Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It happened again.

Seriously. I won something else. First a graphic novel from Chazz, then delicious cookies from Karen. Today, I got an email from Liz saying I won her contest, too, which I even blogged about here because the prizes looked so good. I've entered a few other contests but I'm sure I won't win those. But man, has my luck been running high lately.

As for more deep insights into the craft of writing, I don't have much today. I'd like to finish my next round of editing, so I guess perseverance is a good lesson. I wrote out a to-do list for editing and there is a lot left. Plus, I have to start working on a query letter (groan).

Okay, here's my question of the day: do you find it difficult to write about your work? I always have trouble pinpointing what (if anything) makes my book unique, what the hook is, and why anyone should care, the three must haves in any query. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Similar experiences?


  1. Congrats on winning the awesome contests!!!

    Hmmm, I guess what I'd say as far as advice goes is sit down and have a talk with your character. Try and learn what they're all about, what they represent. My books are character driven, once I know what their goals are I learn what mine are.

    Good luck!

  2. It takes awhile to figure it out. I'd say work on narrowing the gist of your story down to one line. Once you have the single line, you have your hook. Probably your MC's motivation and the stakes are where it's at. Figure that out and that should be what makes your story unique.

    Best of luck!

  3. Time to go to Vegas baby! You're on a roll.

  4. You are on a roll... submit something, quick! :D

    Check out Nathan Bransford's blog, he's got some great advice on writing the one-line hook. Of course, I haven't yet attempted to write my own. Mainly because I'm not ready to query. Yet. :)

  5. Hello - thanks for checking out my blog! I am following yours now, too. Yes, I definitely torture myself over query letters. Check out the Query Shark blog by Janet Reid, an agent. It was extremely helpful to me in making mine better. Hopefully it'll pay off! She shows good and bad queries on the site, so you can actually see examples. Also, try the website Agent Query - they have a lot of articles on query letters and what to include and not include.

  6. Thanks for all the great advice. Believe me, I've checked out all those sites. I still get query jitters, though. I'm glad to know they help other people. It bodes well for my attempt:)

  7. Yes. I'm not a big-idea person, so it's hard for me to fit things into big-idea form. It's easier when someone else hands me the idea...

    I find myself digging down into why I was compelled to write the thing, and then rephrasing that into something not quite so personal.

    For example, from "I grew up in the same setting, surrounded by the same people; this is my imagination of what it was like to be them 20 years before I was born, in a world with magic" to "What do outsiders need to know about my background? That it was in the shadow of a strong patriarch of questionable wisdom, in a country where most of our neighbors weren't 'real' people" to "It's a story about the burdens of living in a close-knit, patriarchal family when the patriarch can't cope with change--and is replaced by a demon who can, all too well."

    This has met with questionable success :)


Please validate me.