Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Long Time No See and Writing Tips

It’s been so long since my last post that I actually have people emailing and calling to find out what’s going on. I love that you all are so interested and supportive and I’m sorry for the extended absence. Truth is I’ve been super busy with Thomas; he’s out of school for the summer. And when I’m not hanging out with him, I’ve been taking a few writing courses online. (Any writers reading this...look below for a few notes from these classes)
I did manage to enter the Writer’s Voice Twitter Pitch contest, in which two agents showed interest in my manuscript. Basically, the contest was to pitch your book in 140 characters and there were four agents watching the twitter feed. If they saw something they liked, they would respond. There were hundreds of pitches and I was super flattered when mine received interest.
This was my pitch: Plummeting 55,000ft-Check. Oxygen malfunction-Check. Normal for astronaut training? Nope, someone wants Aurora out… #WVTP
On to other and just as exciting news, Brian has officially started writing the book that we’ve talked about for years. I’ve only read a few pages so far, but I already know he has an amazing way with words. It’s funny...his strengths as a writer are my weaknesses and vice versa. His descriptive writing style is perfect for his historic plotline and his terrific dialogue makes it fun to read. I’m not sure how much he wants me to share, but I do know that when it comes time to getting his book published, all of my experiences will come in handy.
For the Writer Crowd:
I attended a webinar writing class hosted by Writer’s Digest University, an excellent online source for writer’s. The instructor for the class was Paula Munier, a literary agent with Talcott Notch Literary. Her background is highly impressive and I found her presentation to be spot on. I’m going to post a few tips from the class, but any writer who feels that their first ten pages could be stronger should take the class.  I’m not sure how often this class is available, but the instructor reads over your first ten pages and then give’s specific feedback. And let me tell you, my feedback was worth every penny.
SCENE ONE: Every Writer's Guide to Writing Story Openings that Sell
Things I learned:
1.)    You have 2-3 sentences to grab a reader/editor/agents attention. Make them count.
2.)    The first page sells the book and the last page sells your next book.
3.)    Check out Elmore Leonard’s “rules” for good writing. There are exceptions to every rule, but in general they hold true. Here are a few:
A.)   Do not open with weather
B.)    Do not open with Prologue
C.)    Do not open with a Dream
D.)   Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue (meaning get rid of dialogue tags. Ex. He/She intoned, He/She stated etc.)
4.)    Editing Tip- if in doubt, delete.


  1. Yep, that's as far as I want you to go my love! I'd like to keep my bar set realistically low and yours the priority. Thanks for the plug though! Wink.