Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why Critiques Are Important

After writing, revising, and polishing your work-in-progress, you lose your ability to see it with fresh eyes. Putting on your thinking cap no longer helps. At that point, you need feedback from someone else. A good critiquer or beta reader can help make your story the best it can be by pointing out things like:
  • Places that need more clarification
  • Places where you've overexplained instead of trusting the reader to get it
  • Problems with pacing
  • Failure to maintain tension in a scene
  • Passages where your voice shines through (so you can deliberately add more of these)
  • Telling vs. showing
  • Choppy transitions
  • Questions about character motivation and whether their actions fit the situation

Chris Eboch's critique of my novel opening is up on her blog, Write Like a Pro!  Chris is the author of the Haunted series--delightfully spooky paranormal novels for middle grade readers. Check out her thoughtful comments. You can also submit the first 300 words of your own novel to Chris to win a free critique.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Fantastic Conference

I thought nothing could match the first Missouri Writers Guild Conference I attended in 2010. Believe it or not, the 2011 conference was equally good!

A few highlights:

  • Master class "Keeping Them Hooked" taught by Jeanne Lin, author of historical romance Butterfly Swords
  • Agent Kristin Nelson's informative workshop, "An Agent Reads the Slushpile"
  • Pitch sessions with Margaret Mincks, Associate Editor of Spider Magazine, and agents Kristin Nelson and Kathleen Ortiz
  • A chance meeting with agent Marcy Posner, despite not being able to get a formal pitch session
  • Meeting author Nancy Pickard
  • Mary Troy's luncheon keynote address
  • Elaine Viets' keynote speech at the banquet
  • Having the chance to meet other writers from all over the region, and beyond
Great information ... inspiring stories ... and the joy of spending a weekend with others who share my  passion for writing. What could be better?

Stay tuned for a contest coming up soon.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Terrific Link

If you've ever struggled with finding truly unique ideas, doubted your own creativity, or felt, deep down, like you don't really know what you're doing, check out this article by Austin Kleon--it's great advice for art and for life:

How to Steal Like an Artist, and Nine Other Things Nobody Told Me

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blogfest Twitter Pitch

I wrote a twitter-length pitch for my middle grade novel. You can check out the other blogfest entries here.

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