This week in the blogosphere

Alright, here we go with my first attempt of what I mean to be a weekly recurring post on what’s new and definitely to be read in the blogosphere. It’s basically a mix of interesting posts from agents’ and author’s blogs and blogs on writing in general. Since we all read a variety of different blogs, this might be a good way to point out the gems in tons and tons of blog posts, opinion of course is subjective, but here we go:

Just today, Nathan Bransford posted an awesome article on the definition of plot. Definitely go and check it out, because it’s rather interesting how many authors keep mixing up premises and themes with plot.

Then we have a whole list of agents who posted some helpful advice on query writing – I know of a bunch of agents who linked to those before, but hey, just for good measure (with a special emphasis on reading and sticking to the agents/agencies’ submission guidelines – simple as that…)

Lucienne Diver

Nephele Tempest

Jennifer Jackson

Go read. Then when you’re at the stage of query writing read them again. 8)

I know it’s technically belonging to last week, but Jessica Faust from Book Ends wrote another interesting post continuing a major discussion about the definition of bad books and why they get published here.

I linked to this before, but I happily join in with Nathan Bransford on It’s Not You – It’s the Odds or: Rainbows and puppies!

This is tangentially related to villain month, but I have to say I really liked elizaw’s post on villains, raising the stakes and the overall question: how much can you do to your protagonists to still make your story work? Okay, elizaw’s title is a bit shorter there…

I’ll conclude this with the words ofย 

CONGRATULATIONS!

to all the same sex couples that got married in California this week. Let’s hope that many more states will follow California’s example ๐Ÿ˜€

More on queries!

To avoid incurring EPIC FAIL with your query, definitely read this post on Colleen Lindsay’s blog and all the links in it (even though I mentioned some of them before – read them again).

Somehow this makes me glad that I’m not at the stage of query-writing yet, so I have LOTS of time to research and polish my manuscript and then go bleed over it and polish it again. And again. But then again even your bestest and most-polishest manuscript is bound to fail if your query letter plain sucks. Ah, the hard truths of the publishing world. Isn’t it reassuring?

By the way, did I mention how I’d love to work in publishing despite the fact that I’d have to deal with epic query fails and the all-encompassing slushpile? Well, for now let’s just hope that Light will make it past all that ๐Ÿ˜‰

Queries

No, Gods forbid, I’m not anywhere near the stage of query writing yet, but since I was recently asked for some help in terms of query writing, let me snowball you with a bunch of linky-awesomeness. Whether you’re at the point of writing a query yet or not, definitely check out the following:

How to find a Literary Agent – unfortunately they don’t fall from the sky….why ever does this remind me of that scene in Dogma “Prophets don’t just fall from the sky!” Hmmm, great movie ๐Ÿ˜€

Your Rights as an Author – Never, and I repeat NEVER fall for agencies asking you for reading fees or editing fees in advance et cetera…

Also, definitely check out before querying:

Writer Beware

Preditors & Editors

Miss Snark – dearly departed, but so full of wisdom ๐Ÿ™‚

Love Nathan Bransford’s simplified query formula btw:

Dear [Agent name],

I chose to submit to you because of your wonderful taste in [genre], and because you [personalized tidbit about agent].

[protagonist name] is a [description of protagonist] living in [setting]. But when [complicating incident], [protagonist name] must [protagonist’s quest] and [verb] [villain] in order to [protagonist’s goal].

[title] is a [word count] work of [genre]. I am the author of [author’s credits (optional)], and this is my first novel.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,
[your name]

And no, this is NOT how you should write your query, it’s a strictly simplified formula. Nonetheless, if you can’t fill this out in less than a minute your novel might need some serious work.

Anatomy of a Good Query Letter I and II

How to list your publishing credits – if you have any. If you don’t, then that’s fine, because publishing credits alone don’t get your agent hooked, let alone your book sold.

How To Respond to a Request for a Partial Yes, you’ve written a great query and perked an agent’s interest. They’ve asked you for a partial. Don’t ruin it by sending off your partial without letting the agent know what query the partial is referring to…

How to Format your Manuscript (just a friendly reminder: the next person who makes me get all hysterical about using Times New Roman or Courier New gets kicked ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Also, if you want to get a really cool critique for your query letter, submit your bestest, most-polished baby to Query Shark and trust Janet Reid to tell you what’s what with that ๐Ÿ˜‰ In my opinion a great idea if you’d like to get some professional feedback, but also really informative (and entertaining) to read since the site gives you some helpful tips and tricks as you go.

I’m pretty sure that most of you are very well aware that all those links are also in my sidebar to the right, but still I thought I’d emphasize some of them, especially Nathan Bransford’s great How To posts. There are a lot of agents out there who are ready and willing to give some great advice!

One thing that makes me roll my eyes whenever I hear it is that too many writers out there think they can just query anyone and that querying is a thing quickly done without much if any research. Sorry, but you’re wrong about that guys and all you’ll be most likely to accomplish is get rejection after rejection, because you haven’t even googled the agency’s submission guidelines. Not a good idea ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not that anyone who frequents the blogosphere would do that, but…ya know ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway,ย  there’s probably much more to say and many more people to link to in terms of queries, agents and publishing, but the above mentioned ones are just a few helpful links that I really like myself. Another thing I’d definitely recommend is frequenting at least a few agents’ blogs, because they often have awesome advice about the do’s and don’t’s of querying and the publishing world. You find a bunch of awesome ones under “Agents’ Blogs” in my sidebar too ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy querying everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

Publishing Houses

Don’t you love it when you’re getting into a book that you really like and then realized that the second book (in a trilogy so far) is out of print? Tell you what – yes it did fucking irritate me today, excuse my French.

Luckily I did find Matthew Stover’s (Sira keeps telling me he’s known as Matthew Stover, not Matthew Woodring Stover outside of Utah, even though his name’s a double name everywhere else, so here’s it just for you, Sira ;)) The Blade of Tyshalle at half.com, which is like the baby brother of ebay with strange ties to amazon.com marketplace, anyway there! I found it for $8.45 instead of stunning $50! I mean, come on, 50 bucks for a goddamn used paperback? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

*sigh and end of rant* Let’s just hope the book gets here soon. I’ll post the review on Heroes Die as soon as I’m done with the book, which probably won’t be before long. I definitely recommend it to everyone who likes Richard Morgan and it did have a great impact on Scott Lynch too ๐Ÿ˜‰

Just an aside (rant); I hate how retarded some of the people at the local Barnes&Noble are. Seriously, I ordered The Digital Plague a week ago, then call in today because they should have it by now and they are all like: Uhhhh…what was the title again? And no it’s not there yet. *harrumph!*

Spreading the word!

I got this link to an awesome blog of awesomeness from Sirayn, thanks so much hon! Colleen Lindsay is an agent for Fine Print Literary Management and her blog is all about Fantasy and Science Fiction! Tips about query letters, what not to do in query letters and other helpful and/or funny things to know if you’re ever considering to get published.

Check out her blog here

P.S.: I’m about to make a list with all kinds of great, helpful links that I’ll add to my sidebar as soon as I’m done. I’ll keep you updated ๐Ÿ˜‰