Friday, May 20, 2011

Deciding not to blog & hang out on social websites anymore ---- Unless I have something great to share! (or I'm stuck on a plot)

The world out there has gone socially nuts. They say you need a Facebook page, and now a "fan" Facebook page, you need to tweet, you need to blog, you need a website, you need to blog on other peoples blogs, and need to have people come blog on your blog. Geesh. This is sooooo not me. I just want to get back to MY writing world, and leave all that mess behind. (at least for now until I can get this book done)

And...that is what I'm going to do. Yep. I may post something once in a blue moon, but you won't see much of me playing anymore. If you do, that must mean I'm stuck on a idea or plot. Just yell at my ass to get back to work. (seriously)

My goal in life (other than happiness) is to write wonderful books, and I can't do that if I'm playing on all those social websites.

I'm going to spend more time working on my stories. Feel free to send me an email if you like, but I won't be hanging out on the blogs/loops as much as I used to.

Now I'm off to work on Buried Magic (Witch Book #1) novel. An editor gave me some wonderful advice yesterday (2 pages & 2.5 hr. phone call worth), and now I'm off to work my arse off revising the novel to the best it can be.

See you later,
NOT AN ANGEL, OUT NOW! (FREE excerpt posted on my website)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thought to Plot with Mary Buckham ~ Workshop

This day long workshop sounds great. I signed up all ready. Wanna join me?

The Southern Louisiana Romance Writers invite writers of all genres to join them for a day long workshop with Mary Buckham on October 29th, 2011. Take your THOUGHT TO PLOT with this award-winning author.

When: October 29, 2011

Time: 8am-4pm, lunch included

Place: Hilton Garden Inn, 4535 Williams, Blvd, Kenner, LA

Cost: $75 SOLA members, $80 all others.

Registration Deadline: September 30, 2011


In the full-day THOUGHT TO PLOT writing craft workshop, national writing instructor, Mary Buckham will show you how to develop a budding idea BEFORE you begin to plot. This is a brainstorming workshop where she will show you where a story and characters break down before you get to the point of plotting. The backbone of a strong story begins with developing these critical points in the early stages of brainstorming so that you aren’t trying to “shore” up your story later.

Most stories fall apart because once a writer has invested a significant amount of work in a story it’s much harder to back up and make changes so they press ahead, shoving support wherever they can. For this reason, come to this workshop with a “NEW” idea you have not fully developed to the point where the idea of making any change is stressful. This workshop is to show you how to take ideas and spin them to be fresh and different, yet with a strong plot infrastructure.

We are a chapter of RWA, but this workshop is suitable for all genres.

Mary Buckham
Mary Buckham is an award-winning romantic-suspense author who, before becoming published in book-length fiction was a freelance article writer, selling hundreds of articles to local, regional, and national publications. In addition, she’s been an editor of a regional magazine. She is also co-author of Break Into Fiction™: 11 Steps to Building a Story That Sells. Mary is a sought-after speaker and writing craft teacher for both online and in live presentations throughout the United States and Canada. For more on Mary go to or

To sign up go to WWW.SOLAWRITERS.COM Find the workshop register button on the right side.

I'll see you in October!

Dawn Chartier

Monday, May 2, 2011

More advice on How to Hook An Agent w/ Sara Megibow

ON MY MIND by Sara Megibow

Whether you are looking for an agent to sell your book or planning to self publish a book, the ability to pitch your story is vitally important!

I'm in the middle of a whirlwind three-conference tour, so pitching is on my mind. Knowing how to condense your story into an engaging one-sentence pitch is a skill. It's an important skill and it's a difficult one! Here are five times this skill comes into play in publishing and, not to scare you, but each one of these times can be a career-influencing moment.

1) The best query letters include an engaging, unique, powerful pitch sentence. For example, "the kingdom's hero is tricked into drinking poison just days before the queen is kidnapped" is a more powerful pitch than "the kingdom's hero must go on many adventures to save the kidnapped queen." We would ask for sample pages for the first example and pass on reading sample pages for the second example.

2) A one-sentence pitch is how you would communicate to an agent, editor or fellow writer what your story is about. Meeting someone in person? Attending a pitch session at a conference? It's super important to be able to answer the question, "so what do you write?"

3) You may or may not know this, but as an agent I may take that pitch right out of your query and send it to editors when I put a book on submission. (Often I tweak it but the core of the pitch is from the query.) The editor reads your pitch and takes it to the sales meeting to decide if they will make an offer; the sales director takes that pitch to the sales team to decide how they will market the book to book buyers. The book buyers read the pitch and decide how many (if any) copies they want to acquire for their stores. Last but not least, the reader reads your pitch (aka the back cover copy) and decides whether or not to buy and read your book. This is, of course, a bit of an oversimplification, but you get the idea. Publishing is not about putting books on shelves; it's about readers buying books and reading them. Your pitch is the hook that ultimately results in readers.

4) We are seeing tremendous amounts of press right now regarding self-publishing. This explosive publishing model has its pros and cons (as does the traditional publishing model, to be fair). Writers excited to pursue self-publishing will need to know how to pitch! In fact, it will rest even more heavily on the writer to craft a compelling hook. The term "discoverability" is vital to standing out in the crowd, and learning how to communicate convincingly about your work is key.

5) Finally (maybe because I've been yapping about pitching so much on twitter recently), I've been invited to teach an online webinar for Writer's Digest this month. The workshop is called "How to Hook an Agent with your Query Letter" and will be taught on Thursday, May 26 at 1:00 EST (yes, you can still access the workshop even if you are unavailable at that particular time). For those writers interested in attending, I am looking forward to this webinar very much! I will have lots of juicy details to help those interested in pursuing traditional publishing and those interested in self-publishing. See details here:
Master the pitch as this skill is the key to so many aspects of publishing!

Happy writing,

(Thanks for allowing me to share, Sara.)

Dawn Chartier