How to Use Scrivener, Part 2: Tracking your Goals and Revising

Hello everyone, and welcome to the second post in the How to Use Scrivener series!

On this post, we’ll talk more about great features of Scrivener, like tracking your daily word goals as well great features that help with the revising portion of your novel. Let’s get to it!

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How to use Scrivener, Part 1: Creating Your Novel

Hello, everyone!

Today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite topics: Scrivener!

For those of you who don’t know, Scrivener is an amazing writing tool that many writers use to draft their manuscripts. It’s designed for both writers and screenwriters, and has an amazing set of features that allows you to move chapters and scenes around, as well as keep all of your research in only one place. This series of posts will be broken down in 3 parts.

  • Read Part 2 here.
  • Read part 3 here.

I used to be intimidated by Scrivener when I began, since it seems like a really complicated tool, but I’ve fallen in love when I started using it. It’s so easy to just organize everything in my drafts, as well as never be afraid I’m going to lose something when Word crashed or decided it wasn’t going to scroll down my monstruous 350-page document.

If you always wanted to use Scrivener but never got around to it, this post is for you!

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How to Get a Literary Agent, Part 2: The Query

Hi everyone!

This is post 2 in the series of How to get a Literary Agent.Read Part 1 here.

This week we’re tackling one of the most difficult issues of the writing life: the query.

I love queries. That might sound weird, but I’ve loved them ever since I’ve learned to write them. I particularly recommend the guide that you get when you sign up for Susan Dennard’s newsletter on her site, and here you go through the same principle.

We’re tackling queries, from beginning to end.

As an example, I’m using my own query that got me my agent. It’s not a perfect query (perfect queries are hard), but it fits enough all that we should look for in a query. This book not only got me my agent, but my first book deal. You can add it to goodreads here. I’m keeping the original title for the query, but this book now is called THE LAST 8.

Let’s get to it!

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How to Get a Literary Agent, Part 1: Research

Hi everyone!

I’m kicking off a series of posts in the blog on how to get an agent. It’s a list of resources and questions and everything else you need to know about the process of getting an agent.

The first thing you need is: you have to write a book.

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Knowing Your Genre, Part Five: The Last One

Hey everyone!

For those who have been following my blog for a while, you know I’m writing a big series of posts on genres in fiction and how to identify what your book is, and what it’s not. It helps especially when you’re querying, because when an agent sees “time-travel sci-fi”, they know exactly what they’re in for, and that’s a good thing. You can find part one here.

For now, I’ll be wrapping up the last post on the series, which I’ll talk about the “easier” genres to identify. While all the others have a series of subgenres that may confuse people, the last ones are quite simple, which is why I’ll be brief about them.

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How to find Sensitivity Readers

The publishing industry is changing.

For most, this is a really welcome change. Especially in kidlit, where there are harmful books that perpetrate stereotypes that contribute to racism and exclusion, it’s important to depict marginalized characters with accuracy. Kids are going to be the readers, and kids will be the ones affected in case you get something wrong. With that in mind, the concept of Sensitivity Readers was created.

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past year, sensitivity readers are people you hire (much like an editor) who will go through your manuscript and make sure you haven’t fallen back into racist stereotypes or problematic depictions of marginalized communities. They are people with experience in said community — ie they’re usually from said community — and therefore have lived experience and common ground to call out what may be a problem and an offense in your book.

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I HAVE A BOOK DEAL!

Hey, everyone!

It’s so amazing to be able to announce something as cool as having a book deal. And now that it’s official, you can check it out here.

book deal

The original news landed in publisher’s weekly, and THE LAST 8 is coming in 2019 to your shelves. Thanks so much for all the support I received from my friends, my family and my agent, and now it’s going to be a real book out in the world!

I really hope #TheLast8 is only the first in a big writing journey. I’m thankful to all my CPs, who ardently helped me get this book into shape, to my agent, Sarah La Polla, who read this book and edited it to make it perfect for submission, and to Sourcebooks and my editor Annie Berger. I know my manuscript is in the right hands with them, and I can’t wait to get it out into the world!

Knowing Your Genre, Part 4: Horror

Hello everyone, and this week on the blog we continue with my series of blog posts on literary genres. You can find the other posts by clicking here. Today, we’re going to talk about Horror.

Horror is one of my favorite genres, but it’s also very misunderstood and misinterpreted. Horror is more than gore like Saw or the Final Destination movies. It mostly should be about things that scare the reader and the person who consumes the media. Cat Scully did a wonderful thread on twitter about horror not equating to gore level which I think you should read.

Gore can be a part of horror fiction, of course, but it’s not necessarily scary. Unless you’re deadly scared of your head falling off or exploding, gore will be much more uncomfortable than it will be scary. Gore can be defined as an extreme depiction of the destruction of a body, be that in blood, guts, or anything that comes with it. If you’ve watched any of the movies I mentioned above, you’ve seen it before. That said, every movie that features gore heavily is horror, but not every horror has gore in it.

Horror can be often also more a subplot or a theme than an actual genre. We’ve all read novels or seen movies that have scared us but were not necessarily classified in the horror genre. Alien, for example, is a science fiction movie with heavy horror themes.

Horror, at its core, is about human beings facing what terrifies them. Stephen King has written several books in the most different genres, but all of them can be considered horror because of this one element: at the center of the narrative, there’s fear. Fear is what drives the story forward, be it in the form of a supernatural being, or just a strange new situation.

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Knowing Your Genre, Part 3: Magical Realism

Hi everyone!

This is the third post on a series where I discuss literary genres. This week I’ll be discussing magical realism.

So what is Magical realism?

Magical Realism is one of the hardest genres to define in fiction. It’s both speculative and literary, and it involves elements that no one can quite pinpoint. When asked about magical realism, agents and editors will give an answer that resembles something along the lines of “it’s a book where something magical becomes ordinary”.

The problem with that description is that it can also describe some fantasy worlds. For example, in the world of “Marked” by Kristin Cast and PC Cast, vampires are normal. Everyone in the world knows about the existence of vampires. Vampires are something ordinary and they are known by other humans. However, the book is not magical realism.

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Knowing Your Genre, Part 2: Science Fiction

Hi everyone, and welcome to the second blog post on the series on Genres I’m doing. Last week I talked about fantasy subgenres, and this week my sole focus is science fiction.

For those who are still kinda confused, there’s a difference between Fantasy and Science-Fiction. People often lump them together, as if it’s one big genre, but in reality, they’re separated mainly by one thing: in one hand we have magic, and on the other, we have science.

Those are the simplest, most basic terms to define what falls under which category. Under fantasy, the world is shaped by magic and its properties, and any event can be explained that way. In sci-fi, the way to head towards an explanation is science. Sure, science in sci-fi isn’t the most accurate thing, but it’s the way we humans dream how science could be.

Of course, there’s a lot more complexity than that. Science fiction doesn’t only englobe maths and chemistry and physics, but also often sociology or history, especially when exploring human nature as a theme. Science fiction doesn’t rely on magic — it relies on understanding humans, and understanding the world around them. Which is often why things like “alternative history” or “dystopia” are also considered in the big wide genre of science-fiction. Much like fantasy, sci-fi has one of the widest range of subgenres, and it doesn’t disappoint.

And with no further ado, let’s discuss some of the genres of sci fi and some of its main subgenres.

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