Quick Tip: Visualizing Your Feedback

One of the hardest decisions to make as you start receiving feedback on agent submissions is whether you should stop querying and revise. The tricky part of the equation is that the publishing business is subjective, and it’s challenging to sort through the comments you’ve received and determine whether they’re leaning toward “Yes, you definitely…

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An Update on The Manuscript That Wouldn’t Let Me Go

Nearly a year ago I wrote about the manuscript that wouldn’t let me go, and the post resonated with quite a few readers. This response didn’t surprise me as I knew it was a common phenomenon to love a particular story so much. Well, I have an update on that project. I finally finished redrafting…

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The Search for Solid Comp Titles

As writers, we’re often told to include comp (or comparative, for the non-writers) titles in our queries letters. But it’s tricky. These titles can’t be too well-known, or we’ll look ridiculous. Or arrogant. “I’ve written the next HARRY POTTER! HUNGER GAMES! TWILIGHT! DIVERGENT!” No. You haven’t. Sorry. Or even if you have, there’s no way…

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I’m on Team Ravenclaw for Pitch Slam!

For those of you curious about my current project, AS SEEN ON EVIE, I was selected for Team Ravenclaw in the Harry Potter-themed Pitch Slam contest. Over the next few days, agents (or Professors, as the contest has deemed them 🙂 ) will be awarding points to entries within the different houses, which equate to…

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How I Found YA

With all of the talk about TWILIGHT today and how it affected the young adult market, I started thinking about how I came to young adult books. It wasn’t through TWILIGHT–although I wouldn’t be ashamed if it was. Despite whatever flaws those books have, I love them because I care about the characters. Plus, I…

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5 Signs You Should (or Shouldn’t) Be Submitting/Tweeting Tomorrow

So there are a couple of amazing opportunities out there tomorrow for writers who have a manuscript ready to query. One is the incomparable Authoress’ new On the Block contest, a progression from her very popular Baker’s Dozen contest. The other is #PitMad, a twelve-hour pitch session that happens four times a year, dreamed up…

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That Magical Moment When Feedback Clicks

Don’t you hate it when you know something’s wrong with your manuscript–maybe it’s even been pointed out to you by multiple sources–but you can’t figure out how to fix it? Or, even worse, when you think you’ve fixed it and then you receive comments from agents after you start querying that reveal the issue was…

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Quick Tip: What’s Happening on Page 20? 50?

A wise critique partner of mine once got to page fifty of one of my manuscripts and said, “Think about what’s happening here. This is page 50!” And although it was still a fairly early draft, I realized she was making an important point. When you’re ready to query a project, agents have varying submission…

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6 Reasons You Should Critique for Others While Revising

Did you miss me? I know I threw that four years of querying post out there and then deserted the blog for a couple of weeks. My family went to the Lake of the Ozarks, and then I had a week of craziness catching up with some deadlines. But I’m back! So, I’m in the…

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What I’ve Learned in Four Years of Querying

It’s here! I have officially been querying for four years. (Actually it was July 11, but since that’s a Saturday this year, we’ll just consider it today.) And in a strange coincidence, four years ago I sent off my first round of queries and then we packed up and drove down to Springfield, Mo., to…

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On Balancing the Urge to Slap a Character or Root for Them

I read a number of frustrating books over my vacation, but before you think that means I didn’t like them, I’ll point out that I wrote a review about one of them earlier this week :). Why was that particular book frustrating? Because the girl kept missing out on opportunities where she could have fixed…

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Revising for Vacation!

When I was in college, my roommate always cleaned our dorm room or, in later years, our apartment before we left for a break. She said she wanted to return to a clean place. (Hi, Liz!) I didn’t totally get it when we were in college, but I do now. And of course I’m going…

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