Writing is hard. Difficult. Okay, it’s the kick in your stomach when you are working like a demon to scrape the words out of your dissolute soul.The words refuse to arrive like the A-list celebrities you invited to your party. Your characters snottily refuse to talk to you, your descriptions fall flatter than gluten-free pancakes, and your inner world sucks.
W. Somerset Maugham said:
“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
The newest kidz on the block are Twitter pitch events where writers pitch their books in 140 characters or less to catch the attention of agents and publishers. If interested in reading more the agents and publishers like your pitch which is an invitation to query them.
Yes. You must go through the query process. But at least you have an invite and aren’t a stranger knocking at the gate.
Pitch Events are very competitive with only eight to ten percent of submitters gaining that coveted Twitter like. So what is it going to take to make your Twitter pitch shine? What do the agents and publishers look for.
Dan Kobel, an ardent supporter of SFFPit, says that they are looking for the main character’s name, the challenge they face and the stakes.
In 140 characters?
Well, it goes a beyond that because let’s face it. Your pitch is a marketing tool. And here I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you want to get the attention of agents and publishers you may have to write like a copywriter.Continue reading #Writing Arts: Master Your Tweet Pitch
“Arekan,” says the scribe. “Why has your cat moved in with me.”
“I don’t have a cat.” Truth is I dislike those nasty little furballs. Hate me if you will, but they are entitled jerks and keep the humans wrapped around their tiny paws. Come and go when they please. Whine for their dinner. Gets all annoyed when you don’t clean their litter boxes. No thanks. I’d rather have a wife.
In other words, not going to happen.
It seems the culprit of the scribe’s question is the thing in the little box in the corner. She calls him Twix, which makes no sense. He is, she says a Bengal, which means that some generations back his great-great grandsire was an Asian wildcat. Humans have been cross breeding them ever since to achieve the perfect mix of domestic temperament and wild characteristics in coat, facial shape, and body structure.
“So what is it about this cat that makes you think he’s mine?”
“He attacks everything.”
Apparently, there is a fail in the breeding program.
“Even the rabbit.”
“You have a rabbit? And you haven’t eaten it?”
“Arekan, please. It’s a pet. And you kinda proved my point right there.”
“So you have a wild cat living in your house, and a pet rabbit (rolls eyes) and you wonder why there is a problem? Where did this thing come from, anyway?”
“My son found him locked in his toolshed.”
“Then you should have taken the hint.”
(Scribe sighs) “I can’t talk to you about anything.”
Pro-Writing Aid, an online program that analyzes your writing and gives you recommendations to improve it. As I was looking at a report on a piece it gave the number of adverbs and recommended that I remove three.
I must have missed this before but I do tend to use the old editor, instead of the report on the new editor.
With a word count and a number of allowed adverbs in hand, I calculated the percentage of adverbs that Pro-Writing Aid said I could use.
And I was shocked.
Those of us that ply the writer’s craft are aware of all the different pieces of advice from different writers, editors, and pundits that basically boil down to “use fewer words to express your thoughts.”
Yfaran Ayne (Somewhere around July 16, 2017, I think)
This first planet calendar hurts the head. I’m not even attempting to match the day because it simply does not work. So you just have the season and the month. Anyway, there is some progress on the scribe front. Oh, she’s still writing trash, and gets jobs for more trash with amazing regularity.
Scribe: Just because what I’m writing not your story doesn’t make my work trash. If I don’t eat I don’t get to write.
See. Entirely difficult. BUT, she did write a very nice piece called Arekan Saves the Universe for her online writer’s group for their monthly challenge. She quite rightly made me very amusing, which I am most days when I’m not in death-dealing-rouge mode. Oh yeah, my daughter, Kelleen, is in there as a toddler. And she has a few choice lines, though, as a rule, while toddlers babble, they don’t say much. Except for Kelleen. Anyway, the story placed third out of the monthly entries, so not bad.
Every once in a while I get a cool idea. And this idea comes from the space of generating more traffic to my blog. But we don’t live in a vacuum. Okay, space is a vacuum and our planet resides in it, but you know what I mean. There is strength in numbers, and as it turns out, traffic too.
So by the sweat of my brow, because it is hot on Connecticut now, I created SFFBloggers.com, an aggregator of Science Fiction and Fantasy blogs. A bunch of my buddies at Fantasy-Writers.org,drank the cool-aid climbed on board and we’ve got a nice community going on of writers blogging and getting a snippet of their posts automatically uploaded to the aggregator.
>Date: San-Tanaran Eve (or thereabouts) (May 20, 2017)
That’s the best I can approximate dates between the Scribe’s homeworld calendar and Kyn’s. If you ask me hers is a crazy calendar. They add a day every four years to it. I ask her why they don’t use the moon like any normal civilization and she gives me one of those looks, like it’s useless to tell me anything.
Maybe I’ll find a new scribe.
But then again, it’s so very fun to watch her face twist when I say something that she disapproves of.
The Scribe’s been busy, earning a living, she says. She’s written about 1000 words on Pirate’s Luck and nothing else on my story, which is a damned inconvenience. She replies that if the stories I already told her sold better she wouldn’t have to write other people’s stories for them. What can I do? And I shouldn’t feel bad because she hasn’t worked on anything else of hers. I call bull pucks and point to the blog posts she writes, which, she spits back don’t count.
This piece of flash comes to you by the way of two sources. The first is Chuck Wendig’s Friday Flash Fiction Challenge. And here is what he says about that:
Way this works is, below you will find two tables — X and Y! — and you will pick (or randomly draw) from those tables. That will leave you with a set of X versus Y — and from there, you will write a piece of flash fiction based on that parameter set. You can even use the match up (SKELETONS VS. SCIENTISTS!) as the title to the work, or come up with a new title.
The second is a contest of sorts held between the writers at Fantasy Writers.org called FWO’s Deadliest Warriors. Here one of our own challenged us to bring out our deadliest warriors and pit them in matches against our fellow writer’s warriors. What started as a D&D style matching of abilities and battle strategies turned into, toward the end, a head to head battle of writing skill, where entries started to assume the form of short stories. Continue reading Chuck Wendig’s #FlashFiction Challenge: Demons vs. Assassins