Friday, April 9, 2010


I finally wrote a query that I don't think totally stinks. We'll see if others agree!

And I'm reading two great books on writing- 'Writing The Breakout Novel' by Donald Maass and 'Don't Murder Your Mystery' by Chris Roerden.

'Writing the BO Novel', as I like to shorten it, is about broadening the scope of your writing. 'Breakout' doesn't mean to become literary, but to help midlisters or even the unpublished to write something that reaches a little deeper, that people will remember for weeks and recommend to their friends. Very good things to think about, and Maass is one of the best agents out there.

And 'Don't Murder Your Mystery' is overdue at the library and someone else has requested it, so I can't renew it, but I don't care. I'm willing to pay the extra $0.20 to have it. Sorry to whoever requested it. The tips in this book are very useful. For instance, I just finished reading about flashbacks and there is practical advice about how to change tenses to indicate a flashback, how to prepare reader for flashback so it isn't jarring, how to bring them back out of it, etc.. The chapter on opening lines and the many examples are great too. He gives made-up examples of the types of mistakes that people usually make, which I really like. I may have to get this one.

I'm plugging away at my hard copy and hope to finish this round of edits tomorrow. Then next week I'll rewrite Chapter 1 based on my latest reviews from OWW, then more edits, another pass on my query, and so on, ad naseum. Happy writing to you!


  1. I really liked WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, too. And his latest book, THE FIRE IN FICTION, is even better, I think.

    Good luck with your revising and query-letter writing. And if you ever need a reader, Kelly, for anything, I'd be happy to.

  2. I'll have to look for the fire in fiction. I almost typed that 'the fiction in fire'. I must be tired.

    And I may take you up on that , Krista. I need fresh eyes for my query. Email on the way!

  3. Kelly, Go, go, go! Rah, rah, rah! These endless revisions will pay off. :)

  4. Thanks Amy! I see no end to revision, but at least there's some kind of deadline;) You make a good cheerleader.

  5. Details, details. But I suppose as a reader if I notice the effort, that must mean that the author didn't do a very good job of writing the story.

  6. Steph- It's those effortless stories that made it seem easy! I realized a while ago that, like ice skating and running, it's not. Yay for hard work.

  7. I love a good craft book. It's a source of inspiration .. as I read through it, I like having those 'yes! I can do that' moments. Congrats on the query progress. Those things can be real buggers.