Archive for the ‘Paulo Campos’ Tag

In the Blogosphere: 8/23-9/3

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

I’m admittedly behind with my Blogosphere posts—I have about 50 links saved, dating all the way back to June (oh noes!)—but they are all still worth a look.  I’ll catch up eventually, right?

I decided to do something a little different today.  I give you: FROM IDEA TO AGENTED IN 15 POSTS

NAME GAME

Before you can get that agent, that book deal, you must first—you know—write the thing.  And before you can do that, you want to make sure you’ve done everything in your power to make every detail as perfect for your story, your project, as you possibly can—from concept to execution.

And your characters’ names are no exception.  These take just as much care and thought as anything else in this process because they give readers certain connotations right away.

Do you think Stephenie Meyer chose “Bella Swan” by accident?  What if she had been Bella Swanson instead?  Katie Swan?  Bella Bwonton?  (<—Bwonton, incidentally, was the name I used for characters all the time when I was in grade school.  I have no idea where I got it or why, but it could have had something to do with my love for wonton soup . . . ).

What about Gretchen Bwonton?  Would the series have been as successful?  (Yes, because someone along the way would have made her change the name.)

Writer’s Digest to the rescue! (Thanks, guys!Here, Devyani Borade talks about this very thing and gives some great advice on how to pick the perfect names for your characters.

SCENE IT

Once you’ve figured that out, you want to make sure your manuscript is filled with memorable scenes.  Why have memorable characters in blah scenes?

Have no fear—Martina Boone of Adventures in Children’s Publishing is here to help!

THE QUERY STAGE

When your MS is looking fantawesome, you’ll want to tackle the next annoying hurdle—the synopsis.

Here, the Michelle-Andelman-repped Kate Hart uses Disney movies to help you boil down your book and make it less daunting.

Now that you have that pesky stuff out of the way, whom will you query?  The Michelle-Wolfson-repped Tawna Feske suggests stalking people (and it’s OK, she says, because all writers are stalkers :) ) in order to find your dream agent.

Once you’ve found him or her, tailored your query, and you’re about to e-mail it . . . you’ll want to clean up that formatting so your message doesn’t get all wonky from cutting and pasting.  Here, WD’s Chuck Sambuchino hands you a broom.

Once your first—and second—and third—form rejection rolls in, you might start screaming,“Why? Why?? Why can’t I get some detailed feedback???” Curtis Brown Ltd.’s Nathan Bransford tells you.

And once your skin is a bit thicker, Writer, Rejected suggests you make it a game.  This will probably save your sanity.

THROWING IN THE TOWEL

At some point, you’ll have enough of the game, and doubt will undoubtedly (<—see what I did there?) creep in.

kt literary’s Kate Schafer Testerman offers some tips on what to do when you fail.

Likewise, D4EO Literary’s Mandy Hubbard helps you decide when to give up (or not to).

A FRESH PAIR OF EYES

Perhaps all you need is some betas to give you some feedback, which can help you give the editing one more go . . . because perhaps you rushed the whole querying thing.

But what is a critquer’s responsibility?  Award-winning writer Jason A. Myers is here to tell you . . .

. . . and up-and-coming YA author Maurissa Guibord gives a “F.R.E.S.H.” perspective on the subject as well in her guest blog on Adventures in Children’s Publishing.

Once you’ve figured that out, Paulo Campos of yingleyangle suggests 20 questions you should ask your betas.

BLOGGING

While you wait for agents to recognize your genius, you blog.  A little platform building can’t hurt, right?

But then you wonder how to increase your readership, so you start reading other writing blogs—whoa!  There are other writing blogs?—and you start to wonder if people think you’re a blogging snob.

So Jody Hedlund helps you decide.

And you realize she’s right when Pat Flynn of Daily Blog Tips gives you five reasons you should respond to all your blog comments.

HUZZAH!

And then someone likes you!  They really like you! An agent offers representation!  And then another! And then . . . what do you do??

Here’s Andrea Brown’s Mary Kole on getting offers from multiple agents.

It’s all just that easy, right? ;)

Have a nice weekend, everyone—and I hope you’ll check out The Write-Brained Network!

In the Blogosphere: 7/19-7/23

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

I’m admittedly behind with my Blogosphere posts—I have about 50 links saved, dating all the way back to May (oh noes!)—but they are all still worth a look.  I’ll catch up eventually, right?

QUERIES

Querying/pitching is up there in terms of the most discussed topics on industry blogs and at writing conferences.  I find it always helps me to look at others’ queries in order to better gauge what does and doesn’t work with my own pitches.

Here, at The Public Query Slushpile, fellow Ohioan Rick Daley has dedicated an entire forum to queries and feedback. The idea of the blog being? Leave feedback on others’ queries. Post your queries.* Get feedback from others. It’s that simple.  The site isn’t exactly like Janet Reid’s Query Shark or Jodi Meadows’s Query Project (in that it’s not just industry pros offering feedback—it’s an open forum for all), but the entries do get a good amount of feedback from readers.  And we are all trying to appeal to readers after all, are we not?  Check it out!

Who says slush can't be delicious?

Over on her blog, Canuck mathematics textbook writer (<—Yes, I included that part for my math-ed professor hubs!) Cheryl Angst compiles and comments on a list of 10 things Howard Morhaim Literary Agency’s Kate McKean tweeted as things that she thinks while she reads queries. Very interesting read!

Going along with the two, more regular, query workshops above, D4EO agent Mandy Hubbard conducted her own query clinic back in May.  Here is the post where she discusses the concept, and here is the last in the series (I’ve included this one because she links to all four of the queries she workshopped in it).

TICK TOCK

Summer seems to be about the hardest time of year to find butt-in-chair-and-write time.

Here, YA paranormal romance author Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver, Linger, etc.) offers some thoughtful advice on how writers can to best manage their time.

Over at Writer Unboxed, Anna Elliott chimes in on this subject as well.

CHARACTERS

Afraid your characters are too one-dimensional?  Paulo Campos of yingleyangle gives three tips on how to breathe some life into your darlings.

Here, longtime industry insider Alan Rinzler offers some further insight on how to create and use author James Scott Bell‘s idea of a voice journal.

RANDOMNOSITY

Since it was our four-year anniversary this week, I am posting this in honor of my husband.  Magazine editor and freelance writer Heather Trese says, “You might be married to a writer if . . . “

And, um, how random is this?  Molly is famous!  About a month ago, Annalemma Magazine used a picture of Molly (my beagly beagle) in an article they did about online writing communities.  The caption says that that pic was the first to come up when they Google image searched online writing community! (It looks like she’s since been ousted, however.  It’s on the fourth page.)

You're not the only famous beagle!

*There is a debate about whether or not to post your original work online.  It’s up to you.  Enough industry blogs host contests or query workshops all the time where people post their original queries, so I wouldn’t necessarily worry about someone stealing your work . . . but it *can* happen.  It would probably be pretty easy to prove your query was yours, though—particularly if you posted in on the Internet.  If you’d like feedback from other writers but you’re wary of posting your work on an open forum, try a password-encrypted, by-invitation-only community like *shameless plug* Shenandoah Writers Online!

Thank-Yous, Shout-Outs & Gil Mantera’s Party Dream

I am extremely lucky.

First of all, my parents blow me a away.  Operation House Demo commenced over the weekend and, in the midst of all that craziness, as I said in my previous post, my husband’s grandmother passed away.  This prompted a 38-hour trip (19 of those hours, which were spent in the car) to Ohio and back for the wake and funeral.

While we were gone, my parents:

  • Took care of Molly (our beagle), so she wouldn’t have to endure unnecessary car travel (she gets very car sick)
  • Found plumbing issues in the bathroom and fixed them
  • Organized all the crap we bought for this project from The Home Depot that was piled all over our bedroom before we left
  • Cleaned pretty much our entire house (my mom was bored!)
  • Cut the grass
  • Bought us take-out for when we got home last night (What? Shouldn’t we have been buying them meals?)

Thanks a bunch!

And they did all this only to return home to Cleveland this afternoon to find that their entire basement floor (most of it brand-new hard wood my dad had just put in, like, a month ago) is ruined due to flooding that happened while they were gone.

I. Feel. Horrible.

The thanks I’d like to extend to them makes me also want to thank some writerly peeps for being so completely awesomesauce.

I’ve had three blog mentions (that I know of) in the past month, and I’d like to return the favor.  (If I am not mentioning you here and you’ve given me a shout-out, I swear I didn’t know!)

This faboo chica has made my life a lot easier over the past few months.  One of the most active members and always willing to help me out with wonderful content for Shenandoah Writers Online, Bridgid has been an absolute Godsend to me. And, as if that weren’t fantastic enough, she also provides me—as well as the rest of the SWO members—with motivation to keep going.

She and her co-contributors are doing some great things over at Inky Fresh Press, a group blog geared toward new writers, so please check them out.  She even mentioned this blog in her recent post, Great Blogs for Writers.  Thank you so much for everything, Bridgid!

Paulo is one of our newest SWO members.  Along with co-contributor Stephen Maher, Paulo runs yingleyangle, a writing blog which features (among a wealth of valuable posts on craft) a daily 10-minute writing prompt.

Paulo also mentioned this blog in his recent post, Recommended Blogs: Writing-Focused Blogs Worth Reading Regularly.  (Thanks, Paulo!)

yingleyangle definitely belongs on its own list, so make sure you stop by.

Martina, too, is a newer SWO member, and we are lucky to have her!

Along with co-contributor Marissa Graff, she offers one of the most comprehensive weekly industry round-ups I have come across to date.  Seriously—the first time I ran across their round-up, Best Articles This Week for Writers, I was floored; I don’t know how they have time to write any of the other amazing posts they do (not to mention, you know, how they go about their daily lives) after they’ve compiled this weekly behemoth of a blog post.

Also, I was extremely humbled to see that this blog made the cut last week.  Whether or not children’s publishing is your area, I’m sure you’ll find the blog useful.  Please check out them out!

ONE MORE SHOUT-OUT

  • GMPD

This has nothing to do with writing, but I’d like to thank Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, a kick-ass indie band from Youngstown, Ohio, for their albums (and, in particular, the following song, “Get Sirius”) which provided several hours of entertainment during our long drives the last few days.  The hubs gets to go see them in Philly this weekend, and I’m mega jealous!

In the Blogosphere: 4/26-5/21

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

It’s been a few weeks since I did one of these posts.  As I’ve mentioned, it’s been busy, busy, busy.  I’ve been saving posts, but I haven’t been sharing them—how inconsiderate of me!

RESOURCES

This oldie but goodie post is from John Robert Marlow’s Self Editing Blog, and it deals with something I’ve seen a lot of lately: bouncing eyeballs.  Many writers—especially those writing young adult lit—have eyes and jaws and stomachs (and such) doing all sorts of things they couldn’t possibly be doing.  And while expressions like “she rolled her eyes,” “his jaw fell to the floor,” “his stomach dropped to his knees” are simply that—expressions—idioms—they can sometimes be jarring to the reader, and it is recommended by many that writers avoid using such phrases.  Marlow’s post does a great job of explaining why.

I mean, this is an eye-roll according to Morfland of OpticalFantasies.com!

And, my absolute favorite example of this comes from when I attended book doctor Bobbie Christmas’s class at the 2008 Southeastern Writers Association conference.  Christmas said she was editing a romance novel, and one of the lines read, “Her eyes were glued to his crotch.”  If you think about that image—the literal image—that can definitely take you out of what I’m sure was supposed to be a hot-and-heavy moment!

But I digress. :)

In this post, Paulo Campos of yingle yangle suggests using film to expand your use of body language.

WRITING FOR YOUNGSTERS

Since I write YA and am a recovering high school (and middle school for one year) English teacher, I have a soft spot for all things kids’-lit related.

In her guest post on the Guide to Literary Agents blog, Jewel Allen offers some tips on writing middle-grade lit kids will dig.

To swear or not to swear?  Andrea Brown Literary Agency’s Mary Kole discusses this very question in a few posts over at her blog, Kidlit.comHere is the first of those posts.

LOGLINES & YOU

In the quest for representation, I have discussed queries and pitches and loglines a lot with other writers as well as here on the blog.

Over at Writer Unboxed, Kathleen Bolton explains why you need to be able to boil down your novel to one or two sentences.

Curtis Brown Ltd’s Nathan Bransford concurs.

Here, Bransford tells you just how to do that.

Perfect your pitch! (Yes, Kyle, this pic is for you. Sadly, though, I have no idea who this player is. Sorry - I'm trying, though!)

PEP TALK

And what would the writing world be without pep talks?

Over at TotallytheBomb.com, YA author Jamie Harrington uses Rick Astley to keep us going when writing gets tough.

Sick of Nathan Bransford yet?  Get over it!  Here, he ‘splains that willpower is the greatest strength a writer can have.

Seekerville’s Camy Tang gives some ways one can balance writing and, well, everything else in life.  Stress not—it *can* be done!

PLATFORM

What’s this whole platform thing everyone’s talking about all the time?  Well, YA author Jamie Harrington will tell you.  She did a great little series over at her blog.  A must-read/view for all writers.

Excitement & Food Poisoning: How Was Your Weekend?

Friday, I met a new Harrisonburg writer friend (Carrie Ann) for lunch and coffee. (Yay!)  Afterward, Kyle (my hubs) and I attended a social at which I got to meet a bunch of his students (super fun!).  At 4:30 A.M. Saturday morning, food poisoned me (how dare it?!).

During the rest of the weekend’s quarantine (because of said food poisoning), I spent a lot of time on my laptop.  And during a routine Twitter check, I clicked a link posted by a writer dude I follow (@PauloCamposInk) because it was a list of recommended writing blogs.  With my “In the Blogosphere” feature as well as my general hunger for writing knowledge, a list of “writing-focused blogs worth reading regularly” definitely intrigued poor, sicky Ricki.

I scrolled down the list—lots of heavy-hitters, including  Guide to Literary Agents, Writer Unboxed, Questions and Quandaries, Rachelle Gardner’s blog, etc.  So, when I saw my name, I did a double take.  Wha??

Actually, it says “Ricki Shultz” on the list**, so I thought it had to be a different person’s blog because the other blogs on the list were just too too good for little old me to be included among them.  What a funny coincidence, I thought.  However, when I clicked the link, it brought me here!

So, thanks to Paulo Campos and Stephen Maher of yingle yangle for the shout-out!

Definitely check out their list of recommended writing blogs—it’s fabulous.  And I’m not just saying that because I’m on it—squee!

**No worries about the misspelling.  Between my given name (Ericka), my maiden name (Gerald <—which you wouldn’t think would be that hard, but apparently it is?), the fact that I’m a female named “Ricki,” all the bajillion ways one can spell “Ricki,” and the fact that “Schultz” is a seven-letter word with only one vowel, I’ve pretty much always been doomed to a life of misspelled or misunderstood names.  It’s nothing new, and it doesn’t bother me. :)

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