chasingthecrazies

Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…

QUITE THE QUERY with Stina Lindenblatt and TELL ME WHEN April 24, 2015

QuiteTheQuery

 

 

If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing their query took them almost as long as drafting their book!

 

Some people have the talent of being able to summarize their book in a few sentences. But for those who don’t, I wanted to provide a resource so writers could learn what works, and what doesn’t, in a query.

 

With that in mind, I’m pleased to share today’s successful query from Stina Lindenblatt. This great query connected her with her agent, Marisa Corvisiero.

 

 

Amber’s tragedy was splashed across the front page news. Marcus’s happened behind closed doors. And he intends to keep it that way. . . .

 

As a college freshman, Amber Scott’s main focus should be on her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. With nightmares and flashbacks wearing her down, Amber is in danger of failing pre-calculus math. If she does, she can say goodbye to the money funding her college education and any hope of the life she’d dreamed of before her stalker ruined it all.

 

 

Gorgeous engineering student, Marcus Reid, with his long list of sexual conquests, is exactly the kind of guy she doesn’t need. His brilliant mathematical mind, however, is her only chance of passing the class.

 

 

Despite her protests, the exasperating playboy breathes a spark of life back into her empty existence and Amber finds herself daring to want more. But as the dark secrets of their past tragedies unfold, the question becomes, how can two broken people, who can’t manage to fix themselves, ever hope to fix each other?

 

 

 

 

 

Tell Me When(Now available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other retail outlets)

 

 

 

 

Query Tidbit:

 

I hate querying. There, I said it. I have a query buddy (which I highly recommend having) and each time we queried a book (there had been a few before Tell Me When), we planned to query ONE HUNDRED agents before moving on. I never got that far. I would get bored and forget to send out more queries. In the end, I’d stop around fifty and by then have a new project to query. With Tell Me When, there weren’t a lot of agents looking for New Adult novels at the time, so I got lucky that it didn’t take me fifty queries to end up with representation. But either way, I wouldn’t have survived without my query buddy.

 

 

 

 

StinaStina Lindenblatt writes New Adult and adult contemporary romances. Her novels include Tell Me When and Let Me Know (Carina Press, Harlequin), Heat It Up (coming from Diversion Books), and This One Moment (coming from Loveswept, Random House). She loves to travel, and has lived in England, the US, Canada, and Finland. She spent a semester in graduate school living in central Finland, and a summer during her undergrad degree working in Helsinki, where she cleaned bathrooms and saunas in a recreation center. She has a Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiology and had the opportunity to work with elite athletes. In addition to creating stories, she loves photography and currently lives in Calgary, Canada, with her husband and three kids.

 

First Five Frenzy with Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary Agency April 17, 2015

Filed under: Blog,Literary Agent,writing craft — chasingthecrazies @ 8:04 am
Tags: , , ,

 

 

FFF SideWords

 

 

 

 

If you’re like me, you toil for hours editing and fine-tuning the first pages of your manuscript. You look at the first lines to make sure they are compelling and tight.  You examine the next few paragraphs, hoping your MC’s voice is already taking hold of the reader.

 

The First Five Frenzy is all about getting an agent’s perspective on what works, and what fails, in those first pages of a manuscript. It’s tricky to get just the right balance, but I hope by reading each agent’s comments you’ll learn how to make your manuscript a shining gem that will be requested time and time again.

 

Today, I am proud to share Literary Agent, Rebecca Podos’ perspective on what’s important in those critical first pages.

 

 

 

Amy: There is a belief among many writers that having a great first line is imperative to drawing in the reader. How important is a first line to you as an agent?

 

 

Rebecca: Does the very first sentence have to be especially spectacular? No, not for me. A really well written first paragraph (and second, and third) counts a lot more than the first line, as does beginning the story dynamically, plot wise. As long as the first line isn’t a total dud, I’m more interested in seeing you build strong sentence upon strong sentence to set a great scene right out of the gate.

 

 

 

Amy: Many times a writer is told to stay away from common openings like dreams, eating breakfast, riding in a car, etc. What are some common openings you recommend writers stay away from?

 

 

Rebecca: There are a few common beginnings, especially in YA, that have to be really, really exceptionally done if you want me to keep reading. For instance, a teenager pulling up to her brand new house in her brand new town, staring out the car window while she describes her feelings of angst/foreboding. An alarm clock opening: beginning the story with a character waking up. Is that really the most interesting moment in your day? In your week? In your story arc? And I know a cold open on action is meant to be exciting – a character running through the woods from a demon/ demon hunter/ unknown danger as the branches whip at them – but if you place a character in danger before I know anything else about them, how am I supposed to have a stake in their survival? None of these opening are horrible, per say, but agents see them so often that it raises a red flag about the rest of the book.

 

That said, there are always exceptions! One of the first books I sold opened on a dream (or rather, a character trying to stay awake so she wouldn’t dream) and it was such an interesting twist on a familiar concept that I immediately wanted to read on.

 

 

 

Amy: When you’ve responded to a writer to request a partial or full manuscript, what was it about their first pages that piqued your interest?

 

 

Rebecca: Voice is huge. I feel like I can forgive a lot if the lens through which we’re viewing your world is very strong. So voice is one of the first things that inspire me to request a manuscript. A great handle on language, which does NOT mean showing off. I don’t need the most beautiful writing in the book to happen in the first paragraph, but I want to know that language is in your tool box, and you know how to use it. And then just an opening scene that feels fresh. If it must be one of the more common openings, then you have to work harder to justify it, and to make it feel like no scene I’ve read before.

 

 

 

Amy: What are some common mistakes writers make in their first five pages?

 

 

Rebecca: I think it can be hard to strike a good balance between action/ forward momentum, and character building, especially when you’re trying to make everything perfect. It’s difficult to know how much information to put in, and so some writers end up bogging down the first pages with backstory before the plot gets going, or else neglecting to develop a character and rushing headfirst into action (as with the running-through-the-woods scenario.) The first chapter can be the toughest to pace, but if you get it down, that’s a great sign for an agent.

 

 

 

Amy: What resonates with you most in those first pages? Voice? Pacing? Unique concept?

 

 

Rebecca: Hah, I think I’ve mentioned all of those, so I’m tempted to say all of the above! But if I had to choose, I might say voice. We can work on pacing in edits, and the truth is, sometimes writers begin their story a little too early or a little too late, and it doesn’t take much in the way of cutting to change that. A unique concept is great, but if you can’t tell the story dynamically, then it’s a wonderful idea and nothing more. Voice, perspective, telling a story sentence-by-sentence in an interesting way, is something that just can’t be absent from the equation.

 

 

 

Rebecca Podos is a graduate of the MFA Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College, whose debut YA novel THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES is forthcoming from Balzer + Bray. Rebecca loves YA and MG projects with compelling characters whose journeys feel human, whether they’re high school students, were-dragons or space travelers. She is thrilled to represent books like Rin Chupeco’s THE GIRL FROM THE WELL (Sourcebooks), Ryan Bradford’s HORROR BUSINESS (Month9Books), Mackenzi Lee’s THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen Books, 2015), Sarah Nicolas’ DRAGONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO (Entangled, 2015), Ashley Herring Blake’s SUFFER LOVE (HMH Children’s, 2016) Kenneth Logan’s THE SLOW THAW (HarperCollins Children’s, 2016), and Emily Ross’s HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH (Merit Press, 2016.)

 

 

If you’re interested in submitting to Rebecca, please check the Rees Literary Agency website for their guidelines.

 

Closing in on 100 W.O.W. Posts! April 15, 2015

WOW

 

 

In June 0f 2012 I had this crazy idea. This blog was still in its infancy, and I was trying to get my footing as to what types of posts I wanted to share. At the time I was spending a lot of hours on AgentQuery Connect trying to improve my craft and make connections in the writing community. One day I came across posts from writers Mindy McGinnis and R.C. Lewis about their struggles prior to getting agents and publishing deals. As I was reading about their paths to publication I was inspired by how hard they’d worked to make their dreams come true. At that moment I knew I wanted to start a series sharing the triumphs and pitfalls of what it takes to make it in publishing. That idea turned into Writer Odyssey Wednesday.

 

Since that first post I’ve been lucky to share the stories of some amazing writers. Today, I want to share some of their inspiring quotes and highlight their work. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the series as much as I have and been inspired. Now, on to 100!!

 

 

 

 

“Silence is always frustrating. Rejection always stings. After going through the process with one manuscript, though, I knew what to expect. There were times I got down, but I tried to remind myself that if I kept working to improve, I’d get there.” – R.C. Lewis

 

 

 

Spinning Starlight

(Available October 6, 2015)

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it’s hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it’s just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.

 

Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi’s vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.

 

Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers’ survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?

 

Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.

 

 

 

 

 

Do your homework, get good crit partners, learn how to take criticism. Develop very thick skin. It is not an easy undertaking, but sometimes it’s the unexpected things (like a kind rejection) that will make you keep going to that end goal. – Mindy McGinnis

 

 

 

 

A Madness

(Available October 6, 2015)

 

 

Grace Mae knows madness.

 

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

 

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

 

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

 

 

 

 

Writing is such a subjective thing, as well—not everyone’s going to love the same book. Someone once said each rejection is like a scar you earn in battle, and it’s a great way to look at it. – Elsie Chapman

 

 

 

 

Divided(Now available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retail outlets)

 

 

 

 

 

The hunter becomes the hunted. . . .

 

West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and proved she’s worthy of a future. She’s ready to move on with her life.

 

The Board has other plans. They want her to kill one last time, and offer her a deal worth killing for. But when West recognizes her target as a ghost from her past, she realizes she’s in over her head. The Board is lying, and West will have to uncover the truth of the past to secure her future.

 

How far will the Board go to keep their secrets safe? And how far will West go to save those she loves? With nonstop action and surprising twists, Elsie Chapman’s intoxicating sequel to Dualed reveals everything.

 

 

 

 

 

Writing, and more specifically story-telling, is an integral part of who I am. I could no sooner turn away from writing stories then I could make myself stop reading books or watching movies and TV shows. – Mindee Arnett

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nightmare Charade(Available August 4, 2015)

 

 

 

The final installment in a thrilling fantastical mystery series.

 

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams.

 

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy is hard enough, not to mention the crazy events of the past year. Dusty may have saved the day, but there are many days left in the year, and with an old foe back to seek revenge, she’ll need all her strength to defeat him and save her friends.

 

Mindee Arnett thrills again in this stunning final installment in the Arkwell Academy series.

 

 

 

 

 

Our novels are personal to us, the writer, but not to an agent. To an agent, this is a business and they view potential manuscripts and clients with a professional, business eye.  So you can’t take it personally. – Gretchen McNeil

 

 

 

 

 

Get Dirty

(Available June 16, 2015)

 

 

 

The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore . . . they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree stuck in juvie, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he—or she—is out for more than just revenge.

 

The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Donté is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, Bree is under house arrest, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend . . . or die trying

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best decisions I made in 2004 was to reach out to other romance writers and ask to trade manuscripts. You really can’t predict how your writing is coming off to other people unless you ask. – Jennifer Echols

 

 

 

 

 

Superlatives 3

(Available August 4, 2015)

 

 

 

 

In this sexy conclusion to The Superlatives trilogy from Endless Summer author Jennifer Echols, Sawyer and Kaye might just be perfect for each other—if only they could admit it.

 

As vice president of Student Council, Kaye knows the importance of keeping order. Not only in school, but in her personal life. Which is why she and her boyfriend, Aidan, already have their lives mapped out: attend Columbia University together, pursue banking careers, and eventually get married. Everything Kaye has accomplished in high school—student government, cheerleading, stellar grades—has been in preparation for that future.

 

To his entire class, Sawyer is an irreverent bad boy. His antics on the field as school mascot and his love of partying have earned him total slacker status. But while he and Kaye appear to be opposites on every level, fate—and their friends—keep conspiring to throw them together. Perhaps the seniors see the simmering attraction Kaye and Sawyer are unwilling to acknowledge to themselves…

 

As the year unfolds, Kaye begins to realize her ideal life is not what she thought. And Sawyer decides it’s finally time to let down the facade and show everyone who he really is. Is a relationship between them most likely to succeed—or will it be their favorite mistake?

 

 

 

Many thanks to all the writers who have participated in the series. I appreciate your time and honesty in sharing your journey!

 

For more amazing quotes and stories check out my entire Writer Odyssey Series here: https://chasingthecrazies.wordpress.com/w-o-w-series/

 

Monday Musings: Always Push Forward April 13, 2015

 

When I was a kid I had this habit of always thinking about the next exciting thing to happen in my life. Just days into starting school in September I was already wishing it was Halloween. Once Halloween was over, it was all about Thanksgiving and then Christmas.

 

This pattern didn’t disappear as I got older. When I was 14 I wanted to be 16 so desperately I looked through the classifieds every week, thinking about the car I’d drive one day. At 18, and a freshman in college, all I wished for was my 21st birthday. After 21, it was graduation, first job, etc.

 

While annoying at times, especially when friends and family yelled at me to “live in the moment, I’m happy to say this habit followed me into adulthood and here’s the reason why: when you write, you have to look forward. Not get stalled in the process, but think about what you’re going to work on next.

 

When I first ventured into the query trenches, I was plotting something new. When the rejections came and it was time to think about next steps, I already had a new book I was working on. Even in the darkest days of that “rejection period,” I had hope because my mind-set was “Okay, they don’t want that one, I’ll write something even better.”

 

Some may think this idea of forward motion stopped when I signed with my agent. That I would work on the manuscript she signed me for, polish, and revise and then wait to see what happened. While I did work on it, and revise, and rework until it was just right, I was still thinking about what was next. And here’s the honest truth: it’s what has kept me sane through the ups and downs of publishing.

 

For me the idea of forward momentum is akin to running a marathon. You plan, you train, and then comes the race. Sure, people pass you, but then you pass others, always with the same goal in mind: finishing the race. It’s no different in the publishing world. You have to focus, write, and when things don’t work out, write some more. The end goal always being the same-that beautiful finish line-a published book!

 

What about you? Do you keep a forward momentum when you write? I’d love to hear about it  in the comments.

 

Monday Musings: Blogging BS and Other Misconceptions April 6, 2015

I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter lately from various sources about how blogging is a waste of a writer’s time. How their hours should be more focused on putting words down for their own work, rather than sharing personal experience or insight.

 

Okay, so I agree that if you’re not committed to blogging it may not be a good use of your time, but on all the other stuff I call TOTAL B.S. and here’s why: For me personally, blogging has been life-changing. And no, I’m NOT being dramatic. Honest.

 

When I started writing my first manuscript, I was like a woman in a dark forest on a moonless night, stumbling around without a flashlight completely clueless. I made all the rookie mistakes: querying too early, sending in a request formatted incorrectly, misspelling the title of an agency. Name it, I probably did it. And I’m not sorry to admit this, because I think most starting writers make most of, if not all of, these mistakes. But instead of wallowing, you know what I did? I shared my experience on this blog so that other writers could learn from my screw-ups.

 

What started as a blog about navigating the strange world of publishing turned into so much more for me. I found my voice as a writer and wanted to share what I learned along the way. For instance, when I first started querying I was totally shocked by how quickly the rejections came. So you know what I did? I reached out to other writers and asked them about their query experiences and their path to publication. Those writers’ willingness to share their stories turned into my Writer Odyssey Wednesday (W.O.W.) series-which is now closing in on 100 posts! Crazy, 100 writers sharing their ups and downs on the way to being published. That feels like a HUGE accomplishment. One I wouldn’t have had if I’d listened to those who said, “Don’t Blog!”

 

On my second manuscript I was sure things were going to be different. The requests would come flying in. And luckily they did, but after I turned in my requested materials, the “R”s came shortly after. At that point, I wondered what the heck I was doing wrong. I reached out to an agent and asked about beginnings and openings pages. That desperate need to understand the importance of how a story starts turned into my FIRST FIVE FRENZY series. That series has not only changed how I approach beginnings, but it gave me my first connection to Roseanne Wells, who would later become my agent! See my point…life-changing!

 

Out of my desperate need to understand this business, I started a few other series: Query 101 and Behind The Curtain. All meant to not only teach me, but hopefully other writers, some tips and tricks about this business.

 

Blogging should not weigh you down. If you have something to share that you feel will help others, than I say go for it! Don’t let the misconceptions keep you from posting what you want. Yes, it’s true, don’t start a blog and then only post once a year, but you can set your own parameters for how much you want to post and when. And the topics can be varied. You’re not forced to stay in one niche if you don’t want to. Don’t be afraid of the those who say it’s a waste of your time. That is for you alone to decide.

 

For me, blogging has been a total blessing. It’s made me a better writer, critique partner, and listener. Had I believed those naysayers I think my writing life would be in a totally different place today-a place I would not be happy with. So I say this, if you’ve got something you want to share, and you can commit, then BLOG!! It may be the best writing decision you ever make.

 

What do you think about blogging? Does it help you as a writer? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

 

QUITE THE QUERY with Melissa Albert and JUST BREATHE March 27, 2015

QuiteTheQuery

 

 

 

If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing their query took them almost as long as drafting their book!

 

Some people have the talent of being able to summarize their book in a few sentences. But for those who don’t, I wanted to provide a resource so writers could learn what works, and what doesn’t, in a query.

 

With that in mind, I’m pleased to share today’s successful query from Melissa Albert. This great query connected her with her agent, Uwe Stender.

 

 

 

On October 24th, seventeen-year-old Kate Mitchells left her job at 11:00 pm. At 11:01, she was held down and raped in the parking lot by her ex-boyfriend, her close friend, and a third guy who she couldn’t see. She hadn’t wanted to involve the police, but a boy from her school, Hunter Shaw, witnessed the ending moments of the attack and reported it. Twenty-one days “Post Incident,” Kate still refuses to talk about what happened.

 

 

Suffering from PTSD, Kate avoids all human touch. She tries to live in the present, but that’s difficult when simple life events lead to flashbacks of “The Incident.” The community has labeled her one of two things: “the girl who was raped” or “the girl who is lying.” Her father stays at the office and her mother prays for her daughter’s lost purity. The only person who treats her like an actual human being is Hunter. But that doesn’t stop Kate from hating him for making her go through with the trial. If it were up to her, she would go back to being normal.

 

 

As it turns out, the cards are not in Kate’s favor. Her assailants claim to have an airtight alibi while the alleged third attacker is nowhere to be found. The whole town would rather believe that the act was consensual than accept the hard truth about the son of a prominent business leader, and Kate can’t find the strength to tell her side of the story. As the trial draws nearer, she must wrestle each day with the fact that the events of that night were not her fault. Because if she can’t convince herself that she isn’t to blame, then she has no shot at convincing a jury.

 

 

JUST BREATHE, a YA contemporary novel, is complete at 60,000 words. It finds its roots in psychological theory as well as actual court cases. It would appeal to readers of DREAMLAND by Sarah Dessen and SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, although it focuses on an older narrator and the implications of her choosing to speak out. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

 

Query Tidbit:

 

A funny thing about my querying process: I personalized all of my query letters except for one. The one that I didn’t was the one that ended up landing me my first offer of representation. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to personalize that one, I just couldn’t find anything to say. I guess the moral of the story here is that personalization is great to have, but don’t freak out if you can’t find anything. In the end, it’s your story that’s going to hook the agent, not the (somewhat creepy) fact that you know they eat blueberry pancakes for lunch every Sunday…

 

 

 

 

Melissa AlbertMelissa Albert is a YA writer who is repped by Uwe Stender of TriadaUS. She majors in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at The College of New Jersey where she is going into her sophomore year. Lover of all YA fiction, she has three completed manuscripts and four WIPs. When she’s not writing, she’s singing, acting, dancing, and day dreaming about her days of playing travel soccer and doing competitive gymnastics. You can bribe her with anything chocolate or cat related, and she orders all her food on separate plates because she hates when it touches. For more on Melissa, check out her blog, The Truth About Teens or follow her on Twitter.

 

Monday Musings: The Waiting Game March 16, 2015

Filed under: Literary Agent,Publishing,Query,Writer,writing craft — chasingthecrazies @ 8:13 am
Tags: , , , ,

 

I have a confession to make: I suck at waiting.  No matter how hard I try to have patience, I’ve realized over the years I wasn’t built for it.  When I was young, I hated waiting for the swings on the playground. My little feet trudged back and forth in and out of the sand, eyeing each playful student until someone finally got tired of my laser-like stares and gave me their swing.

 

 

In high school when I tried out for teams, I wore  a hole in the dirty blue carpet, pacing in front of the coaches office waiting for them to post the junior varsity or varsity list.

 

 

There’s an irony in all of this –  that I chose writing as a career – the most notorious of job paths for waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

 

 

I wish I could say I’ve gotten better over the years. Matured enough to let the impatience go, but “refreshing my inbox” has become second nature to me. What I have learned is there are things I can do to get my mind off what feels like an incessant path of silence.

 

 

1) Focus on other things in life: family, hobbies, travel, health. These are things that often get put to the side as you’re writing, revising or editing a project. Take a break. Take a breath. Letting go of the worry might allow your brain to rejuvenate and come up with some brilliant new plot ideas.

 

 

2) Reach out and help others: Be a slush reader in a contest, offer to beta read someone’s work, help tweak a friend’s query. By lending a hand, you may learn something new about your own craft.

 

 

3) Think about other things beyond writing. Interested in publishing? Check out how you can be an intern for a publishing house. Want to learn about being an agent? Look into ways to get onto the ground floor with an agency. Help with public relations or social media.

 

 

4) Check  out local and national writing conferences or even an online webinar. Constantly improving your craft is a great way to get your mind off the waiting game.

 

 

5) Last, but not least – WRITE SOMETHING NEW. I hate to say it, but what you have in the pipeline may not catch fire. It’s a reality we all must face – but don’t let that get you down! Tackle a new project. Write something fresh. It will direct your focus away from your worries (and waiting) and inspire you to keep going.

 

 

What about you? How do you handle what can seem like a long path of silence? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

 

 

 

 
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