Wednesday, April 27, 2011
A little something to show your age:
A little something to think about. Should our YA writing be "safe"?
Will these be a thing of the past?
And finally, who doesn't want this? Gotta have the kitteh love!!
Let's start with Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Next: Tithe by Holly Black
Next: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is one of the most well-known and loved children’s books EVER WRITTEN. Surely there’s no way to make this story sound silly, right? HA! Read my bad blurb below before you decide:
Harry Potter goes from almost-normal-boy-who-lives-in-a-cupboard-under-his-mean-aunt-and-uncle’s-stairs to prospective wizard in a few beats of an owl’s wing. And he’s no ordinary wizard—Harry’s the only wizard ever to have survived a fight with the terrifying You Know Who.
You and Harry have got to get back to Hogwarts, Hogwarts—where you’ll be enchanted by booger-flavored jelly beans, frizzy-haired brainiacs, and big, big dogs, watch Harry try to get his hands on some sorcerer’s stones, and find the true definition of “two-faced” lurking under a turban.
Um, no. Just no. Besides the fact that I totally included spoilers in the last line, I’m still cackling over “sorcerer’s stones.” When writing a blurb/query, make sure to pick up on any unintentional double meanings, because trust me—there are plenty of people with warped brains like mine out there, and they WILL notice. And snicker.
Also, the turban line could come across as slightly racist. Huge fail.
Finally—know what to concentrate on in your query/blurb, and what not to mention. Example--while you might love a good booger-flavored jelly bean, they are probably not the way to an agent’s or editor’s heart.
Now, let’s see what the talented folks at Arthur A. Levine books used as front jacket copy on the hard cover version:
Harry Potter has never been star of a Quidditch game, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son Dudley—a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives announcing that Harry has been chosen to attend Hogwarts, an elite school for the training of wizards and witches…
Ahhh, now THAT’S more like it. The very first line manages to capture what’s especially intriguing/mysterious about Hogwarts—and doesn’t focus on the random like my blurb did.
(On the other hand—do I get bonus points for A Very Potter Musical shout-out? No? Boo!)
Hope you enjoyed this installment of Bad Blurb Tuesday, and I’ll leave you with this:
Thursday, April 21, 2011
(1). Exhibit A: Sweet Valley Family Saga
I gotta say I was a huge Sweet Valley Twins and High fan growing up. And when the epic Sweet Valley Saga came out, the stories of the twins family heritage from the late 1800's on up to when their parents, Alice and Ted Wakefield, married, I was hooked.
It was after rereading the books in Middle School that the imitation bug hit me, and I did my own epic family saga story with five generations. As you guessed it, there were blinding similarities--probably enough to get Francine Pascal's attorney after me! :)
The Contest will run until next Thursday, and Contest Winners will be announced on Friday!!!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
We start with Wings by Aprilynne Pike.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address and I will send it to you!!
Friday, April 8, 2011
And since I'm movie analogy nerd--er, fan, I wanted to take my flashback approach like Mary Catherine Gallagher would....well, not quite since I won't be interpreting popular made for TV movies, but you get the gist.
(1). Fasten Your Seat Belts, It's Going to be a Bumpy Ride--All About Eve
I got 3 words for you....Ignorance is bliss! I knew nada, zilch, zippo about the writing business when I first started. Agents? Query Letters? Say what? I had no idea what I was going to be getting into when I took the writing plunge. It will be three years ago this summer that I began my first serious novel(I've written my whole life--short stories, bad Danielle Steelesque ripoffs, etc). It was/is an adult Literary Fiction with Christian symbolism. When I look back on writing it, I remember it as one of the happiest times of my life. It was a freeing, exhilarating, and manically creative time. But I had no idea the full quality and quantity of the bumpy road of publication that lay before me. The very road that would make writing the next novels not quite so carefree and much more angst ridden.
(2). They May Take Our Lives, But They'll Never Take Our Freedom!!---Braveheart No one could have prepared me for how soul sucking, life-altering and ball-busting the writing business is. Until you've queried and put yourself out there for rejection, you have no idea how hard it can be. There were/are days I wanted to walk away. To forget I'd ever written anything and to vow to never write again. But then that fiery passion, the one that sometimes was only a few flickering embers, would burn within me. And I would vow that no matter what, I would see a book to being agented and/or published. Nothing would take away my dream!!!!
(3 ) You're Going to Need a Bigger Boat--Jaws Another thing I wish I had understood or comprehended was that the industry was much bigger and much more complicated than I could have ever imagined. You had to get an agent. Then they had to put you on submission. One editor didn't control your publishing destiny--it could be a whole team of people. And just like in Jaws, it was going to take a LOT to succeed and keep my little boat safe in the shark infested waters
(4). Just Keep Swimming Total words to live by then and now. I like the to think of this as a just keep on writing mantra. Write, write, write. Rinse, wash, repeat. If you don't succeed with the first book, keep on writing. Write because you love it, not because you want to be published.
(5). May the Force Be With You--Star Wars I think this is a pretty simple mantra to stick by. Keep your faith--whether it's faith in a spiritual being to see you through the bumpy road or faith in yourself as a creative being with a story to tell. Surround yourself with positive forces--critique buddies, family, friends, pets. You will need to draw on their strength. They will ride the emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows with you.