Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scriptscene's Mini Con at RWA National -- Anaheim

We're Going For The Gold, Why Don't You Join Us?

Are you coming a day early to RWA National?  Or thinking about it? 
Here's a good reason to do so!

We're lucky to again have some top notch presenters this year. 

Check for more information as well as register for this amazing event.

Special early-bird registration drawing:
a 30 minute phone consult with Kathie Fond Yoneda, valued at $100.

~LA of the scribes, and who is attending! 

After all, we're darn near the heart of film making, and I can't wait to hear these speakers who have their fingers right on the industry's pulse.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

For our men and women in service to the
United States of America, we salute you.

Memorial Day, in my humble opinion, isn't about being a Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc. To me it's about being an American with freedoms hard fought for. 

Today, stop for a moment and think of all our service men and women, living and not.  Pass on the quotes, they're for all of us.  ~LA of the Scribes.

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
~ Arthur Ashe

They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation.
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.  ~ Wallace Bruce

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
~ Joseph Campbell

It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.
~ Norman Schwarzkopf

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me.
~ Lee Greenwood

The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:
Their courage nerves a thousand living men.
~ Minot J. Savage

The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree. ~ Thomas Campbell

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.  ~ Benjamin Disraeli
Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for,
Is their monument to-day, and for aye. ~ Thomas Dunn English

For thee of country they accepted death...  ~ James A. Garfield

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.
~ William Havard

On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!  ~ Thomas William Parson

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. ~ Francis A. Walker

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Brenda Novak Auction Opportunities

Each May for the last four years, I've hit the Brenda Novak Auction almost daily, like they were selling crack-laced romance novels and dark chocolate-dipped critiques. I actually won twice, which rocked. Obviously, I've been a big fan.Writers and readers converging for a good cause? Sign me up.

When Entangled decided to put together a huge group of donations for the auction, I was stoked. I immediately jumped on that and donated a full manuscript critique. Excited to participate? Me? Maybe.

Okay, yes. In fact, I'm so excited, I think I'll sweeten the pot and add a 30-minute phone call or a set of e-mail volleys to follow up with questions, brainstorming, or whatever. This is in addition to the critique, which is like a first pass edit (usually a minimum of eight pages, single-spaced).

I hope you've all ogled the offerings over there. The auction is for an amazing cause, and there are some wonderful opportunities. The "Editor Evaluations" have listings that will allow winners to skip to the head of the slush pile, and there are awesome agents offering up their own listings.

The Entangled editors are listed under the Entangled category. If you're interested, we're offering critiques (rather than just evaluating submissions), and they're all a steal...for now. ;)

Leave a comment here to say you've ogled the Entangled page, and I'll send one of our new mass trade paperbacks to a random commenter.

And for faster access to the amazing listings, behold! I give you links.

Editorial Director Stacy Abrams
Managing Senior Editor Adrien-Luc Sanders
Senior Editor Nina Bruhns
Senior Editor Erin Molta
Editor Rochelle French
Associate Editor Kerry Vail
Associate Editor Libby Murphy
Associate Editor Moi!

If you bid, good luck! Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to receive one of Entangled's launch mass trade paperback titles: Lisa Kessler's Night Walker (paranormal romance), Melissa Ramirez's Bare-Naked Lola (sexy mystery), Jennifer L. Armentrout's Obsidian (paranormal romance YA), or Lisa Burstein's Pretty Amy (YA).

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Social Media Class for Everyone

Social Media is important to writers or anyone who wants to promote themselves, products (like books:)) or simply stay in touch with friends and the world. 

Don't understand it?  I don't either, really.  But Cindy Carroll is going to change that.

So take this class, it could be one of the most important tools in your arsenal to win those readers, stay in touch and be cool when someone asks for your "handle."
In Social media for the writer we’ll look at the different options out there and demystify them.

Social media confusion?

With so many social media options out there what’s a writer to do? We can’t join all of them. Well, I guess we could but then when would we have time to write? The fact is social media helps sell books. Love it or hate it, if you’re a writer with a book to sell you need to be on some of the social media sites. The important thing is to pick the one (or two or five) that are right for you.

I hear frequently from other writers that they don’t like social media. They don’t like Twitter because it’s confusing. They don’t like some of the other ones because they take so much time. So really, is it that they don’t like social media? Or that social media confuses the heck out of them so they stay away?

In a lot of cases I’d say it’s the later. I know some members of my writing group were apprehensive about joining Twitter because they wondered who would follow them. Wouldn’t they look pathetic if they had zero followers? Or just a handful? Until I found some tools to help me organize and decipher Twitter I wasn’t a huge fan either. Now I LOVE Twitter.
After implementing tools because I had a specific target I gained over 200 followers in less than 3 weeks.

And my friend Joanne ( who just joined Twitter a little over a month ago followed my advice and has over 500 followers in her first month!

Social media is not just about getting your followers or friends or repins up there. Social media is a great way to connect with readers, make friends, learn about opportunities. Did you know some agents hold pitch sessions on Twitter? Yep. Tweet your pitch in a 140 characters or less! I found out about the Avon Impulse call for submissions on Twitter.

For all these reasons and more, I’m giving a Social Media for the Writer class!

I talk about ways to organize your social media to better use it. I help demystify some of the most popular social media sites. And there will be assignments to get you started on your social media of choice!

Cindy Carroll is a member of RWA and a graduate of Hal Croasmun's screenwriting ProSeries. Her interviews with writers of CSI and Flashpoint appeared in The Rewrit, the Scriptscene newsletter, the screenwriting Chapter of RWA. She writes screenplays, thrillers, and paranormals, occasionally exploring an erotic twist. When she's not writing you can usually find her on Twitter.

What’s covered?

Explanations of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, Digg, LinkedIn, Triberr, GoodReads, Blogs

What are they? How do you use them? Which one is best for you?

Week 1 Twitter
Week 2 Facebook
Week 3 All others/ Wrap-up

See you there!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Characters: Who's the Person Inside?

Five Scribe Readers:  I'm pleased to present two writing personas, Darlene Ryan and Sofie Kelly, whose newest release COPYCAT KILLING is rapidly climbing the Amazon Ranks.  She offers invaluable advice here.  I'm taking notes.  ~ Donnell

A couple of years ago, I took my mother to the funeral of an old friend. At the reception afterward, Mom was quickly surrounded by a group of women she hadn’t seen in more than twenty years. After the third round of having my cheeks pinched and hearing, “Is this the baby,” I escaped to the kitchen where there was a pot of strong coffee and a poker game going on. (Not a disrespectful gesture to the deceased; she’d been using her sweet, little old lady face and card-shark skills to bilk her son’s friends out of their gas money for years.)

After, as we headed home, I asked my mother about her conversation with her old friends. She caught me up on who was doing what and with whom, and then she sighed, “And of course nothing’s changed in Lowey’s life. Nothing ever does.” She shot me a sideways glance. “I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but I think I had the same conversation with her in 1963 that I had today.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

Mom shrugged. “I’ve known her since your sister was a baby, but I don’t really feel I know her at all.” She laid a hand on her chest. “I don’t know the person inside. I don’t think anybody does.”

To make a character come alive for a reader, you need to know the “person” inside. The best characters are the ones who feel almost like a real person, not like the literary version of Flat Stanley. You need to know what your characters love, what they hate, what they think they should want and what they really do want to make them feel like real people to your readers.

Some writers know all the surface details about a character; what color her hair is, whether her eyes are blue or brown, and if she has Crocs or Jimmy Choo pumps in her closet, but they don’t know what her secrets are. And secrets can make a character feel more real.

What is your character is hiding? What is it that she doesn’t want anyone else to know? Maybe next to those expensive Jimmy Choo’s in her closet she has three pair of size eighteen sweatpants, two pair that are size ten, plus a pair that’s size six. A woman with three sizes of sweatpants in her closet is a different person from the woman who has five pair of tailored black pants, all a perfect size four.

Maybe you’ll share some of your character’s secrets with your readers. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll hold something back for a later chapter or another book. But knowing those secrets will help you figure out what kind of a person she is and how she’ll act. Maybe all your readers will learn is that your main character has fiery, red hair, while only you know it’s courtesy of L’Oreal. You may tell them that your hero has a university degree, but you might not share that he had to repeat Grade 2. 

Ask yourself, what scares your character? What makes her cringe with embarrassment? What does she lie about, even to her closest friends? What is he terrified of losing? What keeps him awake at night? What makes her laugh? Who broke his heart?

When you can answer these kinds of questions you’re a lot closer to knowing the person inside your character and your character is a lot closer to feeling alive.


Darlene Ryan is an award-winning author of young adult fiction including Five Minutes More, Responsible, Saving Grace, and Rules for Life, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Her latest teen novel is Cuts Like a Knife.

As Sofie Kelly she writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats mysteries including Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, Sleight of Paw, and her newest release Copycat Killing.

Visit Darlene at

Visit Sofie at