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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 14, 2015

#PitchWars editing Round 1: What I've Learned

As promised, I plan to share (what I can) with you all the things I learn as I navigate through the tumultuous but exhilarating trip that is being a #PitchWars mentee. I hope that even the tiniest bit of something sticks with you and in some way helps you better your craft and/or MS. 

That's the ultimate goal in all this, to become better at what we all love to do. Having a mentor, someone who has expertise in the craft and world of publishing, means nothing if we don't glean from them what we can. So stick with me as we go on this journey. Read what an insider recommends. Take it if it works for you, and use it to improve, improve, improve!

For my first edit assignment, I was tasked with reworking Ch. 1 of my MS, OUT OF THE ASHES. Here is what was recommended to have a first chapter that grips your reader:

*The first chapter is crucial to hooking the reader. They need to either want to be your MC or empathize with them.
Not really the "hook" I'm talking about, but who cares, right? *swoon*

*Establish world-building. Flesh out the world, make it believable so that a reader will buy into it. If they have to stop to question something, it's yanking them out of the story.

*The relationship development needs to be the core of the book. Everything should stem from the relationship, the connection between your characters. (tip: take your own relationships, how you feel when you meet a cute guy/girl, and use that as a base for how your characters act/react.)

*Give your story depth, right from the start. Create three-dimensional characters and worlds that are believable and draw your readers in.

Those are the main highlights of my first round of edits. Some wonderful, wonderful advice in there. Things we can all apply. 

Round One down, more to come. So stay tuned, and Happy Writing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#PitchWars 2015!

As you can clearly see, I don't update this blog as often as I should (bad Me; bad, bad Me), but I hope to rectify that as I embark on a two-month journey as a 2015 #PitchWars mentee!

No clue what #PitchWars is? I have two recommendations for you. First, move out from under that rock and into an apartment or house already. Then go check out this post on the amazing Brenda Drake's site. She's the creator of this wonderful event, and can explain it much better than I ever could.

As I said, I hope to update more often as I progress toward the Agent Round of #PitchWars, which happens in November. And for my first post I thought I'd share with you what my edits from my fantastic mentor Lady Lioness have been like thus far.

First, I received THE EMAIL from LL stating she had chosen me as one of her two mentees and I was all

After calming down, I responded, saying how excited/freaked out/terrified I was, and how much I was looking forward to turning OUT OF THE ASHES into what I know it can be.

Next up was my first assignment. I had to rework Ch 1, flesh out the two MCs and tone down the, ahem, steamy stuff. ;) It was a challenge I was ready to face (and one I knew the book needed).

Not really steamy; I just wanted to toss some Christian Gray at ya. You're welcome.

I submitted my changes and got some spot-on feedback on what worked/what didn't. Another pass, and we both feel the beginning is much stronger, the MC Alex is more relatable and the writing is snappier. Win!

Now I await what comes next. How great would it be to only have to work on a chapter at a time, right? Of course, the entire editing process has to be done by November. Of 2015, not 2020. So that pipe dream just exploded in my face.

But that's okay, because I'm ready for this. I'm ready for the expertise #PitchWars brings. I'm ready to dig in and make a book I already love that much greater. And I'm ready to soak up all the knowledge and wisdom from someone as stellar as my mentor that I can. Hopefully you'll tag along on this journey with me. I promise nothing (except some okay gifs and semi-coherent text. You've been warned).

Check out this post on the lovely Rebecca McLaughlin's blog for other 2015 #PitchWars mentees who are blogging about their journey, too!

Also, visit my #PitchWars #TeamPride co-mentee Lisa Marie--she rocks!

Bring on the edits!!