Tag Archives: Business

Doctors to the Rescue!

1 Feb

Thanks to my daily NaNoWriMo newsletter I learned today that there are Book Doctors to the rescue for those in need of some assistance in getting their book published. Currently, the Book Doctors are running a WriMo-specific Pitchapalooza Contest where any WriMo participant can submit a 200 word pitch to be in the running to win an introduction to an agent or publisher that suits his/her novel. Another “fan favorite” contestant will win a free 1-hour consultation with the Docs worth $250. Not too shabby!

Here’s the low-down:

You get 200 words to pitch your book. You then email your pitch to nanowrimo@thebookdoctors.com. Twenty-five pitches will be randomly selected from all submissions. We will then choose one winner from the group. The winner will receive an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his/her manuscript. We will also award a fan favorite who will receive a free one-hour consult with us (worth $250). All pitches must be received by February 29, 2012. The 25 random pitches will be posted on March 5, 2012. Winners will be announced on March 15, 2012. Anyone can vote for fan favorite, so get your social media engine running as soon as the pitches go up!  Link

This duo of Book Docs also advertises a “free 20-minute consultation (worth $100) to anyone who buys a copy of The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published [their book]. Just attach a copy of your sales receipt to your email and we’ll set up your consultation.” Not a bad trade-off! Two types of advise rolled into one.

It’s often said that writers are their worst editors because you are so engrossed in your own work that you can’t see the mistakes (sometimes glaring) that sit on the page in front of you. So, get a second set of eyes to take a look at your pitch, your idea, your novel and call the Book Doctors. They may be just what your novel ordered! 

Happy Writing!

Advertisements

Peek into Screenwriting

21 Sep

As I mentioned last week, Gotham Writer’s Workshop (GWW) offered a set of free introductory courses in NYC on Sept 20th & 21st. The classes filled up quickly as I found out when I applied to attend a course on the 21st and was told in the next 10 minutes that it was already filled…along with almost every other course listed for that date. This place is popular and there is no shortage of writers in NYC & its periphery, so I suppose I expected it to be that hard to get into a class.

Well, in the end a friend of mine decided to take the Creative Writing 101 course on Tuesday night and I decided that I had done that already in my GWW Fiction 1 intensive last year, so I sprung for something out of my comfort zone – screenwriting.

Now, I am a movie addict. I watched ‘Titanic’ SIX times in theaters and cried every single time Kate Winslet wouldn’t let Jack on that perfectly large-enough-for-you-and-your-lover piece of debris. ANYWAY, I digress… The point I’m trying to actually make is that I love the medium of film but it had never occurred to me to write a screenplay. Sitting in this class, though, I can see myself eagerly transforming my novel into a screenplay and quite easily.

As per usual, GWW excelled in bringing a highly educated, smart, engaging teacher to this class. This time around, I had the pleasure of learning from screenwriter, novelist and director, Richard Uhlig. He attended NYU grad school and has his MFA in Screen Writing from the American Film Institute. Mr. Uhlig was very personable and in the 60-minute span had lots of insightful comments, suggestions and stories to tell. We worked through two different 5-minute writing exercises and everyone was engaged and there was great energy in the room. If I lived closer, I would definitely take his class just to learn something new. Today, in reading about him some more on his website, I learned he has also written 2 novels (covers shown below). You can read the first chapter of his second novel, “Boy Minus Girl”, on his site and it is very engaging an immediately I was transported into the life of this bored, horny teenage boy who desperately wants to hook up with his dream girl and flee Kansas as quickly as possible…and did I mention there’s a Charlie Sheen type Uncle that apparently takes him under his wing to learn the lay of the land of ladies? Oh yeah…I need to get this book asap.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Anyway, regarding screenwriting… Here are a few tips Mr. Uhlig shared in class that I think are really useful. As a way to break some writer’s block, maybe take a step back from your project and turn a scene into a screen play to better visualize where you want your piece to go.

1) Movies are all about IMAGES. Iconic images that you remember forever. His one example was of the girl getting sucked under water by an unseen create as she swims through the water…aka JAWS.

2) In screenplays you can only write about what you can SEE and HEAR. The ‘internalization’ found in narrative can be adopted to film with voice overs, but they are what drive a movie.

3) The job of a screenwriter is to emotionally involve your audience using IMAGES. Dialogue is secondary. As with most writing, SHOW don’t TELL.

4) Screenplays are written in the PRESENT tense. “The girl is sucked under the water by an unknown creature.”

5) Visual images, songs, characters, conversations, places are all great inspiration for screenplays…and other types of writing, as well. Follow the inspirations you find and work with them to create your screenplay.

6) COMMIT to writing daily. Make a schedule. Be adamant about keeping fresh with your writing. As Mr. Uhlig said last night and I’ve heard time and again, “writing begets writing.”

7) Particularly with screenplays, DON’T write in the shots or micromanage actors. The shots are determined by the director and the actors will interpret the character as they see fit. You want to give both directors, actors and editors enough information to go on, but not too much as to stifle them.

As for me, I presented during on the five-minute writing pieces in class and I think it really is telling of my character in “Alternate Ending” so I’m going to roll with it…take inspiration where you can find it – it’s all over the place!

Happy Writing!

Get the red ink out!

20 Sep
Carrot diversity

Image via Wikipedia

I have an affinity for editing. Well, more like an affinity for utilizing red ink (of any variety – pen, pencil, marker, crayon) to thrash through a piece of writing without apology. Cracking run-on sentences and replacing them with a newly constructed masterpiece or a set of quizzical question marks (“????”) brings me pure joy.

Now, you might think my love of red ink thrashing through someone’s well-thought out masterpiece is sadistic, but I promise you it’s not. The joy I get from editing a paper/contract/story isn’t my nasty attempt to pulverize someone’s writing. On the contrary, I’m throwing my joy into making it the best piece it can be.

I am not an editor by profession, so I use every tool at my disposal when I edit my own writing or anyone else’s. Below are a few websites I’ve found that guide you in the process of editing your novel or short story. Take a look!

http://ghostwriterdad.com/10-quick-tips-for-powerful-proofreading/
 
 
 
http://bethestory.com/2008/08/08/editing-your-first-novel-7-things-you-must-know
http://bethestory.com/2008/08/08/editing-your-first-novel-7-things-you-must-know
http://www.publetariat.com/write/11-resources-make-editing-your-novel-easier

Namely, fruit.

13 Sep
Cobb Salad

Image by saturdave via Flickr

This morning on the radio they were discussing all the different types of foods named after people. For example, the sandwich named after the Earl of Sandwich, the Cobb Salad named after Robert Howard Cobb (debatable according to Curb Your Enthusiasm haha) and so forth. One of the radio hosts has his own ice cream flavor at a local creamery made up of chocolate ice cream and the oreo-like crunchies from ice cream cakes…a WINNING combination, let me tell you.

This whole discussion got me thinking…if a food was named after me, what would it be?

Well, lately, I’ve been obsessively craving the following salad that I highly recommend:

It’s simple, but a delicious mix that hits the spot every time that I would LOVE to call the “Caroline”, but it probably already has a name as I’ve had it in several restaurants.
What food [sandwich, dish, combination] would you name after yourself??

As a writing exercise, describe your favorite food. Even better, write about a food that you loved as a kid and what that food reminds you of today. The smells of apple pie in your aunt’s house; the taste of freshly whipped cream as you licked it off your stubby little fingers. Food can reveal so much to us about the place, time, and even class of our characters in fiction that it should be used as effectively as can be to not only make our readers drool, but also understand that much more about our characters.

%d bloggers like this: