Tag Archives: Harry Potter

The Query Process in Harry Potter Gifs

When you finish your manuscript and it’s time to email agents!

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When you learn what a query letter actually is and that you have to write one.

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When you first start trying to write one and realize everything you write sucks.

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When revisions have driven you insane but you realize you’re FINALLY ready to send this bitch OUT.

 

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When you hit “send” and then have to wait forever.

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When you get your first partial request…and it turns into a rejection the literal MINUTE you send the pages.

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When the feedback is all rejections and you feel like the agents are all like

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When you get your first actual feedback from an agent

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When your revised manuscript actually starts getting full requests

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When you finally get “the email” asking for “the call”

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And then realize you have to actually talk to a real life agent on the phone

 

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But then the call goes great, and the agent offers!

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And you realize you HAVE AN OFFER. Time to celebrate!

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And you brag for days to all your friends, who are all like, “that’s great, shut up about it already”.

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And then your awesome new agent says it’s time to go on submission

 

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The end (but not really).

 

 

 

 

 

 

E.-Latimer2E. Latimer is a young adult fantasy writer  and literary intern. She was was born and raised in Victoria, BC and recently moved to Vancouver. She writes books, makes silly vlogs about writing with the YA Word Nerds, and reads excessively.

For more ramblings, tips on querying and thoughts on writing, sign up for the newsletter by clicking on the “Newsletter” link in the menu. Your email will not be shared, and newsletters will only come out biweekly.

 

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Reader Entitlement: What Authors Owe Us

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Can we talk about what an uproar JK Rowling’s latest interview caused?

If you’re not familiar with what happened, JK Rowling reportedly admitted during the interview, that she regretted putting Hermione and Ron together, and she wished she had paired her with Harry. This made a lot of Ron/Hermione shippers VERY angry, and twitter was a storm of hurt feelings and angry replies just a few days ago. Personally, I felt a little betrayed. I invested a lot of time into the Harry Potter series, I’m a huge fan. I love Hermione and Ron together, and I feel that putting her with Harry would be a cliche. The leading lady always ends up with the leading man, right? Just once, it was nice to see the “sidekick” end up with the girl.

If Hermione and Harry had been together, that would have resulted in Ron being the most awkward third wheel EVER, trailing along behind the smart Hermione and the heroic Harry. And who knows, at that point, maybe JK Rowling WOULD have killed him off.

So should Rowling have kept this to herself?  I’m going to say yes. If you have doubts about how you ended a book, don’t share them. You very well might ruin the magic for fans.

When Readers React Strongly.

Most of the comments on twitter were perfectly reasonable. We were sad, we were mourning a romance that was firmly fixed in our heads. I didn’t see anyone go off the rails, threatening or calling names or anything like that. I was surprised, actually. So much of the time when there is backlash against an author it has the tendency to turn ugly. One such example is the angry reaction to Veronica Roth’s book “Allegiant”, which is the final installment in the Divergent series.

Fans were livid, and occasionally someone still pops up in her twitter feed to yell at her about how they hated the ending. Do fans have a right to be angry? Absolutely. They have a right to whatever emotional reaction the book creates while they’re reading it. There’s no WRONG way to read a book. But do they have a right to take to twitter to tell Roth how much they hated it? Maybe. But some fans crossed even that line, going up to the author at signings and telling her the book was horrible and how much they hated it. There were death threats, and threats of physical violence directed at her online.

There’s a line, and fans crossed it.

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Another example is Charlene Harris, the author of the “Trueblood” series. Fans hated the ending of the book series, and they took it out on her verbally. For me, a fan who stuck with the books until the very last two books (after that I put them down) I could see that the series was slowly unraveling. The plot was meandering all over the place, and aside from a new influx of potential boyfriends each novel, I couldn’t see where it was going. So I put it down. Other fans stuck with it until the end, and when they were finished, they were outraged. A lot of the feedback came in the form of “we have been your loyal fans for years, and you didn’t give us what we wanted”. Yes, this is the reader feeling ENTITLED.

But, is it warranted?

Well, yes. And also no.

What Does the Author Owe Us?

I expect the author to write the best story they can. I expect characters to act the way they naturally would, and not to fit in with a plot line they had already planned out. I expect sacrifice to have meaning, and for things to be wrapped up with no major plot lines left hanging. In short, what I’m entitled to is a good story. The best story that the author has in them.

Sometimes I feel like what I’ve just read wasn’t the best story, and in that case, I have a right to say so in a review. I do not have a right to verbally assault or threaten the author. Personally, I would also never tell an author on twitter “I hated your book”. As a reader, are we entitled to do so? Maybe. But don’t expect any answer back from the author.

In many cases, readers are demanding the books come out faster, or there is backlash if the publication date is delayed. But shouldn’t our favorite authors have time to write the book the best way they can? It seems readers either complain about a drop in quality (the books are getting sloppy!) or they complain they aren’t coming out fast enough (you pushed the date back).

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Authors Can’t Please Everyone.

It’s impossible. Trying to do so would result in an absolutely ridiculous story. When authors have TRIED to do that, they’ve ended up with something that pleases no one.

What are your thoughts on reader entitlement? What does an author owe their readers?

Tune in this Sunday for the Word Nerds live chat. We’ll be discussing the issue live, as well as answering questions or comments you send our way.

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The Secret Life of Writers

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Come closer. A little closer. Okay that’s good. Sit down and get ready for scandalous revelations. Get ready to hear things about writers you’ve never known before, or wanted to know, really.

Writers, I see you lurking back there. Show this to your husbands, mothers and grandparents. It will explain your inexplicable, often worrying behavior.

Here it is, all you’ve ever wanted to know. Dirty Writer Secrets.

Secret #1:

Being married/friends/family to a writer is hard.

Sometimes we get that vague look in our eyes when you’re talking to us. It’s not that we think you’re boring, it’s that we just had a really fantastic idea for the story we’re working on, and while you’re talking, we’re off in the star mines of Zibit 5, fighting space crud with out laser guns, or frolicking with unicorns through fields of daisies. It’s not that we don’t find you interesting, it’s actually very likely that you inspired us. You talked about frolicking, or space guns, or it was just the way you pushed your hair out of your face that made us think about the perfect main character to GO frolicking with unicorns.

See, it’s your fault.

Secret #2:

We may leave vague, sometimes terrifying post-it notes around the house that say things like, “Should I kill off Bob?”.

Please do not be alarmed. All casualties are fictional.

Secret #3:

Our internet searches will curl the hair on your big toes.

If you find us searching things like, “How to completely dissolve a body in acid” or “How to cut up a body into small pieces” or “How fast does it take for a stabbed person to die?”, I assure you we are not considering bumping you off. We are merely dreaming up the best, most effective and delightfully unpleasant ways to kill off our character.

I’m not sure if that’s much more comforting.

Secret #4:

Our passion makes us kind of crazy.

Keep in mind that you may find us curled up in the fetal position sobbing at any time. You may also find us doing an Irish jig in the middle of the living room and gleefully throwing small scraps of manuscript paper around while shouting “confetti!” and a number of other strange behaviors I can’t even begin to describe.

The truth is, writing is full of ups and downs. Even more so if you are trying to get an agent, or you’re on sub, or trying to promote your books.

One day your writer will be on top of the world, excited and happy and full of confidence, the next day they will be binge eating chocolate and marathoning the show “Girls” all day. We are unpredictable like that. But that’s why you love us, right?

I recommend keeping an emergency stash of chocolate and Supernatural DVDs on hand.

Secret #5:

We will never have enough books.

What’s that, your bookshelves are jammed full? Your computer desk is being taken over? I’m sorry to tell you that won’t ever stop. It will only get worse. You can buy your writer a kindle and pray, but that’s it. Some of us will never be sold on ebooks, others will embrace them completely.

Whatever form they come in, we can never get enough of them.

Secret #6:

We are all secretly jealous.

Maybe it’s that writer friend who got a book deal. Maybe it’s the person on twitter who keeps bragging that she got an agent. Maybe we bash Fifty Shades of Grey just a little too loudly. Whatever it is, there’s always something.

Underneath our pasty skin we are all secretly a beautiful shade of green. When you want something so badly and you see other people getting it before you, it’s hard not to let the little monster come out.

We all struggle with it.

Secret #7:

We want it to be “all about the art”.

But that’s an impossible standard to have when you have to do inconvenient things like, y’know, eat. The result of this is that many of us are a little confused, a little torn. Are we “sell outs” if we want to make money? Should we be writing commercial stuff, or just what we think of as “art”?

Do we feel fulfilled in our art, or do we pay the rent? Can we do both?

Secret #8:

We picture our books as movies.

Yes, we daydream about hitting it big. We think about who would play our main character, what we would wear to the opening night. What we would say when the TV people interviewed us. All that good stuff.

We dream big all the time. Every day. That’s why rejections make us cry.

Secret #9:

We are scared to admit what we do.

Most people don’t flinch at the question, “And what do you do?”. Only a writer spends fifteen minutes at the doctor’s office deciding if they should put “writer” under the “occupation” section. Like the doctor is going to pop out and scream “Fake!” at you after he’s read it.

But we get these looks when we tell people. Like they’re humoring us. Or worse, they ask “What have you written?” like they expect us to confess we’ve written the Harry Potter series, surprise! Or the better question, “Have you written anything I’ve heard of?” which makes a writer want to melt into a pile of sludge and sink into the cracks in the floor boards.

“Have you heard of Fifty Shades of Grey?”

“Oh my God, you wrote that?”

“No, just wondering if you’ve heard of it.”

Secret #10:

We know we shouldn’t read mean comments. We do it anyways.

Writer’s are drawn to comments and reviews like a moth to a flame. We know we’ll probably fall into the fire and our tiny bodies will shrivel up and we’ll die in agony.

But the fire is so fascinating.

There’s a mean comment on our blog post. We’re going to read it twenty times. Agonize over it. Eat a bucket of ice cream and then read it again.

We get a nasty review on goodreads, or a writing site. We can’t look away. It dictates the outcome of our entire day. Sometimes our week.

You can tell us to “just let it slide” or “just ignore it”, but we are suckers for punishment. It’s important what this one person thinks. It’s so important that we rage at the computer and yell lots of mean names at the screen. Once you get tired of listening to us ranting, feel free to walk away. We’ll tell the cat what a knucklehead this person must be.

Have you seen enough now?

I’m sorry I had to show you that. But now you can go into the world better prepared to deal with writers. To deal with your wife/husband/friend/family member.

Remember: Chocolate, Supernatural DVDs, wine.

These are your tools. Use them wisely

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That should do it.

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