A question about agents

36319_3148How do I get an agent?

“I’ll tell you why this is the wrong question. It’s not because self-publishing is the future or because you don’t need an agent in 2014 or blah blah. There’s plenty of room for those discussions elsewhere. It’s just the wrong question because asking it means you think the process matters.”

Read more “How to get a book agent” from the Thoughtful Catalog.

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The Big Mistake Every Beginning Writer Makes

Thought Catalog

JMicic / (Shutterstock.com) JMicic / (Shutterstock.com)

We’ve all grown up around people who seemed destined to become writers. Everything they did was designed to give off that impression. Whether it was carrying around a journal at all times, to name-dropping all the au courant authors, or giving advice to their peers without ever having published anything, they seemed more interested in acting like writers than in learning the craft.

I doubt whether these types ever made it as writers. Self-indulgence is a cardinal sin in the field, which is why Faulkner advised, “In writing, you must kill your darlings.”

In any case, I was never one of those people. I was less interested in becoming “a writer” than in living the lifestyle that being a writer would allow me. Specifically:
• Not having an alarm clock
• Not having to go into an office
• Never having to interact with someone…

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Writing Exercise: Describe One Thing Ten Ways

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis writing exercise challenges the writer to describe something ten different ways. I chose Andre, a french bulldog whom I watch when his “mommy” and “daddy” are out-of-town. I have grown quite fond of him and he offers wondrous opportunities for description. Now, for my list, I decided to tackle description using the five senses and figurative language, but you can approach your ten ways differently.

  • sight: Andre’s face bore no expression; his jowls dangled, his teeth jutted up due to his under bite.
  • sound: When Andre snoozed in his chair, he gurgled and snorted in his sleeping state.
  • taste: When I lay down on the couch for a nap, Andre would situate himself by my head and lick the salty residual from my shaved skull.
  • touch: I stroked his legs, his back, his stomach and felt the solid muscle beneath his short fur.
  • smell: After a brisk walk, Andre entered the room and the odor of musk from his exertions would fill the air.
  • simile/metaphor: Throughout most of the day, Andre would curl up on the lounge chair and snore like my grandfather used to do when he rested his weary bones in the recliner.
  • hyperbole: The front part of him bulked up so much more broadly than the back part of him that when he walked down the sidewalk, his back paws didn’t reach the ground.
  • personification: Dressed in his tiny parka, complete with a fur-lined hood and cuffs, Andre marched like a tiny man through the snow.
  • onomatopoeia: Andre always slept in bed with me at night and filled the bedroom with snorts, grunts, sniffs and wheezes.
  • chronologically: Andre’s routine varied little: he jumped on top of me in bed if I slept past his morning walk time; he gulped a few morsels of food after the morning constitution; he napped until noon; a short lunch time walk; an afternoon nap; a walk after my supper; gulped a little food of his own for his evening meal; and finally, snuggled up to me as we sat on the couch either reading or watching television.

Here are some examples of it done better than I have: