Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Find what helps you...

Recently I've had a writers block. Then I re-read some of my recent posts and realized that I needed to read to help myself with the block.

One of the most helpful pieces I've read is by Eudora Welty "Why I live at the P.O." It's unique and the main characters personality is different and fun than a  lot of other characters I've read. Although I have read it before, just reading through it again helps me. It's funny and helps me get through my non-writing funk.

Also, any childhood book, movie or favorite novel helps a lot. I've read the Twilight Series three times, and it has helped me get into the flow of knowing what I need to come next. Any suprise, next step or plot that doesn't seem to want to flow write on paper, I get to reading any favorite novel of mine. It helps a lot.

These were just some thoughts I had on my mine during my writers block. :)

Brittany <3

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Help with Your Query Letter!

Hiya! I was sitting here thinking to myself of something that could help authors. I've gave some YA hero help, so I thought I might give some authors help with what comes after their novel, THE ALL DREADFUL SCARY QUERY!!! AHH! Just kidding, even thought I feel like the query is just as important as your writing, don't be scared of it, defeat it!

First off, your query shouldn't be over one page! Not 4, 6, 9, just 1! Agents get so many in that they don't have time in the day to go through forty query letters with 6 pages each! Keep it simple and don't over do it.

Do Agents read them? Yes! I'm only a junior agent but I can tell you, working for Marisa Corviserio, that we do read them. But! If it is boring, untasteful or something we are not interested in, then no we toss it to the side. Your query has to bring a short synopsis to us, in a page, with a short paragraph about yourself to us, also. It's A LOT to get in one page I know, I know! But, it's possible.

At the beginning you give your hook. This is curcial. It should be something that makes the reader what to keep going. They should say after reading the first line or two "WOW I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON!"

Example: (This was my hook in Fighting Destiny)
When Molly Drowns is forced back to her fearful past, she finds herself face to face with her despised but desirable destiny.
It has to be something that will stick, and will get the reader interested. Take the idea of your book and work with the theme. Something will come to you, I promise.

Secondly, you need a mini-synopsis. This is when you take your synopsis and shorten it, A LOT! Take the main points of your book and list them (this is what I did). Once listed, go over them and  write them into a brief summary. It helps. Also, do not leave bad endings or unhappy endings out of your query. Because, some agents do not represent unhappy endings. If the guy dies in the end, tell us, we NEED to know. (P.S. I'm not a fan of unhappy endings.) Boo!

And finally, ta da, something a little easier! Yourself. You should know a little about yourself, or enough to know what to put. We need to know your name (duh), where you went to school, or are attending, things you love to do, and anything you've ever published. This is something that jumps out at an agent, that you have been published before, this might be publish worthy, also. :)

Another something that is important, SPELLING! That's why autocorrect was made. USE IT! Have someone (not related to you) read over it, and help with the flow of the query. Also, spell query right. :) That's a good thing to do.

Some other hints for you during your mini-synopsis. Give us the time period and location, the main characters name, their goal, their trouble they have to overcome and a conclusion. We aren't the audience, we need to know the ending. This isn't your blurb, this is for someone that needs to know the book, and the ending, to see it we want to represent you!

So...that was just some thoughts on queries. Hope it helps!

Brittany :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Random Things I've Noticed about Authors

Since I am an author myself, and a junior literary agent, there are things I've noticed about authors and how they roll.

I've noticed that one of the number one things authors do to hurt themselves is being too impatient. We do not want to wait the time we need to make sure our manuscript is perfect. I've seen it way too much in my own work and others. The thing that works best for me is writing, putting it down then picking it back up in a few weeks or months. You can go back and will see mistakes that you didn't right after writing.

Also, we also need to have someone look at it that isnt our family. As much as we love for Mom and Dad, Brother and Sister to enjoy our work, we need someone that reads a lot or does not have a relationship with us. In other words, someone who will not tell us our work is great when it actually sucks. I've heard and done this too. It's easy to do, but so much better if we don't and get an honest opinion.

Something I see way too much, is author's not wanting to get help from others, like agents or editors. Everyone likes to think that their work is great, but of course it makes sense to you! YOU WROTE IT!. My Intro to Nonfiction Creative Writing teacher broke me of that habit quickly. We need others opionions and we need to realize that not everything we write makes perfect sense to others. It's never perfect. Believe me.

These are just some things I've picked up on as I observe. We all need to stop and observe the things we do. Get others opionions and give our work some time. Stop being so impatient. Once our work is ready it will have it's time.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Things I've learned as a writer

When writing and we think that we have an amazing piece, short story, novel or poem, we think that nothing should be changed in our work. I learned this in Intro to Creative Writing and it's a big fault we all have.

If someone is reading our work and doesnt understand something, DO NOT brush them off. We are NOT the reader of our work, we are the creator. We know what this person really meant to say, or how we picture the character acting, replying or standing. When a reader reads our work they don't see inside our head. The thing that seems SO obvious to us, does not come so obvious to them.

Think about it. Listen to someone else's opionion. Find someone that will take your work and give you an honest answer. NOT YOUR MOM. Sorry MOm's you just think everything we do is great. *Even when it's not*

Also. When you write and you have a character going to school, going to mars, going to the bathroom! I DONT CARE, make it realistic. Even a fiction novel or piece, make the reader relate to the character.


She turned and pushed me so hard I fell onto the wooden floor beneath me. I stood up and turned around to leave. Then next day.

NOOOOOOOO!!!!! What person after being pushed down, even if doing the bigger man thing wouldn't be screaming in their head!

She turned and pushed me so hard I flew back into the hard wooden floor. MY face was burning from humilation. It took every ounce of my body to lift myself up and walk the other way. I clenched my first and drug my feet the other direction.

See the difference, we can relate to the second person, because we feel that pain and humilation that person is feeling.

Just some thoughts about writing.

Brittany. <3

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hints, advice, and help with YA Heros.

So, I went to the Dallas Forth Worth Writing Conference, as *cough cough* a junior literary agent. :)

I learned how it actually is and not to be worried or freaked out. :) Especially when you're meetin your boss for the first time in person. :)

Anywho. To the point of this blog. Which I haven't blogged lately, due to a busy school, work and reading schedule.

So, when going to this conference I learned a few things when I wasnt listening to pitches. (Man it's good to say that.) Anywho.

First off, we all know Young Adult Fiction is a good selling genre right now. So, I was going to share some advice I learned and advice from myself to you authors that are having trouble or looking for some ideas.

When writing about a hero in a book, we all think about hero yay, good looking, saves the day. NO! STOP! HALT! When we look at ourselves what do we see? Perfection! No! (Well maybe some of us do, get over yourselves) We see flaws. #1 thing we need to have in a hero is flaws. We all have them and our heros need them. It brings out a sense of realization to our characters. When we go to work or school we have obstacles we have to overcome. #2 Obstacles. Our hero needs them, what would the story be about if not? #3 No one likes a story where on the first attempt the hero wins...what would be after that? THE END. Negative Ghost Writer. We need the Hero to fall down and not make it at first. We need him to struggle and just when we think he has won, something else happens and bam, he loses it.

But! TA DA! He has another chance and wins the crown, goal, girl, position, war whateves is going on in your book.

-A rough go.
-A ta da I made it ending. :)

We have to have these things in a Hero.

We also want Romance. Let me tell you think from my point of view. I DO NOT READ A BOOK WITHOUT A LOVE INTEREST. I hate to say it but sex sells these days and people want it badly. They want the couple to end up together and skip along happily ever after!

--Those are just some thoughts I had while sitting here reading.

--Hope they helped. :)