stages of Waiting

I sent my work-in-progress, THE DEXELON TWINCIDENT, out to my first round of readers two weeks ago. I received comments from one of the readers on Friday, and I’ve been anxiously waiting for feedback from the other (don’t rush, if you’re reading this!). It’s made me muse on the different kinds of waiting we have…

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Should You Re-Query Agents with Your Revised Manuscript?

If you came to this post hoping for an absolute answer to this question, you’ll be disappointed. I’ve been on a querying blitz this past week, sending the YA version of DUET out into the world. Because I already queried a number of agents with the MG version, this question of re-querying has come up…

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Always Learning, Always Improving

I’ve heard it said you have to write a million words before you’re ready for publication–or something like that. Now that I’m working on my third manuscript (ok, fourth if you count the totally amateur shelved one I don’t like to claim), I really get it. I’ve learned so many things through the writing-critiquing-querying-submitting process…

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