Your first pages – 5 more book openings critiqued by a literary agent, YA author @AJ_Dickenson (and me!) at @Litopia

Want to be critiqued by professionals? See how it’s done with Roz and Agent Pete

Nail Your Novel

I’ve just guested again at Litopia, the online writers’ colony and community. Each week they have a YouTube show, Pop-Up Submissions, where five manuscripts are read and critiqued live on air by literary agent Peter Cox @agentpete and a guest, or sometimes two (this time we had longtime Litopia member and YA author Andy Dickenson @AJ_Dickenson).

The format is simple. Five manuscripts, each with a short blurb. We hear the opening pages, then discuss how they’re working – exactly as agents and publishers would consider a manuscript that arrived in their inbox.

As always, the submissions had many strengths. Issues we discussed included the importance of voice in contemporary fiction, the age of the protagonist in a YA novel, whether we’ll want to read novels that feature the Covid-19 pandemic, a lyrically written fantasy that seemed too nebulous, how to begin an action thriller with a sci-fi element…

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And Then There was the … Synopsis

What -- you do it first? I don't, and there's a reason for that. It's not that I do things back to front, at least not from my perspective. The start is the beat sheets, one for each character in the story, but the main two characters (usually the main character/protagonist and the antagonist) get … Continue reading And Then There was the … Synopsis

Your first pages – 5 more book openings critiqued by a literary agent (and me!) at @Litopia

Get the lowdown on your sub from professionals … go on, submit

Nail Your Novel

I’ve just guested again at Litopia, the online writers’ colony and community. Each week they have a YouTube show, Pop-Up Submissions, where five manuscripts are read and critiqued live on air by literary agent Peter Cox @agentpete and a guest, or sometimes two (this time we had longtime Litopia member Jon Duffy.

Here’s a glimpse of the green room before we went on air, with thoughtful shuffling of notes.

The format is simple. Five manuscripts, each with a short blurb. We hear the opening pages, then discuss how they’re working – exactly as agents would consider a manuscript that arrived in their inbox.

As always, the submissions had many strengths. Issues we discussed included atmospheric writing that doesn’t go anywhere, a character who seemed in the wrong age group, a voice that might be confusing the reader, a curious choice of second person for the narrator, obvious and unnecessary…

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The Call to Magic:

It’s live, in a dark urban fantasy way …

Cage Dunn

Amazon

Description:

Awaken, spirit of Maiden, vessel of a pure soul and bearer of an empath’s heart.

Aventi sends out the call for a new Maiden. If she doesn’t get a replacement, magic will leave her. If that happens, she can’t heal, and her soul remains blemished forever.
Please, she begs, feel your truth.
But when the novitiates arrive without a guide, Aventi must choose — risk death to escort them through the same ordeal that still haunts her worst nightmares, or hide from the responsibility and close the circle?
Can she survive another journey through that hell to seek the path to redemption?

Magic calls — are you the vessel it seeks?


Goes live on 23 October 2020, a gift to one who loved to read on his birthday.

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