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Thread: The Kidlit Gang's Support and Accountability Thread

  1. #601
    practical experience, FTW JoyMC's Avatar
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    Daniela, it's just a query. I honestly don't mind taking ten minutes to give you some feedback. Or post it in QLH - they'll tear it apart, but you'll definitely get feedback. (They don't tend to be middle grade experts, though.)

    Nicola, I'm slammed this week, but I'd read next week, if you'd like. I have a seven-year-old, so I'm well-read in chapter books. It's a cute title. Just in the interest of being prepared, here is a post from Mary Kole about how tough the chapter book market is.

  2. #602
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    Cool. Thanks. The word count felt right. It will be a bit longer as I'm planning to add a little appendix at the end, so will end up probably at 7000.

    Joy, I'd love to have you read Isaac Newton. I have a little editing to do still, anyway, so next week would be perfect.

    That link was interesting, if a little depressing. This book just shouted at me to be written, as the first of a series. I meet so many parents who complain about the difficulty finding good chapter books for boys/reluctant readers, and having taught so many second grade boys who don't think they like to read, these would hit that market perfectly. I guess I'll find out!
    Last edited by Britwriter; 02-18-2013 at 08:21 AM.
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  3. #603
    Alas, poor Yorick, he fed me 'nanas DavidBrett's Avatar
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    Finally sent the full of EF to Molly Ker Hawn - Now to focus on going through my betas' stuff whilst sitting out this ribcage injury (see the Bouncy Castle) :P

    Dave
    Mr Stuffenfluff - My FIRST attempt at horror for over a decade. Feedback welcome!

    Authors warn me writing children's books is a lot of work - signings, school events, literary festivals, a blog, etc. I always reply "I WANT THAT!"

    I don't claim to be a professional (yet). I just try and help others when and where I can.

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  4. #604
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    W00t! Finished my first chapter of Davy Jones' Locker (my new MG) and 250 words into the next! It's my first attempt at 1st person POV. That'll be challenging but I have more freedom with the MC's personality.

    Also got some wonderfully helpful feedback on my terrible query!

    Anyway, hope everyone's well and productive.

    P.S. Does anyone have some do's and don'ts of 1st person POV for MG, be it technical or creative they'd like to share? Thirsty to learn!

  5. #605
    practical experience, FTW JoyMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielaTorre View Post
    P.S. Does anyone have some do's and don'ts of 1st person POV for MG, be it technical or creative they'd like to share? Thirsty to learn!
    The only thing I can think of is to read a ton of it, which you're probably already doing.

    I'm working in third person for the first time, and it's soooo weird (but right for the story).

    I'm also fighting off a shiny new idea. I'm not usually one to get distracted like this, but I'm working on yet another MG contemporary that's probably too quiet for the market, and all of a sudden I've got a big, hook-y idea I'm so tempted to get started on. I could spend the next few months finishing and revising and polishing the contemporary, or I could spend it maybe getting a first draft down of an idea far more likely to snag an agent.

    But I do love the contemporary and I would feel so mean abandoning those girls. I'll at least finish the draft, which I'm close on, and then maybe I'll let it simmer while I work on the other.

  6. #606
    careful...you'll end up in my novel RuthD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Britwriter View Post
    I'm now looking for anyone interested in beta-ing?
    Nicola, did you get my PM?
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  7. #607
    Reads more than she writes. AW Moderator Smish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyMC View Post
    I'm working in third person for the first time, and it's soooo weird (but right for the story).
    I'm writing in third person right now, too, which is so bizarre. I almost always write in 1st person, present tense. But this story needs to be in 3rd, I think.
    Revision is where you earn your money - and if you haven't made any money yet, revision is where you pay your dues. Sara Zarr

  8. #608
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyMC View Post
    The only thing I can think of is to read a ton of it, which you're probably already doing.

    I'm working in third person for the first time, and it's soooo weird (but right for the story).

    I'm also fighting off a shiny new idea. I'm not usually one to get distracted like this, but I'm working on yet another MG contemporary that's probably too quiet for the market, and all of a sudden I've got a big, hook-y idea I'm so tempted to get started on. I could spend the next few months finishing and revising and polishing the contemporary, or I could spend it maybe getting a first draft down of an idea far more likely to snag an agent.

    But I do love the contemporary and I would feel so mean abandoning those girls. I'll at least finish the draft, which I'm close on, and then maybe I'll let it simmer while I work on the other.
    I have a folder full of shiny new ideas, so I can definitely relate. It's amazing how you can make a story out of just about anything by just asking yourself, "What if?".

    That's how the idea for my current project came up last year. Now I finally get around to finding out what if...

    Quote Originally Posted by Smish View Post
    I'm writing in third person right now, too, which is so bizarre. I almost always write in 1st person, present tense. But this story needs to be in 3rd, I think.
    I feel the same about 1st person. I don't know how you guys do it. It's weird! At first I was reluctant to even consider writing 1st, but for some reason when my current project came up, my MC's voice starting talking up a storm and 1st person seemed natural.

    I think that it's important to write it as if feels comfortable to the character. POV has to be natural or a story will most likely fall flat.

  9. #609
    practical experience, FTW JoyMC's Avatar
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    You guys, I got another rejection from an agent telling me I'm "a great writer, clearly, and this is an adorable concept." She went back and forth, apparently, but because it is ME of course she ended up deciding no.

    Soooooo tired of this.

    (I did get a new full request from Gemma Cooper, though, so hope lives that I could end up agency-mates with Sheila and Judy.)

  10. #610
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    Oh Joy, I'm sorry. So frustrating. You will get there, you're so close.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for your new full request!
    website: www.nicolacall.com
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  11. #611
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that, Joy. But hurray for the full!

  12. #612
    Reads more than she writes. AW Moderator Smish's Avatar
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    ((((Joy))))

    Stay positive. Keep querying. Keep writing new stuff. You're doing all the right things and you will get there.
    Revision is where you earn your money - and if you haven't made any money yet, revision is where you pay your dues. Sara Zarr

  13. #613
    practical experience, FTW SheilaJG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyMC View Post
    You guys, I got another rejection from an agent telling me I'm "a great writer, clearly, and this is an adorable concept." She went back and forth, apparently, but because it is ME of course she ended up deciding no.

    Soooooo tired of this.

    (I did get a new full request from Gemma Cooper, though, so hope lives that I could end up agency-mates with Sheila and Judy.)
    Oh my God, that would be awesome. So sorry about the rejection. Arg! this business is brutal.
    something

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  14. #614
    practical experience, FTW summerb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyMC View Post
    You guys, I got another rejection from an agent telling me I'm "a great writer, clearly, and this is an adorable concept." She went back and forth, apparently, but because it is ME of course she ended up deciding no.
    I'm so sorry. What an emotional roller coaster! Sometimes when I'm super discouraged I google famous authors rejection letters. At least you're getting good (if super waffle-y and in the end, useless) feedback.

    You'll get there though, good luck on the request!
    ** twitter @summerbking **

  15. #615
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    Joy,

    I'm sorry to hear about the rejection! I would take the letter (and any others you've gotten like it) and cut out all the positive parts--the ones that say you are a great writer, etc--and make a collage out of them to hang over my desk.

    I just submitted my first picture book manuscript to an agent, so I am sure I will be starting my own collection of rejection letters soon!

  16. #616
    Alas, poor Yorick, he fed me 'nanas DavidBrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyMC View Post
    You guys, I got another rejection from an agent telling me I'm "a great writer, clearly, and this is an adorable concept." She went back and forth, apparently, but because it is ME of course she ended up deciding no.

    Soooooo tired of this.

    (I did get a new full request from Gemma Cooper, though, so hope lives that I could end up agency-mates with Sheila and Judy.)
    Awh, sorry to hear that, Joy. Sometimes positive rejections can be bad in their own way if they get your hopes up

    But good luck with the full! I'm still eagerly waiting to great back from mine with Molly - how crazy would it be if all FOUR of us became agency-buddies?

    Dave
    Mr Stuffenfluff - My FIRST attempt at horror for over a decade. Feedback welcome!

    Authors warn me writing children's books is a lot of work - signings, school events, literary festivals, a blog, etc. I always reply "I WANT THAT!"

    I don't claim to be a professional (yet). I just try and help others when and where I can.

    Follow me @symplesymon

  17. #617
    careful...you'll end up in my novel RuthD's Avatar
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    Those close ones are the worst. Hugs, Joy.
    My blog: Readatouille

  18. #618
    Alas, poor Yorick, he fed me 'nanas DavidBrett's Avatar
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    If it helps, Joy, I'm now in the same boat. Molly only had positive things to say, but didn't connect well with the voice or character development.

    I've got Brooks Sherman wanting the new first thirty pages, though. Other than that I'm taking a break from EF to focus on my next novel. Way I figure, I'll learn more and improve with a brand new work than by changing bits and pieces. After it's done, I can come back to EF with fresher eyes.

    Staying positive!

    Dave
    Mr Stuffenfluff - My FIRST attempt at horror for over a decade. Feedback welcome!

    Authors warn me writing children's books is a lot of work - signings, school events, literary festivals, a blog, etc. I always reply "I WANT THAT!"

    I don't claim to be a professional (yet). I just try and help others when and where I can.

    Follow me @symplesymon

  19. #619
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    I'm sorry Dave. So close, but yet so far. But, it happens to everyone before they finally get there.

    Good idea to focus on something new for a while. It can help to just take a break sometimes! I started DorkBoy first draft years ago, then came back to it last year. Similarly, my picture books evolved from a series I wrote years ago, then shelved for a while.

    I'm working on a younger middle grade now, which has been in draft for a while but is turning out to be two distinct series, both very different to one another. I lost the time travel part of the plot for this one, and focused on a different character. It's evolved into something I really like.

    That's what's so cool about writing. You never know where it's going to lead you!

    Hope everyone has a good and productive weekend!
    website: www.nicolacall.com
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  20. #620
    Reads more than she writes. AW Moderator Smish's Avatar
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    Hugs for all.

    I met with my face-to-face critique group for the first time last night. I think it's going to be beneficial. They all gave useful critiques and they are also all good writers, so I don't mind reading their stuff.
    Revision is where you earn your money - and if you haven't made any money yet, revision is where you pay your dues. Sara Zarr

  21. #621
    careful...you'll end up in my novel RuthD's Avatar
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    Bummer, Dave. But great positive attitude!

    Britwriter, I'm still willing to read if you need another. If not, that's okay too... just wondered if you ever got my messages. 'K, I'll stop bugging you now.

    Smish, glad you clicked with the crit group. I started a group last summer. I contacted MG and YA writers on our post-conference networking list who indicated an interest in a critique group. Ended up with five members, all dependable, talented, and serious about writing, and the group is going strong. I feel like I really lucked out!
    My blog: Readatouille

  22. #622
    practical experience, FTW JoyMC's Avatar
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    Thanks, Ruth and Dave. I'm feeling much better, since the day after that rejection I heard from another (amazing!) agent who has read two of my manuscripts and wants to set up a phone call.

    Smish, yay on the good critique group! I hope they're really helpful!

  23. #623
    Alas, poor Yorick, he fed me 'nanas DavidBrett's Avatar
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    That's great news, Joy! Question: did they read the two manuscripts at different times, and remembered you? Or did you send them both at the same time, or a few weeks apart after a request for other work?
    Mr Stuffenfluff - My FIRST attempt at horror for over a decade. Feedback welcome!

    Authors warn me writing children's books is a lot of work - signings, school events, literary festivals, a blog, etc. I always reply "I WANT THAT!"

    I don't claim to be a professional (yet). I just try and help others when and where I can.

    Follow me @symplesymon

  24. #624
    practical experience, FTW JoyMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBrett View Post
    That's great news, Joy! Question: did they read the two manuscripts at different times, and remembered you? Or did you send them both at the same time, or a few weeks apart after a request for other work?
    It was a strange turn of events. She's actually closed to queries, but on manuscript #3, I was so excited to get a referral to her - not a great one, but just an email listserv she said she'd take queries from for a period of time. She eventually requested a partial, but then I hadn't heard from her in ages. In the interim, I wrote manuscript #4 and became friends with one of her clients, who read the manuscript and felt like it was a really good fit for this agent. So the client personally referred me for manuscript #4 and reminded her agent of my partial for manuscript #3.

    The agent wrote me very quickly with the client referral and requested both fulls. And then I waited about five months, and she emailed to say she'd read them both and was excited about both and wanted to talk.

    So yeah, it's an unusual situation. I do have agents with fulls of one that have previously read and rejected the other. But to have an agent read both before getting in contact is unusual.

  25. #625
    Widely Regarded as a Bad Move DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyMC View Post
    It was a strange turn of events. She's actually closed to queries, but on manuscript #3, I was so excited to get a referral to her - not a great one, but just an email listserv she said she'd take queries from for a period of time. She eventually requested a partial, but then I hadn't heard from her in ages. In the interim, I wrote manuscript #4 and became friends with one of her clients, who read the manuscript and felt like it was a really good fit for this agent. So the client personally referred me for manuscript #4 and reminded her agent of my partial for manuscript #3.

    The agent wrote me very quickly with the client referral and requested both fulls. And then I waited about five months, and she emailed to say she'd read them both and was excited about both and wanted to talk.

    So yeah, it's an unusual situation. I do have agents with fulls of one that have previously read and rejected the other. But to have an agent read both before getting in contact is unusual.
    Wow. That's like a one in a million shot. I guess it really does pay off to network with people.

    I've decided to enact a moratorium on Gambit. After two years of drafting, it's with betas and my query is sitting snug in a folder until I decide to pull it out again and work on it. Meanwhile, I'm working on my new MS which I am a mere 4K in to what I estimate to be about 45K.

    While I do this I wanted to get a leg up on researching agents. I have some in mind but I don't even know how to begin organizing myself when (and if) I begin querying by mid-year (my ms will hopefully be in tip-top shape by then).

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get organized with this? I thought about using Query Tracker but it looks a bit intimidating. Not only that, but there are 219 agents in the US alone! A shove in the right direction might help. Any resources I should take a look at or jumping points I should commit suicide off of? I ask this here because everyone's familiar with kid lit. I wouldn't dare asking in the other forums.

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