People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Today I received an agent's critique of my query letter, and it was pretty positive. She said it did a nice job of presenting a complicated plot succinctly. Hooray for that! However, she felt the “stakes” weren't quite high enough. If you've read my previous posts, you know that after Adam Donovan kills a bank robber, … Continue reading That Dreaded Query Letter: Critique by an Agent
Oh, the dreaded query letter! It is, in my opinion, the hardest thing in the world to write. Writing an effective query letter takes the ability to ignore your creative urges and write in a way that‘s totally foreign to your instincts. Remember how you used to write book reports in grade school? You’d take … Continue reading That dreaded query letter …
What a great idea — I bet we all could learn a little more about our characters! Who knows what new story it might lead to?
There are personality quizzes all over the Internet. You’ve probably taken some of them yourself.
But have you ever tried answering the questions as if you were one of your characters? I totally recommend this approach. It forces you to really get inside the character’s head and think like they do. You may have to consider aspects of the character’s personality that you never would have even considered before.
I got another personalized rejection in response to a query letter recently. If you remember, the first agent liked the characters and plot of WHISPERS IN THE CANYON, but she felt my writing was too brusque. I've taken steps to correct that. The new agent likes my writing and the plot, but rejected it because … Continue reading Query Letter Reaction #2
It’s been awhile since I posted about the Donovan books’ characters, but now let me present: The Siblings John Patrick and Molly Donovan had ten offspring, Adam and Brian being the eldest and twins (see Cast of Characters 1). When her sons were born, Molly had honored the Donovan family tradition of naming the first-born … Continue reading Cast of Characters (3)
THE PARENTS & "GRAN" MOLLY DONOVAN. When the Great Famine of Ireland began in 1845, Molly (nee Mary Agnes O’Brien) lived with her two younger brothers and her parents. Within two years, her parents had starved to death and her brothers were close to it. Excerpt from WHISPERS IN THE CANYON: “Molly had been lucky … Continue reading Cast of Characters (2)
“How do you know which word to use?” I’m asked occasionally. I have to admit that I looked it up every time until I had it figured out: you’re an emigrant in relationship to the country you (or your relatives or characters) come from, and you’re an immigrant in the country you choose to settle … Continue reading Emigrant or Immigrant, that is the question …
The cast of characters for these family novels is fairly large, so I'll begin with the main characters in WHISPERS IN THE CANYON. ADAM DONOVAN. This 32-year-old bachelor is considered by his family to be a cowboy with a poet's soul. He's tall, dark and (yes) handsome (what Irishman isn't?), and has a quick hand … Continue reading Cast of Characters (1)