Monday, July 19, 2010

Leaping in Head First

"You can. You will. Have fun. Isn't is amazing?"
-Margaret Peterson Haddix
I have come to this conclusion: Conferences are great, but they have a way of making you feel like you aren't doing anywhere near enough. At least they should make you feel that way. But they also have a way of getting you excited to try harder.
"What you know so far is always propelling you to what you will know in the future."
-Marc Aronson
For example, I need a way better query letter. Query letters aren't just for an agent or editor, they also make you look at your manuscript and decide what's important, what makes it different, and what makes it marketable.
"Show in your query letter that you can write... Eye-popping visuals show you have an imagination... Authors need to know where their story is."
-Elana Roth (no vampires)
Also, I need to introduce my initiating action sooner. It's like I'm writing my first chapter as a prologue rather than diving right in. So now I'm a hypocrite because I always say how pointless prologues are, but I've been writing them all along.
"Let your reader know what the main conflict is--or at least hint at it--on the first page. The sooner you can engage the reader, the better."
-Joyce McDonald
Another big thing: I need to be taking advantage of children's magazine writing. They are a great way to gain exposure, understand your audience and practice the craft. Why I'm so intimidated by children's magazines, I'll never know, especially when I'm often published in regular newspapers and magazines.
"Less is more. Always."
-Debra Hess
Oh yes, I also need to be tweeting more. I set up a twitter account like...err...a year and a half ago, and I only have 65 posts, and none of them are all that interesting. Why, oh why, am I not a better social mediaer? And my YouTube Channel? Yeah, that hasn't been updated in almost a year.
"If you ever have a whim as an author, follow it. You will never be wrong."
-Stephen Fraser
And I can't forget that I need to develop a better elevator pitch. Or that I need to find the hook that solidifies my current WIP. Or that I need to be sending out way more agent queries.

That's a whole lot of needing. I suppose I should now get to work on the doing.

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