For the past few weeks I’ve become a bit of a recluse – worse than usual. But in the background I have been doing things other than curling up in a corner and reading.
My YA fantasy novel – Valkyrie Mists is moving along a bit slower than I wanted, but I’m happy with the results. Plot change and new chapters have kept me awake at nights. The first draft is under 40 chapters, and my new version may come in a bit shorter than that. Now I’m at chapter 14 – see what I mean by slow moving. This book has turned out to be a bigger beast than I anticipated with a tonne of research, but I’m loving every bit.
Cursecaster – my steampunk / romance novella has suffered from my inactivity. Though I plan to fix this up and get back to my regular weekly writing on it. I love the world and premise for this story, and I often find myself taking notes on it, so I plan to have the first draft done soon.
Pugalicious Press has a new call for submissions for a YA Steampunk Anthology – ‘Real Girls Don’t Rust.’ Stories should be between 5000-7500 words and due in by September 1, 2012. I just spotted this and I’m already jotting down some ideas with hope to enter. If you’re interested in entering, click on their logo above to be taken to their website.
Last night, hubby and I watched Snow White & The Huntsman. I really, really wanted to like this movie. I’m a huge fan of fairytale retellings, but it was a huge let down for me. A few too many plot holes, poor dialogue and cliches. Oh well.
The other day I was catching up on reading agent and publisher blogs, and came across Pub Rants: Fridays with Agent Kristin. I need to keep on top of these things more, I think. Anyway, Agent Kristin created a video in which she explains what A Plot Catalyst is. I’d highly recommend watching the video… it’s given me a new perspective on approaching a pitch and opening of my query.
Basically, the idea from Agent Kristin is:
- Open up with the plot catalyst as your pitch paragraph
- In the first 30 pages of your novel, nail the plot catalyst in 1 sentence, then build your pitch around this.
- Plot catalyst is an event that happens in the first 30 pages of your novel, and if this even doesn’t happen, the rest of your story can’t exist or go forward. Easy. Oh, also, the plot catalyst is always a physical plot / event, not a theme, story arc or character.
Did I already say how much I recommend watching her video?
So, I’ve decided to give it a go for my novel Valkyrie Mist. Yeah, I know I’m still a bit off from the query stage, but no harm in starting early:)
My plot catalyst for Valkyrie Mist:
After seventeen years of hearing the names of people who only have a few hours to live, Leev still hasn’t managed to stop a single death and is at breaking point – until the day a draugar hauls her into Asgard to fight for her life.
What do you think? Have you ever started your pitch paragraph with a plot catalyst? Want to share yours?