Are you working on a novel right now? How about a novella (25,000 - 50,000 words)? Would you like an editor to look at your work and give you feedback?
Breathless Press is hosting a NaNoWriMo Critique Weekend. Their fabulous editors will read your first drafts and give you advice on your first five pages. The best part? If the editor falls in love with your blurb and story they might offer to fast track you to publication! That means you'll have an editor's support and guidance through the whole writing process and on to publication.
What do you need?
- A YA or Romance manuscript (note: my Heroes and Villains books are with Breathless Press and are considered romantic enough for a Romance line)
- First five pages double spaced and spell checked
- A short synopsis
The Short Synopsis is approximately 250 words (no more than 500) that explains what your story is about. Think of it as the Back Of Book Blurb (Bobb). Beth Bacon has an excellent formula detailed HERE.
(1) Situation. Every story has to start somewhere, with some people in some sort of circumstances. Describe them simply here.
(2) Problem. Every story (every interesting one, anyway) has some sort of hitch that either makes that situation untenable or makes change inevitable. This part of the description often starts with the word, “But…” or “However…” or “Until…”
(3) Hopeful possibility. Here’s the potential to overcome the crisis. This “cool thing” or “longshot opportunity” makes your audience want to read your story. Yes, the situation (above) seems doomed by the problem (above). Still, there’s hope because of this new twist. Parts 1, 2, and 3, if concisely written, together create the drama that propels the story.
(4) Mood, tone or spirit of the story. Finally, readers want to know what kind of emotional state they’re going to get into while they’re reading this book. Is it a dark, dystopian tragedy or humorous chick lit cotton candy? This is where you set the tone and clinch the deal, turning browsers into buyers.
Here's what I used for my first query with Even Villains Fall In Love:
If you believe the rumors you know that Doctor Charm, the wickedly sexy super villain, retired in shame seven years ago after his last fight with the super hero Zephyr Girl. The fact that the charming Evan Smith—father of four and husband of the too-beautiful-to-be-real Tabitha—bears a resemblance to the defeated Doctor is pure coincidence. And, please, ignore the minions.
Everything is perfect in the Smith household, until Tabitha announces her return to work as a super hero. Evan was hoping to keep her distracted until after he rigged the presidential election, but—genius that he is—Evan has a backup plan. In his basement lab, Evan has a machine whose sole purpose is keeping Tabitha hungry for him. But children and labs don’t mix. The machine is broken, and Tabitha storms out, claiming she no longer knows him.
World domination takes a back seat to meeting his daughters’ demands to get Mommy back right now. This time his genius isn’t going to be enough—he’s going to need both his evil alter-ego, and the blooming super abilities of his children to save his wife. But even his most charming self might not be enough to save their marriage.
It sets up the situation (a super villain married to a superhero), the conflict (his wife walked out on him), and the complications (he needs time to take over the world and there's the kids to worry about). The blurb also sets the tone. Even Villains Fall In Love is humorous and the blurb reflects that aspect.
Really, it's not as impossible as you think.
Go write your blurb, double-space those first five pages, and send your work to the Breathless Press editors for review!