I'm Trying to Get a Book Published! discussion

Writers N-T! > Ronna's attempt of a book!

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message 1: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Ronna, I loved your entries in that story. Very suspensful. Good showing/dramatization. Great imagination.

You have the makings of a good storyteller. So just take some of those ideas you said you have and start writing!

message 2: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) If you like RPG's, I just wrote an interview of a new RPG (the paper and dice kind) on my blog. The art is cool, and the world is well-developed.

You can read my article here: http://afantasyfiction.blogspot.com/2...

message 3: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Glad you liked it. I like hearing about people who have turned their passions into a career.

message 4: by Paige (new)

Paige Miller | 43 comments Hey, Ronna! What's up?

message 5: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Wow, that's really cool. I'm looking forward to reading it.

History and world building are hard for me too. I always talk things out with my husband. He's good at the bigger picture stuff and asks me lots of good questions to get me thinking--things I'd never have thought of on my own.

message 6: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ "I was really interested when Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments Trilogy, wrote in her book that faeries are children of angels and demons. I thought it was really cool, the idea of Faeires not being good. That's all I can say for now, but there's a whole history I thought of for my book."

*screams!!* I adore Mortal Instruments!!! *high fives* haha I love the faeries in them, too. :D Seelie Court scene ... heh heh :P

I also love the Wicked Lovely books ... faerie books are awesome. XD

message 7: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Ronna wrote: "THANKS!

And yeah, I do that with my twin sis too. It's really cool cause we like the same stuffs. She also gives me ideas that I couldn't have thought of too. The only difference though is that ..."

My dad was an identical twin. He and my uncle have some interesting stories. They used to talk in half sentenced that none of the rest of us could understand, and they would have the same ideas at the same time. Like once, they agreed to not call to save on their long distance bill. One month later, my dad called my uncle only to get a busy signal.

Because my uncle was calling him.

message 8: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) I'm currently reading A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. I started it yesterday, and I'll finish it tomorrow. I haven't been this into a book in a long, long time. Have either of you read it?

message 9: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ Rita wrote: "I'm currently reading A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. I started it yesterday, and I'll finish it tomorrow. I haven't been this into a book in a long, long time. Have either of you read it?

I LOVE THOSE BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD XD XD

message 10: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ Ronna wrote: "♥ Brigid ♥ wrote: ""I was really interested when Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments Trilogy, wrote in her book that faeries are children of angels and demons. I thought it was really..."

XD yay! haha mortal instruments is amazing *happy sigh* i adore jace ... ^_^ hehe

Ooh cool. :) You could probably read the second Wicked Lovely book before you read the first and third ones though; it's about a different person ... well, it has some of the same characters but it's pretty much a different story. Oh yeah, I plan on reading Catching Fire also. i requested it from the library but it already had a lot of holds on it. so i probz won't get it for a while ... oh well.

Yeah, the Wicked Lovely books are great. Esp the first and third ones ... I wasn't as into the second one but it was still good.

message 11: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ Ahhh Libba Bray is amazing. She's really funny too ... haha XD

message 12: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ the link doesn't work :( at least not for me ...

message 13: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Ronna,

I love your storytelling style. I love how you set the mood, how you set the scene, and how you have your characters interact.

I think it is great how you had the background story come out as a tale rather than listing the facts and ripping us out of current events to go into the past. I also like how you add some tension by making the story personal. Ian is such an intense character that it throws Layla off kilter, and it makes the reader wonder why Ian is acting the way he does.

You have a great opening line (hook): "A small blue book caught Layla’s eye." It makes the reader ask questions, like what's so important about this book.

You have a great last line too: "It’s you Layla, Lilith’s magisterial gift. You are the heiress among Faeries, a descendant princess among us ordinary souls." You have just ripped your character's life apart. Everything she has known and believed has been turned upside down, and you stop the story there. Your reader just has to turn the page and start the new chapter, even though it is 2 in the morning. That makes for a good push.

There is one thing though I recommend that you change: the story borders on exposition, long lectures--whether from characters or from the author--can grow tedious. If you had Layla badger him and Ian only give up every ounce of information grudgingly, it'd be an even more powerful scene.

Let me give you an example from my own writing: In the story Scrolls (a 50 page novella), I have years of history, culture, technology, character backgrounds, etc., but you only get bits and pieces here and there. Snippets of arguments, a quick backflash, a crazy girl talking about how things "really happened" (or did they?) and no one believes her.

Scrolls is a one part installment to a 5 part story, so not everything is explained at the end. I leave it hanging to make the readers want to pick up part 2, Infiltrate.


Check it out, and if you have any questions, I'll be happy to try to answer them.

message 14: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Ronna wrote: "I just read your story Rita and it's really awesome! I love how dynamic and real the characters feel. Those are always my favorite, you get this real connection with the book. I also love that it s..."

You are most definitely on the right path! Many books on writing that I've read have always started with one bit of advice: Read, Read, Read! I too have always been a big reader, and I think that has been the biggest contributor to my writing.

The second contributor to my writing has been some good writing books. You can get plenty from the library. These are my favorites:

Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon
On Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell

The comments and recommendations I usually give to people are mistakes I once made too. I just keep writing and practicing.

message 15: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Is this the back cover blurb or a synopsis to send to a publisher/agent? Both are handled in different ways. I have (for the time being) determined to go the self-publishing route, so I don't know much about a synopsis for a publisher or agent. But I have learned a bit about blurbs.

Have you been on the On Writing Fiction group? They have a topic called Blurbs where they disect the back cover blurb and help you put it back together. You may want to post your blurb there and see what people have to say.

But let me give you a few ideas: blurbs are like headlines in a newspaper or magazine. They are written to catch the eye. Always use strong action verbs and phrase each sentence like it punches the reader.

So you wrote:
"Layla wanted only two things when she moved to New York; the big picture and the great escape. She wasn’t contended of what her little hometown had to offer or the limitations her guardians are giving her, but more of the world out there. The world she found though wasn’t exactly what she was expecting."

I think you have the right idea in these few sentences. But it's just a little too soft in the wording. How about this for your first few lines:

"Layla wanted only two things when she moved to New York--the big picture and the great escape. But the world she found wasn’t exactly what she had in mind."

The part about her guardians and the small town she is from seem unimportant. Sure it is an important part of the story but not something to hook me into reading.

You also wrote:
A tale of hidden past—where history is more than just a lame subject, questionable identity—where your first rule was to trust no one, new worlds—when you thought the world was big, it just got bigger, and forgotten love—when real heartache hurts more than you thought it would.

(Insert Title here), more than what meets the eye.

It is a beautifully worded sentence. In fact, I love that sentence, but it sounds a bit cliche for a blurb. It doesn't tell me anything about your story. (If you read the blurbs section on the On Writing Fiction group, you will see that they said the same thing about my blurbs.)

message 16: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) I like the changes. I'm looking forward to what everyone on On Writing Fiction has to say. They are very good at tearing things apart and helping you rebuild them.

message 17: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Hmm, sorry that it didn't work out.

And it's okay to "be a wimp," as you called it. There are levels of exposure, and it takes time to be ready to face heavy criticism and withstand it. When you get to that point, you will be ready to be published. In the meantime, just take only what you can handle. And learn to write even better along the way.

What about your grammar is supposed to be a problem? Punctuation? Verbage? Sentence structure? I don't think you have too many problems with grammar, but I'll look around for some books that may help you. I think I've heard of some books that are actually entertaining to read (meaning they don't put you to sleep) and teach grammar rules at the same time.

When I find it, I'll let you know.

message 18: by Rita (last edited Sep 01, 2009 06:35AM) (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) Oh, check out Manuscript Makeover for getting started. The author Elizabeth Lyon does cover some rules about grammar as well as some stuff about structure, plot, character development and the like. It was a very useful book for me.

message 19: by Rita (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) I looked back over your blurb above, and I didn't see any grammar problems.

There are some rough phrasings, but blurbs are sooooo hard to write. It's hard to pick out the right information and explain the story without over explaining and try to make a good impression and still pay attention to how you phrase things.

Besides, writing is a learning process. Don't worry about being perfect. Concern yourself with learning and having fun.

message 20: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lyonessrampant) prolly ☺

message 21: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (lyonessrampant) probably

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