Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fifth Tuesday Links

On Marketing and Social Networking:
GLA: What Selling Lemonade Can Teach Us About Writing
Babbles from Scott Eagan: Make Your Own Opportunities - Editors, Agents, and Readers Won't Just Come To You
Rachelle Gardner: 7 Keys to Planning Your Career Path
Miss Snark's First Victim: A Tweet By Any Other Name

Regarding Subjectivity & Agent Interviews:
MuseInks: Publishing's Perplexing Pickle Problem
Babbles from Scott Eagan: Along With the Manuscript, We Look At Potential
The Write Life: 13 Ways to Convince a Literary Agent to Represent You
Books & Such: Let Your Agent Be the Bad Guy
Rachelle Gardner: Why Didn't I Say "Yes" to Your Submission?
Literary Rambles (Agent) Spotlights: Lana Popovic of Zachary Shuster Hamsworth (YA, MG, thrillers, fantasy)
Michelle Witte of Mansion Street Literary Management (MG, YA)
It's in the Details: Questions with Tamar Rydzinski
Questions with Jennifer Laughran
Questions with Danielle Smith
Questions with Jordy Albert
Questions with Juliet Mushens
Chasing the Crazies First Five Frenzy: Molly Jaffa of Folio Literary Management
Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency

GLA New Agent Alerts:
Sarah Nego of Corvisiero Literary: "I am only accepting middle grade and young adult fiction manuscripts. I'm open to any genre within those age groups, but I prefer speculative fiction ..."
Beth Campbell of BookEnds, LLC: She is seeking "... romance ... YA, fantasy, science fiction ..."
Fiona Kenshole of Transatlantic Agency: "I am looking for kidlit categories from picture books to YA ... I like stories that make me laugh, or real children in magical circumstances and I love animal stories; in YA, above all else I look for a captivating and distinctive voice ... I am not looking for ... faith-based stories, or vampires, paranormal or sword-and-sorcery fantasy."
Jessica Negron of Talcott Notch Literary: "I'm interested in all kinds of YA and Adult fiction, but lean toward science fiction and fantasy (and all the little sub-genres), romance (the steamier, the better) and thrillers."
Roz Foster of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency: She is interested in "... literary sci-fi, and literary YA. She loves novels that make her feel like the author is tuned into a rising revolution - cultural, political, literary, or whatnot - that's about to burst upon the scene. She looks for resonant, lively voice; rich, irresistible language; complex characters with compelling character arcs; and a mastery of dramatic structure ... Please note that (she) is not interested in ... romance, and children's middle-grade/picture books."

On Writing Itself:
Babbles from Scott Eagan: Your Story Dictates the Style
Keep Your Characters Dressed!
Find Your Central Story Arc and Stick to It
Kidlit.com: Introducing Fantasy Elements
The Bookshelf Muse: The Psychology of Disappointment & Our Characters
Writer Unboxed: Levels of Conflict
Questions and Archetypes: Stealing from another house (World-Building)
Picking the Brain of the Collective
Patricia C. Wrede: Being Mean

Contests & Online Conventions:
Miss Snark's First Victim: August Secret Agent
WriteOnCon: Write On Con
It's in the Details: Agent Greeting Contest
Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire: Are Contests Worth It?

Of course, this list of links is by no means exhaustive of all the great posts I've read this past month. Too many links can make your eyes glaze over. So we'll just do these this time. Isn't the internet wonderful sometimes?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Behind the Scenes: Forbidden Without Knowing Why

Welcome to Behind the Scenes, a place where I delve into the wheres, whys, hows, and other sundry research regarding my novel, Trefury. Come explore this month's topic with me.

Have you ever been forbidden to do something without knowing the reason why? It doesn't have to be something deep, dark, dangerous, or controversial. Think especially about your childhood or teen years. Did a parent, guardian, teacher, or other supervising adult have a rule that didn't make sense to you? Did you try to get around it? Did you obey it unquestioningly? Did you ever find out the reason for the rule?

One of my main characters, Cortnee, butts heads with her mother over the issue of taking dancing lessons. Her mother grudgingly allowed it for a few years on the stipulation that Cortnee can't exhibit her skills. This actually applies to all of the other extra-curricular classes Cortnee takes (and there are several!) But as soon as they need to move, her mother seizes this opportunity as an excuse to drop the dance classes. The problem is Cortnee is a natural born dancer and wants to grow up to dance professionally. This whole situation is actually backstory for the novel but the consequences of their subsequent struggle over the issue is a driving factor in present-novel-Cortnee's decisions.

Cortnee bows to her mother's wishes because of what ensues from this disagreement. However, she does find ways to circumvent her mother's anti-dance sentiments. She pursues a secondary dream of becoming a recording engineer.

What's a recording engineer? (More on that research coming up soon.)

This secondary pursuit, along with her original dreams of becoming a dancer, play an integral part in not only who she is and what she wants, but create some unexpected reactions from my other main character (more on him to come.) It's not until towards the end of the story that Cortnee learns why her mother was so against dancing, and the explanation knocks the figurative rug out from under her feet.

Share your story of being forbidden to do something in the comments. How did it affect you? For those of you who are parents, have you been placed in a position where you had to forbid your children to do something? Was it hard? Did you let them know the reason why? Please keep these experiences PG or lower. No political or theological rants, please. These will be deleted.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Music to Write By #1: OCRemix Doom 'Jade Spawn'

Starting up another series of posts, these ones aimed for certain Saturdays. Need some good instrumental music to create the mood or get you in the zone while writing? This month I recommend Doom 'Jade Spawn' from OCRemix's vast archives of remixed gaming music. The music is downloadable and free, which is the best part. There are some very talented remixers sharing their work. This particular piece has a suspenseful tremor the whole way through it. Good for channeling tension or creating build-up to a climax. Be sure to check out ocremix.org for more great music and stay tuned for future recommendations from me. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mid-Year Resolutions

Everyone makes up resolutions in January. Here we are halfway through the year and it's time for me to refocus. Feel like joining me? Great! Share a link with your mid-year resolution post.

1 - For every query rejection I get, I'm going to go out and do something good for someone else, turning a negative into a positive. It's easy to look at a rejection and fall into self-doubt and depression. The cure for that self-centered way of thinking is to help someone else instead.

2 - I'm going to get the 2nd draft done on my next book before the end of December. That sounds like a long time, but I have limited time to write each day and a lot of research to do.

3 - Save up enough money to go to a conference. My artist pal, Nicolle Raty, wants me to go with her to the SCBWI conference in New York City (yikes!) next February. Along with trying to scoop together the funds, I'll need to amass some serious courage. I don't like cities and interacting with people in large crowds intimidates me.

4 - Read around 30 more books before the end of the year. On Goodreads I challenged myself to read 40 books. I'm behind. I admit, I haven't felt excited to read in awhile. Nothing's catching my interest and holding it. I think my YA trend has withered up and I don't like romance other than the sweet variety. So ... maybe I'll go back to classics for awhile. Unless any of you have some stellar recommendations that don't include what I mentioned above.

I'd better not push it with more resolutions. It's never a good idea to overdo. Make each day worthwhile by pushing yourself to learn something new, go beyond what others' expect in a good way, and accept that your best each day may not be perfect or as much as you wanted.

Have a great and productive week, everyone!