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Showing posts from February, 2008

Blurb it!

Today I want to talk about writing blurbs and pitches. Blurbs are used for many different things: they are included in query letters, pitched to agents/editors at a conferences, and some end up on book jackets. In all cases, the blurb serves the same purpose, to entice the intended audience into reading more.

Most blurbs are only a couple lines long, maybe a couple paragraphs at most, and they have a lot to do in that small amount of space. Each word counts, and should work toward introducing main characters and throwing out a plot hook strong enough to draw in readers.

I've written a handful of blurbs (that may or may not be any good) but all have been for 'first books'. A couple days ago, I had a chance to see my agent face to face, and she asked me to send her a blurb for the sequel to the book she is currently pitching to editors, so she can pitch it as a series with a little more authority.

My first thought was, "Hey, no problem. I can do that." After all, I…

Book Festival

Good Morning everyone, and happy Friday!

It's wet and dreary here, but at least it's almost the weekend, and what a weekend it will be. Tomorrow is the annual SC Book Festival. (Well, technically some of the events start today but...) I try to make it to this festival every year, and it is the closest thing I've ever been to a conference. The festival is geared toward readers not writers, so aside from a handful of pay-per-class master classes, most of the panels are Q&A or Readings. All and all, a good way to rub elbows with some local (and a couple non-local) authors, and hang out with other book-lovers. Always a good thing.

This year I won't be taking any classes, but two years ago, (my first time attending the festival) I did, and that choice made a major impact on what has occurred over the last two years. (Hopefully for the good, but only time will tell. Ask me when I'm 80.) That said, the class itself was only marginally helpful. Sure, I learned a couple t…

Hooklines

I was talking about hooklines with one of the "Tri M"s the other day, and she suggested I blog about it. Now, I know there are dozens of other, probably better informed, bloggers out there who have tackled the hookline topic, but I decided to give it a go.

*Note: this post is completely composed of my own take on the subject gathered from what I've learned as a reader and what I've gleaned from other writers. As it is largely opinion, I may change it one day, and it may not be the same as other peoples.*

Hooklines: What are they and why do readers want to read them?
A hookline, in the sense I will be discussing today, is typically the first line (or paragraph) of a book. (Of course there are often hooks and hooklines at ends and beginnings of chapters, but that is a totally different discussion.) The hook is the first thing a potential reader finds when she/he opens a book, and hopefully grabs her attention. The best that I've read do at least a couple of the foll…

It's that pink day...

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It's that day of the year that all the stores look like a bottle of peptobismol exploded on everything, cut flowers are way over priced, and chocolate shows up everywhere in cute little heart shaped boxes. Today, single people everywhere are twice as aware of that solo status, and the 'hottest' restaurants in town all have a full reservation list.

Ah, Valentine's day...people either love it or hate it.

It's a strange sort of holiday. People are probably on the right track accusing it of being just another consumer holiday, surely it's beginning has nothing to do with it's current condition, what with this being the anniversary of Saint Valentine's Martyrdom. But, it can be a sweet little day for couples.

There are some customs I confess to not understanding. Like the whole umpteen dollar flower bouquets. To me, cut flowers are always like saying "Here is a beautiful symbol of our love. Now watch it wilt and DIE!" Okay, maybe that's a bit…

Music to write by

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Recently there has been a lot of chatter about music, and what music writers use to 'set the mood' or what they see as 'soundtracks' to their novels. A couple of my favorite books from last year even came with a note on music in the back. (I believe both Kim Harrison and Carrie Vaughn do this, but as I am at work, and my books are at home--where I have no internet--I'm not 100% sure on that.) So, it got me thinking, do most writers create to music? Is it specific music? Do certain books have soundtracks, or is it more particular songs resonating with critical scenes?

Personally, my music tastes are very eclectic. I might be listening to broadway one day, rock the next, and J-pop the day after that. Usually I think of music as white noise. If it's not there, I go nuts, but if there is too much (or something I don't know well enough to filter) it will distract me. But, I do gravitate toward certain types of sounds during the highest points of emotional scenes…

If all is fair in love and war, do you write them the same?

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They say you learn something with every word you write. Well, I'm certainly learning today (I hope.) Today I'm tackling something new, and if you're glancing at the title of this post and trying to guess what it is, I'll you a hint: I've written LOTS of fight scenes.

That's right, I'm writing my very first love scene today. Yes, I've written two novels with romantic subplots before, and while there is (hopefully) a lot of sexual tension and some 'hot' moments, the relationship doesn't progress all the way to the bedroom (though if I ever write the rest of the books plotted for the series, they will get there.) I also wrote a short story last year that included a heavy hand of romance, but I copped out and (if you will humor me by accepting a film-technique analogy) panned out at the bedroom scene.

This WIP is different. I knew, almost from the get-go, that my main characters would end up rumpling the sheets at some point in the book. I starte…

How many boxes does life fit in?

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Wow, what a hectic week last week was. The good news: all our stuff is out of the apartment and at the cabin, and our apartment has been cleaned top to bottom, passed inspection, and the keys have been turned in. We can wash our hands of it. The bad news: now all those boxes we packed have to be UNpacked.

As promised, here are some pictures of the Cabin. These were taken before we moved in, so some of the previous tenant's stuff is still around, but you can see the attraction. I feel like I'm living at a writing retreat. Out one window I can watch the sunset over a spring-fed pond, and out another, the sunrise over the woods. There are deer around, and once in awhile I catch sight of my neighbor's horse on the other side of the pond. The cabin is rustic, and not real high on modern conveniences (or inside doors) but I'm hoping the lack of distractions will inspire me to get more work done (once we finally finish unpacking.)

The hubbie an I actually made lots of progres…