In the Blogosphere: 1/10-2/11

“In the Blogosphere” is a series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week (usually).

I’m making one of my resolutions to be better with these blogosphere posts.  *Well, I’m trying, but I’ve been reallllllly busy!* I’ve saved a lot of great stuff, though, and it’s all definitely worth a read.

I’ve decided just to focus on agents and querying and . . . stuff, since I need to get a jump on WB workshop stuff this weekend.

Hope you enjoy!

AGENTS & QUERYING & STUFF

I jumped back into the query pool this week with my latest YA contemporary manuscript, so this is largely for me.  🙂  Oh yeah—and any of you also at this stage.  Hee.

Many of us have formulated our own lists of “dream agents,” based on stalking meeting some of the industry’s finest at conferences and workshop, reading interviews and blogs, etc.  Here, the Michelle Wolfson-repped rom-com author, Tawna Feske, talks about the downside of dream agents.

See that butterfly net? That's my dream agent. *Creepy much*? You know who you are . . . OK--you prob don't, and that's prob a good thing! 🙂

And, just in case that depresses you, here is another post by Feske, where she shows her agent-catching query.  For a little inspiration!

Agents dishing out query tips online in response to their query inboxes becomes a heated debate around the blogosphere at least twice a year, but I think it’s a valid discussion whenever it pops up.  Here, Heather Trese of See Heather Write asks: Is the #queries hashtag really good?

Querying can be extremely frustrating (understatement much?), and it can lead to writers getting pushed over the edge of good sense and expressing their frustrations in their Tweets or Facebook statuses. Translation: not good.  Here, Bridget Pilloud has the answer—a bitch box, or the Bitchy Comment Receptacle.  You need to bitch?  Pilloud provides a sounding board—and then deletes your comment so no one will see it.  Win-win!

Ever wonder how agents actually evaluate fulls when they request them?  Well, she doesn’t speak for all of agentkind, but Andrea Brown lit agent Mary Kole says she does it like this.

Going to a conference?  Here’s what kt literary’s Kate Schafer Testerman has to say about talking to agents IRL.

I had the distinct pain pleasure of writing my synopsis for my new MS this weekend.  I had *forgotten* about this, the fabulous Shawntelle Madison’s synopsis wizard.  But you should def check it out!

In my editing of MS #2—as well as in the reading of John Green, Maureen Johnson, E. Lockhart, and other YA all-stars, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the “mature voice” in teen fictionHere are amazegent Mary Kole’s thoughts on the subject.

So, confession: I got a Kindle for Christmas . . . and I love it!  Of course, it WILL NOT take the place of holding an actual book in my hands, but I have already found it great for traveling, working out, and it was VERY helpful last weekend, when I needed to read two harder-to-find books for an interview I was doing.  Agent Kristin Nelson agrees in this post, about the power of story—in any medium.

CONGRATS

A special WOO HOO goes out this week to my Twitter soulmate, Cambria Dillon, who signed with literary agent Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst & Associates!  SO EXCITED FOR YOU, girl!!!!!!!!  *mwah!*

What better way to celebrate than this??

Advertisements

In the Blogosphere: 12/6-1/7

“In the Blogosphere” is a series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week (usually).

I’m making one of my resolutions to be better with these blogosphere posts.  I’ve saved lots of great stuff, and it’s all definitely worth a read.

QUERY STUFF

The onset of January seems to signal the big “okay” in terms of opening the query floodgates after the usual holiday standstill.  With that in mind, here are some links to help you with your queries:

  • I recently found this Yahoo! Group dedicated to giving and receiving feedback exclusively on queries.
  • Here, former agent extraordinaire Nathan Bransford tells you how to write a query.

I ain't afraid 'a no procrastination!

PROCRASTINATION BUSTERS

The new year is also a time to buckle down, set some goals, and get back at it.

Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die can help you do just that.

As well, Christine Macdonald offers six tips to help you combat procrastination.

You know that whole multitasking thing you’re doing?  Here, Writing for Digital discusses how he’s thought multitasking has helped him—but he also mentions some studies that suggest it can work against creativity and productivity.  V. interesting!

One good way to be productive is to set a routine.  However, Dale Challener Roe over at Write Anything suggests you re-evaluate your regimen, to make sure you don’t get in a rut.

PICKY STUFF

As my writing group and crit partners know, I’m quick to point out unnecessary dialogue tags.  *Ahem—most of them are unnecessary.  When you *must* tag, however, it’s better to do so through an action sentence.

Not Enough Words and Simon C. Larter agree.  Thanks, guys!

To cliff hang (at the ends of chapters) or not to cliff hang? Ray Rhamey shares his thoughts over at Writer Unboxed.

Agent of awesome Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency answers a reader’s question about scene and chapter length as well as where to break.

CHILD’S PLAY

Middle-grade novels are hot right now, and “boy books” are even more sought after by agents and editors.  Here, Kole discusses character and voice in MG boy books as well as touches on what author Hannah Moskowitz calls “The Boy Problem.”

Moving into more adult subjects in kids’ lit FinePrint Literary agent Suzie Townsend touches on violence while Kole talks about mature voices.

UNCLE NATHAN’S DEMYSTIFICATION

Um, how creepy was that section title?

I’ve got a lot of Nathan Bransford links saved.  Here are some faves:

  • Here, NB discusses publishers’ service packages are changing
  • Here, he explains the meaning of that mysterious term we hear all the time “high concept
  • Here, he tells us how to write a novel! (And he would know—he’s an author!)

DOs & DON’Ts

On her blog, author Jody Hedlund talks about self promo—without the eye-rolls.

Over at Pub Rants, Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary provides one more question authors should ask agents before signing the big representation contract.

At Everything 2, Antonio M. D’souza (aka digitalboy) lists the 10 commandments of bad writers.

AWESOME

This week, it was announced that a “politically correct” version of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is to be released.  A former student of mine, Dan Wilbur, runs the blog Better Book Titles, and here is his answer to that.

Have a great weekend, peeps!

In the Blogosphere: 6/21-7/2

“In the Blogosphere” is a series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week (usually).

BE CAREFUL

As Sarah Jane Freymann Literary’s Katharine Sands discussed at Southeastern Writers association last week, when pitching, it’s important to be ready.  Over at Self Editing Blog, John Robert Marlow discusses jumping the gun: suicide by submission.

Likewise, Nelson Literary Agency’s Kristin Nelson describes the dangers of starting your novel in the wrong place.

WORTHLESS WORDS

You know, I sort of think this is kind of a fabulous blog post.  Writer and part-time doctor Lydia Kang of The Word is My Oyster says: Stop apologizing! Chuck that qualifying language and strengthen your writing.

REALITY CHECK

Thinking of doing a little freelancing?  Down the Shore with Jen’s Jen A. Miller (@jerseyshorejen) explains four things you need in order to make it.  A must-read for all fledgling freelancers.

Aw, a baby freelancer.

QUERY STUFF

Here, award-winning fiction and nonfiction author JC Hutchins of Writer Unboxed discusses crafting killer pitches by offering and analyzing examples of good ones.

I’m a little behind with my Blogosphere posts—I saved this one two months ago!!—but it’s too good not to share.  Young adult fantasy author Jodi Meadows of the Query Project gave us a gift on her birthday: the query she wrote for Erin Incarnate that helped her snag fab agent Lauren MacLeod of the Strothman Agency.

GET WRITING!

Looking for a little motivation to get words written?  The Michelle Wolfson repped Tawna Feske details a recent Twitter writing sensation, #1k1hr, where one must turn off her self-editor and get words on the page—1,000 of them, to be exact—in an hour.

If you’re looking for something just as satisfying but a little more flexible and a little more long-term, check out my new writing SWO program, WordWatchers. Pick a weekly word count goal, and divvy up the words written per day in a way that fits your schedule!

OMG

In honor of Eclipse coming out this week . . . if you thought the people who stand in lines for twelve hours to see the Twilight movies were wonky, you weren’t wrong—but there are wonkier folks out there.  Here, Great White Snark gives us a dozen such psychopaths.

In the Blogosphere: 1/4-1/8

“In the Blogosphere” is a weekly series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week.  Most posts will be from that week, but if I find some “oldies but goodies,” I’ll throw those up here as well.

I never find as much time to read blogs as I want, but here are a few posts that struck me this week.

**This week’s blogosphere post is going to be a bit longer because next week’s might be shorter—or nonexistent.  I plan to go a bit MIA starting tomorrow so I can get my YA manuscript out by Friday.  WISH ME LUCK, PLEASE!!!

YA AUTHORS

My virtual friend, Wendy Toliver (author of The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren, Miss Match, and the forthcoming Lifted) is the newest member of Buzz Blog: “where YA authors from Berkley JAM, Flux, Dutton, Puffin, Delacorte, HarperCollins, Harlequin Kimani-Tru, Houghton Mifflin, and Simon Pulse discuss writing, promotion, and of course, hot guys…” Check out her first post in which she talks about her famous “Fave Fives” that got her on track to being published.  As well, if you comment on her introductory blogs (there are seven this week), you have a chance to win a $10 Borders gift card!

New York Times bestselling author, original Nerdfighter, and Printz Award recipient John Green (author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and Paper Towns as well as collaborating author of Let It Snow and the upcoming Will Grayson, Will Grayson) offers an optimistic view on the future of reading—complete with quirky footnotes and all—on School Library Journal.

STAY ON TOP

According to David Carr at The New York Times, Twitter is it.  I believe I’ve discussed the usefulness of Twitter and its hashtags in terms of writing and publishing before, but the folks over at What the Hashtag?!, the user-editable encyclopedia of hashtags, break down what these valuable Twitter tools are and how to effectively use them.

Greg Pincus, a guest blogger over at Writer’s Digest editor Alice Pope‘s CWIM blog, talks online audience optimization: you blog, vlog, tweet, and comment, but how do you reach your target audience?

THREE AGENTS & AN EDITOR

Here, you’ll find FinePrint Literary‘s Colleen Lindsay‘s take on word counts and novel length.  According to her and other agents’ tweets, 2010 has already seen its share of this kind of faux pas.

However, the aforementioned post will be one of the last of its kind, according to Lindsay’s last post of 2009Side note: I’m actually interviewing Ms. Lindsay for the Guide to Literary Agents blog, so look for that interview in the coming months!

Nelson Literary Agency‘s Kristin Nelson advises writers to wait a week before querying over at Pub Rants.

In the style of FinePrint Literary agent Janet Reid‘s post from last week’s blogosphere roundup, Del Rey Books‘ editor-in-chief, Betsy Mitchell, examines her manuscript rejections of 2009.

PEP TALKS

Writer’s Digest‘s Chuck Sambuchino uses Superman IV to say there’s no such thing as selling out on his GLA blog.

In this post, the good people of Writer’s Relief explain that even a few minutes is enough time to write.

YA author Dawn Metcalf says, “chill, baby, chill,” on her blog, Officially Twisted.  Publishing comes to those who wait.TRUTH & LIES

Grammar nerd that I am, I love the book Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English.  Over at mental_floss, WII author Patricia T. O’Conner debunks five grammar myths.

On his Web site, science fiction writer, photographer, Web designer, and editor Jeremiah Tolbert dispels five lies writers believe about editors.

SOMETHING MY HUSBAND WOULD LOVE

Run Leia Run‘s Adam Bertocci, an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter, shows the world what would have happened if Shakespeare had written The Big Lebowski.

The Dude abideth.

JUST FOR FUN

I, for one, forgot most of what’s been going on the last two seasons of LOST.  Don’t want to sit through those annoying “pop up” episodes ABC is sure to unleash in the coming weeks?  Thanks to Holy Kaw posting this YouTube link, here is a recap of the entire first five season in eight minutes.

A QUESTION OF QUERIES

As I mentioned, I am sending out queries for my novel next week (yeeks!), so these two posts are of particular interest to me this week.

Author and WordServe-Literary-agent-Rachelle Gardner-client Jody Hedlund talks queries and their aftermath.

I am perhaps most interested in posts of this nature.  On her Web site, Kimberly Pauley, a YA author, shares two of her original query letters for her popular vampire series Sucks to Be Me—both of which she says got her partial and full requests and led to her eventual publication.