Great show tonight!

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I enjoyed watching the pop-up submission tonight. Even though my WIFI was I bit choppy I got most of it. As it’s always good to reflect, I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned about from tonight’s show and from the one from last week.

- My own bias. I don’t like certain types of genres, and really easily connect to others. I empathize really easily with a child story, and not at all with a horror story. For the ones I don’t like I find it it’s extremely difficult to empathize with the story, so in those I can easily see why it doesn’t grab my attention. But for the genres I do like, it doesn’t take much to catch my attention. In other words, it’s really hard for me to see any flaws at all if I like the genre. That’s my bias, also for my own work.
- Finding my Voice I really like this idea. I want to connect to the reader when I write. I don’t think writing tricks are the ultimate solution, but they could definitely be a start that could help to connect to readers. One of my obstacles is that my message is very very different from what most people write about, so I need to build a bridge between my world and their world. I practice this in my Blog on Steemit!
- Layout The layout is among the first impressions that an agent, or any reader gets. First impressions are important.
- Illustration With our card deck, I’m lucky enough to work together with Leanne who is a visionary artist, and we also create art together. So for the Oracle Card Deck we can offer a complete package. I’ve written more about the Oracle Card Deck in my Introduction Post.
- Putting myself in the shoes of an agent. I’ve been doing this a lot lately, as I’m working on a pitch letter and a proposal for the Oracle Card Deck. Writing this is very different from writing for the actual card deck. The pitch and proposal are much more business-minded. Therefore, I’m learning to think how agents think. This is different, because I don’t think in the same way, but I keep taking this perspective because I want to communicate.
- A first book is a beginning My first self-published book, Verbal Dancing, really structured my thoughts. The writing is not that of an experienced writer, but it does communicate my method of using creativity and spirituality together to find your True Expression. I see it as a stepping stone.
- The difference between creative value and sales value A book can be great quality, but not sell. Or it can be terrible but there’s thousands of people waiting for it. They are just not the same, but they don’t need to be either. For our Card Deck, I emphasize the sales value in the book proposal which is more about business.
- We can help each other with our manuscripts If we all learn how agents perceive a story, we can help each other to create work that can reach the market.

So thanks agent Pete for making this available!
You really took the time to organize your thoughts. Impressive.

Genre Bias - I'd like to say I don't have one because I read across genres but I prefer speculative fiction. Also, something which neatly fits into the romance genre has to be the best of the best of the best within the romance genre for me to enjoy it. I also don't read much non-fiction anymore.

Voice - It's the only reason I read. I've never been much for rules and so an author has to have a good voice or I'm not likely to stick with them.

I'm not sure voice can be taught. There are books on voice and I own a few of them but my takeaway was that voice can't be taught. Perhaps it's something which can be developed by doing a lot of writing.

Layout - I didn't realize people didn't like Verdana. It's a big deal to me because Verdana is what I like to use.

However, I know it's important. I go to critique groups and it's annoying when someone decides to use single spacing + 12 pt instead of double spacing. Also, I don't like it when they decrease their margins. At the risk of sending this conversation sideways, exactly how do people think they're going to benefit by making me read 250 more of their words one week as opposed to holding onto them til next week? Mostly, it just pisses me off.

So, I can imagine why it would frustrate agents.

Illustration - No opinion.

Agents - I think its different for non-fiction authors than it is for fiction authors. Although, of course, it's helpful to understand what agents and publishers are looking for. They have slightly different concerns -- which I think is just as well.

First Books - I suppose the first of anything is the beginning unless its the ending. It's certainly beneficial to look at it as a beginning of a career. I imagine. I remember the first story I wrote. I was sitting in the backseat of my parents car, on the way to see my Great-Grandfather (who lived to be 107!) in Downey, CA. I wrote a story for him and it was a lot like The Little Mermaid.

Quality versus Sales - There's a difference between storytelling and great writing. I don't mean writing well but great writing. Crap writing sometimes sells but it usually has a good story. Really great writing should always sell, in my opinion because really great writing would by necessity include a good story. But -- can't say for certain.

Helping One Another - Sure. But no. Agent Pete is great but writing for agents or publishers is a lot like teaching to the test. It's long-term value is dubious. But then, life is short.

Now I have a headache.
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New Writing Groups are Open!

As a writer, are you a sculptor or a painter?