Three Links 1/24/2020 Loleta Abi

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Three Links 1/24/2020

Loleta Abi


1. “ don’t know why, but I’ve recently been hit with a barrage of requests from new writers who want me to critique their query letters. Most of them come from LinkedIn, which I’ve happily ignored for years, but for some reason I’m suddenly getting 5-10 daily requests to “connect.” And lots of requests for freebies.

I tell them Ruth and I have a very strict policy of NO FREE CRITIQUES of queries or anything else. With over 20,000 subscribers, followers, FB friends, etc, we’d be dead from overwork and/or starvation in a week.  We do provide the information on this blog absolutely free—without any advertising, except for a mention of our books. But we need time to write the books that pay the bills.

We also get daily queries from writers who want a guest post or book review. (We do not write book reviews.)” There is a wealth of info on how to write queries across the web. Pay particular interest to QueryShark and SusanDennard. I’ve found both very helpful, especially Susan’s.

2. “Writers learn about craft at conferences and on blogs, so I don’t pretend to be breaking new ground with this post. Yet I still see what are known as floating body parts and cliché creep into otherwise great stories. No, I don’t mean murder mysteries depicting a stray arm drifting in a river. I refer to much gentler fare.

Yes, floating body parts offer the reader–and writer–shortcuts. But relying on them as descriptions in narrative doesn’t challenge anyone’s imagination.

Rolling Eyes”

3. “The Lie Your Character Believes. It’s the atom waiting to be split, the bomb waiting to go off, the change waiting to happen in your character’s life. Even when hidden beneath layers of plot and theme, the Lie Your Character Believes is your story. You know this, of course. But did you know that sometimes there are two”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. “Phew, this blog has been busy this week! Last Sunday I was the guest of Litopia, an online writers’ colony and community. Every week they have a YouTube show, Pop-Up Submissions, where five submissions are read and critiqued live on air by literary agent Peter Cox and a guest. This week, that guest was me!

The genres can be absolutely anything, so I found myself assessing a young adult fantasy, an urban American thriller, a travel memoir, an Irish literary character piece (aka ‘upmarket fiction’) and a humorous fantasy crime. We picked out issues such as where to put back story, establishing the tone with the writing style and the choice of events, trying to make a character too likeable… and lots more. It was a fun challenge, and also fascinating to see Peter’s commercial instincts in action. While I concentrated on elements craft, he was asking: ‘Are there too many of this kind of book already? How do you stand out in today’s market? Or is it right on trend?’

2. “As a freelance editor, I work with all kinds of different writers—from those racing to make the tight publishing timelines set by their publishers to those who are just starting off on their journey.

Sometimes I’m the very first person a writer has ever shown their manuscript to.

Sometimes I’m the first person they’ve ever shown their writing to at all.

And if there’s one question I get asked by newer writers more than any other, it’s this: Based on what you’re seeing here, should I bother to pursue this?

Or, to put it another way: Do I have what it takes to succeed as writer?

These are generally people who have had some other path, professionally speaking, and are now revisiting their first love, creative writing. They’ve written a book, or part of a book, and now they want to know, considering the time and effort that would be involved with pursuing this passion, whether it would be worth it for them to do so.” It’s worth it to me, no matter how much time has gone by or how much I’ve changed. I still live and breathe writing. I always will.


Something More Serious:




Teaser Fiction & Poetry:




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “Thirty years ago, a child was found in the New Jersey backwoods.

He had been living a feral existence, with no memory of how he got there or even who he is. Everyone just calls him Wilde. 

Now a former soldier and security expert, he lives off the grid, shunned by the community – until they need him. 

A child has gone missing. With her family suspecting she’s just playing a disappearing game, nobody seems concerned except for criminal attorney Hester Crimstein. She contacts Wilde, asking him to use his unique skills to find the girl. 

But even he can find no trace of her. One day passes, then a second, then a third. 

On the fourth, a human finger shows up in the mail.”



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