September 28, 2012

Upcoming Pitch Contests in the Blogosphere

If you're a querying writer, here are some pitch contest opportunities you might be interested in :)

1. Spooktacular Pitch Extravaganza


It's a Corvisiero Literary Agency showdown! It's Brittany Booker vs Jordy Albert! Open to Adult, Young Adult, New Adult and Middle Grade.

For what, when, and how to submit, check out the full contest information!


2. YAtopia's Get Your Pitch On


Commissioning and Managing Editor of Hardie Grant Egmont, Marisa Pintado, will be poised and ready to take your pitches both on YAtopia and on Down Under Wonderings on October 15th.

Marisa is looking for YA in any genre and is accepting submissions from any where in the world.

For what, when, and how to submit, check out the full contest information!


3. Pitch Live! Elevator Pitch Contest


Pitch Live is a video of your best elevator pitch to an agent. The contest is for Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade fiction. The elevator pitch should be creative, as if you ran into an agent at a conference.

For what, when, and how to participate, check out the full contest information!


EDIT: Two more via the lovely Jamie Corrigan :D

4. Trick or Treat With Agents


Trick or Treat With Agents is a contest Kimberly is co-hosting with Brenda Drake, and Deanna Romito. Contest is open to MG,YA, and Adult. (No Erotica or Memoirs)

For what, when, and how to participate, check out the full contest information!


5. Hook, Line and Sinker Contest


On October 13th at 11AM EDT, take your entries to the appropriate blog based on genre. Dee is hosting Middle Grade at www.writeforapples.com, Kat is hosting Young Adult at katelliswrites.blogspot.com and Fizzygrrl will be hosting the party for Adult at www.Fizzygrrl.com. Agents will be stopping by to play.

For what, when, and how to participate, check out the full contest information!


If you know of any upcoming contests that I missed, please leave links in the comments.

Have a great weekend! ♥

September 26, 2012

WoW: SHADES OF EARTH by Beth Revis

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Book blurb (from goodreads):
Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience. But this new Earth isn't the paradise that Amy had been hoping for. Amy and Elder must race to uncover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together.

But as each new discovery brings more danger, Amy and Elder will have to look inward to the very fabric of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been meaningless.

Available January 15, 2013

After using Across the Universe as my example on Monday, I thought it fitting that Shades of Earth be this week's Waiting on Wednesday. AtU was basically the book that brought me back to reading--and eventually writing--scifi. Whatever issues I might have with it, I still loved the crap out of it, and it's one of my favorite YA SF books ever. So, of course, I can't wait for the final installment in the series.

Gotta admit, though, I loved the cover for A Million Suns, and I'm sad the third book won't match my set :P

Happy Wednesday, guys ♥

September 24, 2012

When POV Characters Withhold Information

Characters withholding information is a common and oftentimes important part of stories. Unless they're a fan of the villainous monologue, most antagonists like to keep their plans to themselves, which means the protags have to work to solve the problem and defeat the antag. This is good. Or sometimes a supporting character has to keep a secret because it'll hurt or shock the MC/incriminate themselves/reveal a motivation or facet about themselves they simply don't want anyone to know yet.

But what about when it's the point-of-view character keeping a secret from the reader? What if the MC discovers important information, but never actually says what the information is, forcing the reader to look at the context and hunt for clues in his/her reaction in order to figure it out? What if the MC is forced to do something shocking, but reacts only with 'OMG HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS?' but, again, doesn't explicitly state what they need to do (presumably to amp up reader anxiety and anticipation)?

What do you guys think about this story-telling technique? When, if ever, does it work for you? Is it ever believable for a point-of-view character (especially if it's in first person) to NOT reveal what they're thinking/reading/angsting about in order to serve the plot?

Here's an example that immediately comes to mind. For those who have NOT read Across the Universe by Beth Revis, I would advise you not to highlight the paragraph below b/c it contains a MAJOR PLOT SPOILER.

(Highlight to read)
In Across the Universe, Elder reveals at the end of the book that he's the one who unplugged Amy. However, the story is told alternately from his first person point of view and, despite that Amy makes no secret her intense emotional reaction to the fact she was awoken fifty years too soon and will be an old lady by the time her parents wake up, Elder never thinks about the fact that HE is responsible. He never has an "on screen" moment where he displays emotional and moral conflict about what he's done to her. Instead, he reveals it at the end, delivering what's meant to be a huge blow both to Amy and to the reader.

So, the question is, does this work for you? Does the fact the character never had an 'on screen' moment thinking about it result in him/her losing all credibility and even respect from the reader? Or is the shock value, the twist, that OMG moment, enough to validate its use?

(Note: it looks like I'm picking on AtU, but AtU is one of my favorite YA SF books ever, so I'm doing it with love :P Promise!)

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Monday! ♥

September 19, 2012

WoW: THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Book blurb (from goodreads):
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

Available October 23, 2012

It'll be interesting to find out (if we find out) if certain things from book one were real or symptoms of Mara's tenuous sanity. We know some of it was real (or do we?! lol), but there was just as much left in doubt and that ending was a total cliffie.

If you're curious, can you see my book rec of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer HERE.

Happy Wednesday, guys ♥

September 17, 2012

A Matter of Point of View

Last Thursday, the wonderfully and impressively organized Deanna Barnhart, your GUTGAA mastermind, held a Twitter Q+A for querying writers. It went smashingly. I think we even trended!

However, something I noticed was that some writers seemed a little fixated on the question of point of view. It's true that many young adult books are told in 1st person point of view. I've heard that it's because it helps put the reader more firmly in the narrator's shoes, and that teens relate better to it.

But I like to think it's a matter of personal preference. Like everything else in publishing, it's subjective. (And there are tons of fantastic YA books written in 3rd person out there.)

I have two seventeen-year-old nieces, both of whom are avid readers. When questioned about which pov they prefer, they both said they don't care and, frankly, barely even notice it. What matters is whether the story and the characters grab them, and that can be done regardless of which pov the author chooses.

Now, sometimes, it's true that a book or a character's voice just isn't working in a certain point of view. And when that realization hits, it can be a major motivational and creative vortex.

The manuscript I was working on last year began in 3rd person. A couple chapters in, I realized something just wasn't right. I considered changing the point of view, but I had never actually written in 1st person before, and it seemed a daunting challenge. However, going with my gut turned out to be the right decision because that was the book with which I signed my agent. Even so, I still prefer writing in 3rd and that's the pov my WIP is in. Agents won't care either way so long as it works for the book.

If you need further proof, my fabulous CP Mindee has sold two book series, one written in 1st person and the other in 3rd. Both are equally amazing.

There are so many things to think about when writing a book--deadlines (professional or otherwise), plot twists, character arcs, pacing and conflict. Point of view is just a tiny part of the process and not something that should be giving you unnecessary stress.

So what do you guys think? What's your preference?



September 12, 2012

WoW: THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Book blurb (from goodreads):
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love... or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Available September 18, 2012

Who ISN'T waiting for this book, srsly? :P

Happy Wednesday, guys ♥

September 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Book blurb (from goodreads):
In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

Available September 11, 2012

I'm all for the YA fantasy, and this one sounds intriguing. Also, that cover is stunning. I really hope this is a winner :)

Happy Wednesday, guys ♥

September 3, 2012

Monday Monday

Today, my daughter K (her name is not actually the letter K haha) turns 10. Double digits. I remember being 9 and thinking this was a Big Deal.

With another little one on the way, I just know she's going to be the best helper :)


Growing up way too fast!


Happy Monday (and Labor Day), everyone! ♥
 

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