Monday, February 22, 2010

A great chance to win a critique

Here is a great contest where you can win a ten page critique by a wonderful intern that I have been following on twitter for awhile @thatwemightfly and of course her blog http://camarshall.blogspot.com/2010/02/long-way-home-giveaway-critique-of-your.html

A suggest you follow her easy rules and tweet, comment and whatnot. What is the worse that can happen.

Not win?

Well look at this way, you didn't have a ten page critique to begin with. So you aren't losing nothing. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A query that worked

Yes, I know it is far from the best query ever written, but it did get me a full request in Dec. I'm still waiting on the outcome of that (hasn't been enough time yet according to agent's email--they were nice enough to give me a time frame). When I hear about it, I will share with everyone.

I thought it might be fun to see what this query had that might have piqued an agent's interest. So any comments on it is great and would be a wonderful learning tool for everybody.



Dear Agent XOXOXOX

Please note here, I had a personalize greeting to the agent with regards to what he/she liked or possible blogs or something else I followed about the agent. Remember---it is very important to do your homework.

DARK ABYSS follows twenty-one year old Akali Grey as she discovers her solitary existence is nothing more than a fa├žade created to keep others away. It is a fast-paced journey that whisks Akali away as she learns about her true heritage while fleeing from Dallas, TX and overseas to Mainz, Germany.

The simple fact is Akali’s a witch. But although it is a simple fact, it is one that she had no knowledge of until Isaac forces his way into her life.

When Akali is nabbed from her home by Isaac, luckily before she was killed by some unknown assailant, she quickly discerns his plans don’t include the usual bad things that happen to kidnapped victims. Not that that she shouldn’t be worried; after all, he is a vampire. But drinking her blood isn’t on his agenda either. Isaac is desperate for her aid to free his family from an ancient curse, and because of her heritage, only she can perform the ceremony.

Suddenly, Akali’s normal life vanishes and is replaced with a world of creatures like Isaac who want to stop her by any means--well, by drinking her blood of course. Not given any real choice in the matter, Akali is forced to stay with Isaac, who promises to protect her from the others as he leads her to an undetermined future.

DARK ABYSS is complete at 105,000 words and is available at your request. Below are sample pages as per your instructions.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

EBYSS

So now I would like to look at why this query worked. And worked well enough to get a full request.

The first thing I tried to do was keep it really brief and to the point. Not an easy task.

I tried to work a hook. Akali is a witch...doesn't know anything about it.

The next thing I tried to follow was a suggestion that I read on an agent's blog one time---a query letter can be summed into the first 30 pages. I tried to do that. Within thirty pages of my novel, Isaac finds the heroine, Akali. She finds out she is a witch and has to help him with a curse.

The next paragraph I tried to sum up the danger, the conflict. Is it every conflict in the entire novel? No, but it is the main conflict.

And that was my thinking when I wrote this query.

Please comment on the good, the bad, and the ugly of this query letter. I am putting it out there for a learning experience to my fellow writers and to me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Point of Views

Today, I’m going to talk a little about POV.

It seems first person is very popular writing style. I’m not going to argue, there are lots of 1st person novels I love. The only thing that I am missing is that I am very nosy and I like to know what is happening everywhere at all points of time.

Another favorite is limited third person. This is the style I write in. I shift from one POV to the next, but whoever character’s head I am in, I stay in for the duration of the scene or chapter. This helps with telling of things going on everywhere even when your MC is not there. Also staying inside one person’s head stops any confusion during a shift.

Another favorite of mine is omniscient third person. I think a lot of people prefer not to write in this POV. I happen to love reading books written in this style. I know what is happening everywhere in everyone’s head. The only problem is you have to be careful with shifts. It is important that the shift is smooth as you slip into another character’s head. Otherwise, I think it might lead to confusion on the reader’s part.

So what about you? What style is your favorite read? What style do you write in and why?