Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Don't Miss -- Gearin' Up to Get an Agent Blogfest!

Yoo-hoo, writers!
Check out Deana Barnhart's Blog for the month of JULY...

There'll be critique prizes galore from agents, pubbed and 
agented writers, and other industry folk. Oh, and I'll be donating a query critique or 1st 5 page critique to the winner of Week 3. :)

So, what's this Get an Agent Blogfest business all about? It's writers putting our brains and creative muses together to help fellow aspiring writers by...

1. Answering each other's questions. Week 1--Just Had to Ask--will be devoted to posting and answering writerly questions--anything from WIPS and craft to queries and platform. You'll post the question, and participating writers-in-the-know will answer!

2. Inspiring and meeting fellow writers via Week 2's Story Chain. A valiant creative soul will start us off and from there the story will evolve as it bounces around from blog to blog.

3. Critiquing each other's queries. During Week 3's query contest, writers will post their queries on their blog for the giving and receiving of critiques. Should be a fantastic way to network and build relationships, as well as getting some awesome feedback on the dreaded query letter.

4. Critiquing each other's first 200 words--Week 4. The opening of your book will make or break your chance for an agent. For love at first sight, there's got to be at least the illusion of perfection. And hopping around the write-o-sphere offering feedback will be a great way to meet like-minded participants.

Wanna join up?
Just email Deana at deanabarnhart@gmail.com ....
OR send me a note at riverkayscott@gmail.com ....
OR tweet either of us!  Here (for Deana) or here (for me).

We'll get you signed up as one of our prize-eligible participants. And don't worry if you can only drop in for a week or two. It'll be great to have you!

Even if you can't join, please help get the word out! Donate a Tweet to the Blogfest

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book suggestions, anyone?

About to go on a long vacation using my e-reader for the first time (yippee!) -- conserving space.

My current read is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, so something less, er, heavy. Fiction, non-fiction, anything goes! Thanks!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Subject-Verb Agreement -- In Number and SENSE

All right, this is a quickie lesson for writers who've barreled past the usual subject-verb agreement problems. For the sake of refresher, I'm writing in present tense:

The books [plural] stacked against the wall topple [also plural] down the stairs in the wake of his sudden descent.

So, subject and verb [plural subject] agree [thus plural verb] in number.

Let's take it one step further. Subject and verb must also agree in sense. Consider this sentence, most recently brought to my attention during a critique group session by my fellow writers, much to my chagrin.

shadow of dread sliced through his gut.

Think about shadows. Do they slice? Not exactly. They're sometimes sharp enough to slice, but often they're more insubstantial, smoky, swirly, ephemeral, losing and gaining shape. Subject-verb agreement here would have me pick a verb that agrees in sense with the subject.

So I did. The sentence now reads:

shadow of dread whorled through his gut like smoke.

I took some liberties with the verb, it's true. But here, the subject and verb agree in sense. The subject begins a certain image and the verb strengthens and plays on that image to deepen the feeling.

Let's see your own examples! Lines you've massaged for more depth and clarity via SV agreement.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blog Interview with Deana Barnhart

YA witer and blogger Deana Barnhart has generously featured me on her blog!

It was nice to feel welcomed back into the aspiring writer community after having sat at the other end of the desk for a few years. And even if you don't stop by for my interview, be sure to check out the blog as summer writing festivities rev up. I hear there'll be critique prizes--queries and first pages--among great interviews with other industry peeps!

Find Deana Barnhart on twitter here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ah, Cheese!

Right, so I love cheese...

Not only the Tuscan Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Organic Tapenade I didn't manage to pick up at Sunday's farmers' market at St. Philips Plaza in Tucson. Woke up at 2PM. Yikes, I know.

...But also the beloved cheesy plots and dialogue that make the Sonic X series as enjoyable now as the classic Sonic cartoons were when I was ... younger. I won't tell you how old I was when I finally got rid of my Sonic plush toys. And Tails, too. Who was a girl back then when I used to hunt the Chaos Emeralds with my brother (Avatar: Sonic). Almost all my stuffed animals were girls... Weird.

Stay tuned. Bad poem about cheese follows. Written when stuffed animals ruled my closet.

And now to find our what to do with 7 yards of this red tulle, netting stuff... I promise this isn't totally random. Has to do with uber-secret gig!

And here's the terrible poem about cheese I wrote in 6th grade. All I can say is at least my obsessions have remained consistent.

The Mouse (1997)                                           [Can't possibly put my poor little child self 
                                                                     out there without commenting...]
Ah, cheese...
It smells so good to my little nose.
Sneak and snatch on little toes.
Ah, cheese...
What glorious wonders kitchen floors hold!
To me right there is what men would call gold.    [Ugh, "men." I blame it on Narnia.]
Ah, cheese...
A little nibble here; it won't hurt a bit.                  [Is that a real live 6th grade semi-colon??]
Let's hope that this snack in my stomach will fit. [Oh, the dreaded inverted rhyming line!]
Ah, cheese...
I seem to have problems getting through my door.
I'm so bloated I roll on the floor!
Ah, cheese!