Friday, 22 November 2013

Want Some Pitch Wars Help?

Only ten days to go until the infamous Pitch Wars!

The heat is ratcheting up as SUB day fast approaches.  So, since I am trying to earn the best of the best submissions in the game, I thought I'd share a few secrets and tips on how to really get the most from your manuscript (especially if it's coming my way!).


CHARACTER


Fiirst off, let's talk character:  What makes a good character?  A good character is someone we root for, someone we believe in, someone we wish we were, someone we can relate to, or someone we are fascinated by.  Or a combination of all of these elements.

Characters WANT something.  They have a burning desire.  And we need to know not only what it is, but WHY.  And the quicker you can get this on the page, the quicker you're going to hook your reader.

I could waffle on for hours.  But, someone better than me should.  So let's go over to the wonderful, amazing article by Mr Donald Maass:

http://blog.karenwoodward.org/2012/11/donald-maass-talks-about-how-to-make-your-readers-care-about-your-characters.html


http://www.liakeyes.com/interview-agent-donald-maass/


PLOTTING

Whether you're a panster or an outliner doesn't matter.  What matters is that your plot is organic from your characters.  The choices made have to be such that we believe THAT character would make those choices, and if they don't, there is a compelling enough reason WHY NOT.

Plots needs to be tight with pacing, ideally set up in three acts, with each scene and chapter moving the plot forward towards the ultimate end game.

You need to keep the stakes high.  You need to almost give your character what they want, then rip it away from them.  You need to break them, build them, love them.

Be mindful that you have to balance internal and external conflict.


This is a really cool link about plotting:  http://blog.janicehardy.com/2012/05/best-advice-on-plotting-ive-ever-heard.html




Now, my advice as good as my advice can be, there are the masters of writing that you really want to study no matter WHAT your genre.  So go check these vids out.  Don't worry if it's not your genre.  The advice still applies:

Neil Gaimen:






Mr. Stepen King




Jodi Pilcoult:






And a nice little combo of links to watch through:








These are just a few of the very, very talented authors you should be reading up on.  I picked out names off the top of my head.  If your genre isn't represented by these writers, still learn from them.  If you really still want a video to watch of someone who writes amazingly well in your genre, comment and I'll find you one.

Good luck in Pitch Wars!  May the odds be ever in your favour!

7 comments:

  1. Trying not to freak you out by cyber stalking your blog, but you keep posting such amazing talks. Seriously, it's like a treasure trove of writing tips. Thank you for posting them, and please keep them coming. *slinks back into the shadows to await your next post.* ;)

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    1. You're so awesome (and funny!), Keely. I have a feeling we're going to become good friends. :-)

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  2. Yay! Glad I haven't scared you off. ;)

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  3. These are really great links! I really enjoyed reading Donald Maas's book, but it's been a while so it was great to get a reminder from those interviews.

    I love Neil Gaiman's take on first drafts. It's something every NaNoWriMo writer needs to hear :)

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    1. Glad you liked the links. I'm a huge Donald Maass admirer. And I agree about Neil Gaiman too! :-)

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  4. Excellent writing advice, you wonderful woman you! You are going to be one kick-ass PitchWars mentor :D

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    1. Aww, thanks Kirsty! :-) I'm so excited!

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