Thursday, March 18, 2010

From the Editor's Desk - 7 Tips to Get Your Novel Started

So, you want to write a novel?
Can you see the story in your head but find it impossible to get it on paper?
Do you begin writing excitedly and then burnout almost immediately?

Maybe the following suggestions will help you:

1.Outline Outline Outline

Some people say they can just start writing and it all flows smoothly and evenly to become the perfect piece. If you can write your novel this way, great! You can probably stop reading this article now. And, we may have a contract for you!
The rest of the world needs to put their ideas into some kind of outline. It shouldn't include every detail, just the framework. You will add and modify as you go along.

2. Point-of-View

Decide what point of view you are going to use in a scene and stick with it. Please, don't jump back and forth, it's too confusing to your reader. Use the "omniscient" viewpoint sparingly and have a limited number of POV characters. Never tell the POV of an insignificant character.

3. Dialogue

Read the conversations aloud. Better yet, have someone else read them aloud for you. Now ask yourself: Does it sound natural? Do the conversations flow? Do people really talk like that?

4. Dramatic Concept

Imagine you are writing the blurb for your novel. Can you sum it all up in just a few sentences? If not, you need a stronger dramatic concept.

5. Tension & Escalation

A good story needs conflict but it is equally as important that your conflict escalate. It should gradually build up to a critical level.

6. Show me, don't tell me

If a character is angry, don't just tell me she is mad. Put her in a situation that will make her mad and SHOW ME how she reacts.

7. It's all about the presentation!

This is actually the most important. No matter how great your spell check or grammar check program is, or how many times you proofread your manuscript yourself, you will likely miss some spelling, grammatical, punctuation mistakes.
Once you've written, and re-written your novel, and have polished your story like a jewel, you should have someone like a professional editor proofread your work. If you don't know an editor personally, you can hire someone. It is well worth the price. Nothing will get your manuscript tossed into the round file faster than a lot of errors.

Now, good luck and start writing!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From the Marketing Dept - Is It Wednesday Already?

How is THAT possible? Well, we do have a few updates to make:

1) Some New Reviews (and a giveaway!) of The Last Track:

The Cajun Book Lady and this one includes the chance to win a signed copy of the book!!

Also a new review on What a Book!

2) Want to stay on top of what's new with the cat and get a chance to win prizes??

Subscribe to our blog and be automatically entered in our WEEKLY GRAND OPENING giveaway through the month of April! We've got books, t-shirts, magnets, tote bags, and all sorts of other goodies! Sign up now! (Look - see the little subscribe box on the right side of the page???)

3) We are running a giveaway program on goodreads through March 30th to win a signed copy of The Last Track HURRY!! Ends March 30th

4) Don't miss us on twitter every weekday morning where we are serving your favorite coffee, tea, and cocoa drinks to all our followers! We are pouring between 6 and 9. Follow Buddhapuss

Well, that's it for us. now we have to get back to work - here comes the boss!
Later Loyal Readers!

Friday, March 12, 2010

From the Publisher's Desk - Another Friday

As I sit here in the early dawn light, sipping my first cup of coffee I can't help but wonder, where has the week gone? Lost in a dizzying swirl of details, fires to put out, fires to start, people to talk to, to many things on the To Do List to do!

The last 3 weeks have been satisfying (our first book launched!), frustrating (people love it, but getting them to post reviews is sometimes like pulling teeth!), overwhelming (so much still to be done for this book - and for the ones that follow it), gratifying (nice to see what has only been an idea finally come to fruition), and terrifying (well, NOW you've gone and done it MCB! You went and published a book again!)

Everyone here is happy to have that first book out in the world, and now they are splitting their focus between seeing that it does well, while still working on getting the next project out there too.

Sometimes I feel like a mama bird, pushing her little babies out of the nest at the top of the tree. I know they are as prepared and ready as they can be, but it is still hard to give them that last little shove. You can't help but have nightmares about them plunging to a crashing death, or worse, right into the waiting jaws of a big grinning cat sitting there at the bottom just waiting. (No, that's not Buddhapuss, he doesn't eat little birdies!)

The light in my office grows stronger, the sun is truly rising after merely flirting with the waning moon for a while. I wander off to the kitchen for a second cup of coffee and realize, for better or worse, a new day has begun . . . I think I'll take it, see what kind of dizzying ride the world has in store for us today.

Oh yes, and Spring is just around the corner.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

From the Editorial Staff - Submission Guidelines

Just a quick note to let all those anxious writers out there know that we have finally posted our current submission guidelines on our website. guidelines.html