Monthly Archives: February 2012

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Writing Snippets entry in the
Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop
February 29th to March 5th

Enter to win a $15 e-gift card from

To enter you must follow the blog (mandatory) and comment below. Earn up to 2 additional entries by Tweeting and/or Facebooking about the giveaway and commenting with links to where you spread the word. No more than 3 entries per person.
(current followers may enter by commenting and using social media)

Over 100 blogs are participating in Leap into Books, giving away great items for readers and writers. Go check them out!

Find the other participating blogs at: I Am a Reader Not a Writer

And fans of LDS books should check out our other ongoing giveaway!

ETA: giveaway now closed!

Writing and Publishing Around the Web: February 2012

Here’s some of the great writing and publishing info I found online in the month of February:

Agent Kristin Nelson offers a five-part “talking-head” video series answering the questions on YA and Middle Grade fiction that she is asked most frequently at conferences: Fridays with Agent Kristin.

Writer Elissa Cruz shares an interview with editor Eve Adler on the World of Licensed Characters and Work-for-Hire in children’s literature.

Author Janice Hardy gives us a 3 part series on non-traditional antagonists: The Faceless Villain: What to do When your Bad Guy Isn’t a Person, There is No Bad Guy: What to do when your Antagonist Isn’t a Villain, and You Can Fight Mama Nature: What to do when Your Antagonist is Nature Herself.

Author Patricia C. Wrede launches an ongoing multi-part series on The Business of Writing.

Author Dean Wesley Smith shared an in-depth article on Pen Names.

Editor/Author Jon Gingerich lists 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes.

The Author’s Guild published an interesting article: Publishing’s Ecosystem on the Brink: The Backstory.

Author A.J. Hartley talks about Varying Sentence Length.

Author Gennifer Albin discusses MacGuffins: Using Them Effectively.

For those of you writing historical or medieval fantasy stories, here is a handy list of Medieval Occupations.

Agent Mary Kole shares 10 questions to ask when offered representation, and Questions you might be asked when offered representation.

Agent Rachelle Gardner lists 13 Ways to Impress an Agent and 6 Reasons for Writers to Be Optimistic.

Editor Alan Rinzler shares an article on Why Writers Need Agents: 4 pros weigh in.

Author Ruth Harris shares 8 Tips for Turning “Real Life” into Bestselling Fiction.

Author David B. Coe writes about Transitions and Chapter Breaks.

Author S.C. Butler writes about the problem of Too Many POVs.

Editor/Author C.S. Lakin shares thoughts on the importance of plotting in layers.

Finally, author Chris Eboch provides some handy Plot and Character Exercises.

by Jocelyn

Technology Rant

My dad is an author.  He’s been writing since he was a little kid.

I just told him that he needs a blog, and a Facebook account and a twitter account so that when he is published he will have a built in readership to take to the publisher with him.

His response: 

“Shut up.”

My sister is also an author.  She’s been writing since I badgered her into it about 20 years ago.  She writes paranormal historical inspirational romantic fantasy science fiction.  Say that one five times fast, then try to categorize it on Amazon.  Ouch.  She also does not have a twitter account, or Facebook, or MySpace, or LinkedIn or any of the other odd…well, you get the idea.  My family is a little strange that way.  She says, “Shut up.”

I think this is reasonable.  Shut up about how I need a cell phone and I need a twitter account and I need all this other technological gobbledygook so that the publisher, when I get a contract, doesn’t need to work as hard to sell my book.

Of course, with that attitude I’ll be publishing my own books and doing my own publicity, which means I’ll need a twitter account, and a cell phone, and a Facebook account…

I think I’ll go be a hermit and send chapters down the river wrapped in cellophane.  Then I’ll become famous when someone finds all the chapters and puts them together and I’ll get published that way.

Yeah, I’ll go be a hermit.

Meet Author and Editor Heather Moore

Heather Moore

Introducing Heather Moore, author of LDS historical novels such as Alma the Younger, and owner and editor of Precision Editing. Learn about her books and editing company and comment on this podcast for a chance to win her book Abinadi. Email us with the correct number of books she’s published for an extra entry or Facebook, Twitter or blog about this contest and leave us the links to your Facebook, Twitter, and blog with your comment for extra entries. For more information on Heather and her books go to:

Abinadi book cover

Download here
(To download right click and select “save link as”)

By Hook or by Crook

My daughter is in middle school.

I’m sure we all remember the books we were asked to read in school. I remember “The Lord of the Flies,” “The Scarlett Letter,” and “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Oh, and the plays. The Crucible. Romeo and Juliet. And the short stories: Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles,” and let’s not forget “The Lottery.”

I specifically remember “The Lottery.” In my humble opinion, we have a twenty-first century equivalent of that story: “The Hunger Game.s” Yup. The whole premise is that some innocent person has to kill or be killed in order to feed his–or her–family. Someone must lose their life to sadistic, unreasonable, societal expectations, either to entertain the idle in their bloodlust, or to maintain savage “tradition.” I thought we were past this as a society. Personally, I think the whole idea is degrading and animalistic, but what do I know? I didn’t want my children to read the book because I have this funny, old fashioned idea that children need to be protected from depravity and savagery, but guess which book my girl was assigned in her literature class?

Fine. I told her she didn’t have to read it if she didn’t want to, but she said she would give it a try. When I asked her what she thought, this is what she said: “I hate the story idea, the premise of child gladiators killing each other to feed their families, but—” her words not mine: “The writing was so incredibly great that I was pulled in from the first lines.”


My curiosity piqued, I mentioned this to my friend Lauren, a fellow Snippeter and a writer-who-sees-clearly. She sat down and analyzed the first page of that novel. What was it that pulled the reader in and didn’t let them go?
Hooks. Lots and lots of carefully placed, well hidden little two-or-three syllable temptations that have you miles deep in the story before you know you’re through the first page. This is what Lauren said:

“In the first paragraph, author Suzanne Collins introduces the main character, the family situation, and a hint of poverty. She ends with a hook. She mentions “the reaping,” an ominous phrase that brings to the subconscious mind visions of a dark hooded specter carrying a scythe. The second paragraph also ends with a hook. And the fourth paragraph refers back to the hook in the first paragraph, and the menacing hope of “the reaping.”

By the end of the first page (or in reality, page and a half) she’s introduced the setting, the main character, the society, and leaves with another hook, pulling you through to the next page. What is the reaping? Hope for better, the word suggests, since it’s a cause for gift giving. So far it’s the only thing mentioned more than once.

It doesn’t start into the action immediately, as some people seem to think is necessary. It sets up the situation in careful detail and leaves us wanting more by the use of carefully spaced hooks. This story has been painstakingly crafted, the hooks placed with caution and deliberation, to keep the reader reading.

It is also written in present tense, which makes the action (or rather lack of it) more immediate. But that’s another story.”

Now I have my next focus of study. But I’ll figure out how to use hooks to draw my readers in with anticipation, with joy. Not with dread. I think the literary community from Euripides to dystopia is saturated with dread. And I’ve had enough of dread.

By Ava Mylne

Winner of our Michael Phipps/Jimmy Fincher contest!

The winner is:


Please email us at writingsnippets @ gmail .com with your shipping address and your preference of which of James Dashner’s Jimmy Fincher books you would like.