Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Writing on Wednesday: Aww, aha! and Oh!

This week as I was reading through the new posts on some of my favourite blogs, I discovered I had won an award: L'Aussie's Fair Dinkum award. It's been a while since I've won one of these bloggy things so it made me go: Aww. And thank you very much Rachna for your warm welcome and good advice.

I have to pass it on to six people and define what I think is 'fair dinkum'. Mmm... well, in keeping with the Aha! moment, I'm passing the award on to blogs that have made me go Aha! recently:
  1. Sarah Towle over at Time Traveler Tours - This project is so exciting I almost want my own kid to be a bit older so that I can try it out! If you are in Paris and have an iPhone, iPad or iTouch please check this site out. If you don't have these things, just check this site to learn an amazing amount. 
  2. Scarlett & Viaggiatore have been hanging around this blog and offering support for a good couple of years now. You can find out more about this pair here 
  3. Another long time bloggy friend is Nicky Schmidt, who I first came across in the guise of an alien chicken. We've never met, but we've talked on the phone once and I get loads of helpful e mails, as well as quite a few funny ones. 
  4. Fifteen days without a head I'm looking forward to reading the book, but until it comes out, the blog is pretty good too. 
  5. Rebecca Brown loves musicals, has two lovely little kids and blogs here.
  6. Last but definitely not last is Becky from The Bookette. She is amazing.   
So there I was this week, with a list of blogs all about writing. What was I to do but check them out. It was at this point that I had my Aha! moment. I've been reading ad infinitum about how your query letter has to hook in the agent. That most agents toss about 80% of query letters without even reading the partials, blah,blah, blah ... bad, sad, grey news. So I clicked on each site and after about five I realised I was doing this: I was looking at the title, reading the tag line under it. That was enough. If the tag line didn't grab me I was gone. All of a sudden I saw myself in a well tailored suit, with an inbox full of queries and partials and I could see myself going: no, no, no, no, mmm. This moment kind of put a chill in my heart and has made me think that I need to take more care over my own tag line!

Vickie Motter from Navigating the Slush Pile has a post up discussing why titles can't suck. So, I clicked through the hundred titles in the list and kept thinking: These are not best titles! I don't agree, these titles are rubbish. No, she's wrong. Titles aren't that important. No, I've read loads of books that aren't on this list. In fact these are no way best book titles, there are a bunch of books on this list that I would NEVER read based on the title alone, no... OH! Oh! She's right, titles can't suck. And can I just add, that personally, any book with the word 'suck' in the title is definitely not on my 'to be read' list.

So, that's my learning curve for the week. There hasn't been much writing what with very exciting real life events taking place and having visitors. Tonight is scheduled writing night*, so I bid your farewell to go and sort out Ella, who's going to sneak out of Maths any minute.

*hence the fact that this was actually written on Tuesday night, if you can get your head round the timing of that!

7 comments: said...

Thank you, Michele! I've never won an award before. I'm honored to have my first be a Fair Dinkum! And happy to have contributed to your moments of Ah Ha!

Is it now my turn to pass the torch?


Nicky Schmidt (Absolute Vanilla) said...

Aw, thanks, Michele! What an honour.
Am trying to think what my aha moment is at present, but it's probably something unrepeatable to do with builders...

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Hi Sarah, yep you get to pass it on to six people now. Oh and it looks like Feb's crit is on a Tuesday. We need to catch up. And glad you like it Nicky. I have to admit that I'm a little bit glad we don't have to do all the builders thing now, although there will be a fair bit of decorating to do, but that's different and I CAN DO IT... partly because we'll be poor!

Dave Cousins said...

Thanks Michele - you're too kind. I should really share any credit for providing an 'Aha!' moment with the wonderful Mr Hussey.
Now I must consider carefully my own six Fair Dinkum winners …

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

1. Thank you SO MUCH for the award!! It HAS been a long time since we all passed one of these along! My goodness. How very sweet! We *love* it, thank you!

2. Reading a book by it's cover, tagline, query letter... while efficient, doesn't ever give one the proper feel for it. I think. Sadly, that is not the way the editors think... so best of luck with it; keep trying! Our dear Jon got his off the ground, and Caroline Smailes too! Keep it going!


Scarlett & Viaggiatore my word verification is 'shant' and I immediately thought in a rather miffed tone - I shan too!! ;D XO

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Oh Dave, the interview was the first time I left a comment, but I was reading your book recommendations all over Christmas, so there have been quite a few Aha moments.
2. Yeah I know it's reading a book by its cover, but seriously that's what they do. Someone (I can't remember who/where I read it), posted a list of salutations that were enough to get the query binned.
Querying is a different skill altogether, so I guess I might as well get as much practise as possible hey!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Absolutely right.

...trash salutations? Eek. O.o

Keep sending. Persevere.

S & V


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