Friday, January 28, 2011

When Your Novel is Reduced to Post-it Notes and Writing Hints

Hey, y’all!

Yeah,… I have been bad about blogging this week. Sorry about that.

But here I am! Back in action.

I have read about (and seen) writers and authors take apart their novels and write the main scenes on Post-it notes. This can give the writer a good view of the progression of the story, making it easier to see if a scene needs moved, if a section needs tightened, etc.

I decided to do the Post-it exercise with Novel B, so I reduced the entire thing to the color-coordinated little notes. Pink for regular plot line, green for action/suspense scenes, and yellow for flashback. As I wrote the scenes on the notes, I stuck them all on the table in precise lines.

This exercise actually turned out to be really helpful. I was able to make sure that the pacing of my novel was good, that there were plenty of action/suspense scenes interspersed with the regular scenes, and that the flashbacks were in places that really made sense with the story. After seeing my novel broken down this way, I feel good about the plot and pacing of my story.

Have any of you done a Post-it outline of your novel lately?

Writing Hint #5 (Query Hint #2)

So, you have your polished, revised manuscript completely finished. What is the next step? Before you start going crazy over writing query letters and putting together submission packages, take a little bit of time to do some research.

First, figure out exactly what your manuscript would be classified as. Is it fiction or nonfiction? What genre is it? What is the age group you are targeting? Solidify what your novel is and where it would fit on the shelf.

Second, you need to compile a list of agents who represent what you have written. If you send a YA mystery to an agent who only represents non-fiction, you are wasting not only your time but also the agent’s time. Research. If you have written a YA mystery, compile a list of agents that represent YA mystery.

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