Thursday, August 5, 2010

…I don’t know why it is I end most every day dissatisfied with my output. People say, “You’re too hard on yourself,” but they don’t know how much time I fritter away.

…I wish I had an agent, a good one, someone I could really trust and also someone who would kick my ass when I needed it kicked. I’m trying to find one, and eventually I will.

...To get an agent you have to write an awesome query. There are a lot of great sample query letters out there online. Same with synopsises (that's a mouthful of "s's") and pitches, so I decided not to print those. Just Google them and you’ll have your hands full. Writing a one page summary of your story is a really good idea and something I believe every novelist, or writer with a long piece of work, should do. Do it even if your work’s not done. It’ll be torture and frustrating and maybe even bloody, but it’ll help you hone and even clarify the story you’re trying to tell.

Then when you get it down to a page, try to get it to one sentence. Yes, one sentence. One. Really.

Here’s a great way of doing it, from Laura Backes, Children’s Book Insider editor.

My story is about _______(character)______that wants more than anything to _______(goal)_______but can’t because_________(conflict)________.

Kerri Flanagan, uses the example of “The Wizard of Oz” while putting Backes’s idea to the test, and thus you get this:

“This story is about a teenage girl from Kansas named Dorothy who wants more than anything to go home, but can’t because she is stuck in a strange land.”

"Notice," Kerri says, “there is no mention of a tornado, munchkins, witches or a cowardly lion. That information can coe later, but this is the basic premise of the novel in just one sentence.”

This really helped me. I hope it does you as well.

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