Category Archives: Agents

Conflict? Say What?

So I did something I never do. I spoke to an editor at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers. Kelsy Thompson is an editor for Jolly Fish and Flux. Both houses were recently acquired by North Star Editions (https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/72423-north-star-editions-shining-a-light-on-ya-and-mg-fiction.html).

I was scared as it was as I walked in to talk to her. And Kelsey is super kind. Still I didn’t have my printed pages (broke rule number one–be prepared) and as I rambled at her (broke rule number two–be able to sell your work in 25 words or less),  I realized I had no idea what my newest novel was about (broke rule number three–know what you’re story is about in the first place).

After stammering at her for awhile, Kelsy said, “This book idea sounds so cute, Carol. But what’s the conflict?”

Conflict?

I looked at her for about 18 years. Then I jumped up and ran out of the room. I scared three people who were in line to see this terrific editor. This is not my fault.

So what is conflict?  We know our characters have goals–things they want. Our job as writers is to keep our characters from getting what they want. That series of events of hindering and stopping our characters from achieving their goals is where the conflict is.

Here’s some math to make things more confusing:  cute girl character + what she wants, what she really, really wants + stumbling blocks you throw in the way to torture your character = conflict.

I can do that. Can I do that?

Let’s meet here tomorrow and see.

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Agents, Editors, Plot, writing process

Cover and Contest!

My newest novel, NEVER THAT FAR, is published and released TODAY by Shadow Mountain.  a huge thank you to Jennifer De Chiara and Steve Fraser who represented me for this deal. And a big thank you to the amazing Lisa Mangum, my editor at Shadow Mountain.

A normal person could post a pic. I cannot. But, dagnabit, I will by end of today. So until then, imagine a pretty cover

 

 

HERE

 

 

Now! Here’s the contest! If you go to FB, you can add your goals under this post there.

I’m getting ready for a sing off! And I’m challenging Trent Reedy. And Claudia Mills, too! Yes! Where? At WIFYR this June!

We’re getting the ball rolling a little early with Getting Ready for WIFYR Writing Contest where you might win a book or two. My newest novel NEVER THAT FAR is one of the prizes. So is Trent Reedy’s book DIVIDED WE FALL.

Here’s how it works:

Say what your writing goal is for April AND May (I’ll reveal my goals tomorrow). And the most amazing Stephanie Moore will keep track of things for us.

You get to put your name in our virtual drawing if you sign up to play, if you complete your writing weekly goals, meet your goal, and every check-in on our Friday FB post. Invite all your friends! Got friends on Twitter? Instagram? Invite them, too!

The writing goals can be whatever you want them to be: 50 words a day, 5000 words a day or anything in between. They can be editing goals, if you like. Anything to help you get ready for our week-long writing conference this June.

The winner will be randomly drawn and notified on June 1, 2018.
Then we’ll pop the prize in the mail (US residents only), signed to you.
Woot woot!

But that’s not all.

Trent and I will have a sing off at WIFYR. Or we’ll sing a duet. Or something.
And Claudia Mills? That will be a flannel shirt wear-off contest .

Oh my gosh, this just keeps on giving.

So join us for our Getting Ready for WIFYR Writing Contest.

(You DO NOT have to attend WIFYR to play. But if you want to register, go here: http://www.wifyr.com. There are a few spaces open, but many of the classes are almost closed.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Agents, Editors

Monday Evening!

I’m back.It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve written. Started teaching on Mondays and that means I always forget to write.

Boo!

Today? I have a few moments. And I share this! The critiques with the agent at full, however, Fly on the Wall has spaces on each day.

erin-harris-folio-photo-3

Agent Writing Workshop

with

Erin Harris, Literary Agent at Folio Jr.

A writing event for serious

(but still fun) writers

Erin Harris will kick off this two-day event for writers with a keynote speech at BYU:

“Everything You Want to Know about Working With an Agent”

Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

JFSB B190, Brigham Young University Campus

Free and open to the public

(First come, first serve. Sitting in aisles and doorways will NOT be permitted.)

 

2nd Annual Literary Agent Workshop

A Day with Erin Harris Workshop Schedule

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday February 23, 24, and 25, 2017

8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 

Special Instructions 

  1. Private Consultations and Small-Group Critiques: You’ll find the Thursday through Saturday consultation-with-Erin schedules at the end of the day schedule and some tips on handling critique in a group setting.
  2. First Pages Critique: If you want to be considered for the first pages critique at the end of your workshop day (3:15 to 5:00 p.m.), email the first 250 to 300 words of a book of your choosing to cheriearl@gmail.com before Wednesday, February 22, 2017. We will choose the first pages to read at the time of the critique via a drawing. CAUTION: Be prepared to hear honest critique, which means you may not hear what you want to hear, and you may even get your feelings hurt. First pages critiques can be brutal, so consider carefully before you submit your 250 words.

 

Thursday through Saturday, February 23-25, 2017 

Detailed Day Schedule

 

8:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.: Check in time

 

9:00 to 9:50 

Introductions and presentation by Erin Harris

 

10:00 to 12:00

  • Private critiques with Erin begin
  • 10:00 to 12:00: Cheri and Carol’s Dog and Pony Show: Conflict, Characters, and Voice PLUS Why Good Things Happen to Bad Books: a Brutal Discussion That Will Most Likely Hurt Feelings

 

Noon to 1:30 p.m.: Potluck Lunch—mingle and make new friends. Sign up for critique groups. Get to know Erin and Cheri and Carol.

 

A-G- Please bring a main dish.

H-R- Please bring a side dish.

S-Z- Please bring a dessert.

1:15 to 3:15

  • Private critiques with Erin continue
  • 1:30 to 3:15: Put Your Writing Where Your Mouth Is: Writing Activities with Carol and Cheri

 

Potty Break at 3:15; you know who you are.

3:30 to 5:00

First Pages Critique: Not recommended for the faint hearted. *Submit first 250-300 words of your novel via email before Wednesday February 22; see special instructions.

 

5:00 to 5:30 

Final thoughts and Q&A with Erin

Want to join us?

For enrollment and payment information: contact Stephanie Moore at stephaniemoorewrites (at) gmail (dot) com (additional instructions when you enroll)

 

Which Writing Workshop experience would you like to have?

  1. Workshop with Private Critique. Full workshop plus a 15-minute critique session with Erin Harris (15 spaces only).  $110 ($99 for BYU Students and SCBWI members.)
  2. Fly-on-the-wall. Full workshop without a critique session. $35
  3. Small–Group Critique Session. , Cheri, or Carol will conduct each critique session, 4 writers each. (12 spaces only). $25 in addition to the workshop fees ($110, $99, or $25)

Bios

Erin Harris: Literary agent with Folio Jr, NYC (see more at foliojr.com)

Presenters:

Carol Lynch Williams (author of more than 30 mid-grade and YA books, BYU creative writing instructor)

Cheri Pray Earl (author of the Just in Time Series, BYU creative writing instructor)

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Agents, Uncategorized

15 Minute Monday

These past few days have been really good for me.

My agent, Steve Fraser, was here. He gave a terrific talk on Wednesday night to a crowd who sat on the floor and up the stairways and all around the room (INCLUDING sitting in chairs!). He spoke of joy. It was lovely and inspirational.

I’ve been thinking of my writing life. What I want to do with it. How I need to change things or not change them. What is important to me.

And there has been this other stuff.

And the other stuff has gotten into my very heart and stabbed at it with ice picks and as the stabbing has gotten worse, I’ve begun to build this wall around me and how I feel.

Can a writer do that?

Well, yes, they can. I have.

Should they?

I’ve got all these new, weightier things to think about. Personal things.

Most times I don’t want to think about them. Feel them. Hurt from them.

But

but the deal is, all this stuff, will, in the end, influence my writing.

So I have to be available emotionally. Not just for the good of my life and the people in my life, but otherwise, what good am I as a writer?

We write Truth. That means we have to be willing to feel all things icky and hard and gross and awful and happy and joyous and amazing because our readers need that Truth.

As I have peered sideways at things going on lately, even when I see I don’t like me very much as I gaze on these weightier things, I can see that this has been a good few days.

Sad. Hard.

Emotional.

Yes. Good.

3 Comments

Filed under Agents, CLW, Family, Life

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Guys, I suck at the blog.
I just suck.
Work life is crazy. Writing life is crazy. Moving life is crazy. And of course the love life….
None existent. So at least there’s that.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day again.
Singles awareness.
Just another day to remind me how alone I truly am. {ha ha ha!}

I met a boy I can’t seem to quit. We used to see each other a lot. I sort of liked him for awhile.
And then it didn’t work out.
Then I ran into him again and something weird happened and now my guts feel all confused and irritated {like IBS, only much, much worse} and I can’t figure out why.
Only I CAN. He’s PLAYING me.  Playing games with my brain and making me think about him and miss him and blah blah blah garbage garbage. But I FALL for it. I fall for every text and call and nice comment. I eat that shit up. WHY? I hate it.
I’m not good at games, or thinking about men.
So now I think I need to write a romance.

But when writing a romance, does one talk about the games? The confusion? The heartache?

The dating world is so different now. Everyone’s using apps and have all these artificial relationships.
Is that what needs to happen in a romance novel?
Is that what romance IS?

I just don’t get it. Dating, or writing, romance.
All I know is this…. My character WILL find an amazing person.
One who makes her crazy and a little confused. But he’ll mostly just love her.

And then Mom and I will hunt down that person’s doppelganger, and make them love us.

I’ll be back next week. Because MY AGENT IS COMING TO UTAH AND I WILL KEEP A DETAILED LOG ON HOW AMAZING IT IS.

Okay. Over and out.

2 Comments

Filed under Agents

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Today I just thought id give three little *hints* on how to get your book ready to send to an editor/agent.

1. Print a hardcopy and scribble all over that baby. Right before I sent to my agent, I felt as if my novel was 98% where I wanted it, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to %100. So I printed a hard copy {three, actually} and read and edited every little line. It was tedious work, but so worth it.

2. DON’T GIVE UP! When I was sending out Reaper to editors, I got numerous rejections. {most of which were extremely encouraging, but still, they hurt. And I cried often.} I kept emailing my agent asking what had I done wrong? What needed to be changed? And he kept reminding me “Don’t give up, the book is where it needs to be.” And so I didn’t. And someone found the novel and loved it as much as my agent did.

3. If someone turns you down, it doesn’t mean they hate your work. Sometimes it really isn’t “the right time.”
I sent my first novel to more than one agent. Steve was one of them.  He told me the book had promise, but that it just wasn’t the right time, and to keep working.
It took me a year and a half, but eventually I got there.

I don’t know if this helps or not. But thought I would share that for the day!

1 Comment

Filed under Agents, Editors, Kyra

And Here We Are!

The New Year is here!

Are you excited? I am. I’m not sure why I think the 31 of December has less value than January One, but I do!

Have you looked ahead and seen that both February and March start on a Sunday. (We know how I love that!)

 

Do you have goals you’d like to share? Please do, if so. We’ll keep track of them until next year.

Here are three (of my millions) of goals:

1. Have more author, editor and agent interviews here on the blog.

2. Edit book with Ann Dee and send off.

3. Write 5000 new words a week (or more) unless I’m revising.

 

Now, I need suggestions. Outside my office window are enough birds to star in Hitchcock’s movie The Birds. They’re huge. HUGE. Like Lord of the Rings huge. Only these aren’t eagles.

They keep pecking at the house.

Other than killing these things, any idea how to keep them from pecking at the wooden eves?

1 Comment

Filed under Agents, CLW, Editors