More Notes from PSWA Conference

Editors and Publisher Panel:

Query letter must be free of typos.

Must have a marketing plan, many publishers want to know what you plan to do to promote your book ahead of time.

Must have your book edited before you submit. Get recommendations for an editor from someone you know and trust.

Beware of agents who take you on then recommend an editor.

Character Panel:

The main character should have flaws and reasons for not wanting to do what he will have to do.

Ask questions of your character so you know it all and will be able to know why the character acts as he or she does.

Characters do make mistakes and character makes the book.

Side-kick character should be off to the side.

The characters should be surprising.

Must make the person become real, including the physical reaction to things around them.

In plays or script everything happens through dialogue.

You can build characters on people you know--though there was some disagreement about this.

In my own experience, when I have based a fictional character on a real person they didn't recognize themself.

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith


Maryann Miller said…
Great tips, Marilyn, although I must disagree with your comment that all action comes through dialogue in plays or scripts. When I took a series of screenwriting classes with Joe Camp, of Benji fame, he had us write five pages of script with no dialogue. We had to use visuals to tell the story. That was a great exercise and helped me recognize that film and stage are a mix of verbal and visual.

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