There are a few different sections of writing info below:
Agent blogs, editing tips & #PitMad tips
If you have a favorite agent blog but don’t see it here, please let me know in the comments.
I chose agent blogs that are updated regularly and have been active in the past 6 months at least. Also, this list focuses on blogs that offer information not only on their own agencies but information that is helpful to all writers.
Feel free to copy and paste this list for your own reference and happy writing to you!
Carly Watters at P.S Literary Agency: Carly Watters
Chip MacGreagor at MacGregor Literacy: Chip MacGregor
Clelia Gore at MLM Agency: Clelia Gore
Darley Anderson and Agents at Darley Anderson: The Darley Anderson Blog
Dawn Fredrick and Agents at Red Sofa Literary: Red Sofa Literary
Greg Daniel at Daniel Literary Group: SlushPile Hell
Heather Alexander and Agents at Pippin Properties: Pippin Properties
Jane Dystel and Agents at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management: Dystel & Goderich
Janet Reid at Fine Print Literary Management: Janet Reid
Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary: Jennifer Represents
Jenny Bent and Agents at The Bent Agency: Bent On Books
Jessica Faust at BookEnds Literary Agency: BookEnds Literary Agency
Kate Testerman at KT Literary: KT Literary
Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency: Pub Rants
Laurie McLean and Agents at Fuse Literary: Fuse Literary
Laurie McLean at Fuse Literary: Agent Savant
Lori Perkins at L. Perkins Agency: Agent In the Middle
Linda Epstein at Jennifer DiChiara Literary Agency: Blabbermouth Blog
Lucienne Diver at The Knight Agency: Lucienne Diver’s Drivel
Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary Agency: Maria Vicente
Marissa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency: Thoughts From A Literary Agent
Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency: Adventures In Agentland
Rachelle Gardener at Books and SuchLiterary Management: Books & Such
Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch: Saba Sulaiman
Scott Eagan at Greyhaus Literary Agency: Babbles From Scott Eagan
Scott Treimel at Scott Treimel NY: Scott Treimel NY
Steve Laube at The Steve Laube Agency: Steve Laube Agency
Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary: Confessions
As I’ve worked my way through the first round of revisions with my editor, Ashley Gephart, at Cedar Fort Publishing, I’ve gained a deeper understanding about editing that I’m excited to share about today!
Even though I had traded my Middle Grade adventure manuscript, TREASURE AT LURE LAKE, with dozens of critique partners previously (whom I adore and am forever grateful to), I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of edits from Ashley. I’ll call them thematic revisions.
While she suggested smaller changes such as wording or expounding on internal thoughts and motivation etc… the thematic revisions she suggested have taken me to a whole new level as a writer. I liken these thematic revisions to a piece of thread that needs to be pulled all the way through a tapestry, winding and weaving it from the beginning to the end of the story so that the thread is a meaningful part of the whole.
For example, halfway through my manuscript, a small scene about the mother of the boys in my story prompted my editor to make a note that I could develop her more by enhancing her tendency to be overprotective throughout. This might seem like a simple suggestion, but it was one that forced me to go back to the beginning of my manuscript to see where I could weave this thread in. Adding it throughout not only strengthened her character, but made the climax more powerful, a result that I hadn’t anticipated but was thrilled when I saw it happen.
Another thread had to do with the treasure map that Bryce finds in the very first scene of the book. The map needed to have more significance—a stronger hook—that would draw the reader through the story. Adding this layer made my book more compelling.
When you’re revising your own manuscript, look for characters, themes or maybe even an object, character trait or even something in the setting that you can wind through your story in significant ways to add more colorful threads and strengthen your book. Often, one hook to a story is not enough. Ideally the setting is compelling, and at least your main character, and a unique problem, etc… but the more hooks or threads you add, the more irresistible your book will be.
I’ve also heard it said that you don’t know what your book is about until you’ve gotten to the end of it. When you do, take a look at the themes you’ve ended with. And after letting it rest for a few months, go back to the beginning to weave those threads in whether it is through foreshadowing, characterization, deepening internalization or other techniques.
I hope these ideas offer you some guidance and help as you go through your revisions!
KNOW YOUR HOOK! What is the one thing in your book that makes people’s eyebrows raise when they hear it? THAT is probably your hook! Use it in your #PitMad tweets.
Entering #PitMad on Twitter is a great way to get out of the slush pile. Here are a couple of formating ideas that can help you on your way to creating various pitches.
1. When MC does/doesn’t do Y then Z happens.
2. At [place (if your setting is a hook)], MC must do Y or Z will happen.
3. MC must choose between X and Y or Z will happen.
4. Use comps if they’re short. Mine were HATCHET + IF I STAY (then I added the rest of my pitch)
5. Sometimes your title is a hook! Work that into your pitch. (If it’s not, think of a new one.)
Check out Brenda Drake’s blog for deets.
Here are a few #PitMad resources I’ve used to hone my pitches.
**Carissa Taylor’s Twitter Pitch Logline Generator