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Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week:


Those Pesky Adverbs Again (Maryann Miller)

Who’s Driving This Thing Anyway?   [info]reneesweet


Picky, Picky, Picky  (Maryann Miller)


Great Tips for Writing (Natalie Duvall) 


Too Cool for School (and for the Book Store) – courtesy of[info]tinaconnolly


Writer’s Block [info]reneesweet


Book Marketing for Authors: The Author Questionnaire (Chris Webb) – courtesy of [info]aprilhenry


How I Got My Agent (Alice J. Wisler)


17 Reasons Why Book Manuscripts are Rejected (Laurie Pawlick-Kienlen)


7 Emails That Make Me Blink [info]serasempre 


Interview with Agent Mike Kabongo aka [info]onyxhawke  (Michael ventrella)


Promotional Emails: Dos and Don’ts (Elizabeth Bluernie)


Where can I send my stories? [info]nancyfulda


What Will Make Your Book a Bestseller? [info]peachette48


How to Boost Your Audience [info]ysabetwordsmith 


Slush Stats [info]jmeadows


Writing vs. Story Telling [info]karen_w_newton


How To Write a Novel Synopsis  (litagentguide)

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
Well, I must say that I have a problem with "17 Reasons why book manuscripts get rejected."

The very first reason:“The writer uses the phrase ‘fiction novel’,” says agent Janet Reid. Misusing the English language is why she - and many editors, publishers, and agents - stop reading and reject manuscripts.

I imagine 'fiction novel' as it is marked, is the problem, yet later in the article, another agent says: "Don’t send me fiction books that give moral messages..."

Fiction novels is wrong--so what is fiction books?? I understand that quotes must be quoted accurately, but this is a direct contradiction within the article's #1 example.


I'm being picky to prove my point, that being, while I understand having standards, and having to draw a line somewhere, something this ridiculous shouldn't make or break a new writer's chances of a career. Wow--I sure hope that most agents won't reject a manuscript because of a misplaced comma in the query letter, or a word choice they might not particularly like. Holy crap! We'd all be doomed! And destined for insanity. There is no such thing as perfection.

And this one: The manuscript has an improper word count. “Make sure your word count is around 100,000,” says Reid. Manuscripts under 50,000 or over 200,000 words don’t meet the common industry standards - so aim for the general target of 100,000 words.

That is a HUGE margin! I understand 'aim for' but the minimum there is 50K words under that aim, and the max is 100K words over!

Oh, and it would be 'hookers with hearts of gold', not 'hookers with a heart of gold'--unless they all share a heart, and in that case, they've more problems than improper grammar. :)
Jul. 17th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
Oh dear.

I think the challenge we face when approaching agents, is that there are so many others in the slush pile, we only have the query letter and a few pages to make a good impression.

It may sound unfair (and it probably is), but I think when they read our submissions they're actually looking for an excuse to put them down. If we accept that as true, then I'd say we need all the advice we can get, however petty it might seem.

I hope you liked the others :)

Jul. 17th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
I tagged a bunch of them to go back and read once I got back from the doc--which I just have!

Though I've read dozens of blogs/articles/whatnot that say the opposite, I'm kind of with you in the looking for some excuse to move on to the next submission thinking.

I KNOW queries have to be perfect, just in case you DO end up with one of those agents looking for a reason to move on rather than a reason to keep going, but it's a harrowing, humbling thing to consider.
Jul. 18th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
Not to mention scary, and a little bit annoying. Still, I guess we have to play it their way :(
Jul. 18th, 2009 12:29 pm (UTC)
I follow Jennifer Jackson's blog, and she recently had a post about someone accusing her of not reading the stuff that comes across her desk. She seemed deeply and sincerely wounded by that. I think she's one of those agents who actually DO read through the things they. I can think of a few others who I believe read the queries, truly looking for merits, not reasons to reject. But I'll tell you, Jon, I've submitted to quite a few agents that left me wondering, and at least one agent whose site said, "actively looking for new writers,: who was, in fact, NOT; because within a minute of hitting the send key, heart aflutter, I got a form rejection. Seemed to be set on an auto-function.
Jul. 17th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
Always really interesting reading these! Thanks for posting them up :-)
Jul. 17th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
My pleasure :)
Jul. 17th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks again. I'm going to be coming back to the Novel Synopsis piece. I'm working on one, and the tips here should help.

I always enjoy Maryann Miller's pieces (and agree with her). I should probably bookmark her page.
Jul. 17th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
The Blood-red pencil is a great site :)
Jul. 17th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
Only read a couple, but Too Cool for School was a good read :)
Jul. 17th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
Hehe, especially the comments :)
Jul. 18th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
Love these roundups you do. Thanks for taking the time and effort to post them!
Jul. 18th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
My pleasure. There's a lot of great posts out there :)
Jul. 20th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
Thanks again for the mentions. :)
Jul. 20th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
My pleasure :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

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