Three Links 10/16/2020
1. https://annerallen.com/2020/10/use-a-characters-career-to-support-your-storys-theme/ “Successful stories are often ones whose elements are employed subtly. You may not be able to say exactly why they work, and as a reader, you probably don’t care; you just like the feeling of rightness that settles in as you read.
Theme is one of those important elements that are quietly working in the background of a strong story. This central idea, pulled deliberately or subconsciously from the author’s individual worldview, acts as an anchoring thread that connects the other elements and creates a sense of cohesion. But writing theme into a story can be tricky. If you’re too obvious, you risk whacking people over the head with it, and your story becomes preachy. If you’re too subtle, readers may not pick up on the message at all.
So how do we incorporate theme into our story with just the right amount of touch? One surprisingly effective way is to use the character’s job.” I’ve never considered this before. Hm. Could be useful.
2. https://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2020/10/11/critiquing-a-friends-book-how-do-you-tell-them-it-doesnt-work/ “I’ve had this interesting question from Jan.
A friend has finished drafting her first novel. She asked me to proofread before she sends it to agents. I explained she would up her chances if she got it edited too, so she asked if I could do that.
I’m reading the manuscript and have found what I feel are fundamental issues. For instance, I’m 57 pages in and nothing dramatic has happened, I still don’t know the theme of the book, or what any of the characters are driving towards. There is a lot of description, but I haven’t been able to discern its purpose.
I really want her to have the best chance, so how do I essentially ask her to rewrite from scratch? She’s proud of the manuscript; (she should be, she wrote 92,000 words and had the dedication to stick to it). I’m trying to work out the best way to approach the things that need fixing without making her feel like I’ve torn down her baby. What should I do?
I sense you feel this is an unusual situation. It is not.” I’ve had this happen before. It can be quite sticky, but a gentle prod might be best here. The truth is, I know I’ve put stories out there as well that weren’t quite up to snuff. Tearing someone down gets neither of you anywhere. Put yourself back in the moment you had your story fall apart from another.
3. https://stevelaube.com/how-to-get-out-of-the-slush-pile-with-deborah-raney/ “You are here: Home > Blog > How to Get Out of the Slush Pile – With Deborah Raney
How to Get Out of the Slush Pile – With Deborah Raney
On October 13, 2020
Here are the show notes for the most recent episode of the Christian Publishing Show.
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You would like to think that as soon as you are done with your proposal and send it off to an agent that he or she is sitting there by the inbox ready to read it as soon as it comes in. If only. Before email became the submission method, agents and acquisitions editors threw unsolicited proposals into a stack in the corner of the office called the slush pile. Then, once a month or so, they brewed a pot of coffee and in a few hours went through hundreds of proposals and manuscripts. Although the slush pile moved to the email inbox, the response is the same: Usually, every manuscript gets rejected. But sometimes a proposal jumps out and grabs the agent’s or editor’s interest and goes on to get published.
So, how can that lucky proposal be for your book? Well, luck has nothing to do with it. There is a way to get out of the slush pile, and our guest today will tell us how.
Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish (Affiliate Link), went from slush pile, to book, to major motion picture. Twenty-six years and more than forty books later, she’s still creating stories that touch hearts and lives.”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/10/11/circles-beyond-time-living-stone/ “I smiled, knowing what was still to come… and knowing that our companion had picked up on something not yet visible when she had said that the place reminded her of the stone blocks of the old South American cultures. I knew what she meant, but while the precision of the masonry at Cusco still defies understanding over a thousand years old since its building, the place to which we were walking was older. Far older.” Such beautiful scenery and secrets of the threads of life.
2. https://stevelaube.com/what-if-you-get-a-book-deal-on-your-own-and-then-want-an-agent/ “What happens if you get a book contract before you have an agent? What if, by some miracle, an editor sees your work and wants to publish it? (1) would having a publisher interested in my work make an agent much more likely to represent me, and (2) would it be appropriate to try to find an agent at that point (when a publisher says it wants to publish you)? My fear is that querying an agent and receiving a response could take several months, but I’d need to accept a potential contract with a book publisher right away (I would think). Is it appropriate to ask the editor to speak with an agent on your behalf to speed the process?
This is a great topic, but there are a few questions within the question. Let me try to break it down.
How do you let the agent know of this situation? Believe me. An agent is likely to read an email (even if originally sent to an assistant) that has a subject line with the sentences, “Contract offer in-hand. Are you interested in representing me?”
Some Things More Serious:
1. https://tiarasandlipstick.com/why-pink-is-important-this-month/ “I was 14 years old when I first discovered a small, hard lump in my right breast. I remember it felt like a small ping pong ball, and I was able to clearly feel it and push it around within my breast tissue. To this day, I am still baffled at it’s sudden appearance back then, as well as the second lump that reappeared a few years later.”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
1. https://dgkayewriter.com/sunday-book-review-little-tea-by-claire-fullerton/ “One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.
For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.
As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.”
2. https://teripolen.com/2020/10/10/badmoonrising-weave-a-web-of-witchcraft-by-jean-m-roberts-historicalfiction-witches/ “Any witch fans out there? I don’t mean the Hocus Pocus kind (although they’re an undeniably awesome coven). Today’s author brings us a story based on a real married couple from the mid 1600s – and one of them is accused of witchcraft. Nearly forty years before the Salem Witch Trials began! Welcome Jean M. Roberts!
Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?
I think I’m going to have to go with the coffin, unless I had to sleep with the lid closed. Did you ever see the Vincent Price movie, Pit and the Pendulum, where the girl is buried alive in a casket, hooey, scary. I’m not sure I’d survive a haunted house, depends on the ghosts. What are the odds I’d get Casper?”
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