Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blogisodes Live Chat April 29th & May 1st

So if you follow me on twitter you may have seen my postings for the following:

Contributing Writers Wanted: Must writer YA and have a good grip on dialogue

Content Editor Wanted: Must write YA and be good at catching errors

Marketing Associate Wanted: No exp. necessary, must be a social networking guru

I've been tweeting around the clock and now I'm finally ready to share what they are for.

I am developing a YA Series for my blog which will feature bi-weekly episodes (blogisodes) written by myself and a group of contributing writers.

It will be a weekend afternoon of work for a body of work that could server as a really good writing sample, and even a pub credit if the story is later complied into an ebook (just an idea I'm bouncing around)

So here's are some of the specifics:

Genre: YA Contemporary (This is a new one for me)
Length: 3 to 5K per blogisode
Time frame: Bi-Weekly Posts

I am in the final stages of drafting the pilot blogisode and story lines. And there a few rules to this series to ensure it's originality

  • No Parents

  • No Teachers

  • No Jocks

  • No Cheerleaders

  • and No Creatures of any kind

(I know! Para/UF peeps, don't worry there will definitely be a Para/UF Series in the future)

So if you're up for the challenge of writing a YA drama worthy enough for the screen, but tailor made for web; please join me for one of the info sessions.

April 29th 4pm PST/ 7pm EST


May 1st 9am PST/12pm EST

Writers of all levels are welcome, but to ensure we are on the same page, writing samples and selective reading will be required.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Blossoming Query

Dear [Agent Name Here],

[Personalized Message Here]

For ten years seventeen-year-old Deyan Morrow’s meds have been hiding signs that she’s a Iyles—a breed of humans hunted for their menacing red eyes and history of violence—even from herself.

Being a popular cheerleader in a gossip-obsessed town, Deyan's gloves are the only thing keeping her from being a total outcast; that and the haze inducing meds she takes to stop what she thinks are night terrors. The vivid nightmares have left her walls and hands battered beyond repair and Deyan with a secret too embarrassing to ever reveal. Hiding among the campus elite, to create the illusion of a social life, is no longer an option when Tony joins the group. His charm and persistence breaks through the haze, releasing emotions she’s never been able to access. While she struggles with the possibility of being with him and keeping her scars secret, a hunter among her friends waits for a sign that she’s who they’re looking for.

When a campus prank almost exposes her to the school, Deyan’s fury causes her eyes to finally change, exposing the truth to her enemies and the family secrets her med’s were meant to protect. By the time Deyan realizes what she really is, it might be too late.

Complete at 73,000 words, UNDISTURBED, is a young adult paranormal with mystery, romance, and suspense.

NEW VERSION (4-21-11) The last line needs work, but I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Dear [Agent Name],

[Personalized Message Here]

Seventeen-year-old Deyan Morrow thinks her medication of ten years is treating her sleeping disorder, when it’s really hiding signs that she’s not entirely human.

Deyan would know that her eyes turn red when her emotions overwhelm her, if the pills she takes to stop her night terrors weren’t preventing her from feeling anything other than uber-calm. But something changes when Tony joins her social circle. Whenever she’s around him she feels—well that’s just it, she feels—for the first time she’s not just a girl hiding her night terrors and the bruises her hands and bedroom wall have gained from them. But just as Deyan’s learning to peek out of her shell, she becomes the target of some pretty twisted pranks.

Notes threatening to expose her begin showing up on her door step, which she assumes is about her hands, but it really has to do with the fact that she’s an Iyles, a cursed society feared for their menacing eyes and unnatural strength. Rumors coupled with the violent actions of a few are what led to the creation of Iyles hunters, forcing the Iyles to hide or be captured; and one has their eye on Deyan. The more she falls for Tony, the closer she is to losing everything.

Complete at 73,000 words, UNDISTURBED, is a young adult paranormal with mystery, romance, and suspense.

Please comment on anything you like, don't like, or just don't get. I've learned that critiques can only make your work better.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Query Letter Blogfest

Need help with you query? Would you like an opinion from a fresh eye?
Then check out this link: Query Letter Blogfest

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm going for a Record: Suzie Townsend's First Page Shooter

I caught this wonderful opportunity for the Query Shark and now i'm paying it forward. This is not a contest. I repeat, this is not a contest. If you submit your 250 words and follow the instructions Suzie or Joanna will send you back and editorial critique of your first page. This is such a huge opportunity. Run (Don't walk) to Suzie Townsend's blog. She is offering a critique of the 1st 250 words of any manuscript. That's right I said any. What are you still doing here? Go, Go Now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pitch Contest with Natalie Fischer!

Okay I don't usually do 2 posts in one day, but I had to share this awesome pitch contest with yet another amazing judge. Natalie Fisher To see what a recent interview with Natalie and to find out her likes, visit here. The only difference from the other pitch contests is that us YAtopians will choose our top 20 to give to Natalie who will then pick her winners from that.Don't miss out on this great opportunity! Visit YAtopia to enter:

Being "All Knowing" when it comes to your stories

You came up with the name, setting, plot, and drama that resulted in a Novel, now you step back and ask yourself where did it all come from? If you have a preexisting creature then you'll sift through the stories and/or myths about them and try to carve out a unique element that no on else has thought of. But what do you do when the creature you're writing about has never existed before? How do you make yourself and expert of something that only exists in your head? The answer: WORLD BUILDING You need to write the history of this species/breed/creature you've created. If they are set in the real world then layer their history through time. This might not be something your readers will ever see, but it will make you the expert on the subject. Melissa De La Cruz turned her World Building in to Keys to the Repository so who knows what can happen. This is my current mission for Undisturbed, Soul Stones, and True Beginnings. I might be making my life unbelievably complicated by writing originals, but the benefit is in knowing no one else will have this idea. So where do I begin? Where else but the 5 W's:

Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?

But I intend to go deeper crafting a detailed history that will act as a personal reference guide that will be very handy when it comes to writing sequels. Here's a few of the things I'm working on for UNDISTURBED: · Family Tree · Map of Origins · Historical Moments · The Evolution of Abilities · Population Census · Case Studies and More I've been under the impression this whole time that I should only know what my MC knows. I personally hate knowing things my characters don't, especially when it's something bad. I feel like I want to warn them, yell at the monitor "Don't go in there!" or "If you get in that car you're life will forever be altered." but none of that has do with their history. This could also be a tool for story development. If you want to write a novel, but are worried about where to begin, takes a page from the good book "In the beginning..." Building the world of your story could build your confidence in your ability to write it. How do you know how much world building you need?
The answer is up to you. If you can answer the 5 W's and can manage to convince other's that they might actually exist, then you might have everything you need.

My only rule for myself at the moment, which will help me with world building and development of future projects, is:

"It's fiction don't be afraid to depart from reality completely."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Epic Follower Blogfest/Contest: My Twitter Pitch

Yay! It's been a long week and I'm finally ready for some twitter pitchin. Anyone whose done one before knows there's always that one word that puts you 4 characters over, well I've found a version that works and I'm hoping for some great critiques from blog visitors.

So what is a Twitter Pitch?

It's basically a log line of what your book is about, but limited to 140 Characters (Spaces Included)

What is a Long Line?

It's a movie term gaining ground in the literary world. When you meet a person and they ask you "What's your story about?" the log line is what you'll give them.

You might have heard someone describe a film as "It's 300 meets Troy, but with and all girl cast."

Warning: This is a bad example of a Log Line and Pitch. What you want to accomplish in your log line or twitter pitch is:

1. What your story is about (Boiling it down to the bare bones and main subject)

2. Avoid Generalizations (Key points give the mind something to ponder)

3.Make sure it matches up (I don't know how other writers feel about this, but I am very big on tone. I like to know that I'm not over selling or pitching something that isn't the story I wrote)

So with all that being said here's what I've got so far:

A prescription dependent cheerleader’s meds have been masking signs that she isn’t entirely human and the truth reveals a dangerous enemy.


(Because "the master pitcher" told me too)

It’s not until Deyan’s eyes turn red that she learns she’s an Iyles, a hunted species. Now she needs answers before the hunters take her to.

It’s not until Deyan’s eyes turn red that she learns she’s an Iyles, a hunted species, and that there might be a hunter among her friends.

Please leave a comment, and if you can, give some specifics. Anyone can type "I like it" but a critique should tell you why. If you don't like it, what would you change?

For more Twitter Pitches please check out Shelley Watters blog:

P.S. Thanks Shelley for putting on such an amazing blog contest :o)