Thursday, September 13, 2012

Yes, But - No, And

I was listening to the Writing Excuses Podcast the other day in my car, when I came across this fantastic nugget of advice about how to do chapters/scenes.  How do you move forward from one chapter to the next?  You need to know how to develop the connective tissue and keep driving the story forward.  This simple trick will take you a long way to developing a story that has momentum.  You simply ask a question, is the protagonist going to accomplish his/her goal in this chapter?  You have two answers obviously, Yes or No.  The trick is thus: Yes, But and No, And.  Every chapter/scene needs to have a reason to exist other than you thought up some really cool world building stuff that you want to show off.  The Yes, but will allow you to finish minor story arcs but keep propelling the story forward.  For example, your group needs to cross a bridge in this chapter.  Will they make it across?  Yes, but on the other side they encounter a group of ruffians. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nine Eleven Revisited

Eleven years ago today I was at work in the morning.  I had been in this new job for almost a year.  Some of you may know, I am an Air Force Reserve Technician Pilot, meaning I am a civil servant 40 hours a week and a reserve pilot on evenings and weekends.  I was the Assistant Chief Pilot, meaning I was the scheduler for about thirty pilots in my squadron. 
That particular morning I was alone in the office, but had the television on and set to Fox News.  I was busy working on the schedule when I looked up to see the reports about an aircraft hitting the first tower.  Several weeks prior to this a small single engine aircraft had hit another building in New York, and it was simply pilot error.  I chalked it up again to some dumbass pilot getting in over his head.  It amazes me how many people get in an aircraft without much thought as to how dangerous it can be if you aren’t prepared.  I remember thinking, “Holy crap, not again.”  My focus went back to my excel spreadsheet.  We hadn’t heard anything yet about what kind of aircraft it was, so I assumed it was a similar sized plane.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pitch Polish for Gearing Up to Get an Agent

Deana Barnhart is hosting a cool thing for writers called Gearing Up To Get An Agent or GUTGAA for short.  Hashtag on twitter and all (#GUTGAA).  It is going over several weeks with support for polishing your pitch and finding help with a critique partner.  A part of this I'm posting the current version of my pitch/query and opening it up for critiques.  

AUTHOR'S NAME: TODD MOODY
TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: CLEAR ETHER
GENRE: SCIENCE FICTION ADVENTURE
WORD COUNT: 120,000

UPDATE:  BASED ON SOME OF THE GREAT FEEDBACK I'VE RECEIVED THIS IS A NEW VERSION.  I HOPE I HAVEN'T RUINED THE VOICE.  IT IS CERTAINLY DIFFERENT.  CONTINUED FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED!