August 9, 2012

WriteOnCon prep

So, WriteOnCon is next week. Check out the schedule and sign up in the forums.

Things I’m looking forward to:
·         interviews and other live events
·         “Hooks and Killer First Lines” by author Lissa Price
·         “What is Voice, and How do I Get it?” by author Jennifer Nelson
·         “World-building in Science Fiction and Fantasy” by author Mindee Arnett
·         “Knowing When Your MS is Ready to Query” by literary agent Lara Perkins
·         “Being Orphaned” by author Joy Preble
·         “Building Characters into Real People” by author Frank Cole
·         “He Said, She Said, Creating sexual tension through dialog” by author Jessica Martinez

If you aren’t sure if it’s worth your time, check out these events that I found most interesting in last year’s WriteOnCon wrap-up. And of course, I’ll be sure to cover my favorite events again next Thursday on the blog.

This year, I don’t have anything to post on the forums, but I will be commenting on other writers’ posts, starting Monday. You can friend me. I promise I don’t bite. If you are going to post, this is what you need (all optional):

1.       A query
2.       A synopsis
3.       The first 250 words
4.       The first five pages (about 1250 words)

Now, this is what makes WriteOnCon so fantastic. You post these things in the forums, and other writers will comment on them, telling you what they like, what needs to be improved, and so on. Even more fantastic, WriteOnCon hosts ninja agents. These agents anonymously comment in the forums, and sometimes, if the ninja agents really like your query/synopsis/first 250/first five, they just might request your manuscript. I can attest that it does actually happen. It happened to me last year.

If you don’t have the query or synopsis ready yet, don’t worry. You aren’t going to be judged if your query sucks. We all suck at queries, or we did at one time. Just remember, your query is your sales pitch. Think of the back covers of books.

You do need to have a completed manuscript. You don’t want to be in a situation where one of those ninja agents requests a full manuscript and you only have the first three chapters completed. Plus, I’m pretty sure that the rules of the conference say that you should only post material from a completed manuscript. Also, if you haven’t yet finished the manuscript, then it’s likely that your first pages haven’t been edited properly. In that case, you’re doing a disservice to everyone who takes the time to read your entries.

Last thing, the most important rule of WriteOnCon is simply be nice. Seriously. You’re only going to hurt yourself if you mock someone’s writing or say only negative things. As a rule, try to find at least one nice thing to say about everything that you comment on. Only pointing out what is bad can be discouraging. And trust me, writers pounce on negative people, and you could get banned from the forums if you are overly rude or mean.

So, gear up and good luck. I hope to see you in the forums!

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