On Writing —
As writers, we are all aware of the importance of that critical first line. Former agent Nathan Bransford advises us to incorporate that great first line into the story:
- In order for a pithy or clever first line to work for me, the most important thing is that it fits naturally into the flow of the opening. It's not a non sequitor, it's not out of step with what the main character is thinking or feeling at that moment, it doesn't just exist for the sake of being clever, it doesn't feel forced...
Do you write in first person? Agent Mary Kole warns against third person-style narration in first person:
- Imagine you’re telling an anecdote to your friends. You’ve got them wrapped around your finger as you’re describing a scene, say, the last time you were thrown a surprise party. Do you say, about yourself, “My gaze shifted to the corner and my mouth dropped open to discover Uncle Eddie wearing a party hat”?
Agent Natalie Fischer weighs on the differences between Adult and YA:
- What determines YA is VOICE.
On Querying & Agents —
Agent Mary Kole also gives us, from her boss, the best query quote/advice ever:
- A query letter is like the perfect skirt: long enough to cover everything but short enough to be exciting.
Agent Rachelle Gardner has a excellent series of Myth Busting about getting published, agents, and marketing & more!
- And the biggest myth of all: "Becoming a published author is a pipe-dream that will never come true."
On Publishing —
It's always a good thing to know about your book's rights -- and agent Sarah Davies gives us a great >seminar on rights:
- When I look at a book, I see two things. 1) A story that is also a work of art. 2) A bundle of very diverse rights.
With the increasingly larger e-book market, former agent Nathan Bransford expounds on why some e-books cost more than hardcovers:
- But the biggest problem, as that Reddit discussion illustrates, is that it creates a great deal of consumer confusion and angst. It doesn't make any intuitive sense for e-books to cost more than paper.
Also, the prompt for this week's Friday Flash Fiction is: In 300 words or less, write a story beginning with the cliche, "Another one bites the dust."
I hope you'll all join us this Friday. Happy writing!