Tag Archives: Nathan Bransford

A-Read’s Recs

This is a new series based on the Book Talks my 8-year-old son writes for school. As you’ll see, he is not ready for publication, but he knows what he likes.

Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow by Nathan Bransford.

I was inspired to read this book because my mom brought it from the local library.

The story takes place in outer space.

The main character in the book is Jacob.

Here is how I would describe the main character: funny.

Another important character is Dexter.

Here is how I would describe this character: scared and funny.

The story is about three friends who go up in space.

The main problem is they can’t get back to Earth.

I liked this book because it had extra planets.

A connection I made while reading this book was I do a lot of stuff, too.

I would recommend this book to a lot of boys in my class because it is science fiction.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

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Catching Up

Life has certainly been interesting lately. And busy. My work-for-hire project took a lot of time and brain capacity, but the final manuscript was accepted by my editor and now I’m just waiting to see if I get another commission. *biting nails* *all the usual insecurities return*

In happier news, I just finished another draft of Sophie (FYI, this was a polishing round). I’m giving it a couple of days to steep before reading it to make sure my revisions make sense and didn’t screw up something else. (That’s one of the most common mistakes I see in self-published works, actually. Someone didn’t read through after making changes. So easy to fix. So frustrating to a reader.) How cool is it that I put Sophie through Mobipocket Creator to get the manuscript on my Kindle? It’s so much easier to read when I can take it with me everywhere (and it looks more professional than saving it as plain text). I’ll start querying agents soon. Ish.

A-Read has almost finished the Percy Jackson series. He took a break to read some other great books I found for him, thanks to being connected to this wonderful kidlit world (Emily Jenkins’s Invisible Inkling (he gave it 5 stars) and Nathan Bransford’s Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow – still reading).

And my little man, my brand new kindergartener, is just starting to want to read.  He is an awesome decoder, but doesn’t yet get the concept of sounding out.  He relies on his memory quite a lot.  They’ve just started learning sight words at school, so I think he’ll make quick progress.

So, what are you all up to?  Read any good books lately?

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Filed under Getting Published, Reading, The rest of my life, writing

Query Resources (repost)

Having just drafted a query letter for Sophie, I thought others could benefit from the resources I used. I originally posted these resources in Winter 2010, when I had just rewritten the query letter for Kwizera, but I still swear by these resources and all the helpful query tidbits these links imparted. 

When you get published, you can thank me in the acknowledgements.

*An agent rips apart, I mean, gently critiques query letters sent in by writers, on the Query Shark blog.

*Advice from the queen of query letter advice, agent Janet Reid.

*More advice from agent Janet Reid who spoke about queries at a conference. Thanks to Kathy Kulig for sharing.

*Even more advice, this time on writing a 250-word query, from Janet Reid.

*Agent Nathan Bransford’s blog is full of great information for writers, including this on the anatomy of a good query letter.

*Young adult author, Elana Johnson, used to call herself the Query Ninja. Her blog still offers lots of advice on writing queries, and she offers her e-book From the Query to the Call for FREE (I have it).

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Synopsis Resources

*Some general advice on synopses from the always helpful Nathan Branford.

*Crime writer Beth Anderson tells us how to write the tight synopsis.

*More general advice on when, why and how to write a synopsis from the Fiction Writers Connection.

*Mastering the dreaded synopsis from Fiction Factor.

*Suite 101 gives us a detailed definition and how-to article on writing a synopsis.

*Sisters/authors Lisa and Laura Roecker got agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe’s advice on writing a great synopsis.

And here’s something I tried with the Kwizera synopsis. I wrote about the book in the main character’s voice. I filled almost two pages, single spaced, with Cecile’s words on the most important aspects of her story, only including the characters who really needed to be mentioned to make someone else understand. Then I went back and made sure the verb tense was consistent throughout. Then I changed it to third-person. Just watch out for choppiness.

Good luck!

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Query Resources

Having just drafted a new query letter for the rewritten Kwizera, I thought others could benefit from the resources I used. When you get published, you can thank me in the acknowledgements.

*An agent rips apart, I mean, gently critiques query letters sent in by writers, on the Query Shark blog.

*Advice from the queen of query letter advice, agent Janet Reid.

*More advice from agent Janet Reid who spoke about queries at a conference. Thanks to Kathy Kulig for sharing.

*Even more advice, this time on writing a 250-word query, from Janet Reid.

*Agent Nathan Bransford’s blog is full of great information for writers, including this on the anatomy of a good query letter.

*Aspiring author, Elana Johnson, is the Query Ninja. Send her your query letter for the online ninja treatment or read her critiques of other writer’s queries.

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Revision Resources

As I prepare to revise “Sophie and the Medallion of Time”, I have gathered the following online resources to help me in the process. This variety of methods really runs the gamut. You may find one tedious that another writer swears by. But I have enjoyed seeing all the different revision methods, from published authors, agents, other aspiring writers, and how-to sites.

*The QueryTracker blog’s 11-part roadmap to jumpstart your editing, including setting goals, line-editing, beta-readers and more.

*More from the QueryTracker blog:  9 Steps to Plot (or Revise) Your Novel. This helped me make sure I had started my WIP in the right place.

*Suite101’s questions to help you see if your plot has enough conflict and tension before finer-tuning.

*eHow’s How to edit a novel manuscript in 7 steps.

*Author Alex Sokoloff, guest blogging on the Blood Red Pencil, gives her top ten things she knows about editing, including joining a critique group, reading the entire manuscript out loud, and borrowing the dramatic structure from films.

*Editorial consultant Holt gives her list of the mistakes writers don’t see, including using crutch words or phrases, and phony dialogue.

*Author Laurie Halse Anderson maps out each chapter and every scene to track the arc of all the major characters.

*Agent Sara Crowe discusses character development by making a character’s first impression work for you.

*Agent Nathan Bransford offers a long checklist to make sure your manuscript hits all the important points, such as “Is your voice consistent?” and “Is the pacing correct for your genre?”

*Shari Green’s Fix-it Fridays offered revision tips from authors such as Sara Zarr, D.L. Garfinkle, Kelly Parra and Maggie Stiefvater.

*Mystery writer Elizabeth S. Craig tells us things to look for after finishing a draft, like a consistent voice, pacing and linear plot.

*More help from Elizabeth S. Craig. This time Signs Something isn’t Working in your first draft, like too much or too little conflict, or an unlikable protagonist.

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Hug a Writer?

I don’t have anything profound to say.  But Nathan Bransford (agent at Curtis Brown) declared this Writer Appreciation Week and his blog is always worth a read.

I am one writer who is happy to be appreciated! So, thanks, Nathan. Now back to writing…

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