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Old 11-17-2012, 11:23 PM   #2201
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Sarah, Barry Hutchison - one of my favourite MG writers - just went from a six-book horror series about imaginary friends coming back to kill and terrorize the kids who forgot them... To a modern fantasy comedy about a boy who found the three horsemen of the apocalypse hiding in his garden shed, waiting for HIM to become their next Death. And that newest book is just as amazing - perhaps even more so - and has been nominated for TWO big children's literary awards.

So I think as long as you remain loyal to your readers by writing consistently awesome books, and not pandering to them by sticking to what might feel 'safe', then they'll appreciate you more for it, and stick around for the ride!

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Old 11-18-2012, 10:27 PM   #2202
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Hey guys!

If you're on Facebook, then please 'Like' my new author page at: http://facebook.com/davidbrettandrews !

If I get 50+ Likes, I'll post an excerpt from the current draft of 'THE ENIGMA FILES: PHANTOM THIEF!'

Cheers,

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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!"

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Old 11-22-2012, 04:34 AM   #2203
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Just saw that Project Middle-Grade Mayhem has an article on MG novels about foster kids. Thought of Sissy, but others may be interested, too.

http://project-middle-grade-mayhem.b...ster-kids.html
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:17 AM   #2204
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Hello all! I'm brand new to AW, but I've been lurking in the shadows for some time, basking in your collective brilliance.

I've read just about every post in this thread, but I notice that it's been quiet for a couple weeks. So I thought for my first post I would try to breathe a bit of life back into it.

How about a round of What Is Everyone Working On, including Any New Developments?

I'll start: I'm in the never-ending editing phase of an Upper MG Fantasy, which is clocking in at about 74k now, and which I'm trying to trim back for submission, hopefully within the next 6 months.

New developments? Finding AW as well as QueryTracker and a few other sites, which have provided endless maniacal research fodder for this obsessive information junky! Now if I can just peel myself away and get back to my manuscript...
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:46 AM   #2205
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Welcome, Wanderluster!

I am working on a middle grade contemporary that is going slower than I'd like (I'm usually quite a fast drafter) but is progressing. It's just about to 20,000 words, which is about halfway. I had hoped for a draft by Christmas, which is looking unlikely now. But it's coming along.

In terms of developments ... yeah, not so much. I have nine fulls out to agents (on two different manuscripts), which might seem exciting to some, but I've been here before, so I expect nothing. Except rejection.

Anyhoo - welcome, and good luck with your edits! I'm glad you came out of lurkerdom!
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:19 AM   #2206
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Thank you for the warm welcome, Joy!

Nine fulls out to agents does sound impressive. You sound so resigned, though - have you subbed these two manuscripts for a while?

Good luck with your WIP - let us know how it goes!
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:35 AM   #2207
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Welcome Wonderluster. I'm sure you'll get lots of information on these boards. Nice that you write upper MG - I happen to do that too. Mine are more of the action adventure genre, but I'm working on a science fiction right now . . . with a heavy dose of action/adventure.
quan ao tre em cao cap do lot nam sieu mong ty gia ao so mi nu ban buon quan ao cac loai chup anh studio dep
And Joy, you have 9 fulls out? That's brilliant! Did it go query to partial to full? I hope you get some good news soon.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:36 PM   #2208
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Hi, Wanderluster! Glad you came out of lurkdom (love that word).

I'm still stuck and it seems like I will be forever. But I'm still subbing a couple of PBs. If I could afford a great illustrator, I'd probably go the self-pub route.

Looking forward to reading your posts.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:43 PM   #2209
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Thank you for the welcome, profen4. MG Sci-fi with action adventure - what a fun genre!

Sissybaby, I've followed your posts throughout this thread. Whenever I see your familiar avatar, I think, "she's the really sweet one." Congrats on subbing the PBs. How long have you had them out? Any responses so far?
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:48 PM   #2210
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Originally Posted by Wanderluster View Post
How about a round of What Is Everyone Working On, including Any New Developments?

I'll start: I'm in the never-ending editing phase of an Upper MG Fantasy, which is clocking in at about 74k now, and which I'm trying to trim back for submission, hopefully within the next 6 months.

..
Welcome, Wanderluster! Good luck with the editing. I'm working on something similar. I was editing a upper-MG sort of speculative fiction novel, trying to trim it down, when I realized I should just scrap the whole middle and ending, and make a new one. So now I'm in brainstorming mode, which is more fun than editing mode.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:18 AM   #2211
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And Joy, you have 9 fulls out? That's brilliant! Did it go query to partial to full? I hope you get some good news soon.
Yeah, I started querying manuscript #3 in April, and it's gotten 13 requests. Only 3 are still pending. Manuscript #4 started going out in August and it's gotten 11 requests; six are still pending. Some were query-partial-full. Some were query + pages to full. Only a couple were query straight to full. Rejections are almost always raves & assurances that "someone else will love this." Never anything I can use to make the manuscripts stronger. So I've gotten used to the rejection and don't expect much else.

But I'm keeping my head down and writing #5.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:47 AM   #2212
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Hello all! I'm brand new to AW, but I've been lurking in the shadows for some time, basking in your collective brilliance.
Hi, Wanderluster, and welcome to AW and the Kidlit section. Good luck with your MS and editing. Oh, editing, how much fun is that? Not.

I'm working on, err, erm, trying to stay warm.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:24 AM   #2213
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Moral support

Thank you, jvc and Sheila for the welcomes.

Joy, have you shared any of the MSs that you're subbing in SYW? I am impressed by your professional attitude, calm in the face of rejections (even if they do rave) and sending each of your babies out into the world while moving onto the next one.

Sheila, you are brave, throwing out big chunks of your ms and going back to the whiteboard. Brainstorming and writing certainly are more fun than editing, but depending on how much time you invested in the original work, cutting can really hurt.

Speaking of which, I need a bit of moral support. After reading a harsh but excellent critique of someone else's query letter in SYW, I had a come-to-Jesus moment about my own WIP and I just took the excruciating step of deleting the entire first two chapters of my MS. These are chapters I have loved and slaved over for years.

Tell me I'm doing the right thing. Start when the action starts, right?
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:38 AM   #2214
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The sweet one, huh? If only you knew. I already know I'm getting coal for Christmas, as always.

I have heard that you should start with the action. But not necessarily right in the middle of it. I've heard that some lead in is good to avoid confusion and give us some feel for your character so that we will care about him first. Just don't start with the weather, unless it's hugely important.

I tend to edit way too much as I go, so I don't know how I would deal with chopping off the first two chapters. But I think I'm about to find out.

And since you asked, Wanderluster, I've had some very positive feedback on one of the PB's - both from several agents and a small, but impressive (my opinion, of course) publisher. But still no commitments. sigh.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:39 AM   #2215
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Hi, Wanderluster, and welcome to AW and the Kidlit section. Good luck with your MS and editing. Oh, editing, how much fun is that? Not.

I'm working on, err, erm, trying to stay warm.
Yeah, I'm there.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:41 AM   #2216
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Thank you, jvc and Sheila for the welcomes.

Joy, have you shared any of the MSs that you're subbing in SYW? I am impressed by your professional attitude, calm in the face of rejections (even if they do rave) and sending each of your babies out into the world while moving onto the next one.

Sheila, you are brave, throwing out big chunks of your ms and going back to the whiteboard. Brainstorming and writing certainly are more fun than editing, but depending on how much time you invested in the original work, cutting can really hurt.

Speaking of which, I need a bit of moral support. After reading a harsh but excellent critique of someone else's query letter in SYW, I had a come-to-Jesus moment about my own WIP and I just took the excruciating step of deleting the entire first two chapters of my MS. These are chapters I have loved and slaved over for years.

Tell me I'm doing the right thing. Start when the action starts, right?
Every case is different, but personally, I've found when my gut tells me to cut something, my gut is right. Every time I've removed a chapter, scene, line, or word I found charming but which did not actually advance the plot, the result has been a tighter, better story. Still, you may feel less regret about the cuts if you keep the excised material in a "Deleted Scenes" folder, so it's out of the story but not totally gone. That's what I do, anyway.

That said, I'm not yet published, and so grains of salt and all.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:47 AM   #2217
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Yeah, I'm there.
Revising & editing.
Me too! My head is spinning.
I got a great ebook Style that Sizzles and Pacing for Power by Jodi Renner. Lots of great tips on editing.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:05 AM   #2218
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Joy, have you shared any of the MSs that you're subbing in SYW? I am impressed by your professional attitude, calm in the face of rejections (even if they do rave) and sending each of your babies out into the world while moving onto the next one.
I don't do SYW, but I do have awesome, trusted CP's with agents and deals and stuff, and my MSs always go out to three or four of them and get revised and revised and go out to them again, etc. They're super enthusiastic and are (almost) as frustrated as I am. So, who knows? Nothing to do but keep writing.

Good for you for cutting those chapters. Cutting is almost never wrong. Though I agree that starting too smack in the middle of the action can be jarring. Nothing is forever, thanks to the beauty of computers and Save As. You'll get feedback on it as it is now, and if you find you need some of that stuff back, you can retrieve it. But I bet you'll come to love it more with the cuts.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:09 AM   #2219
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Let's see... I tend to think of my projects by the MC's first name, so...

Agatha is having a time-out in the closet until she can figure out a plot that works.

Charlotte has two fulls out with agents and is keeping her chin up while she queries others.

Jack has a premise, a set-up and a catalyst figured out. We're trying to figure out our villain, and then I think the writing will pick up steam.

All three are Victorian fantasy. Don't ask me why. I just don't like modern times all that much.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:50 AM   #2220
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Let's see... I tend to think of my projects by the MC's first name, so...
I do that, too.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:25 AM   #2221
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Thank you all for the words of encouragement.

You said it perfectly, Arachne - it's just so charming. "It's funny, it's witty, it'll make sense in book 4, I swear!"

Joy, what is a CP? It sounds like you've got a trusted team in place - that must be invaluable. And no, I'm not starting in the middle of jarring action - aka Unknown Protagonists run through the forest chased by unknown pursuers while branches whip their skin. Bonus if they are concurrently turning into werewolves and/or vampires. I promise I'm not doing that.

Congratulations, SissyBaby, on the positive feedback for your PBs. May it turn into a commitment soon!

Laura, I just looked up Style that Sizzles on Amazon. The author quotes from several other books that also sound good: James Scott Bell's Revision & Self-Editing; Jessica Page Morrell's Thanks, But This Isn't For Us; etc. All of these look like great resources. You've just given me my homework for the next few days.

MsJudy, I do the same thing. All my projects are fondly and colloquially named for my MCs. Congrats to Charlotte, and may Jack finds his villain, but poor Agatha. I hope she comes out of the closet soon. Um... I mean... you know.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #2222
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MsJudy - I didn't even realize I did the character thing until I read your post and went back to my Word Document list. HA! Every ms. has a one word title that is the MC's name. How weird that I wasn't even aware of it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:50 PM   #2223
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Welcome to the gang, WanderLuster!

I'm TRYING to work on the second Enigma Files book CURSED, but it's not happening :p I'm too busy freaking out over the coming results of the PitchWars contest, reacting like an editing loon to every tweet from the mother of my 10yo beta-twins (they're getting bored - they LOVE IT - they're confused - they ABSOLUTELY love it! Auugh!), and trying to sleep :p

Hope everyone's having better luck with their nerves than I...

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Old 12-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #2224
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Joy, what is a CP?
Oops, sorry! There can be a learning curve on message board abbreviations. CP = critique partner. Another one you'll see around here a lot is WIP, which means work-in-progress
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:50 PM   #2225
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Thanks, Joy.

David, congrats on the twins' love affair with your ms! Must be gratifying.

I would love to have some betas who are in the age-range of my audience - about 10-13. Unfortunately, I don't know any kids! I have no nieces or nephews, know no teachers, and have no friends with kids that age. I worry that contacting a school or teacher with no introduction or references may be frowned-upon.

I'm guessing many of you have a built-in network of young beta readers, but does anyone have advice on how to find kid readers if you don't have any relationship to them?
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