Writer's Road Recap: Problem Solving 9/30

Recap of Monday's Twitter chat on problem solving:

#writersroad Any book/blog/website recs for the issue of "it's just not grabbing me" agent comments?

@noellepierce james scott bell plot and structure #WritersRoad

@noellepierce Great question! Donald Maass's books are fantastic for that. #WritersRoad

When an agent says, "It's just not grabbing me," reread for voice, flow, and action. #WritersRoad

I'm currently in the "plotting" phase of my next book. Any suggestions for me? #WritersRoad

@teetate #writersroad I like to write my summary before I start (Save the Cat-style). Helps me find plot holes before writing.

@teetate Great question! I love to write down info about my character's background, history, culture, ect. while outlining. #WritersRoad

@teetate It helps me develop my chapters deeper and work in twists. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle I guess I should mention this is a part of a series. #WritersRoad

@teetate Yay for series! I keep a 'bible' of the character's arcs, story arcs, and series arc in that case. #WritersRoad

@Tina_Moss #writersroad Like the writing, like the characters, love the voice...just didn't "grab them". Almost across the board.

@noellepierce @Tina_Moss Sounds like the agent doesn't know what she/he wants. #WritersRoad

@d_pardee I def did that in the first book. MAJOR plot twist that I didn't see coming & so far, neither did my betas or editor. #WritersRoad

@teetate @HeatherMcCorkle #writersroad I plotted my trilogy out, StC-style, too. I'm a wee bit of a Blake Snyder fangirl. :D

@noellepierce Ugh, that's frustrating! That likely translates to "Not sure if it is what pubs are looking for".#WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle #writersroad For the time being I've put them in a drawer while I wrote a very pushy UF story. But have to get back to them

@Tina_Moss Good question! Those things can make an agent hesitate because they can be tough sells. #WritersRoad

@noellepierce Have they gone through beta readers or critique parnters? They might be able to give you suggestions. #WritersRoad

@teetate don't just check guidelines, be familiar w/writers the agent reps. Every agent's client list has a certain feel to it #writersroad

Before querying, check out who the agent reps. See how those books differs from yours. That may help. #WritersRoad

When getting the "great story, characters, but not grabbing me" excuse, look at the structure, make sure its solid. #WritersRoad

Lack of solid structure makes agents hesitate because they know it will be more work. #WritersRoad

Back when I got the "great story, characters, but not grabbing me" excuse, I had passive voice issues. #WritersRoad

The complimentary rejection is the worst, because it's so close. Sometimes you have to just hang in there. Market fluctuates. #writersroad

Remember to research the agent you query. You want a business relationship w/ this person. Make sure it's a good fit. #WritersRoad

@teetate How do you find a client list for agents? I've heard the advice but never known how to go about that. #WritersRoad

@annikkawoods @teetate #writersroad Some agents will post it on their sites. Also, QueryTracker.net has a list. But I'd use sites 1st.

@annikkawoods Look on their websites, who they tweet, look in acknowledgement pages in books, etc. #WritersRoad

@annikkawoods @teetate Easiest is if they list it on their website, but acknowledgements in books too as Tee said. #writersroad

@annikkawoods PUblisher's Marketplace usually has a list if the agent has a page on there. #WritersRoad

"@annikkawoods @teetate another good thing is to find an author who is similar to your writing style, find out who reps them." #WritersRoad

@annikkawoods @teetate and ask your early readers what authors they would compare you to. The results may surprise you! #writersroad

If you keep getting great feedback from agents, but still get passed by, might be time to consider an editor. #WritersRoad

For those who don't have betas or crit groups, a good freelance editor can be a great way to learn & improve. #WritersRoad

Next stop for me. RT @HeatherMcCorkle: If you keep getting great feedback from agents, but still passed by, consider an editor. #WritersRoad

@noellepierce I know a great one who is affordable when you're ready. @teetate). Seriously, she rocks. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle @teetate #writersroad Oh, then I have another Q. How do you choose when you have SEVERAL friends who freelance edit???

Positive feedback from an agent is a good sign you're on the right track. Even if they pass. #WritersRoad

@noellepierce Have them do a sample edit of a page for you, then you can figure out which matches what you're looking for. #WritersRoad

@noellepierce Not every editor is for every writer. A bad choice can ruin a friendship. #WritersRoad

The market can sometimes dictate what agents/editors will offer on. The saying, "It's me. Not you." It can really be the case. #writersroad

Difficult, but necessary advice: Don't chase trends, but be aware of the market. Write what you love, but know your audience. #writersroad

Use your betas, crit partners, or an editor to help get that extra polish on your work, and never stop learning! #WritersRoad

Side note: Look for great books coming out from some of #WritersRoad's own: @Tina_Moss & @Yelena_Casale and @teetate (under pen name).


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