Friday, March 27, 2009

Earth Hour: 8:30 PM Local Time, March 28th, 2009

Tomorrow night pro-environment people across the world will "Vote Earth" by taking part in Earth Hour! I am symbolically turning off the "background lights" in my blog and on my website tonight, and this will remain in effect through tomorrow. To learn more about this event (and how to join in), click the link! Yay Earth!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

High Concept

You can actually Google "high concept" and get a fair idea of what it means. Wikipedia has a good article on the subject. Steve Kaire has another.

But I didn't understand the concept of "high concept" until CJ Lyons put it to me like this: take a universal, everyday idea and turn it on its ear with a great twist. (She put it in better terms.)

You can sum up high concept with three earmarks: unique, mass-appeal, briefly summarized. Unique, meaning no one's ever come up with this idea before. Mass-appeal, meaning a large cross-section of people would be able to understand and appreciate your idea. And briefly summarized, meaning you could pitch this to an editor in three sentences with no problem.

Sounds like a tall order, right? But work with it. What makes your book so original? What takes it from a typical "boy-meets-girl" romance to the compelling story it is? What makes it different? Try it out and see if you can pitch your book in such a way that its unique qualities stand out from the legion of romances available to buyers. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Is Here (Almost)!

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and am I ever relieved! It's nice to hear birds and see sunshine in the mornings--not to mention the flowers that will soon be popping up in my garden!

The CNYRW Mini-Conference is over, and I finally learned the concept of a high-concept book, as well as a lot of tidbits that will help me bring depth to my characters and manuscripts. More on those topics in future entries. For now, enjoy the warm(ing) weather! Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

CNYRW Mini-Conference / Earth Hour Is Coming Up!

This weekend is the CNYRW Mini-Conference, featuring speaker CJ Lyons on Putting Your Character In The Driver's Seat. Last night she gave an informative workshop on Breaking Free Of The Slush Pile--a workshop designed on improving your query letters to catch an editor or agent's eye. Did you know that most editors look at your query for a matter of seconds? It's crucial to keep your query short, succinct, and compelling, and CJ showed us how with examples from our own work. Today's all-day workshop promises to be just as exciting, and CJ is a wonderful and accomplished lady. I look forward to learning from her today!

Don't forget, Earth Hour is coming up on March 28th! That's the day businesses and homes turn out their lights for one hour (8:30 PM local time wherever you are) to show their support in the fight against global warming. So wherever you are, switch off those lights for a little while to help your planet. Go green!