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Flash Club April Flash Club Contest

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Medicine Man

Apr 25, 2022
Hi All,
I sent in a submission, Hannelore, a few months ago and, as you (Peter) said at the time, it was a little confusing. 700 words can be a tough ask when writing historically factual, researched literary/historical fiction. I wasn't displeased with my score, but it could certainly have been higher without misunderstandings.
Firstly, Herr Kratz is NOT a nazi.
Secondly, the ethnic cleansing of 13-15 million Germans from their ancestral homes is indeed the largest ethnic cleansing in recorded human history - and little known.
Third, I do not use straw characters.
Fourth, I amended my beginning and thank your cast and the genius room for their advice - I even changed the title as suggested.
Fifth, my blurb was completely confusing and I was kicking the desk as it was read out...haha.

Lastly, a book deal was mentioned. Any advice about whom I could contact to start the ball rolling on that front?
Thanks for your time. I am an avid follower and would love to become more involved. Slainte
Hi Medicine Man (Dan?) and welcome to the colony.
I'm so glad you found our comments helpful - we don't have time to do long, detailed feedback on the pop-ups, so you get our immediate, gut reactions. This can be a bit tough to take, so I'm pleased it worked for you.

And I agree that 700 words isn't that many, but most people browsing won't even read that far before deciding if they like the book or not. Ergo, we all work madly on our openings - with as much help from the other Litopians as we can get.

As for pursuing a book deal - that depends on whether you choose to self-publish or go the traditional route.
For either route, having the most polished product you can is vital. We use the Writing Workshop Forum to post up opening chapters, blurbs, synopses, ask for Beta readers for our entire manuscript, etc. Then we work with the feedback we get until it's a good as it's going to be.

Pete has done some seminars (which you can pay a small amount to view, as a Basic member), and the one on Blurbs is particularly good.

And, if you decide the help you access here is useful to you, you can do what I did and upgrade your membership, thus allowing you access to the Huddles: these are zoom meetings where we discuss work in much greater depth, including things like query letters, and where Pete can really give us personal advice from his knowledge as an agent.

Then, if you want to go down the traditional route, I recommend The Writers' and Artists Yearbook - this comes out every year and lists all the agents and publishers in the UK and Ireland, and is the best place to start your research on who might be interested in your manuscript. For self-publishing, there are plenty of knowledgable Litopians who use that route, that could answer questions for you.
xxx VH
Hi VH,
Thanks for replying and your advice. I wrote 'book deal', but actually meant 'film deal'. That was mentioned during the show.
Any advice about that? Screenwriters and the like.
Thank you
Film deals are notoriously difficult to get. If you are not a screenwriter, you are best to concentrate on getting your novel to tip-top shape and published and take it from there. If you are a screenwriter, there are a number of contests for scripts. That would be a good place to start.
Hi and welcome @Medicine Man :)

Lots of good advice above.

700 words is a very short extract by which to judge a ms, certainly, and if one was to criticize the Pop-Up format, it would be on that point.

However, unsol submissions mostly are judged on a “first impressions” basis, so it pretty accurately reflects the underlying commercial reality of the business.

Also, from the writer’s pov, it’s essential that you develop (a) an awareness for your personal writing strengths and (b) can quickly (i.e. within 700 words) bring them to the fore.

Society generally encourages us to focus on / & improve our weak spots – what Pop-Ups is saying is rather the opposite. Play to your strengths! As long as you know what they are…

Film & tv deals… we talk about this area a lot in Huddles, since a lot (sometimes most) of a writer’s income can come from this area.

Short answer – good way to do a great film/tv deal is to when your publishing deal is announced. Producers are even more neophilitic that publishers. If there’s a “buzz” about your book, producers will come knocking.

But there are other ways, too. As I say, more in Huddles… :) p.
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Flash Club April Flash Club Contest