Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Okay, I'm exaggerating. Guess what? Exaggeration is actually a form of humor.
The humorous elements of exaggeration and understatement can help bring laughs (or smirks) to your story.
Both of these need a touch of reality to be effective.
Samples of exaggeration are the "She was so old that..." or "It was so hot..." comments.
My exaggeration example for my class assignment was this:
"The rock concert in Chicago was so loud that farmers in Wisconsin were holding up their lighters during the ballads."
The realistic observation would be "The rock concert was so loud that the people across town could hear it." I then exaggerated it so that it wasn't the next town that could hear it, but the next state. In an exaggeration, if it's big, you make it ginormous. If it's cold, you make it five gazillion degrees below zero.
In The Simpsons, Homer's traits (his lack of intelligence, his laziness, etc) are exaggerated to make his character funnier. You can pick a trait of a character and make it bigger than life to amuse the reader or to get your character into interesting situations.
The opposite of exaggeration is understatement. You use it in the same way as exaggeration, but you go the other way. Instead of making something bigger, you add something trivial.
My understatement example:
"Johnny got into a car accident today. The poor guy totaled his car, broke his wrist, suffered a concussion, and spilled his Diet Coke from McDonald's!"
The spilling the drink action would be the understatement.
Here's a writing example:
Kelly has many aspirations. She wants to snag an agent, get a publishing contract, and buy lots of Sharpies to sign books.
What have you exaggerated lately?
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH MARIETTA ZACKER
1. What piqued your interest in the last few queries you asked for a full on?
MZ: Originality in both topic and voice. Characters that more accurately resemble the world we live in.
2. What kind of books are getting contracts in the last few months?
MZ: We continue to work hard on behalf of our clients and I think we are still seeing results. Editors are being much more selective though. Looking at the industry holistically, I would rank the types of books editors are acquiring (from most to least): MG, YA, and then PB.
3. How important is web presence of a potential client to you?
MZ: I always encourage clients to have a presence somewhere on the web, but to do what feels right for them. I think it's difficult to do it all well, so if branding yourself on the internet is new to you, I think it's best to take one social networking avenue at a time. I also feel it's important to remember that there are plenty of people who have mastered different aspects of the internet, so you should reach out to those who know more - again, especially when getting started. And although I feel it's extremely important to have a web presence, my decision to represent a client is not based on whether they do or do not have that presence.
4. Do you think magazine submissions/acceptances are important?
MZ: Everyone has different criteria, but I do think that if it is pertinent to your career as a writer or illustrator, then you should briefly list the places where your work has been published. Don't shortchange yourself; your accomplishments are important. Having said that though, at the end of the day, voice and the whole of the manuscript matter most.
5. What is your favorite musician/band?
MZ: I listen to it all. If I had to choose one, I'd choose the Afro-Cuban All Stars. Music that reaches my soul and makes me dance out of my seat is always a good thing!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
In other book news, check out your Cheerios box for Lori Degman's debut picture book, 1 Zany Zoo! I bought mine yesterday! Lori is last years Spoonful of winner and also a member of my local SCBWI chapter. The picture book is in Spanish and English! This is the back of the Cheerios box. Congrats, Lori! The hardcover version of the book will be available at book stores in July!
I also want to thank the ladies at Eco Women. I won a Mrs. Myers gift card and wool dryer balls at their site. My husband and I have been using planet friendlier cleaners so the gift card will go towards more natural and less chemicals! Check out their site to find out great tips for going green!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Here's me going up for the shot! Swish!
Me and Big Mike!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
My beautiful song was sung by this group.
My 10 year old headbanger of a son likes a few Slipknot songs (he's only heard ones that are appropriate for his age, okay somewhat appropriate, like Psychosocial), but even though I like hard rock, I never got into them. Though I think they are growing on me.
This one is beautiful.
The video is Creepy with a capital C, then a little Psycho-ish ( the movie) confusing at the end, but intriguing all the way through.
This is called "Snuff."
Here's a shorter version of the song that shows the poetic lyrics.
It's only rock 'n' roll, but I like it. Yes, I do.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Mark was friendly and so very helpful. I loved talking face to face with the web cam. It makes the conversation much more personal. We talked about query letters, email addresses (no firstname.lastname@example.org or crazy email addresses; be professional), Blondie, and more!
2. Do you think magazine contributions are important when looking at a potential client?
3. How important is web presence of a potential client to you?
4. What is the most interesting or unexpected thing you have noticed during a Skype session?
MM: Probably the session in which my cat Ellen felt she needed to be a part of the call and kept walking in front of the screen, or even worse, turning to face me, tail held high, with you know what pointed directly at the webcam. Her editorial taste is impeccable, but she loses points when it comes to author care.
Here's Ellen's good side:
5. What is the last concert you went to and your favorite kind of music?
Very cool, indeed!
Sharon Mayhew posted a very thorough account of her converation with Mark in two parts: here and here! Mark will be holding another contest in April for more chances to speak with him. I highly recommend following his blog! More information about The McVeigh Agency can be found on their website.
Thanks again to Mark for sharing his time and expertise and for introducing me to Skype!
Also a thank you to Jonathon Arnston . I won a contest on his blog, and he made me this amazing cover of my latest manuscript! Pretty flippin' cool, huh?!