I'm Trying to Get a Book Published! discussion

Writers A-G! > A.M.L's Progress

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) Hey what's up everyone. My name is Ashley. I've already been published once by Publish America. However I won't be using them again...I hear they have a bad reputation. I will be starting a YA novel which I'm excited about. I have a few writings here on goodreads. I look forward to getting to know everyone here.

message 2: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Welcome, Ashley! Looking forward to reading your work.

message 3: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) I went to your profile to check out your writings and realized that I've actually read one of your poems before--which I really liked.

So I read some of your other stuff including Soldier Kids. It was short but it really made me think. I have no personal family or friends to relate to those who know soldiers in the war. For that, I am very thankful. So your words were very inspiring, making me think about families who have lost loved ones to the war and how they must feel.

I do want to make a few suggestions. First off, the story is not yet very personal. We have not yet been introduced to this main character--they are nameless, ageless, sexless--and so we as the readers have no sympathies for them. Our senses and our emotions have not been engaged.

Before I mention anything else, I'm going to read it again.

message 4: by Rita (last edited Aug 11, 2009 01:44PM) (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) You wrote: That’s not how I see it. To me, losing a parent who is a soldier, is losing a fellow soldier. Kids are soldiers too when it comes to the military life. While the parents are fighting the battle front, we are battling the home front. We fight with our families, friends, and ourselves. We fight to keep our faith and stay “army” strong. So we aren’t just kids. We are soldier kids.

It is such a cool idea, and I can't wait until you flush it out.

But This section is very philosophical, but it lacks impact because it is spoken from the head rather than the heart.

So I recommend two things:

use the word "I" instead of "we"
"I am a soldier kid."
"I battle..."
"I fight..."
It makes it sound like each word spoken like a hammer hitting an anvil.

show us how they are soldiers rather than just tell us so
Showing is dramatization. So play the scenes out in your head rather than summing them up for us.

But overall, I think this has some great potential. I hope you continue.

message 5: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) Thank you for that advice Rita. I'll keep that in mind and edit that little part above. I am not sure if I want to make that a prologue or if I just want to put that towards the ending. I like to put it in a prologue because I think it will make the reader want to read more to figure out the whos and the whats...know what I mean?

message 6: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Yes, I know what you mean. The task set before every author is to raise and answer questions with every sentence. It is the need to have the questions answered that keeps them reading, spellbound to the chair.

The opening line in one of my prologues is this:
"He's dead, Master."

The line is meant to make the reader ask several questions: Who's dead? Why is he dead? How did he die? Who is talking? Who is this "Master" person? Why is he called "Master" rather than by his name?

The next line: "You killed him?"

It doesn't bring any answers, but it deepens the mystery. Did the guy kill him? And if so, why?

Then: "No, Master, it was an accident. An overdose with his medication." He keeps his words casual. Not even a faint tremor—not a trace of trepidation—could be detected in his voice.

With the addition of this entire paragraph, you get an answer, but you don't know if he is lying or not. But then you ask, why was he on medication? Is this a doctor speaking? Why would a doctor have a master?

And so you keep reading.

So yes, you have the right idea. You want to hook your readers with curiosity and intrigue. And that, my dear, is the hardest job of a writer. You can't just tell a story; you have to craft your story, where each sentence must be weighed and evaluated to determine if it has the ultimate impact.

Keep up the good work.

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