October 31, 2010
- Deconstruction Seminar Series
- Networking 101 for Writers
By Alice Osborn
- Updates from the Learning Center
- Team News
Your NaNo Boot Camp Prep Kit
- NaNoWriMo So you want to be a Panster Survival Tips for the Disorganizationally Challenged
by Leslie Dow
| Weekly Thoughts for Writers:
Are you ready? Have you signed up for NaNo Boot Camp and
NaNoWriMo™? Both start tomorrow, November 1st!
Welcome to the SavvyAuthors News! Tomorrow begins NaNo Boot Camp!!
Congratulations go out to the determined Em Petrova! Her paranormal novel MOON CHILD was recently sold to Whiskey Creek Press, a division of Torrid. After over 40 rejections, she was almost ready to give up on this manuscript when the email arrived! Em's moral..."Success comes to those who are stubborn." -- And also prolific because Em also reports the sale of her novel DEUX to Breathless Press. This was followed quickly by two sales last week! The second book of the Immortal Series, TREFOIL, was contracted by Red Sage. And her medieval erotic fantasy, ISOLDE'S WISH, was contracted by Loose Id. Wow!
More nominations! WHERE THE RAIN IS MADE, Keta Diablo's paranormal shapeshifter book, has been nominated for an Award by Authors After Dark First annual Bookie Award! Click the link to review the candidates. Voting starts in November!
The Flash Fiction Fanatics are at it again!
John Brooke starts us off this week with three publications: IMMACULATE DECEPTION, CONVERSING WITH THE LIGHT, and A ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS to Short Humor. But John's on a roll with acceptances for five of his micro shorts by Postcard Shorts including BEACH HEAD, BEACH FEET, TERMINATION OF LIFE TIME LOAN LETTER, BREATHTAKING, and NO THING LOST. We finish up the week for this prolific author with the announcement of his Flash sale, LETTER TO MR. DEATH, to WeirdYear.com.
Amanda Rhea, writing as Lani Rhea, has her first publication! Woot! Her story LIFE will be publshed by WeirdYear.com on December 20th. We'll be keeping an eye out for it!
Dont miss Flash Fiction Fanatic leader Jim Harrington's HAIL TO THE CHIEF, up now at The Short Humor Site.
Then, click on over to read Karen A's, (writing as Karen Lang), GOT HOPE in the October issue of Apollo's Lyre.
Just in case you haven't heard... The editors from Crescent Moon Press have posted a contest in Savvy's Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Futuristic/and Paranormal forum. Six CMP authors have volunteered to take a single story idea and weave elements of their own book into the plot. They've been asked to go out of the box and have fun with it as a way to cut loose before everyone starts NaNoWriMo.
We hope Em, Keta, and all the great SavvyAuthors' published members are taking advantage of the newly revamped Blog Tour Wizard now under the most excellent organization of Merlyssa. So if you have a book ready to release, don't forget the great promotion offered by a blog tour! Questions? Click here to learn more!
Keep 'em coming, SavvyAuthors! And be sure to let us know your weekly news!!! Enjoy!
Leslie Dow, Editor, SavvyAuthors Weekly News
Qolette Jackson, Assistant Editor, SavvyAuthors Weekly News
These events are FREE for all SavvyAuthors Premium Members!
- Nov 1- Nov 30 NaNo Boot Camp with Drill Sergeant Liz Pelletier.
Success. It's right there, waiting for you to grab it. But "right there" looks a mile away over snake-infested bogs and a random pit of fiery doom.
The best way through such a sorry landscape is with the help of a team, and that's exactly what we have ready for you.
We'll break you into teams of no more than five authors who write in your genre. Together you will have your own section of the Savvy Authors website to use for brainstorming, inspiration, encouragement, and virtual chocolate. Post your daily word count if you're still slogging through the first draft or your page count if you're duking it out with revisions. Group totals will be calculated and members of the winning team will receive a free workshop each!
To keep your team motivated, we'll offer writing sprints in the water cooler and operating room of the Savvy Chatroom. Best of all, fifteen-minute writing challenges give your team extra opportunities to win points, so be on the lookout for new challenges being posted randomly!
Be sure to check out the detailed instructions found in the Your NaNo Boot Camp Prep Kit article in this issue of the SavvyAuthors Weekly News!
The team with the most points will win free workshops valued at $25 for each member!
- Nov 19 Feast of Words Blog Pitch Contest with Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks
Want to catch the eye of an editor at a leading publishing house? Well, now's your chance! Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks will be reading participant's first 100 words of your manuscripts on our blog all day and will choose her favorites.
Deb is looking for submissions in all subgenres of Romance fiction, including paranormal, suspense, contemporary, erotic romance, and historical (prior to 1900 only).
How it works: In the comment section of the Savvy blog in the Community on Nov 19th, post the maximum first 100 words from your manuscript. Ms. Werksman will choose at least one. The winners will be posted by the end of the following week.
She acquires historical fiction and innovative women's fiction for Sourcebook's Landmark imprint, as well as single title romance fiction in all subgenres for our relationship/romance imprint Sourcebooks Casablanca. She's seeking single title romance, single title romance series and romance trilogies in paranormal, time travel, suspense, historical, contemporary and erotic romance. She has been wildly successful with Jane Austen sequels and is seeking what's next in that area, as well as innovative women's fiction (give her a fresh new premise!), international authors and historical fiction.
Don't miss these upcoming workshops! See the full list here.
Just added and filling up fast!---needs updating
| Available at reduced price for SavvyAuthors Premium members
These workshops are starting soon and filling up fast! Don't miss this great opportunity.
A new seminar series from SavvyAuthors
The Deconstruction Seminar Series
| Available at reduced price for SavvyAuthors Premium members
SavvyAuthors is delighted to announce our newest project to help writers grow in their craft - The Deconstruction Seminar Series - where you'll learn to build stories by taking them apart.
We've put together a year-long series of one week online seminars that will deconstruct a story or movie to reveal the underlying story structure or character arc. Taught by experienced instructors and published writers on our forums, we'll be looking at books and films across all genres and eras. A full list is available here:
The seminars are $7 for Premium members and $10 for Basic and non-members.
|Nov 8 - Nov 14
||Deconstruction: Storm Front by Jim Butcher
with Marilyn Byerly.
Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series is one of the best-written and most successful urban fantasy series today. Marilynn Byerly will analyze Storm Front, the first novel, as an urban fantasy, as a genre-blending mix of fantasy and detective noir, and as a great model for worldbuilding for a series. She will also show how the hero, Harry Dresden, is a perfect mixture of other worldly powers and human strengths and weaknesses. Paranormal romance authors will also find this analysis of interest.
Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he's the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the "everyday" world is actually full of strange and magical things -- and most of them don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a -- well, whatever.
|Nov 15 - Nov 21
||Deconstruction: Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon
with Jody Henley.
Prologues, epilogues, multiple flashbacks, series and story arc, subplots, multiple points of views, unlikable hero. Everything people say not to do--and a hero who doesn't like sex! Dance with the Devil is the book that shouldn't work.
Join Jodi Henley as we talk about how the dissonant elements and synergy in Dance with the Devil work to create an incredibly powerful transformational character arc and apply those elements to your own work in progress.
Zarek's Point of View: Dark-Hunter: A soulless guardian who stands between mankind and those who would see mankind destroyed. Yeah, right. The only part of that Code of Honor I got was eternity and solitude.
Insanity: A condition many say I suffer from after being alone for so long. But I don't suffer from my insanity--I enjoy every minute of it.
Trust: I can't trust anyone...not even myself. The only thing I trust in is my ability to do the wrong thing in any situation and to put a hurt on anyone who gets in my way.
Truth: I endured a lifetime as a Roman slave, and 900 years as an exiled Dark-Hunter. Now I'm tired of enduring. I want the truth about what happened the night I was exiled--I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Astrid (Greek, meaning star): An exceptional woman who can see straight to the truth. Brave and strong, she is a point of light in the darkness. She touches me and I tremble. She smiles and my cold heart shatters.
Zarek: They say even the most damned man can be forgiven. I never believed that until the night Astrid opened her door to me and made this feral beast want to be human again. Made me want to love and be loved. But how can an ex-slave whose soul is owned by a Greek goddess ever dream of touching, let alone holding, a fiery star?.
|Nov 22 - Nov 28
||Deconstruction: The Proposal
with Lee Lopez.
As written, does The Proposal work? No? Why not? And how can we make it work?
This workshop will spend a week looking at and answering those questions.
For three years, Andrew Paxton has slaved as the assistant to Margaret Tate, hard-driving editor at a New York publisher. When Margaret, a Canadian, faces deportation for an expired visa, she hatches a scheme to marry Andrew - he agrees if she'll promise a promotion. A skeptical INS agent vows to test the couple about each other the next Monday. Andrew had plans to fly home that weekend for his grandma's 90th, so Margaret goes with him - to Sitka, Alaska - where mom, dad, and grams await. Family dynamics take over: tensions between dad and Andrew, an ex-girlfriend, Andrew's dislike of Margaret, and her past color the next few days, with the INS ready to charge Andrew with fraud. Written by firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't miss this great opportunity! Register now!
From a Savvy Author
Networking 101 for Writers
| By Alice Osborn
One of the great overlooked advantages of NaNoWriMo™ and the sheer nuttiness of November is the opportunity for enlarging your professional network. Alice Osborn has a few tips that will help you keep this important goal in mind while you are nose down in your manuscript. Look up and see the network!
In today's competitive publication climate, networking can make all of the difference between your books sitting in a cold box in storage or in a customers' warm hands. And even before you publish, networking can help you connect with editors, agents and your readership.
Perhaps in the old days writers didn't have to be so "out there,"as today, but now we don't have any choice but to learn how to network effectively to build our platform and to catch the eye of a potential publisher.
Because you need a strong, dynamic network of over 260+ people to sell your future book. You need to find venues for your book launch, discover readers, gain referrals to book clubs and engage in writing opportunities. You're now building your "sphere of influence."
It's a good idea for writers to network with both writers and non-writers. Networking is about connecting to people and letting them know how you can help them. Networking will build your reputation and grow your readership since most people want to be associated with those they know, like, and trust. But where do you start if you don't have any sales or marketing training? The good news is that it doesn't matter what kind of training or background you have, as long as you're willing to learn and take a few stumbles along the way.
The most effective networkers succeed through practice, patience, and skill since they know effective networking involves asking smart questions, giving information and not pitching your goods and services to everyone you meet. Effective networkers also know that givers gain, and even if the person they are generous with their time and resources doesn't reciprocate, they'll gain in the future because of their efforts.
Get Started By:
Preparing a 30-sec commercial that tells those around you what makes you different and tells them what you're passionate about. Why do you write what you write? Who or what are your influences?
Perfecting the art of making introductions for others. For instance, when you meet someone who could help someone you know, like an editor or a graphic designer, offer to send an email, cc'ing your new networking friend in the email. And if you can, try setting up a meeting that will involve you and your two mutual contacts. Introduce them to each other and then back off a little so they can get to know each other. If a meeting is too hard to set up, invite your potential networking colleague to an event/program and talk with him/her at the venue.
Be willing to volunteer your time if you see that the group you're volunteering for can help you in the future. For example, if you don't have a book out yet and you volunteer to give a talk to the local library, keep ties with that library so you can be invited back when you do have a book in hand.
Showing up at open mics and other authors' readings in your community. Join your local writing association and attend conferences. You never know when your teacher from three summers past will pass your name onto her agent or her friend who runs a small press.
Scheduling a one-on-one (a meeting with one other person) and at the meeting take good notes. Always carry your business cards and your referral partners' business cards as well so you can pass out a name if you need to. Use a binder/business card sheet system that is arranged up alphabetically by first name so you can quickly find your contacts. It's also a good idea to carry multiples of your writing colleagues' cards so you don't run out.
In the one-on-one, ask your networking partner these smart questions so you can better know them and their business:
- Who is your ideal reader?
Who are your best referral partners?
What are your professional writing goals over the next 90 days?
What challenges are you faced with right now?
What is your passion behind your writing? (WHY you do what you do?)
Also remember that a one-on-one is never a sales pitch.
Always follow up with potential referrals and give them the links and contact information they requested in your one-on-one meeting.
Use the people you know right now in your network even if you share different careers because you never know who can help you land your next assignment or big publishing break. And remember, strong networks don't happen overnight, so start growing yours now!
|Alice Osborn, M.A. is the author of two books of poetry, Unfinished Projects (Main Street Rag, 2010) and Right Lane Ends (Catawba, 2006); she is a manuscript editor, freelance writer and storyteller.
A former Raleigh Charter High School English teacher, Alice has served as a Writer-in-Residence in the Artists in the Schools program since 2009 and has taught creativity, memoir and business workshops to Triangle residents over the last four years.
Her work appears in Raleigh's News and Observer, The Pedestal Magazine, and in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children.
From the SavvyAuthors Learning Center
|There is just not enough room to highlight all the great articles available from the SavvyAuthors Learning Center, but here is a taste:
From the SAVVYAUTHORS Author's Den Blog
- Historical Research: Escapism At Its Best! by Pam Ripling
I know there is some debate over what is considered historical fiction and what is just not particularly current. For me, if it happened before my oldest memories, it's history. Don't stop now...
- Taking a Left by Marcella Burnard
You've gone out for the evening, you and your spouse. It's the first nice dinner you've had since the birth of your child. Dinner was relaxing. You actually got to have a glass of wine. You engaged in adult conversation. Don't stop now...
- Beyond Words:The Business of Writing by Dorothy Howell
Regardless of why you started writing -- on a lark, as a dare, or fulfilling a lifelong dream -- at some point every author gets serious about being published. You perfect your skills, hone your craft, and refine your focus. Don't stop now...
- What Our S/F Heroes Eat by Lynda Scott
This past year, my darling husband (dh) and I began a semi-vegetarian diet so I'm always on the look out for interesting recipes that look easy to make and will satisfy my craving for savory taste. Don't stop now...
- Are You a Binge Writer? by Mary Ogara
Do you write in binges and sprees (What a high!) or do you carve out steady, predictable writing time in your daily schedule? Don't stop now...
And this is not all! There are new articles with tips and advice from SavvyAuthors' Experts added every day. Visit the SavvyAuthors Learning Center often!
- Fair Use Continued - Q&A by Kris McConville
FAIR USE CONTINUED - Q&A
In response to last month's article on Copyright Issues Part 3 -- Fair Use and Public Domain, I received a comment from Marilynn Byerly asking me to mention the 'exemptions to copyright created by the Librarian of Congress in July 2010'. Don't stop now...
- Chemistry 101 -- Or How To Create Chemistry Between Your Characters by Laurie Sanders
I've been teaching a workshop for the Kiss of Death RWA chapter this month on their workshop loop. The topic of the workshop is how to create emotional intensity, but boy oh boy is that a loaded topic!. Don't stop now...
SavvyAuthors Team News
Your NaNo Boot Camp Prep Kit
Tomorrow is November 1 and you know what that means...
Yes, November 1 is the first day of NaNoWriMo™ and SavvyAuthors NaNo Boot Camp.
Most of you eager participants have been posting in the forums, sharing NaNoNames and promises! Some of you have been signing up in the NaNo Boot Camp forum and scrambling for spots on teams with other writers who share your passion for a genre and of writing. I'm certain everyone is ready with at least an inkling of what they will write on November 1, if not a fully fleshed-out outline, with maps and diagrams. Whatever works for you works in NaNoWriMo™, just as long as you make your 1667 words per day!
For this Boot Camp, our third at Savvy Authors this year, we're excited to announce a completely automated scoring system!
There are few simple steps for to complete your participation in NaNo Boot Camp. So we made a list!
SavvyAuthors NaNo Boot Camp shares the spririt of NaNoWriMo™ with the recognitiion that not all of you will work on a single novel during the month. We're broadening the idea of NaNoWriMo™ to include anyone writing any work that can be registered in the SavvyAuthors Dungeon!
- Sign your existing team up for NaNo Boot Camp! The existing Team Leader posts the names of the participating team members and your team name in this thread. That enrolls your existing SavvyAuthors team and the listed members in NaNo Boot Camp!
- Sign up for a New Team! Don't have an existing team or are planning to write outside of your current team's genre for NaNoWriMo™ and NaNo Boot Camp? Peruse these new teams and see if one fits your planned work, then post in the thread of the team you wish to join. You can post in any thread that is OPEN.
- Register your manuscripts in the newly revamped Dungeon! Mistress Liz has been coding her fingers to the bone (appropriate this Halloween weekend) to ready the Dungeon for NaNo Boot Camp. Wordcounts for this Boot Camp will be automatically calculated based on the manuscripts that you have registered in the Dungeon! Registering is easy...
- Navigate to your PenName Page If you have a penname then you are set, if not be sure to add one! You'll need it when you add your manuscript to the Dungeon. It also lets other SavvyAuthors members find you on Twitter and Facebook and other social network sites.
- Enter the Dungeon. Its under the Resources menu. Any manuscripts that you currently have registered will be listed there. Check to make sure your current word-count is correct. New words and edits logged to the Dungeon between November 1 and November 31 will be used to calculate the NaNo Boot Camp scores.
- Register any new manuscripts by clicking the link at the top right of the page. This launches a dialog that asks for information such as Pen Name, Working Title, and Genre. You can add a summary and upload an image or a stock image will be used based on the genre choice. You can also choose your preferred way of tracking progress in either words or pages for both new writing and edits.
- Update your progress every day! Each day of NaNo boot camp and NaNoWriMo™ navigate your browser to the Dungeon and update your wordcount by clicking the Update Progress link underneath each of your WIPs! Any manuscript that you add to your Dungeon wall will count toward your personal and your team's scores.
- Dungeon Details The Dungeon is smart about how you work. When you meet your new word goal for any manuscript it automatically rolls that manuscript into editing mode. If you find that the final word count in your manuscript is changing as you write, you need to be sure to update the Final Wordcount/Pagecount goal for that manuscript.
But how are the scores calculated? Simple. Total pages written on a draft and total pages edited are held separately in The Dungeon and team totals are calculated for each. Then pages edited are given a value of 1/2 point and every 250 words written are given a value of 1 point. Points are added and team rankings revealed! (More details will be posted in the Nano Boot Camp forum.)
That's it! Now get writing! Oh wait! One more thing. Don't forget to register for NaNoWriMo™ and get on over to the SavvyAuthors NaNo BootCamp forum to choose your team and sign up now!
Savvy Teams: a great new way to advance your craft, make new writer friends, and have fun! And don't forget, anyone can start a new team! Email email@example.com with your team's proposed name (and badge graphic if you have one) and get ready to start recruiting members. ALL teams include a private crit area, too!
Connect the Dots
NaNoWriMo So you want to be a Pantser Survival Tips for the Disorganizationally Challenged
| Author and Editor, Leslie Dow
This will be my third NaNoWriMo™ and I am profoundly unprepared.
Oh I have my reasons. They may even be good ones, but the fact remains that I have a title, a concept that is the consistency of runny pudding (if I squint at it right) and a sense of teetering at the edge of a pit filled with snapping typewriters.
I am not a seat-of-her pants kind of gal.
But here I am. By the great gods of Mordor, I am going to pants this one! :-)
But surely, there has to be SOMETHING I can do..even if it is 4:30pm on October 31...and I don't even know the sexes of my main characters...
Of course there is. I can make a list. I can research on the internet how other pantsers do it! There must be a nook of the internet where they all hang out and trade disorganizational secrets...I only have to find it...
Leslie's NaNoWriMo™ So you want to be a Panster Survival list
My plan is to have TV Trope open in one browser window and the Random Plot Generator in another. Then when I'm dutifully filling out my GMC quadrants and I get stuck because I have no idea what this effing story is about, I can reload the page or click through some tropes!
- Come up with a concept.
Well, you have some idea, don't you? A glimmer, a genre, a title...something?
Yeah, that's pretty much me too.
But I stumbled across this most amazing site and in no time I was thinking up wild concepts: TV Tropes. This is a community of folks who are entertained by documenting all the story tropes in current popular media. This includes not onlybooks and film, but also anime, computer games, and real life examples. This is an amazing site and I challenge you to leave without new ideas about your story.
- Find a plot
Somebody once said there are only seven plots and 36 dramatic situations so that means I only need to figure out which one fits my story, right? lol. Luckily, the Internet Public Library has a nice listing of the basic plots. Cool. But that's a little highbrow for my traumatized brain.
A less complicated set, perhaps not as useful but very funny list, is the Book in a Minute Classics.. There's lots of plot fodder in here! Be sure to check out the collected works of ee cummings, for a laugh.
But, I think my favorite set of plot directions comes from the Random Plot Generator. Just keep reloading until you find the combo that you like. If you find you need more structure, Teresa Nielson Hayden has a handy guide . She'll walk you right through it!
I think this set will work nicely for me...
Advice for the Evil Overlord:Before being accepted into my Legions of Terror, potential recruits will have to pass peripheral vision and hearing tests, and be able to recognize the sound of a pebble thrown to distract them.Advice for the Starship Captain:If my ship is whisked to the far side of the galaxy, leaving us with a seventy-year journey home, and a super-being offers to take us home instantly in exchange for having his baby, I'll agree and ask what we can get for two babies.Advice for the Bad Auxiliary Character (Evil Overlord's Trusted Lieutenant):If you can't resist gloating, don't boast about the reward you expect to receive from your master for bringing them in or killing them off.Advice for the Good Auxiliary Character (Good Guy's One True Love):I will save my ethical dilemmas for times when I don't have an enemy at gunpoint.Further Evil (Advice for the Evil Empress):If the seeds of discontent look ready to bloom into open rebellion, I will hire a top PR firm to create the public image that I am
1) only a figurehead and that all power really resides in the Prime Minister; or
2) misunderstood; or
3) only a woman who's getting bad advice from her Council.
Choices 1) and 3) give me the option to keep my head if my side is defeated by the Hero -- and leave the possibility of a sequel.Murphy's Laws of Combat:
- As soon as you mention something, if it's good, it goes away. If it's bad, it happens.
- Check that it's novel. The online eZine, Strange Horizons, has a great list they call: Stories We've Seen Too Often. Just as a sanity check, and because it's pretty funny, take a look.
Have an article for this Newsletter? SavvyAuthors is all about writers helping writers and we'd love to hear about great things that help you write better, live better or be happier. Click here to drop us a line about the great article that you can write for this weekly newsletter.