Tag Archives: Writers Digest

Monday Tips: Don’t forget to comment on other’s blogs, & scrapbooking tips for making characters come alive

Here are a couple of things I found while trolling the internet:

 

 

From the Creative Penn a writing tip. If you are having trouble making your characters come alive, create a scrapbook page of faces that fit your characters, drawn from…junk mail, newspaper and magazine ads, stock photo websites, travel brochures, local newspapers. To read more, click on this link:  http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2011/07/18/visual-character-map/

 

From Writer’s Digest 10 Ways Writers Lose Blog Traffic, Number 7 reminds us all to read (and comment) on other people’s blogs. To read the whole piece, click on this link: http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/10-ways-writers-lose-blog-traffic-and-alienate-readers

 

 

Do you have any tips that you found on the internet that you’d like to pass on? Feel free to drop a comment in the box below.

 

Have a great week!

 

Image from letsgodigital.org

This piece first appeared in the August newsletter. If you would like to read more such tips, or hear about how my progress on THWARTED QUEEN is going, please sign up for the newsletter by clicking on the appropriate link to the right.


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Filed under How to Publish Your Novel, Promoting Yourself

How to achieve the balance between narrative and dialogue

I was watching to a webinar recently, given by agent Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Literary Agency (it accepts romance, and women’s fiction), and I heard something that I thought I would pass along.

 

He was talking about the balance of narrative and dialogue, and talked about how he was once reading a novel, and he felt as if he was learning an enormous amount, but the information was presented so transparently he hardly notice it.

 

How did the author do it?

 

She wedged little pieces of information into the dialogue, like a sandwich. So there was dialogue, then the info dump, then dialogue.

 

I’m going to try out this technique myself, but thought I would pass it along to all of you.

 

 

Do you have any craft tips you’d like to share? Feel free to drop a comment in the box below.

 

Have a great week!

 

This piece first appeared in the June newsletter. If you would like to read more such tips, or hear about how my progress on THWARTED QUEEN is going, please sign up for the newsletter by clicking on the appropriate link to the right.

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Jane Friedman’s blog THERE ARE NO RULES

This Friday, I’m going to try something different. I’m going to start a series of Friday posts that will highlight a blog or website that I think is particularly interesting.

Today, I’m going to talk about THERE ARE NO RULES, a blog owned and operated by Jane Friedman. Jane is the former publisher and editorial director of Writer’s Digest. She is currently visiting professor of e-media at the University of Cincinnati and contributing editor to Writer’s Digest. Jane is very generous in passing on information via free webinars and blog posts, and I have learned a great deal from her on the changing nature of the publishing industry.

On Wednesday, Jane posted a blog from guest blogger John Rember, who wrote on the relationship between authors, agents and publishers.  Here is an excerpt from his blog:

But my troubles with my agent were never her fault. They were inherent to the relationship between agents and writers, which is a predator-prey kind of deal. Agents are not hoping to find, in you the writer, a diamond in the rough, a talent to be nurtured, a friend to be encouraged. They’re looking for the next John Grisham and they’re looking for 15% of a multi-million dollar advance. They are cold and hard businesspeople—if they aren’t, they end up living under bridges, and not the bridges in the Hamptons—so your talent or niceness is not their first consideration.

Many writers assume that with the big houses, a few bestsellers subsidize midlist writers. That’s the way it used to work. Now the CFOs of publishing houses demand that every book be a money-maker. In practice, this means editors are told to look for the next bestseller, and they, not being psychic, think that it looks like the last bestseller. Hence John Grisham, James Patterson, Dan Brown, and the dead Swedish guy.

To read more, click here.

To read Jane Friedman’s blog, THERE ARE NO RULES, click here.

–Cynthia Haggard writes novels.  She is currently seeking representation for HE MUST BE SOMEONE,  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Blogs and websites to watch, How to Publish Your Novel

I participate in a webinar

As you know, I am seeking representation for my novel ONE SEED SOWN, TWO MURDERS REAPED. I’ve been sending it to agents, and haven’t had much luck, when I noticed that Writers Digest was giving a webinar about how to attract an agent, given by a widely-respected agent who has a reputation for looking after her authors.

So I decided to participate in this webinar to see if there was anything I could learn from it.  There were several things that the agent advised us all to do:

  1. Be yourself. Don’t do a hard sell, because unless you are very good at doing it, it will come across as a hard sell.
  2. Don’t talk about all the writing you did in a corporation, or as an academic, because that isn’t relevant. In your query letter you really want to focus on writing you have done that is relevant to the novel you are trying to pitch.
  3. It sounds obvious, but DON’T pitch an agent a novel that is exactly the same as one they have sold, because it will be competition for that novel. Instead, find an agent who has sold something that is similar, but that won’t compete.
  4. Try to get a feel of where your novel will sit on a bookshelf in a bookshop.
  5. Lastly, be prepared to do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes time to sell your novel. You may have to hire a publicist. You definitely want to have a following. Agents will be asking you these questions, so if you are not comfortable marketing yourself, then find someone to help you.

Next: I get a free critique of my first 300 words.

Image: peaceatwork.org

–Cynthia Haggard writes novels.  She is currently seeking representation for ONE SEED SOWN, TWO MURDERS REAPED, the Richard III story told from the point of view of his mother. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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Filed under About Cynthia, Agents, How to Publish Your Novel, Promoting Yourself

Writers Conferences

Writing conferences are important, not only because you have a chance to network and meet people, but also because you may learn interesting things. When I think about going to a conference, I first check the faculty or the list of speakers.  What is each person’s bio, what have they written, would they be the kind of writer who might understand my WIP? Then I look at the sessions. Is there anything that I particularly need to learn, or do I know it already? Is there going to be time to talk to the speaker? Are there special sessions where you can meet an agent or an editor? Lastly, I look at practical things like travel, accommodation and date.

Where can you find out about writing conferences?  Check out the Shaw Guide to Writers Conferences, Poets and Writers, and Writers Digest.

If you have been to any interesting conferences, feel free to comment below.

Image: aliceosborn.com

Next: I participate in my first webinar

–Cynthia Haggard writes novels.  She is currently seeking representation for ONE SEED SOWN, TWO MURDERS REAPED, the Richard III story told from the point of view of his mother. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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Filed under About Cynthia, Conferences, How to Publish Your Novel, Promoting Yourself