As promised, here is the first post on what I learned attending the 2012 Writing for Charity Conference. I will include specific posts on forums I attended, but here’s a few tips I learned both from the welcome session and the author feedback session.
Having researched and read up on tips and tricks for getting published, I had heard a lot of it before. But the most valuable piece of advice I took from the beginning was this:
Edit in VERDANA, write in TIMES NEW ROMAN.
I don’t recall who specifically said it, but what she meant was changing something as simple as the font can help us see our story with different eyes while we’re editing. One of the most challenging things for me is editing my own writing. I’m too close to it. But this makes it different and new for my stubborn brain. I probably won’t catch everything, but the more I can catch before sending it out for feedback, the better.
Add comparables to your query letter.
E.J. Patten says it worked well for him. What he means by that is say things like it’s “Stardust” meets “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Tell them which well-known books yours is like, or which well-known authors your writing style is similar to. Here’s one more from Mr. Patten.
Prologue should give you a bird’s eye view on the story. It should be something you can’t get from the characters later in the novel.
Ask yourself what your prologue is doing for the story. Why is it necessary? If you cut it, what would you lose?
The rest from here on out will be from forums I attended. I hope you find some useful information in here. If you have attended conferences and gathered great advice, feel free to post it in the comments below.