In this workshop, we will analyze your story idea, your writing style, character motivation, sense of setting, character commitment, and all those other little things that agents and editors look for when they open sample pages. Limited to 12 participants, this is a hands-on, two-part session geared specifically to those writing genre or category:
- Thriller / Suspense / Mystery / Procedural
- Women’s Fiction / Literary / Biography / Memoir
- Romance / Western / Sci-Fi /
- YA / Paranormal
(Please, no inspirational / poetry / experimental)
To ensure space availability, writers must contact Michael Steven Gregory by submission deadline. Material should be ready for submission or very close to it; Participants must e-mail the following to Jean Jenkins on or before February 1, 2016:
- First 15 pages of your manuscript; (double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font, single-sided pages, 1″ margins; [this is industry standard]
- Query Paragraph: Describe your story using active verbs and vivid descriptions in 8 lines or less. Should contain (5 points): Who is the main character? What happens to him or her? What moral choice does s/he face? Why can this character not give up? What terrible thing will happen because of that choice or if s/he’s unsuccessful?
- With query graph, please also let me know your target genre;
- What is your story’s inciting incident? What happens that kicks off this chain of events? And why would your main character respond to it?
- A paragraph about why you chose to write about this main character;
- Biography of your main character – please see details below;
NOTE: There is no additional fee for submitting material to BFF. Please put “SCWC Submission” in the subject line of your e-mail, and send your pages as attached Word documents. Your material will be critiqued and returned to you at the workshop meetings.
This workshop is a combination of lecture, character and story analysis, and Q&A. Each member’s material will be analyzed individually but the discussion will be pertinent to the entire group as you learn about what sells, what doesn’t, what turns agents and editors on—or off, and how to present your story and your characters in the best light. If you have specific questions about your project, or about submitting to an agent, come prepared to ask.
Suggestions for Character Bio from Jean: Describe him or her as you would describe someone you know well; If physical description is important to the story, describe them – if it’s not, don’t; Tell me things like what kind of person they are; What turns them on? What turns them off? What pushes their buttons enough to get them angry or make them respond? What do they want most in the world? What if they don’t get it? What person is most important in their life? Why? If there’s one thing they could go back and change, what would it be? How did it cause their life to veer? What’s their worst habit? Do they want to change or are they resigned to it? If left on their own with no schedule, how would they spend their day? When faced with an emergency, what’s their first automatic reaction? Why? What melts their heart? What might make them consider quitting (it could be quitting a job, life, the inciting incident); What is the one thing they don’t think they could ever do? Don’t limit yourself to these questions, but use them as a jumping off place. Explore your character. The more information you give me, (limited to 3 pages, single-spaced graphs, double-spaced in between) the more you’ll get to know about your character – and the more I can help you.
Staffed by Jean Jenkins
Jean Jenkins is a freelance editor (MsRewrite.com) and consultant to writers. She has successfully shepherded to print genre and mainstream novels with major publishers and small independents, as well as editing/advising self- and e-published writers. Clients include writers, both foreign and domestic. Her specialty is teaching craft and what works in the marketplace as she helps writers polish their material. Several books on which she has consulted are in the pipeline and nearing publication with major houses. Calling upon her varied life experiences and over twenty years of editorial consulting, she is equally at home editing spy thrillers, cozies, suspense, women’s issues, mainstream, or any bloody good story. It might be said, the bloodier, the better.