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Type: Posts; User: Kris Bock

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    Sticky: This seminar ends today (Friday). So far, no...

    This seminar ends today (Friday). So far, no questions or requests for feedback. I posted a lot of information, including outside links, and I know it can be intimidating. As with all aspects of...
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    When to query

    For most people, I would recommend having a finished, edited, polished draft before you query. However, there may be circumstances when you want to query before that. Maybe you've met an editor at a...
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    Links for more info on queries etc. Nathan...

    Links for more info on queries etc.

    Nathan Bransford’s Mad Libs query: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2008/03/query-letter-mad-lib.html

    Nathan Bransford on How to Write a Synopsis:...
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    Long synopses

    You won't need a long synopsis for a query letter, but you might need one if a publisher asks for a cover letter, synopsis, and sample chapters, or if you have been working with a publisher and are...
  5. Thread: Proposals

    by Kris Bock
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    Proposals

    Here's the series proposal that I used to sell my Haunted series of mysteries for middle grade readers. I sent it to an editor I knew through writing conferences, along with the complete manuscript...
  6. Thread: Hooks

    by Kris Bock
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    Hooks

    The most important part of a query is the synopsis that shows why your idea is fresh and fascinating, so I thought it might be useful to have some more information about hooks.

    Here's some notes...
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    Query IQ Test

    In a workshop we did together, Nancy I. Sanders shared this IQ Test: (IQ stands for I love/hate Queries). I'm quoting her here:

    Take this test to determine where you stand on queries. Then share...
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    The Query Synopsis

    This is for the synopsis or book description that is part of a one-page query. You need to be specific about the plot, including the climax. That doesn't mean including tons of detail, but hitting...
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    Biographical info Typically, I focus on my...

    Biographical info

    Typically, I focus on my writing credits in the appropriate genre. If I'm querying for a magazine article, I focus on my magazine work. If it's for a nonfiction work for hire...
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    Query Length There is lots of advice, though...

    Query Length

    There is lots of advice, though no clear standard. Keep the query clear and short -- under one page (or what would be a one-page letter if printed, even if you're sending an e-mail...
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    Query Letters

    Some magazines and many book publishers prefer queries only, so you can query them and ask for permission to send a completed piece. That means a query has to sell your idea in a page.

    So what...
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    Cover Letters

    Some magazines and many book publishers prefer queries only, so you can query them and ask for permission to send a completed piece. That means a query has to sell your idea in a page.

    On the...
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    Sticky: seminar overview and guidelines

    This seminar runs today (Wednesday) through Friday. I'll start threads with information on different topics. You can ask questions in each thread. If you have a question that doesn't relate to a...
  14. Thread: terminology

    by Kris Bock
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    Sticky: One more - Synopsis: This can actually mean...

    One more -

    Synopsis: This can actually mean two things. Your query letter may have a synopsis within it – a short description of the book. But a synopsis can also be a separate thing, 2 to 20...
  15. Thread: terminology

    by Kris Bock
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    Sticky: terminology

    I'm doing a test post to check out things, and while I'm at it, I thought I'd share some terminology on queries, cover letters, and proposals:

    Query: a letter sent by itself to ask if the editor...
  16. I would recommend starting the book with a "cast...

    I would recommend starting the book with a "cast of characters" list – names and a very brief description. I have heard a number of readers say they wish every book had this. It can help new readers...
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    This post has good writing advice from my...

    This post has good writing advice from my scriptwriter brother. Learn why two thirds of screenplays got a "pass" from a first reader (and learn what a "reader" is). I especially like this quote: "Try...
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    Examples do help, don't they?

    Examples do help, don't they?
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    Wrap-up and Request

    I'll be checking in later today, and over the next day or two, for any final questions and comments. But since some people may not be checking back, I wanted to say thank you for stopping by for the...
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    Share Your Questions and Comments

    Obviously we could continue talking about plotting for weeks, but the material is presented so far should be enough to keep you busy for a while.

    I hope you've found the material helpful. It's a...
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    Day 5: How to Write Vivid Scenes

    We've covered a lot on plotting in the last few days. Once you have a well-structured plot, you can start focusing in on the individual scenes. Here's one more essay adapted from Advanced Plotting:...
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    An Example of the Plot Outline Exercise

    As an example of how the Plot Outline Exercise might look, here is an outline of the opening scenes of my unpublished middle grade novel, Secrets, featuring a 12-year-old boy who runs into mysterious...
  23. Day 4: The Plot Outline Exercise For Character, Subplots, and Theme

    The Plot Outline Exercise in Advanced Plotting goes into a lot of detail, but for now we'll stick with looking at some of the big picture issues. As I said yesterday, you can adapt this for your own...
  24. [QUOTE=pabrown;174905]My problem is the main...

    [QUOTE=pabrown;174905]My problem is the main character is a sociopath. His goals are anathema to everyone else around him. Clearly no one can root for him, he's not sympathetic but I have to make him...
  25. Post Questions and Comments on Your Work

    If you start using the plot analysis tools and would like to discuss what you've discovered, please share in this thread. Maybe you've run into a problem and would like suggestions for fixing it. Or...
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