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Showing posts from January, 2010

Proposals—basic structure

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I'm over at Seekerville today in a long blog article about how to put together a fiction proposal!

Camy here! I know that lots of you did NaNoWriMo in November, and as all of us start to prepare for writer’s conferences this year, I wanted to talk about putting together a fiction proposal for your manuscript.

Not all proposals are set up the same way, but I’m going to go through the structure of a typical one.
Click here to read the rest of the article!

2010 ACFW Genesis contest for unpublished writers

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This is my fifth year coordinating the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest for unpublished writers! We just went live yesterday!

Deadline is 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on March 31st, so get your manuscripts polished so you can enter! Actually, enter by March 15th in case your entry gets lost in cyberspace, so we have time to find it.

You must be an ACFW member to enter the contest, but you can join when you submit your entry fee! If you're thinking seriously about being published in Christian fiction, ACFW is a fantastic organization!

Here's the website:

ACFW Genesis contest

Q&A: Writing a scene with 2 characters who are not English speakers

Brenda asked:

I have a quandary.  I have a scene in which two characters are speaking, both of whom are not English speakers, but of course, since it would be meaningless to have a page of dialogue the reader can't understand, it is written in English.  In this story's case, it's a historical, the speakers are Apaches.  Traditionally, historicals featuring a scene like this would write the dialogue in choppy, stilted English.  But this doesn't make sense to me.  The scene is in the POV of the Apache, and while I wasn't in that time period, I view it much the same as if you walked in on someone having a phone conversation with a friend in a rapid exchange of Spanish, French, German, what have you.  They are not stumbling over their words.

On the other hand, I'm not sure if I should assume the reader "gets" that these two Apaches would be speaking in their own native tongue.  And someone suggested to me to use the stilted English, which doesn't seem …

Q&A: Unfamiliar settings

Joy asked:

I thought to start my fiction (novel) while I'm on a holiday break. I'm conceptualizing some ideas and taking down notes for a chicklit story. I Love chicklit genre.But my dilemma is about the setting. Did it ever happen to you that you based a setting of your story in a place where you've never been before?

The last time I was in the US was in 1999. A part from the fact that my memory is kinda rusty and needs fine tuning from time to time, I also didn't pay attention to take note of specific details about the stores, where to go, sights to see. I was just overwhelmed with my new environment and ofcourse homesickness.

Currently, I'm based in Croatia ( Southeast EU), but as a background setting, I'd like to mention about the main character based in the US. Should I be very specific about the place in the US? If anything else, I've got friends from the US who can guide me through this.

I don't know if I'm making sense here. But I'm sure …

Q&A: Manuscript format

Jeris asked:

I'm in the process of formatting my novel and need to know whether the entire manuscript is saved as one file or separate files within a folder.

I started to save it as one file, but realized the header wouldn't be correct--"Chapter One" wouldn't work with the other chapters.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Also, are there any helps when using Word 2007?
Camy here: Yes, your entire manuscript should be saved as one file. That will make it easier for an editor or agent if they want the electronic version of your manuscript.

Some agents/editors actually prefer the electronic version, although some want the electronic version as just a supplement to the hard copy version, and they ask you to send both.

Your header should simply be your name, the title of the manuscript, and the page number. Check out my manuscript formatting article for more info on that. Don't put the chapter number in the header.

For Word 2007, I have found a lot of informati…

Seven of Nine – uniqueness in your characters

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I'm over on Seekerville today melding two of my loves, Star Trek Voyager and writing. :)

Camy here! I’m a HUGE Star Trek Voyager fan (I watch the reruns on SpikeTV). I really like the character Seven of Nine.


For you non Star Trek fans, Seven is a human woman who was a Borg (mindless cyborg) for most of her life, but Captain Janeway rescued her from the Borg collective and is teaching her how to be an individual.
Click here to read more about creating unique characters for your stories!

Q&A: Two characters

Roxo said...

I was wondering lately if a two character book would seem boring.
The story is about a girl who wanders in the forest with this boy. I have other characters but they appear sporadically even if they contribute to the way the story goes.
Should I add someone with them just to make the plot less centered on just two characters?
Camy here: I’m afraid there’s no really good answer for this. It all depends on how you envision the story.

It’s good that you have other characters who appear sporadically, because they can serve to add more conflict and obstacles to the characters’ goals. If it were purely the two characters, I would say you definitely need more characters, if only to keep the conflict from becoming too much of the same kind of interactions.

I’m not sure how far along you are on the manuscript, or if you’ve already plotted the entire thing out or if you’re discovering the story as it unfolds. If you’ve plotted it all out already, look and see if you actually like jus…