Caroline Cooney - tips on writing character and great stories
- character has to be sympathetic
- characters without friends - know that emotion takes over the plot line
- adults have the habit of taking over action
- must make the logical thing illogical to do
- if you have a conflict - you must know what emotion it is attached to
- every conflict you create takes away from something - be sure it does not take away from main plot line
- If you are stalled - visualize a scene as if on stage as a film director - what do you see, where are you, who is with you
- stay alert to ideas around you and how you can transform the into books
- names matter - cannot have similar names
- action story - needs to have a deadline in the story
- speed counts - learn to write fast
- first draft are always bad
- 3rd person is always better than 3rd person and present tense
- you can do anything for 15 minutes - force yourself to to write, set a time, take paper and pen with you so you utilize every minute. don't wait to get in front of your computer
- books are like pottery - some come out misshaped, some cracked, luckily with books, you can always reshape them
A great agent:
- shares your writing
- are the gateway to editors - trust yours will do the right thing
- control the money - editors pay agents who take their royalty and then pay you
- should beleve in your work wholeheartedly
- looks for more than just a sale, looks at your career, writing style
- keeps in contact and keeps you up to date
- know trends
- knows what editors are looking for
- buffer between writer and editor - good news comes from author, bad news comes from agent
- tries to sell your work
- should not charge a reading fee
ask your agent...
- what is your percentage?
- do you revise? if so how much? what about for this book?
- how many clients do you have?
- Can you speak to any of their clients?
- what genres do you rep?
- who will you sub to?
- where do you see my career?
- you do not want more than one agent unless you need one for a different genre outside children's.
- when i revise, i need to get the book to a point where I think it will sell. that does not necessarily mean perfect
- some agents are becoming more promotional b/c money for marketing is dwindling