Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EDITING your manuscript

(post contributed by Brooke Hargett)

.... and we're back.  Sorry for the lapse in postings, but we are recommitting!  

I found this awesome blog: and found some really helpful information when you are getting ready for an edit of your manuscript.  I just recently finished my complete first draft (YAY!!) so this is something I've been thinking about a lot recently.  I want to make sure I'm focused on the right things when I'm doing this so I don't have to do a zillion edits.

The first  I'm featuring of the Editor's Blog is a list of specific things to be watching out for when you begin editing:

The second one is a final cleanup list:

I also suggested a book called Object Lessons by The Paris Review, which is a collection of 20 author's favorite short stories with their comments.  It's supposed to bean awesome tool for aspiring writers. 

This month is also NaNoWriMo which several of us are participating in (I was, but due to a more intense knee surgery recovery than I was planning on, I'm sadly bowing out until next year).  But good luck to my everyone who's participating!  Until next time- which will be sooner rather than later... Happy writing!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

so you want to write a novel...

(Post contributed by Brooke Hargett)

I found this on and I had to post it!  We just had our 1st Annual Riveting Writer's Bootcamp last monday so be looking for posts from each of us soon!  In the meantime...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Writing Reel #2: The Query

(Post contributed by Robin)

Everyone says that it's the hardest thing you'll ever do.  If you do it wrong, you can become an immediate failure.  Do it right and you can be on the New York Times Bestseller list.  That's right, people, I'm talking about the query letter.

Now, don't be scared.  Yeah, it can make or break you, but after reading hundreds of agent blogs and researching all the websites I could find, I've come to this conclusion:  once you're aware of the main parts of a professional query letter, forget everything else and have fun doing it!  Your query letter should allow the reader to get a feel for your writing style and a tiny taste of your novel.  Since I'm not an expert or agent, I've compiled a list of resources that will help you get started:

1. The Stress-free Query - a quick overview on what your query should look like.
2. How to Find an Agent - this article by an agent has great info and the comments section is informative.  The other links on the site are fabulous too.
3. Sample query letters -  dozens of examples already written
4. Basics of a Solid 3 Paragraph Query - skip down to Query Letter Basics
5. From the Query to the Call by Elana Johnson (I can send you a .pdf of this book if you can't download it from her website)

A little tidbit on choosing a genre:

On the importance of genre:
“Ack, it’s salty! Bleh, worst cookie I’ve ever tasted.”
“It’s a cheese straw.”
“Oh.” (second bite) “Hey, that’s really good! Pass me another.”
(brought to you by surprises on the potluck table)

By Savage and Dashner

Your hook is your sales pitch!

What is a hook?
  • Tells enough of your story to "hook" an agent or editor. Two sentences--make sure it sounds cool.
  • Don't try to tell the whole story.
  • Capture the voice of your story.
  • Shorter is better.
  • Doesn't start with a hypothetical question.
  • Makes it clear what is unique about your story.
Part of a Hook
  • The Protagonist--What makes a strong protagonist?
  • The Goal--Why must your protagonist have a goal?
  • Obstacles--The bigger the better
  • Consequences--Ups the tension--put on the pressure (i.e. time, death)
Names of writers to look at their query letters: Elana Johnson, Shannon Whitney, Alli Cross, and Jen Daiker (Unedited blog).

Friday, July 27, 2012

kicking off the tips...

Post contributed by Brooke Hargett

Kicking off our new blog and writer's tips... I'm so excited about the new book I just bought, called The Emotion Thesaurus, A Writer's Guide to Character Expression, by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi.  I am IN LOVE with this book!  These two amazing writers knew exactly what I needed!  

The idea of it is to help you expand the words you use in your description, adding depth and making you a better writer.  I'm pretty far into my book, and I have found that I end up using similar descriptions of emotions throughout, which I don't want to do!

The authors made this guide really easy to use.  Let's say that you are writing a scene where someone is really scared, so the root emotion the character might feel is FEAR.  So you just look up the word fear, and there's a whole list of physical signs, mental reactions, cues they could develop if the character feels the emotion for a long time, other emotions it could escalate to, and cues of what the character might do if the feeling is suppressed.  It's BRILLIANT!! 

I shared most of the introduction of the book at our meeting yesterday, because I really loved everything they said!  I won't spoil it for you, and I really believe this book is worth purchasing, so snag yourself a copy!!  The authors have a blog, which you should definitely check out.  It's called The Bookshelf Muse. 

The other tip I shared yesterday is this website I found listing the Top 10 Writer's Blogs of 2011.  The info found on these blogs is FANTASTIC!  I totally got lost looking through archives and soaking up tons of good information!  I shared one post in particular, called How To Ensure that 75% of Agents Will Request Your Material, by Marcus Sakey.  I mean, how can you not want to know about that?? 

Well those are all the little gems I have for you today!  Keep checking back to see what the other Riveting Writer's come up with!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

the launch!

Hello!  We are very excited to launch our new blog, dedicated to aspiring writers everywhere.  Riveting Writers is made of of four women, each deeply involved in writing debut novels.  We began meeting at the beginning of 2012 and get together twice a month.  We are continually growing and stretching our group to ensure progress is being made... which brings us to this blog!  We are adding a new segment to our meetings where someone will share something they have learned recently with the group, and blog about it here.  We want to have a place to organize our progress and what we learn along the way.   So each of us will author blog posts when it's our turn to share, and any other time we come up with fabulous advice or want to pose questions or thoughts we are working through.  Feel free to browse our findings, or leave us comments with your take on things!  Happy Writing!