by Carolyn Dennis-Willingham
When it comes to pitching your novel to an agent, there’s no room for self-doubt. You’ve worked hard on that story, right? You’ve sweated and agonized over best first lines, character development, plot, and more. So, what’s to keep you from stepping up to the pitcher’s mound and throwing your hardest, most accurate ball over the batter’s plate?
The first time I pitched at a conference – speed dating style – I waited in a long line for the doors to open. My insides quivered. I reread and reshuffled my note cards. I watched the faces around me and found we all looked pretty much the same. Nervous! Some of us pitched to one another as our last “practice” opportunity.
How do you know if what you are writing is any good? Too often I reread something I wrote years ago (or days ago) and discover it’s shamefully incoherent.
Writing is a mostly solitary profession. We craft the words while alone. But we release them into the world at our peril if we don’t get some feedback first.
Title: The Mouse Thief
Author: Scott M. Madden
Genre: Alternate History—Time Travel
The Mouse Thief is about Professor Peter McLarsen’s time travel journey to the 1930s to steal Mickey Mouse. And once he accomplishes it, he alters the course of history. Then it’s up to Walt Disney himself to head into the future and set things right with Peter.
The plot for this alternate history/time travel novel was quite original and highly imaginative. The chapters alternated from present day with Peter to the past in 1938 with Walt Disney.
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by Cassandra Key
The easiest way to fill your day with poetry is to notice what poetry is and then surround yourself with it.
Poetry is a lot of things and goes beyond words on paper. It is nature and love and pain. It is Mary Cassatt’s “Summertime” and dancing to Chopin. It is dreams and prayers and moonlight. It is all of these things coming together to create something that stirs the heart.
Or as Emily Dickinson said:
If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.
Charlotte Wells does not date. After surviving a broken engagement, she’s taken a leave of absence from the social scene. So when her best friend and coworker, Jack, challenges her to get back in the game, she’s not so sure she’s ready to play. But ultimately, curiosity gets the best of her, and Charlotte accepts the daunting challenge: she will attempt to have fifty first dates in her effort to find “the one.”
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by Doug Lewars
Okay, you’ve completed your masterpiece and you’ve written it using Microsoft Word – nothing wrong with that. Now, you’ve decided to self-publish using Smashwords.com or something similar, so you haul up their style guide and start figuring out what you’ll have to do to make your masterpiece acceptable to the website.
The good news is that most style guides are pretty straight forward. The bad news is that it’s still a lot of work. For example you probably saved as a Word document and life would be simpler if you saved as a Word 97-2003 document. That’s pretty simple to change. And then you discover that your styles could use some work.