Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Agent Info

To have one or not have one, that is a question writers ponder at length. I'll wager few have done it as eloquently as stellar ya author Cinda Williams Chima. Chima's website offers two pages of thoughtful and articulate pros and cons related to the "should I get an agent?" question. The only advice I can add: read it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Following Up on Great First Lines

"You've got to have a great first line."

Well, duh. But it's tricky stuff, this writing first lines. They have to go somewhere. No matter how great the first line is, by definition, it's the start of something. The writer must build on it... apparently, that's easier said than done.

Here's a great first-line:

None of this that I'm about to tell you would have happened if my mother hadn't found that squirrel in the toilet.

--The Middle of Somewhere by J.B. Cheaney
Random House Children's Books, 2007
Pretty good, eh?

It hooked me, but not for long.

I made it through the squirrel chase and ensuing battle/injury. (To say more would ruin the surprise.) But after that, the book fell flat. And as it turned out, the squirrel wasn't anything more than a hook. I felt sort of cheated.

We readers - even YA readers - can be demanding and picky. I better remember that...I'm gearing up for another submittal (vegetables) and revision (historical novel). Wish me luck!