Happy Sunday! Read this quote today and wanted to share it:
"When you're feeling stressed out, don't allow yourself to explode in anger. Find a reason to laugh ... and watch the stress melt away."
It especially meant something when I read it since I've been mega stressed this weekend. Nothing crazy, just getting adjusted to entertaining kids while working from home and having a "guest" big dog that loves to scuffle with my own big dog. Not to mention it's been raining here for like five days. Oy
Anyway, more notes from the SCBWI regional conference I went to last weekend. But first, wanted to give a shout out to Deana Barnhart who just signed with lit agent Sarah LaPolla from Curtis Brown. Deana's been in this game for five years (like me) and I'm super excited she found the right business partner for her story. Yay, Deana!
At the conference, taught by NYC editor Noa Wheeler from Henry Holt and author Nancy Werlin, the topic of self-pubbing came up. Of course. I found it interesting that Ms. Wheeler did not feel it taints the author name in any way, and she even said she'd signed an author who had self-pubbed a story that he pitched her. She liked it, he took it down from Amazon and voila! It does happen.
She did have some suggestions though if self-pubbing is your route:
* Have a book cover design that will appeal to both teens and adults, more specifically using graphics instead of photos. (for YA)
* Book trailers should be 30 seconds and no longer.
* The book flap should draw reader in as a teaser and an overview (just like a query). It should reflect the tone and contain no specifics. You must have a lead in for the first sentence, and the last sentence must have a power effect. Don't muddle the middle with too much exposition or plot.
* Never use the phrase "everything changes" in a pitch or book flap. It's a given. Everything must change or you have no story.
* Make sure your book flap or pitch contains something about the MC that will hint why the reader will care about him or her. Very important! Also in your story's first page--which I'll go into in more detail in a later post.
Some brief notes on voice:
* Consistency brings it together.
* Must be confidence in the storyteller's (narrator's) voice
* Write the scene as though you're seeing and thinking everything from the MC's perspective
* Voice is the artful doling out of information unique to your narrator
The ending to your story should be like dropping a feather--let it drift and settle. It's not a bowling ball that falls with a thud.
And of course, the old "show don't tell" mantra all writers know:
Make your reader a peeping tom to the scene. They are reading, yes, but they are watching the scene unfold and need to see everything as if it were happening in real time.
That's it for today! Hope you found it helpful. Most of it's basic, yes, but it's always good to be reminded and especially important if you're a new writer. :)
Have anything to share? I love hearing your thoughts and reading your comments!