Saturday, September 21, 2013

Avoid Clichés Like the Plague

Avoid clichés like the plague. ßHa! See what I did there?

Yup, we use clichés all the time. It seems to me that clichés come to be because they hold some element of truth. But haven’t we heard them enough?

Here's a fun game: pick out all of the cliche's that you hear in this song. I've never been able to make it to the end before rolling my eyes so hard I get a migrane.

Yup, it seems that songwriters can get away with using as many clichés as they want. Maybe because it makes it so easy to remember the words to the songs.

As writers we need our work to be fresh. Exciting! New! Surprising! A feast for the eyes. ßOkay, I’m cutting it close there. ßAnd there.

You see, it’s a lot quicker and easier to fall back on simple descriptions and clichés than it is to make something truly your own. That takes time, thought, and creativity-- those same old key elements of success. Dang it, it's hard work, but it's worth it!

So, if you need to fall back on cliche's, it's fine to do so in your first draft. Then come back and revise them within an inch of their lives. Your readers will thank you for it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Monster List Logo!

I've been posting to The Monster List of Picture Book Agents for a while now. Yes, sometimes there are can be longish periods of time in-between posts but I am for sure dedicated to updating the list as often as I can. So I'd like to present The Monster List of Picture Book Agents logo by Dana Carey!

I love the imagery Dana created to represent the list. Mysterious. A little intimidating perhaps. But behind the door there is opportunity! There are many agents out there who represent what you write. You have to open that door and find the agent for you!

I've known Dana Carey for a while now. Since a bit before she did her Unread interview with me I suppose. Not only is Dana is the Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI France, she's a fabulous writer and illustrator (obviously). Not too long after that interview I got brave and asked Dana if she wanted to trade picture book manuscripts with me. She did! I'm so glad I asked because now not only is she my good friend with a level head that I can also count on for good advice, she's also my partner in Sub It Club.

I didn't know this when I asked her to help me head up Sub It Club, but Dana was a graphic designer in New York City before she moved to France. I feel so lucky to have her in charge of all of Sub It Club's graphic design along with the Monthly Goalpost, Illustrator Postcard Posts, and day to day duties!

And now, not only will my Monster List posts look great, I can post them to Pinterest and make them a resource on the Sub It Club Pinterest pages as well!


Dana Carey for being a wonderful friend, a fabulous critique partner, and for giving me the gift of a beautifully designed logo!