How to Revise like a Mentor: Part Two!

Hi everyone!

Last week, we got some advice from four mentors about revising and writing. This week, we’ll be hearing from four more… okay, five. I was a mentor through Author Mentor Match, so I’ll be sharing my thoughts, too!

Thanks to my friend, Katie Wilson, for coming up with these ideas and these questions. Your perspective is so valuable. And oh, check out Katie’s AuthorTube channel over here!

Now, on with the interview! This week, we’ll be hearing words of wisdom from four more authors who’ve been mentors and mentees through programs like Pitch Wars and Author Mentor Match: Lorelei Savaryn, Carolyn Tara O’Neil, Meryl Wilsner, and Kimberly Wisnewski.

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The Prologue Post

It seems that in the writing community, there’s a lot of talk about prologues — whether they’re allowed, whether they work, if you should include it in a work you’re querying, et cetera. A lot of people are against prologues on the whole, and an equally large group are staunch defenders of the prologue.

I’m here to explain some points of view of the Prologue Discourse and to (hopefully) give you some advice and perspective about when to keep and when to cut your prologue!

Disclaimer: my advice here 1. is yours to take or leave as you like! 2. is not “one size fits all”! and 3. applies most especially to YA novelists hoping to be traditionally published. 

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All About Your Author Brand

In the age of influencers, the word “brand” gets thrown around a lot. And it’s an important word of course — heck, even when I’m making graphics for my blog or retweeting something, I think about my brand image. We’re shaping the way people see us online. It’s kind of weird, kind of artificial. And now the word “brand” is seeping into writing life, into “being an author” life. 

 

If you’re a new writer or a querying author, this one’s for you. I wanna do a quick little dive into what author branding is and to what degree you need to worry about it.

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Choosing Your Comp Titles

Hi there! 

I took a couple weeks off of blogging (breaks are great and you should absolutely try them) but I’m back with a mini post for you!

This week I’m talking all about comp titles. I’ve always known them as comparative titles, but there’s been some talk lately that “comp” may stand for “competitive” titles. Heedless of the mysterious origins of the name, we’re gonna just call them “comp titles.” 

WHAT ARE COMP TITLES? 

When pitching your book on Twitter or querying your book, comp titles are books that you compare your own manuscript to. Not in quality, don’t worry — you don’t have to go claiming you are as good a writer as Naomi Novik or Holly Black. You’re just saying that if an agent enjoyed Book ABC and Book XYZ, they would probably like YOUR book!

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AMM Feedback Roundup

Hi everyone!

This post is coming to you on Friday so that I could have a bit of time to round up some of the common mistakes I saw in my Author Mentor Match submissions inbox. These are just my observations, and they may not apply to your book/query/synopsis. Or maybe it does! Nothing to fear–just some notes that may help you edit.

When I read through submissions, I read every query and then decided if I was a good fit or not for the project. After that, I’d read the synopsis. If the plot sounded solid, I would read some pages. If the pages held up, I requested a full. My time was very limited, so I was very picky.

AND I did find a mentee!!! A wonderful one!! Definitely go say hi to Abigail Welborn over on Twitter. Her dancing magic book is marvelous and yummy and deals with such interesting themes. I can’t wait to dig deeper into the book!

And now, without further ado, my AMM Feedback Roundup…

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What 2019 Taught Me About Being a Writer

Hi everyone!

2019 is almost drawing to a close, and SO much has happened for me this year. As this blog is largely a place for me to reflect and give advice on writing, this year-in-review will also be focused on that.

I was in the query trenches for a good portion of 2019 and I wrote and revised several books this year. Follow me below as I reflect on some of the things I learned this year…

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Are You Ready to Query?

Are you ready to query?

Querying your novel can be daunting and exciting all at once. Perhaps you’re dying to get started; perhaps you’re hesitant to finally hit “send.”

Remember, DO NOT RUSH INTO QUERYING. This isn’t a race, and publishing is SO SLOW. When you start sending queries, it’s likely you won’t hear back from agents for at least six weeks–or maybe not at all.

Take your time. It’s so much better to go slow and know that your book is at its best than to query a project before it’s ready or, even worse, before it’s even finished.

If you’ve edited, primped and prepped, check out these questions, and who knows? You may be ready to dive into querying.

ARE YOU READY TO QUERY? Check out these questions first.

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