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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get On The Trail Already! Platform-Building Campaign

Hello all you fabulous blogging, incredible writing, and overall flawlessly beautiful people!
Do you remember that blog I posted a while back? The one called "Stop Whining and Do It Already! Platform Building" ?
Well guess what? Platform-building just got a whole lot easier! I just joined the wonderful Rachael Harrie's  Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign!  This one is seriously a no-brainer, folks. You join, you meet other writers, they meet you, you help one another out. All good things. 
Want to know all about it? Click on the link above and join me! 
Hope to see you there. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Query Submission Guidelines - Do You Follow Them?

The latest post on's blog (which is awesome, by the way; you should read it) suggests 'A Safer Way To Get Noticed'. Noticed by agents, that is.

The wonderfully insightful Jane Lebak shows one agent's recent Twitter post that really left me thinking. She basically said that out of twenty-five random submissions received in the last twenty-four hours, only five queries followed the submission guidelines. (Further details can be found in the article.) Honestly, I was shocked.

Of course I know there are a lot of rule breakers. But rule-breaking in the query world? Yikes. No thank you. I had done enough research prior to querying that I knew exactly how crucial it was to most agents to have those (usually simple) guidelines followed to a T.

Okay, so here's the part where I admit I have broken a submission rule (on purpose!): When I first started to query I didn't include my word count even when the agent requested it because I knew it was too high. (Hey, I've cut it down since, remember?) 

So now I'm curious. Do you read every agent's submission guidelines before sending a query? Do you follow all the rules? Do you break rules? On purpose? Now's your chance to get it off your chest. Remember, this is a safe place.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Windows Open or Closed?

Okay, so Summer is here, my favorite time of year. The kids are home, the weather is hot, and the garden is freely giving. One thing I love about summer is the freedom. I love not having to bundle the kids to a ridiculous degree before loading them in the car. I enjoy stepping outside barefoot and feeling the warm pavement at my feet. Last but not least, I love driving with the windows down. I know the air conditioner can do a better job, but nothing beats the fresh air.

Now since my brain rarely takes a rest, I find myself relating this open window thing to writing (of course). I believe it's important to keep an open mind while I write. I recently blogged about how I'm No Longer a Pantser, but that doesn't mean I'm unwilling to budge. I don't even have it in me to stay on such a strict course. Sure I have plotted my scenes. Mapped out an outline of where I need to go. But I'm keeping my mental windows open. Listening to what the characters have to say. I hear their reasons for wanting to take some wild detour, and sometimes I'll even play them out. 

I think another way we can 'stay open' is by reading. I like reading a variety of great authors so that I'm constantly consuming good writing (and Krispy Kremes, but that's beside the point). I'm paying attention to what others have done, noting what works for them. I definitely think it helps us develop our craft.

Lastly, being open-minded during critiques is important, right? (Hey, I didn't say it was easy - just important.) It can help us look beyond our perspective and see how others view our book. Especially if the feedback is repeated by more than one source. 

So what about you? Do you write with your windows open? Drive with them closed? Are you depressed (like me) about the kids going back to school soon? You learned to share in kindergarten, and now's the time - share your thoughts with me. I love your comments!