“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, April 18, 2014

Are You Getting Tired of Sentences Sneaking into Your Mailbox?

Writer, come prop your feet up, have a cup of coffee let's kvetch for a while--two seconds, that's all we get--for kvetching—not for talking productive talk.

Are you getting tired of sentences sneaking into your email box, sentences such as “Earn Money With Your Writing?  Craft Books that Sell? How to Build a Platform?”

Yeah, yeah, you say, I want that. The only trouble is you have to sign up for a course, or a book, or a series of CD’s. Maybe it’s a workshop they are promoting, but it’s being held in Southern California and you live in Missouri.

Two seconds are up.

I have attended a number of writer’s workshops, and found them informative. #Chuck Sambuchino, editor of Writer’s Digest, (Las Vegas) was terrific. And dumped information and materials on us in abundance.  #John Kremer, marketing guru, 1001 Ways to Market you Book (Palm Springs), will be there for you.  #Wendy Niad, screenplay manager, (L.A.) came with her daughter, who was perfect, the workshop, however gave little hope of making it in Hollywood. Oh, having an ethnic name will help. #Ray Bradbury, years ago, in San Diego was the best. He sat on the lawn and talked master to student.

Now I’m away from Southern California, but The Willamette Writer’s Conference is right up the road from me in Portland. 
In a previous reincarnation, I attended the Willamette Writer’s Conference a few times and found myself like a kid with candy before me, except that I was outside the locked candy store with my face pressed against the window.
All this said the best advice from a workshop came from an author. "What in the hell are you doing here?” he asked. “Go home and write.”

Okay, here we are in front of our computer writing, but still wanting input on how to make our writing better, and how to sell what we have written.

Content…Yes we want that. And I can’t tell you how to do that, it is your voice that needs to speak. Although I can tell you that the industry isn’t so concerned with content, they want you to prove to them you can sell.

And when it comes to selling, here are a few necessary inclusions an agent or a publisher wants to see:

A Tagline
A tagline is a slogan. It is a memorable phrase that sums up the tone of your product.
"Cigarettes taste good like a cigarette should." Forty years later we still know it was a Winston.

The true story of a real fake, Catch Me If You Can
There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean. They are looking for one. 
Finding Nemo

The log line

 The log line is one-sentence summary of your book that states the basic conflict of your story.

While the log line for Jaws is, “Shark terrorizes a New England town, The Log line is:

“A police chief, with a phobia for open water, battles a gigantic shark with an appetite for swimmers and boat captains, in spite of a greedy town council who demands that the beach stay open.”

For Splash: A naive young man battles heartless authorities to protect the life of his girlfriend when it’s revealed that she’s not human— she’s a mermaid.

When writing a log line, ask:

  •        Who is the main character? What does she/he want?
  •         Who is the villain, or what is standing in the way of the main character?
  •         What makes this story unique?

Next time I will address plot and synopsis, right now I need to do editing on my book The Island—I’m beginning to feel it will never end.

Oh, was that kvetching?
Stop- it,