Writing & Editing Like Mad. Harper Voyager Taking Unsolicited Manuscripts.

By | Publishing, Writing Tips | 4 Comments

So this is going to be a very short post because I need to get back to my manuscript, but suffice it to say I am very excited. Not too long ago I found out the Harper Voyager is accepting unsolicited manuscripts from Oct 1- Oct 14, 2012. (Which starts today! :D)

I made the decision that I would submit. But this meant that I needed to go back and rework all those things I wanted to adjust after great feedback from the workshop I went to in Aug. (see here) I also need to add about 10,000 words because they state it has to be at least 70,000 but prefer 80-120,000. I’ve done some serious editing but I’m sitting at about 60,000 words right now so I might possibly even have to add 20,000 words. A daunting task to say the least.

This opportunity is unprecedented (as far as I know) and I am so happy I can be a part of it. Here’s to all the other writers out there! Keep on keeping on. And WRITE!

Why Using Someone Else’s Brain is So Fantabulous

By | Mer Archives Details, Publishing, Writing Tips | No Comments

This blog has seen a huge hiatus but thankfully, I’m back on the bandwagon. Hip hip hooray!

A little over a month ago I had the most amazing opportunity. Along with eleven other author attendees I was part of a workshop that was presented by Adrienne Kerr Commissioning Editor, Penguin (Canada). This post is written with her permission but has not been reviewed by her. The two day experience I had truly showed me the immense value of picking someone else’s brain, most especially after they’ve read your work.

With eleven other brains giving me in-depth critiques of my query letter, sample pages and my synopsis I had so many “Ah-ha” moments I lost count. It really helped that it was such a diverse group of writers. I found it interesting that sometimes even they disagreed on different aspects of my novel. But I learned quickly that if many people were saying the same thing it was time to sit up and pay attention. I’m still currently sorting through all the information and help that all of these writers have given me. It’s amazing that so much of what was specifically said helped in so many other aspects of my writing.

Never underestimate the value of new eyes coming to a piece of work. As a writer everything makes sense in your head. All the pieces fit together. New eyes can pick up on so many times where hands skipped over a crucial piece of information that is still in your head. Another person’s brain can also sometimes see themes or ideas that you may or may not have wanted in your novel. I was so excited and happy to have been able to go. This workshop will definitely have to go on my “I must do this every year for my writing” list. 😀
(Don’t underestimate the value of a good iPhone app too. So happy I used voice record and can now play back exactly what everyone said about what I had written).

In addition to all of the above it was truly wonderful to be able to work with Ms. Kerr and have not only so many of my questions answered but have her look at my writing as well.

Needless to say the workshop has really put a burr back under my butt and my writing is really starting to become part of my life again. I’m realizing how much I’ve missed it, and I’m so glad to be back!


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Just Because A Book Is Published, That Doesn’t Mean It Trumps A Good Article

By | Publishing, Writing Tips | 2 Comments

I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while. I’ve seen and heard a fair few things regarding my post on a Big Newbie Writer Mistake.

What really got me was when someone related the fact that something I quoted as being a newbie writer mistake -from a book I trust implicity- they referenced a single published book as evidence that this point wasn’t true (talking about -ly adverbs being fine in dialogue tags. Really? Yeah, no. We don’t need ’em, or they should only be used very rarely)

Wow, I had to cool my jets a little bit on that one. I’m sorry, but if a reliable and legitimate source tells you something and that point is then reiterated by numerous other sources, you cannot reference a single published book to me on why that rule isn’t true. Two major agents’ and Stephen King’s thoughts aren’t enough to deter someone from overusing -ly adverbs? Not to mention all the others who I’m sure make this point.

I will always go back and reference those who know the industry inside and out. Agents, editors, authors and writers whose work has been tried and true. That doesn’t mean that these long-standing veterans don’t get things wrong, they do. Though I will trust their word over what I find in a single title someone references.

That’s where common sense comes in. It’s usually best to pay heed to the points that have many examples and witnesses, than to a single instance or example.

What are some other times or situations this is true? I’d love to hear.

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