How Timing Plays Into Querying Strategy

Querying is such a game of strategy. And timing is a major factor in so many ways. Here are a few I’ve been thinking about lately. Catching the agent at the right time. Although I don’t have the link handy, I once read an interview with an agent who listed 10 reasons she might reject…

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Endings: How Much Can You Leave Hanging?

As I’m working on revisions for my current WIP, I’ve been musing over a question that’s occurred to me before: As an unagented, unpublished author, how much can I leave hanging at the end of my manuscript if I have ideas for a series? Unfortunately, I think the answer is: not much. When I wrote…

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Character Flaws and Why We Have to Care

Over the past few days, I reread two of my favorite romance novels. Although I read much more MG and YA these days, I grew up reading romance novels, starting when I was 11. This may seem young, but there wasn’t the strong category of YA or MG books then that there is now, and…

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Practice Makes Perfect–Or At Least Closer to Perfect

It’s been more than a month since my cupcake celebration for finishing my latest first draft. It took great self-control to let the draft sit for that long, but I filled the time with critiques for other writers, a major contest, and a revision to DUET. But finally, this week it was time to start…

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When Is It Time to Revise?

There’s a time to query. There’s a time to wait. There’s a time to … revise? I started querying DUET WITH THE DEVIL’S VIOLIN in April, entered a little contest called The Writers Voice in May, queried a bit more for the first two weeks in June, then decided to wait. You see, I had…

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Cupcakes for Everyone! The First Draft Is Finished!

Ok, I can’t actually give everyone cupcakes, but that’s what my husband took me out for to celebrate finishing my latest first draft. Lucky for me he worked from home today! This is the cupcake I selected. My followers know how much I hate writing a first draft. I had a particularly hard time with…

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Sometimes I Wish I Had A Pattern to Follow

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about how much I hate writing first drafts. That hasn’t changed. I’m two-thirds of the way through this first draft, and it’s torture. I know I’ll have to cut a lot of what I’ve written, and that drives me crazy. I’m the kind of person who wants it…

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How Writing Is Like A Black Belt Test

I’m in the midst of a new project, and the main character is a 12-year-old girl about to take her black belt test. Earlier this week I got to the scene in the book where this momentous event takes place. Since the most martial arts I’ve done is a self-defense class, I turned to an…

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Homicidal Fairies and Other WriteOnCon Lessons

I spent the last two days glued to WriteOnCon, plus several days before in the forums critiquing and posting. If you are a writer and don’t know about WriteOnCon–particularly if you write for kids or teens–head over there now! The conference was online, and everything remains posted forever. Thank you to all of the published…

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The First Draft Blues

I hate writing first drafts. I see other writers out there talking about how much they hate revising and think, “How could you hate revising? It’s so much fun!” Not kidding. I love to revise. It doesn’t matter if it’s my work or someone else’s. An unpolished piece of writing is like a big puzzle….

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How Do You Feel About Spoilers?

Like much of the world, I’ve been glued to my TV this week watching the Olympics. I made it through Monday without seeing any spoilers about the men’s gymnastics team finals, but every day since I’ve seen some kind of spoiler. I still watched in the evening, but it marred the experience already knowing the…

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The Questions We Ask While We Wait

Yesterday Susan Adrian wrote a great post on what to do while you’re waiting, with tips like work, read and observe, as well as what NOT to do. After I retweeted it, a fellow writer emailed me to check in on my agent search. It’s nice to have other writers who are in the same…

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