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Showing posts from December, 2010

Querying and interesting findings

Hi all,

I haven't really given many query updates. My journey is so similar to other writers that I assume details are just redundant. But before I began querying I loved reading query-type info, so here you go.

The most interesting thing I have found is that the agents I felt were PERFECT for my story in every way gave me a form rejection. The agents I decided to test out just-t0-see requested the full. Isn't that crazy. Two agents that have my full rarely request YA (even though they both have sold YA). I am a premium member over at QueryTracker. I think anyone querying should pay that $25 bucks because it is soooo worth it. I am able to see the raw data of all queriers to any agent. The actual querier's name is hidden, but the stats are there. This has been the absolute best info I have found.

So my advice: Query very, very, very widely. I no longer believe in the "super/dream agent" thing. My "super agent" will be the one that loves my work enough to t…

Anniversary Day!

Hello fellow bloggers! Today is my 7 year wedding anniversary, and so I thought I would offer a list of what I have learned about marriage over the last 7 years.

The first year is the hardest, hang in there. Regardless of how right you are, fight the urge to say it. 99% of all arguments are a waste of energy. Relating to the above, TRY to bite your tongue. When someone screws up, they know it.
You really don't have to reiterate. Finances can complicate things. Discuss how to handle them PRIOR to marrying. It will
save you loads of grief. Decide how many children you want and when PRIOR to marrying. Decide if both spouses will work during child rearing years PRIOR to marrying. Know now that you will love your children more than you ever thought of loving anyone
else, but please do not let your spouse know that fact. :) Children can CAUSE and FIX arguments. You will argue about things you never
considered once kids are into the equation, but one smile from your child(ren) will make
you fo…

What do you want for Christmas?

Me? Well, besides an agent, I want this:






The problem is that I've been feeling like a bit of traitor wanting a Kindle. What's your take on the Kindle? Am I shooting my future writing dreams in the foot or is it fine? For me, I will still buy traditional books. I work in printing, and therefore, I feel that traditional printing will never die. I enjoy holding a traditional book, the satifaction of closing it after a fantastic read, and then picking it up months later. As a graphics person, I adore cover art. These are things that will not go away if I purchase a Kindle.

So, free my worrisome soul, it's fine, right? :)

Now onto you, what would you like for Christmas? What would make that day super special for you and remind you of childhood days? I believe we all have those childhood memories of the one toy you ALWAYS wanted and the thrill (or disappointment) on Christmas morning. So, share. I'd love to know and then follow-up to tell me if you got it. I'll be hoping fo…

Outlining -- a.k.a pulling your hair out

Outlining...yes, that organizational craziness that forces you to look like the poor cat above. Yep, that's what I'm talking about today. After reading a fellow blogger’s post regarding plotters vs. pansters, I began to research various outlining methods. The snowflake method is a very common approach that involves starting with a summary sentence (a.k.a pitch) then expanding out.
Some claim this hinders creativity, while supporters feel it keeps them on track. I've decided to use elements of the approach (click here). I like the pitch sentence to begin with. This took me quite awhile, but in developing my pitch sentence for Twisted Root I found that it helps to think in broad terms. A+B=C But the more interesting element of this model is the disaster moments in the story. You know, those moments where you become the evilest writer on the planet and your characters are tortured.
The Snowflake method suggests that you have 3 disasters (more with sub-plots) and an ending, ea…

Do you use photos to assist with setting?

I've been attempting to find a photo that conveyed the beauty of the underworld in TWISTE ROOT (my WIP). With SECOND SOUL, I used various Thomas Kinkade paintings to create Heaven. It's tricky when you have absolutely nothing in mind, and I am a very visual person. I need the other worlds in my book to be described to the point that the reader feels he/she is walking through the story. Well I found the photo--finally! What do you think? Nice, huh?





Do you use photos, visuals, etc. to help you write? If not, what helps you visualize? TWISTED ROOT is so deeply imaginative that I've had to pool lots of photos (and create some of my own) in order to correctly set the book. It is a journey for sure. So share, what helps you create setting?

M.B.

Recipes for sweetness

It dawned on me yesterday that I have a "recipe" for writing success. And by success I'm referring to the ability to write more than one line without my mind going totally blank. First, I am a night owl so I do my best writing at night. Last night I was up until around 2 am working on Twisted Root--my current WIP, a YA dystopian. In addition to the night thing, I've found that I need a few theme songs for my WIP. The music must jive with the mood of the relationship between my central characters--in this case, Ari and Jackson. When my brain shuts down and coffee doesn't help, I turn to my theme song, and suddenly the words flow out of me again.

My theme song for Twisted Root is Secrets by OneRepublic. Listen/watch here.

This song conveys the tension between my two main characters, but also the name is perfect. See, Jackson is the most popular boy in school and Ari (not so popular at all) finds out he is secretly a spy for the Republic (an alien group that lives bel…

New pet, new MS, and querying fun

I have been sooooo slammed that my blog has taken a very backseat, but I've decided to dive back into it on a regular M,W,F basis. So here goes.

Some of you may remember that my Cocker Spaniel, Bella, passed away in October. See picture below:




We were very sad, but my 2 year old just couldn't process that she was no longer with us. She would stand at my deck door and call for her or ask when she would return from the doctor. It was heart-breaking to say the least. My DH and I knew that we needed another pet to offset the loss and so this weekend we adopted a precious 4.5 month old kitten. Rylie, my daughter, has always called all cats "Kiki" so that is what we named our new baby. She is absolutely adorable, but what I never anticipated was her immediate attachment to my daughter. Typically kittens and toddlers can be an issue (we were very leery to bring home a kitten on the younger side). My daughter is a VERY mellow toddler so we opted to adopt an equally mellow kitt…