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Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

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Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:52 pm

And the forums are open. Begin.
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Re: Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Maggie on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:29 pm

I've got one! Smile How do you recommend to fill middles-of-stories? I tend to have no problems with beginnings and ends, but middles really trip me up. I always feel like they get boring because I'm just trying to fill 'em with SOMETHING. Any advice will be muchly appreciated!!

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Re: Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:58 pm

Well, your middle should be how you get from point A to point B. Think of it like a math problem. You have the question, you have the only right answer (or so you stake out for this purpose). The middle should be all the work that your teacher insists you show. But, in this case, that work has room for flourishes and can change and might even alter how you thought the problem might end.

Keep it moving. Keep it interesting. And go from there.
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Re: Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Rachel on Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:30 pm

Hi Editor Alison!

I have a rather odd question. My current WIP (a YA science fantasy, told in 3rd person past) has primarily two POVs—the MC, who is a 17-year-old girl, and then a secondary character who becomes very important. The problem is that this secondary character is a 9 y.o. boy, so...he's not even CLOSE to YA. While I'm not agented, this has made me wonder if there are rules for that sort of thing in YA. In my WIP's case, it is very much a YA story—YA age for the MC, YA issues, etc. It just happens to also have the POV of a young kid. Can you get away with that sort of thing in published YA, or is it pretty strict with regards to age range (even among secondary characters)?

Rachel

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Re: Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:31 pm

Rachel,

There are pretty firm rules, but as soon as you make a rule, someone's going to break it. I can't tell you whether your scenario is truly a problem or not without seeing our story, of course, but this I can tell you. Generally if you're talking YA, your significant characters are twelve up (and probably more like fourteen up). And putting a nine-year-old into the mix is going to be tricky. Tricky, but not impossible.

Don't despair! Try it. See where it goes.
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Re: Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Rachel on Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:38 pm

All right, awesome. Thanks so much, Alison!

I hope it works out well for this WIP, of course, but this sort of thing is what editing is for. Smile His age is pretty flexible anyway, so...I suppose there's hope!


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Re: Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Maggie on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:27 pm

Editor Alison wrote:Well, your middle should be how you get from point A to point B. Think of it like a math problem. You have the question, you have the only right answer (or so you stake out for this purpose). The middle should be all the work that your teacher insists you show. But, in this case, that work has room for flourishes and can change and might even alter how you thought the problem might end.

Keep it moving. Keep it interesting. And go from there.

Thank you endlessly much!!

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Re: Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Madison on Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:20 pm

How do you write a pitch? I've heard people writing them, but I have no idea how to.

-Madison Louise Smile
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Re: Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Editor Alison on Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:15 pm

Hi Madison,

Your pitch is the short way you try to sell your book to editors and agents so the want to read your book.

Think about how you would describe your book in a paragraph. But it can't be a strict summary. You want it to sound interesting and so amazing that someone has to read your book immediately! So you want to give a sense of the books without giving the whole thing away.

Often, it's a good idea to communicate what your book's like that already exists. I like using fairly recent books, classics, or even movies. Egmont has a book that's called QUARANTINE that we call a teenage LORD OF THE FLIES set in high school.

Your pitch letter should also VERY briefly tell about you, especially if you've published things before. If not, it should be something like I live X, and this is what I do (go to high school, whatever). Don't go on about hobbies and stuff like that unless it's relevant to your book itself.

That's a really general sense, but I hope it helps. If you poke around the internet, there's lots of info about putting together a pitch, and many other writers who are willing to help you in formulating them. Authoress of Ms. Snark's First Victim is wrapping up a Baker's Dozen auction where authors had to craft loglines (which are a little like pitches) and the first 250 words of their manuscripts. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
You might pop in to get a sense, and see how other people have left comments to help these writers make their ideas even stronger.
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Re: Ask Editor Alison #24 (right in here!)

Post  Madison on Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:26 am

That makes a lot more sense. Thank you! Smile
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