Time to Think

This is a list by Angela James of Carina Press. They are reasons why editors pass on manuscripts. Keep in mind, I just copied her bullets. To read the editors’ in depth responses, select the link. The list does make you stop and think, “Could this be a problem?”

1. The manuscript doesn’t catch the reader’s attention from the start.
2. The story doesn’t stand out as fresh or unique.
3. The author has included too many unimportant details and not enough important details
4. The writing just isn’t there
5. The voice of the manuscript/characters doesn’t work
6. The reader can’t connect to the characters, they’re not fully realized or believable
7. The story requires too much suspension of disbelief
8. The manuscript starts well but doesn’t follow through
9. Unnecessary subplots
10. The conflict wasn’t sustainable

Hook Problems?

The Book Doctor is in. Check her out as she’s giving great insight into any 50-word hook you offer.

What Do You Fear?

My reading has sparked interesting self-introspection, but I’ve decided I need to face my fears.

When I was an eight-year-old child, I came home and found my dog had hung himself. (He was a fence climber, so we had tied him inside the enclosure.) I tried to get him down, but he was already stiff. I must have been in a formative development stage because this has haunted me and shaped me in uncomfortable ways. But I’ve come to the conclusion this morning that I WANTED it to.

This makes me squirm. Why do I cling to this agonizing fear of loss? So much so, that I made it my hero’s main flaw. This is not who I am! What’s worse, it has taken me over so much that there are days I find it hard to operate because of the what ifs. Part of me shrugs and says “What ifs are a part writing, therefore, your fear has made you a writer. Don’t knock it.” I choose not to believe that. God made me a writer.

I must find a way out my self-made fear of losing loved ones before I am undone, but I know I am not alone in using my fears as a crutch or as a resource.

Today’s homespun therapy question is: What do you fear and how do you use it?

What Motivates You?

I just read an excellent post at the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog. Check out “There Is No Try,” then be prepared to get your game on.

The post made me wonder, what words of wisdom motivate you? I have several:

A dear friend in college gave me some of the best advice ever: “Sit down, shut up and do it.”
Also, I’ve told my nieces many times (especially the one who pouts if she doesn’t win) that you can’t win if you don’t play.

Let’s motivate each other. Do you have game? Are you a Jedi Master?

New Contest at Nathan Bransford’s site

If you’re not following Nathan Bransford’s site (why on earth NOT?), check it out now. He just put up a new contest.