9 Questions to Ask Before Signing with a Literary Agent

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Since I feel as though I’ve gotten so much help along the path to getting my literary agent

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The Query Letter That Landed Me My Literary Agent

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To follow up on my literary agent post, I wanted to share my successful query letter!

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How I Got My Literary Agent

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After years of writing, and a failed round of querying my first novel a few years back, I started querying my second book a few months ago. And…

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Friday Things

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Hey, I managed to do a blog post today!

Some things that made me happy this week:

The breakthrough moment.

Do you do this?

An awesome post for when you’re ready to query.

I need to start a series like this.

I want to go here.

And when the master makes a list like this, you better take notice.

Reading: After finishing this and getting angry that the sequel hadn’t arrived in the mail, I started reading this, which is just as good as this. But the sequel just came today and I can’t decide what I want to read more. #goodproblemstohave

Writing: The YA fantasy is a bit stuck. I’m trying not to edit as I go but I made a major change to the beginning and am having trouble simply making the note “this happens instead” and moving the plot from there. I think I’m someone who needs to edit as she goes. And I think that’s okay.

Watching: I know I’m about 25 years late, but I started watching this. From the beginning. I like it. And the ’90s hair makes it that much better.

Listening to: Have you heard of this? I had not, but now I’m managing our branded account, so am quickly getting myself acquainted with it. If you’re a regular user, let me know if you have any tips.

Cooking: Quick and easy dinners. Like this one: 1. poach two eggs 2. sauté shallots and shiitake mushrooms 3. put everything over a bowl of arugula and top with salt, pepper, and fresh ricotta 4. eat with a warm baguette. (and some sauvignon blanc, if you feel so inclined).

Have a lovely weekend!

Image that makes me long for elsewhere found here

Friday Things

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Happy Friday!

Today is my second to last day at the company I’ve worked at for the past eight years. It’s surreal. But an odd thing has happened in the past two weeks’ since I’ve given my notice: I’ve gotten less nervous about my impending new job, and more just plain excited.

Which helps immensely, since I’m the kind of person who’s terrible at making decisions and is constantly second-guessing herself. If you prescribe to astrology, you could say it’s the Libra in me. If you don’t, you could say it’s just how I am.

Anyway, here are some things I hope you find interesting:

1. The unintentional last words of 13 writers

2. Something that has always bugged the hell out of me

3. I love this advice, especially this line:

Love isn’t enough. Marry the person who brings out your best and will stand beside you at your worst.

4. Some advice on navigating this newish social platform–immensely helpful to those of us who work on social for a living/are writing for teenagers for a living.

Reading: This (after DNFing this). It’s really different. I’m not sure I like it. The prose is beautiful though, so I’ll probably finish it.

Writing: The YA fantasy. At the same time, in a fit of excitement, I submitted my YA contemporary to an agent via a #PitMatch on Twitter–my first time submitting this manuscript to an agent–and received this very nice rejection email:

We felt the writing was quite lovely and from the synopsis the plot looks intriguing. However, our guidelines require that our books not include drug/alcohol use or progressing beyond kissing, among other things. We do encourage you to keep submitting to other publishers because we feel the manuscript has promise for another house.

Yeah. My book includes drinking, smoking, and “progressing beyond kissing” (most of it in the first few chapters). I feel kinda dumb for submitting to them (though I don’t see anything about these guidelines on their site), and at the same time, it’s one of the nicest rejections I’ve ever gotten. It gives me hope that this manuscript will be more well-received than my first.

Watching: I stopped watching this after the first few episodes, because I did not like it. I find the writing and acting to be sub-par. However, I was encouraged via Twitter to give it another shot. I still don’t think it’s all that great, but it does hold my attention and it’s something to have on while cooking, so there’s that. And I like Bellamy. (Though not really anyone else.)

Listening to: Maybe I should take this category away because I tend to listen to the same stuff over and over. Though I am starting work at a music-related company next week so that may change.

Cooking: I made this soup this week and it was simple and delicious.

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

Image found on this amazing Tumblr

On Rejection and Perspective

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I finished my first novel–I mean edited-down, polished-to-a-gleaming-shine, FINISHED-finished–about 3 months ago now. When I was done, I thought, FINALLY. Now my writing life can finally begin!

You know nothing, self of 3 months ago…
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To Prologue or not to Prologue?

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Seems like every piece of writing advice I stumble upon lately has one thing in common: ditch your prologue.

Especially if you’re a first time writer. Especially if you’re querying (this article sums it up pretty nicely). In my massive (to me) cutting down of my novel, I decided maybe I should follow that advice. I chopped out my prologue.

Then I happened to mention this decision to a few of my beta readers. The response?

“I LOVED the prologue! You need to keep it in!”

Even my friend the self-proclaimed “prologue-hater” said, “You must keep the prologue. It added a lot to the story and I kept thinking back to it as I was reading.”

So I added the prologue back in…
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