Category Archives: Meme

Meeting like minds is so refreshing. I so this just for fun.

Toolbox 14: Query Revamping

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

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Last post I shared that I submitted to ten agents since then I’ve received eight rejections. All form letters confirmed in QueryTracker.

A quick visit to  Query Shark, some heavy reading and I went into revamp mode.

I reworked my query, synopsis, and sample chapters.  I didn’t have to redo all of it. Form letters usually mean the reader didn’t get past the query letter, but once I started fixing things…

What i focused on when revamping

What’s the hook? Many of the example letters started off with a general book description. I didn’t make this mistake. I’m pretty sure I was too vague. She strongly suggests looking for the crux of the character’s dilemma, a rhetorical question, or grabbing the reader with a tagline.

Why does anyone care? Excellent question—hence the rewrite. Several actually. It took work to pin down why anyone would care and want to read my book.

Maintaining an even ten

Ten queries are out and its been quiet. Of the seven rejections, one came the next day. So now I’m wondering if I hit a busy patch or maybe they haven’t gotten to me yet. OR, fingers crossed, my query letter survived the agent’s initial read through and is in a holding pattern.

Anyhoo.

I’ve read this process can take years and it has been suggested I get working on my next project just in case I run out of agents on my list to keep me moving forward.

What do you do to keep a positive outlook when submitting?

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IWSG 52 QUERYING REJECTION: FORM LETTERS

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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OUR HOSTS THIS MONTH:

Toi Thomas | T. Powell Coltrin | M.J. Fifield | Tara Tyler

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION:

What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Short answer: I’m going traditional but I’ve mostly submitted to indie publishers. Why for the experience and creds. Now, I’m looking at landing an agent. Form rejections galore so far, but my journey has just begun. Below is what I’ve been considering since my hunt has begun.

FORM LETTERS

What does it mean when an agent (reader) doesn’t connect?

I didn’t know so I searched the web for insightful advice.

Turns out that not connecting was a common rejection in a form letter. I didn’t know I was getting form letters until I checked Agent Comments in QueryTracker. Every letter was there.

One point I’d like to make is the majority of them were kind and encouraging. They didn’t have to write them like that and I know it.

I also revamped my query package and am trying again.

Any of you find an agent using the slush pile? Care to share how it went.

Toolbox 13: Quotes to Inspire

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

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Right now I should be writing this for the IWSG but alas that isn’t for weeks and I need a post now. I threw away my original post and thought, instead of going on and on about my dry research, I’d dive in to what inspires me most—other writers.

As I read, I remember they started as we did: knowing nothing, learning the craft and taking a chance.

“If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.”
—Margaret Atwood

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”
William Faulkner

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. ”
— Joss Whedon

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
–Anne Frank

“I really think that if there’s any one enemy to human creativity, especially creative writing, it’s self-consciousness.”
—Andre Dubus III

And one to inspire Easter eggs hunts

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and overagain, there is no use in reading it at all.”
—Oscar Wilde

As you may have guessed, I’m starting something new. I’m taking chances and trying my hand at a magical realism mystery. What was I thinking, is what I’m thinking right now. Please add your favorite, if you have one, in the comments.

IWSG 51 Avoid Yah-Ha vs Nah-Ha

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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Co-Hosts:

Erika Beebe | Sandra Hoover | Susan Gourley , | Lee Lowery

IWSG Question: 

What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I remember being very excited about my writing adventure when I put my first effort together. I hadn’t read any books except Stephen King’s On Writing. It was more of an experiment than a sure-fire novella on its way to publication.

I offered it up for evaluation at Zoetrope. I was excited to find such a site and when I went hunting around for the site today, it still had me on file. Too funny.

What to avoid?

Make sure you have a story with both a protagonist and an antagonist. I swear I was writing a fairy tale (scifi — note the ship — this time too) with a happy group of aliens traipsing through space all chasing a long-lost treasure.

Feedback was kind but clear. The story needed a bad guy. NO CONFLICT; NO TENSION.

Avoid Yah-Ha vs Nah-Ha

I got confused and figured conflict resembled the is-so vs is-not kind of interaction. Well that gets old and repetitive after two rounds. Listen to a couple of kids stuck in the backseat during a road trip and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not any better in a story. Things spiral using that approach

Avoid thinking writing is a lonely business

I found Zoetrope first and then Scribophile & the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The writing community is huge and ranged from newbies to masters. Join a writing group, face-to-face or online. It doesn’t matter. That’s where the support is.

You might even feel like the odds aren’t against you anymore.

Avoid thinking all contests cost money

There are free ones out there. I am particularly fond of the Writes of the Future. First story was a bust but my second got an honorable mention. It spurred me on and didn’t cost a cent.

Last tip

Some contest have fees, but are still reputable. If you like to write horror and feel like trying your hand at a screen play, Zoetrope might be for you.

Francis Ford Coppola is the finalists judge. There is an entry fee for both the screenwriter’s contest and the short story contest (the fees are new) ranging from 30-50 depending where your work falls.

The deadline is coming up, so I’d plan for 2019 if you’re interested.

I’m off to read some posts. Thanks for dropping by. If you have comments on recommended contests or sites for writers be sure to include them in your comments. I’d love to read about both.

Toobox 12: Calibre, “Send to Kindle”, and Lulu

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

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Calibre

Many people like to read their work on an ereader. Calibre is one way to do that. Here are the download links if you want them:

Windows | MacOS | Linux

I started using Calibre because I could not catch all my errors on a computer screen. My mind, like many others, self corrects. I was stuck printing. Fine, but expensive when still in revision mode. As my stories got longer the more I looked for an alternative.

Calibre converts a MS Word doc into a mobi (that’s my choice but there are more). I see both my Calibre library and the books/documents on my Kindle. I’ve also added my favorite recipes. One button and the document is transferred to my phone. Easy peasy.

Amazon Send to Kindle

Another  way to get a document on a Kindle is “Send to Kindle”. Here are the links to download this app: PC, Android, & Mac.

There is some setting up required.

  • Download and install app
  • Sign in (same info for registering your app/reader)
  • On any closed MS Word Document right click and from the drop down menu choose: send to kindle.
    • First time asks for accept terms of service
  • It lists the title and author of the work, how it will be sent (wifi or Whispernet) and which device (if you have more than one with the Kindle app)
  • Wait for a bit and it will show up with the next sync.

Once it is set up it is very straight forward to use.

Lulu

And for the person who still prefers a hard copy…

If you still like paper copies try Lulu.com. Their most basic package is cheaper (according to one of my writing buddies) than printing it out at home.

Note: Select 8.5 x11 and One copy.

For my final read through before submitting, I like make changes and just leave remarks to consider later. If I don’t do it this way, I land up reverting back to revision mode—not the goal.

Just thought you’d enjoy some alternative methods to read over your latest project.

I keep thinking one day I’ll gather my work together and create a volume of works using Lulu.

Do you do something similar? Feel free to share  you methods. I love to learn something new. 🙂