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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

Why Subjectivity Is Your Friend

Like many writers, I have a love/hate relationship with the concept of subjectivity. It’s the indefinable reason for countless rejections in the publishing world, many of them even quite complimentary. It’s also the source of invaluable opinions from other writers who provide feedback on your work. (I’ve blogged on the benefits of multiple subjective opinions before.)…

Read more »

A Song for Every Step of the Writing Process

The title of this post might lead you to believe I’m going to give you a writing playlist, but I don’t listen to music while I write. I can’t. It’s too much of a distraction. However, there are always songs in my head, usually of my own making. Today, that song goes something like this:…

Read more »

A Prayer for My Future Agent

As a person of faith, prayer plays an important part in my life. I pray about pretty much everything, including my writing journey. I prayed about whether my manuscript was ready to query. I’ve prayed about when to wait and when to move forward. Most of all, I pray for patience. Lots of patience. Like,…

Read more »

The Benefits of Reading Your Work Aloud Revisited

Yes, I have already posted on this topic–but it’s been two years. Honestly, sometimes it’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging long enough to decide to write on something only to find I already did. And in this case, when I looked back at my original post, I was actually pretty satisfied with what I…

Read more »