Thursday, August 11, 2011

Your Story Flash Fiction Writing Contest

In the Your Story flash fiction writing contest writers of all genres may vie to place by submitting their original flash fiction manuscripts (300-500 words) for a $10 entry fee, writing their stories using one of these inspirational phrases:

"love poems for a girl"
"best chocolate in the world"
"romance village"

1st Place Winner: $200 & publication of submission on Your Story

2nd Place Winner: $150 & publication of submission on Your Story

3rd Place Winner: $50 & publication of submission on Your Story

4th Place Winner: $25 & publication of submission on Your Story

5th Place Winner: $25 & publication of submission on Your Story

Honorable Mentions: The option of having their submission published on Your Story. All non-winning entries will receive feedback from the judges to help them hone their craft.

Check it out at: http://yourstorywritingcontests.blogspot.com

Our amazing guest judges are Crymsyn Hart, Ashley Blade, and Erica Ridley.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to Get an Agent and Other Bits of Advice

Randy Peyser is a book coach. I listened to a very informative interview with her this past weekend through a website that is called the Author Summer School. The interview was very enlightening in terms of the process of going about getting an agent and of getting published in this day and age.

Agents Receive 15,000 Manuscripts a Month!

First off, agents are very busy people. Did you know the average agent receives anywhere from 15,000 manuscripts a month? How can your manuscript stand out amongst the rest of the mush that is headed straight for the slush pile?

Peyser says you can go to writers’ conferences, where you can pitch directly to agents. But, even there, you’re probably going to be in a line with at least 50 other eager-to-be authors in front of you.

This is why you need to demonstrate what is so compelling about your book. According to Peyser, too many aspiring authors make the mistake of thinking it’s their story that is going to sell their book. The story is important too, but what agents, and publishers for that matter, are looking for is that you already have a publicity machine in place. In the end, it's all about numbers.

Social Media Following

In other words, an agent and a publisher want to see that you have an established social media following, in the form of a blog, Facebook presence and a twitter account.

If you are trying to sell your manuscript, also expect that an agent will want a synopsis of your story. And they will want three different versions of this synopsis: a five-page version, a three-page version, and a one-pager.

Peyser left one really good piece of advice. She said to call on all of your contacts to help you once your book is out. Her advice is to email everyone you know and to ask if they would help you by sending out an email to everyone in their address book once your book is released. This way, you might find that you have even more contacts that you ever imagined.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Good Article About Not Using Flashbacks in Screenplayss

I found this article in Script Magazine. I thought it said some great things about not using flashbacks in screenplays.

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Used properly, flashbacks can be a great asset to a screenplay. So, why am I suggesting that you avoid including them in your script? Because, if you’re like the vast majority of aspiring screenwriters, you don’t use them correctly. Here are two common examples of the wrong way to use flashbacks:

  1. For exposition, as in: “Oops! I forgot to tell you this important information about the story or my character’s background, so I think I’ll pick up some of this stuff along the way, using flashbacks.” Quite simply, this results from lack of adequate planning before writing the script.
  2. To create audience sympathy for your main character, especially in a drama. For example, showing us in flashback that he was beaten up by the school bullies back when he was a kid. We don’t need to see this.

Remember, it’s always best to start your story as “late” as possible in the trajectory of your main character’s life — right before he undergoes a major dramatic change and he’s confronted with a crisis that is the central dilemma of the story. Start in the present, and stay there.

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Read the whole article here: http://www.scriptmag.com/2011/08/01/breaking-in-its-high-noon-for-flashbacks/