My writing dream all began when an innocent teacher said the fateful words, “Wow! You’re a good writer!”
And a monster was born.
I’ve been writing since middle school, more seriously since high school, and first tried to get published over five years ago. (*I’m still not yet published.) Over that period of time, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and learned many valuable lessons. But here I am still plugging away at my writing & publishing dream. Why do we writers torture ourselves this way?
We have words inside us that need to be heard.
Welcome to The Querying Show’s First Episode!
Each week for the next six months you will witness every juicy (or completely stagnant) detail of our SP Staff Member’s querying life in the SLUSH PILE!
(Check out our rules and reasons in our intro post here!)
Will CR’s/Write_Or_Left achieve AGENT success? Will it result with a querying and MS reboot? Follow us to see how Write_Or_Left ‘s querying journey will end up!
Today is the beginning of his journey. Let’s check in our with brave querying fellow and see how he began.
SP: Greetings, CR/Write_Or_Left ! First, we want to know how you’re feeling with this whole OPEN, VULNERABLE, POTENTIALLY EMBARRASSING, JOURNEY you started with The Querying Show? Continue reading
I recently took a 2-3 month break from my novel and wrote short stories. Why? For one, my novel needed to sit for a bit. But more importantly, writers should always expand their skillset. While I don’t claim to be a Poe or Hemmingway, I have learned a lot about the craft from my stint as a short story author. Not just about short stories, but about novels as well.
(NOTE: This was going to cover all the things I learned from short stories, but it turns out there is just too much to fit in one blog. So we’ll just cover one topic)
Brevity (being brief) is key to any good short story. Trying to fit an entire plot in the span of 500-5,000 words is quite a challenge, especially coming from a guy who wrote a 141k word first draft (that’s me if you haven’t guessed). Novelists just do that sometimes. We ramble.
This is a guide to cutting down your word count!
Pen Friends, welcome Jessica Jade, a fabulous addition to the Spinning Pen. She’ll be joining us for a few months, sharing her journey on becoming an author — tips on writing, querying, YA fantasy, rejection, success, book reviews, and more! You’ll want to connect with her on twitter (link below) and see her beautiful novel aesthetics on her YA fantasy that she’s querying at the moment!
When I first started querying over two years ago, I thought I was ready—the manuscript, the query letter, everything.
Oh, I was wrong. Embarrassingly wrong.
You’ve finished a draft of your manuscript and done all your brain can possibly do alone. You celebrate because it’s readable– one might daresay enjoyable– but you know the time has come to let other’s eyes see your story. It’s time for beta readers.
Use these 5 tips to get the most out of your beta readers and kickstart your next draft.
Pen friends! McKelle George, an editor and debut author of Speak Easy, Speak Love –a 1920’s retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, is here to share her writing life and editing tips with us!
SP: Hi McKelle! Thanks for joining us. First, please tell us a bit of who are you and how long have you have been writing?
Hi! I’m a young adult writer and my debut Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out this month. I’ve always done a little writing (mostly fanfic and RP), but I made the decision to seriously write the summer of 2011. (:
SP: So lets talk about your debut, Speak Easy, Speak Love. How did this idea develop? How long did it take for you to write it? Continue reading
It’s 11:00 P.M., and you’re staring at the blinking vertical line on your screen. Your word count has changed by only 50 words since you sat down fifteen minutes ago, and that’s only from deleting the previous sentence because its sounded like something you would read out of a book titled “Clichés 101.” You sigh, shut the laptop a bit harder than you probably should, then head to bed, feeling exhausted and guilty for not having accomplished any of your writing goals. Continue reading
Pen Friends ~ Today we have more insightful Editor Talk with professional editor Tara Creel, as she shares her insight into editing, publishing, and getting it right!
SP: Welcome Tara! Can you tell us a bit of who are you and how long have you worked as an editor?
I’m Tara Creel. I’ve worked as an editor for Month9Books/Tantrum Books for almost four years now. I have also been doing freelance editing on the side, but have recently launched a freelance editing business with Michelle Millet called Write On Editing. Continue reading
Pen Friends ~ We are elated to have Blink YA Book’s Editor Jillian Manning with us today. Hope you enjoy her insights, tips, and recommendations!
SP: Welcome Jillian! Let’s start personal ~Who are you and how long have you worked as an editor? Which books made you fall in love with the publishing industry?
I’m Jillian Manning, one of the editors at Blink YA Books. I’m a Michigan girl, cat lover, list maker, and avid YA reader. (Grown-up books? Yikes.) I’ve worked in publishing since my early college days, and have been an editor here at Blink for over two years. According to my mother, I started reading when I was two years old (though that may be a parental exaggeration), and I haven’t stopped since. I grew up reading Tamora Pierce, J.K. Rowling, and Caroline B. Cooney, and I decided I either wanted to be them or work with people like them. When I found out being an editor meant you could read for a living…well, I was hooked. Continue reading