Crushing Your Query: Part Three

 Crushing Your Query Letter Part 3! 

So, honestly, I didn't even know that I was going to do a part 3 to this blog serious but as I am reviewing more and more queries for clients and writers who have taken advantage of special offers to review from being on my VIP list I can tell you that part three is NEEDED. 

Have any guesses to what it is about?

This is one of the BIGGEST mishaps that writers make and I see it over and over and over again---and, I used to do this too. 

Do you know? 

It is---drum roll please!! When a writer queries way too soon. 

I understand you've written that book or screenplay and in your head it's completely perfect because you can see it oh so clearly but usually it's not ready. 

Now, I want to interject here on waiting too long too--that happens a lot too-but not quite as often. 

You need to find that balance between wanting every single word to be perfect and sending out when it's just not ready. 

Here are some...

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Query Mishaps & How To Fix Them

Hello, Storytellers!! I hope you are having a fabulous day, morning, evening-whatever! 

This is part two that I just decided to add to last week's blog about crushing your query which you can find HERE or just scroll down after reading this! 

query-letters

So it's time to submit, but you now have to write your query and your mind goes blank. You can't form a coherent sentence, and you just write something too long, too boring, or just plain bad. Why is that?

I think it's like a game of GOLF-all in YOUR HEAD. You put the pressure on yourself to write something amazing and BAM! just like that, nothing good comes out.

woman-golfer

There are tons and tons and tons of resources for how to write a good query, so I won't bore you with those details. GOOGLE how to write a query and I promise you tons will come up. I have some favorites, which you can see in my earlier blog,  but everyone is different, so I want you to do what speaks to you.

That said, as someone who used to run a query clinic, and I...

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How to Crush Your Query

Hi there, Writers! 

So many people come to me for query help that I put together this blog to help you crush it because I know that you can! 

Writing your query shouldn't be so scary!

Writing queries is something that most writers find terrifying but I find it fun. A chance to get to talk about my novel??? AWESOME! 

I know that they seem hard, but really you can craft a perfect query with some very easy steps.

Remember always be personal to the agent you are querying and always FOLLOW the submissions listed on the agent's website. This is super important.

Then your pitch needs to be quick and concise and contain a GREAT HOOK. This is what will sell your story.

I have taught writing queries for many years and worked 1:1 with writers perfecting theirs.

You can also find information just by googling. I have also included some links for you.

Eric Smith is an agent and writer who has given his expertise on his website. Check it out. ...

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Do I Need To Copyright My Novel/Work?

Happy Wednesday Dear Writers! Woot! 

 

Do I Need To Copyright My Novel/Work? The answer is NO. 

But before I get into it here I just want to invite you to subscribe to my email list where I will send out freebies, information about courses, my membership for writers and you will get tips and tricks before others! YES I WANT THIS

So ONTO the COPYRIGHT issue. 

The other day in a massive FB group a new writer posted the question when do I need to copyright my book? And as FB is always a place for arguing it got heated so I decided that it was needed to write a quick blog about it to help you! 

The answer is that you do NOT need to copyright your work. 

There are many reasons. 

1. No one is trying to steal your story. It's great that you think it's so perfect that lines of people are waiting for you to show it so they can steal it--this simply isn't true. 

2. There are only 5 stories anyhow---in other words, there are NO NEW STORIES----so no...

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All The Things That Are Wrong in Your Screenplay

Hello, dear writers of the world! This is from a post I did on my first blog for writers about 7 years ago, but as I was about to write about things that go wrong in scripts today I came across it so I'm sharing it here as everything still holds true!! 

 

I used to be a script reader for the studios---in other words, if it didn't get past me, it didn't go anywhere. 

 

My biggest issues when reading scripts are:

STORY There needs to be a story-period. It has to have a strong beginning, middle, and end.

No amount of special effects is going to help that no matter what Disney, Sony, and other big studios show you. It's one of my biggest pet peeves when people tell me they love a film and I ask them why and they say the 3D was awesome, or the FX were awesome.

A screenplay needs to have a solid story.

Why are you telling this story?

What are you trying to say?

Why is this important to you?

Ask yourself these and more questions, and then you should have a good story.

...
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How to Stay Positive & Porductive--Still WRITE--During Dystopian-Er, I Mean, Tough Times

OMG, what a couple of months right? F*%$!! 

What is going on in the world? Is it ending? 

Do we all need to channel our inner Katniss? 

I seriously have never wanted to live in a Cormac McCarthy novel and I don't intend on starting now! 

So...how do we stay positive and continue to write when the world is crashing down on us? 

Well, I have a few tips for you! 

The first one is just to FOCUS ON THE GOOD---whatever it is, focus on it, grab it, and hold on. Seriously it's so easy to get wrapped up in the chaos and devastation happening and walk down that doomsday path but rather it's best to stay focused on the good or have gratitude. 

The second one is to remember why we write. You may do it just for your own pleasure and if that's the case, see above. But most of us write because we have something to say to the world. If you write for children it is your job to help them come into their own with a sense of security, hope, and understanding. This is...

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What Story Changed Your Life?

 

What story or stories changed your life in some way?
For me, there are a few.
 
THE OUTSIDERS taught me that I wasn't alone
 
LES MISERABLES taught me to be good even when others weren't
 
FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF taught me that I was taking things to seriously and needed to enjoy life more
 
BACK TO THE FUTURE taught me that I could do anything if I put my mind to it
 
TITANIC taught me that life is what you make of it and to make each moment count.
 
This is why I am a writer. These stories while mostly fiction and or historical fiction literally changed who I am as a person. 
 
Wouldn't it be great if you changed someone's life?
Your book made a difference or your film changed how someone lived their life? 
 
No pressure right?
 
I believe that we are changing the world as writers, even if you are writing comedy--what you do matters! 
 
This is why I created my signature course, STORY...
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Genre Clarity and Why It's So Important

Happy Monday to all the writers out there who have come by my new blog. 

I'm so grateful that you are here. 

Today I am talking about GENRE CLARITY and why it's so massively important if you want to be successful as a writer. 

This isn't the same as voice, or even who you are as a writer and I'm not saying that you have to stay in one genre, but you do need clarity-especially when you are starting out. 

First I want to invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel because this week I will have a new short video on this topic and every week I will have new videos to help all storytellers reach their dreams. 

www.youtube.com/stephaniebourbon 

So, what is genre exactly? The dictionary says this: a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

This is true but in books, movies, and television it can mean so much more. 

I once went to a conference and heard an amazing...

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Writing Goals!

Good morning writers,

Writi

I hope you are amazing!

I also hope that you are writing down your writing goals for the week ahead. I find that when I have my plans or goals written out in a list I tend to stick to them and actually make them much more than when I say, “I’ll write whatever whenever I have time.”

That’s why for me #NaNoWriMo is so great. I always get an entire novel drafted. It pushes me to stick to daily word count goals.

Here are some quick and easy tips to make those writing goals work for you so you will accomplish more and get that draft done faster.

  1. Make daily goals-this can be word count or page count or scenes, whatever you need. Write them down somewhere that you can see them.
  2. Get an accountability partner to check in with. You don’t have to check-in everyday-there are no rules but whatever you want just check-in.
  3. Make the goals fun. Maybe you meet with your partner at a coffee shop every day for an hour, maybe you chat on the...
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Happiness Tuesday Storytellers

Hello, dear writers, dreamers, artists-storytellers! 

I'm just popping in with a quick blog post today to say hello and talk briefly about the importance of happiness! 

It's so easy to get caught up in our lives and forget all about the simple things that make us smile. 

How many of you have woken up and then immediately remembered something that upsets you? Like, right when you step out of bed? All of you right? 

It's human nature. Is this your mantra? "Ugh, I have to go to work today." "Yuck, I hate kale and I know lunch will have kale" (or "I hate the place we are going to lunch today"), "I'm overweight." "I don't have time for anything." "Everyone drives like an idiot" etc., etc.,----this is normal but YOU can change your mindset. 

Because when we start the day on a negative note everything goes bad that can and will happen. You won't be as productive, you won't write your best work-or even decent work, your day job will suffer, you may argue with...

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