Finish your freakin’ novel. Here’s why

I’ve often been asked by aspiring authors if they should send three sample chapters to a publisher and try to get a contract that way. Alarm bells. If that’s what the publisher is asking for,  by all means send them sample chapters. Always give them exactly what they want. That’s, ‘How to be an Author, 101’.…

Read More

Shining on the slush pile (revisited)

The following is a transcript from an early Q and Q Friday (Questions and Quacks). You can read the transcript or you can scroll down and watch the video. Yay! If you subscribe to girl and duck you’ll receive a Q and Q video like this one, every Friday. Straight to your inbox. Free! Dear…

Read More

Who said what? The importance of tagging dialogue in kid lit

I’ve read loads of manuscripts that start out funny or entertaining or full of potential. Then the dialogue kicks in and, quite frankly, it’s a birdy’s breakfast. Nothing will baffle an editor faster than poorly tagged dialogue. Do not overlook this if you want your manuscript to win friends and influence people. If you want editors and publishers…

Read More

Here’s where writers often stuff up. (Part Two of yesterday’s post)

When I worked in publishing, I was surprised by the number of unsolicited manuscripts that had wonky tense. Not the occasional transgression. They crop up in most manuscripts. I’m talking about tense that was a bit like time travel. Totes all over the place, girlfriend. Past, present, here, there, everywhere. Now, when I teach IRL (in real life),…

Read More

The Q & Q Files: Shining on the Slush Pile

Hey there, sunshine! Everyone wants their work to pop, right?  Here’s another bundle of goodness (and shiny tips) from the Q & Q Friday files—yours to enjoy in whatever form takes your fancy. You can watch the video here: Click below to listen to the audio: or visit the Girl and Duck Podcast on iTunes where you can subscribe and listen on…

Read More

The Q & Q Files. How do I know when my book is ‘finished’?

Yes! (Dainty air punch.) This is the first of many transcripts I’ll be sharing with you, dear reader, over the coming months. Q & Q Friday (questions and quacks), straight from Duckie TV to you!I got words. I got videos. I got sound files. I got the lot! It’s a veritable picnic of advice, opinions and……

Read More