Let’s Talk About Voice, Baby

As some of you may be aware (since I’ve mentioned it roughly 11,000 times), #PitchSlam and #NestPitch are fast approaching (details on Twitter). I’m reading slush for NestPitch and hosting PitchSlam, which means that I’m crazy. I mean… that I’ll be reading a LOT of pitches and first pages in April. A lot, a lot, […]

Should I Enter that Contest?

Today marks the announcement of which entries were chosen for Sun vs. Snow (see them on http://michelle4laughs.blogspot.com/ and https://chasingthecrazies.wordpress.com/). I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to mentor three amazing entries for #TeamSnow.  With several great contests coming up in March – May, there’s something I though I should address. One thing that comes up a […]

Self Promotion and Twitter

One thing writers tend to hear a lot these days is, “You have to have a platform.” While that’s more true of non-fiction writers than fiction, many agents want their clients to have some internet presence: whether it’s a blog, a Twitter account, Google +, a Facebook author page, or whatever. Most people agree that […]

My 2015 Goals

A week after I posted my 2014 wrap-up, I thought maybe it was time to share my goals for 2015.  I do this partially because when I went to see if I hit my 2014 goals, I realized I never wrote them down. (I rewrote an entire MS, wrote and polished a second, drafted a […]

Dealing with Rejection

Here’s something that’s no secret: Rejection sucks. We’ve all been there. Unless you were born under a lucky star, chances are that at some point you’ve been passed over for a promotion you wanted, were turned down for a date, didn’t get the job, lost a proposal… or had a literary agent or publisher tell […]

The Liebster Award: 10 Question Blog Hop

So, just as I was sitting here, wracking my brain for something to write about, the amazing and talented Mary Ann Nicholson tagged me in the Liebster Award blog hop. Yes! Inspiration! (No, I don’t know what the Liebster Award is, but that’s OK). She asks some tough questions, though. I’m not even sure how […]

Picking a Path

Now, I talk about traditional publishing, because that’s the path I’m following for my manuscript, but let’s take a step back for a minute. How do you decide whether to go with traditional publishing, self-publishing, or some hybrid? (I happily lucked into an agency that does work with authors to do hybrid publishing, which is […]

How to Tame a Manuscript

Some writing projects come easily. My first manuscript poured out of me. There were a few plot points I had to mull over for a few hours, or sometimes overnight, but I always knew what to write next until I hit somewhere around 65k words. Plot issues never stumped me for more than a day […]

How to Write

Step One: Grab a computer/laptop/tablet/cell phone/pen and paper/stone and chisel/stick and patch of sand. Whatever you like. Step Two: Find a position that allows you to use your chosen writing implement(s)/device(s) comfortably. Sit, stand, lie flat, hang upside-down, it doesn’t matter. Step Thee: Write. That’s it. There is no one way to write correctly. Some […]

From the Contest Slush – Query Dos and Don’ts

I spent most of last week reading through slush for Nightmare on Query Street, and I’m also acting as a mentor. While reading about 200 queries, I noticed a few common issues. So, I’ve compiled some query DOs and DON’Ts. DO write your query in the third person, present tense. It doesn’t matter if the […]

Conflicting Feedback

Last week, I talked about responding to negative feedback, but now I want to talk about when you get conflicting feedback. My first 250 words and query were posted on a few different websites for critique and feedback. Let me stress: I appreciate every comment, and all of it helped me. I am very grateful for the […]

Responding to Feedback

Every writer is going to get negative feedback. It’s inevitable. Not everyone can love your work. I didn’t finish The Fault in Our Stars (please don’t stop reading). I have a friend who won’t even read The Hunger Games because she finds the subject matter so appalling. The Ender’s Game series has gotten criticism for […]