I read Michael Crichton’s Timeline back when I was in eighth or ninth grade. At the time, I was really into the quantum physics theory of parallel universes—to the extent that I plowed through some articles that were really beyond my comprehension. And by “plowed through,” I mean read slowly and repeatedly until I could force myself to understand them.
A while back, I had the pleasure of editing a book that briefly discussed the interaction between the macronutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates). The thing that really stuck with me about this interaction is that the body digests best when it is not digesting only one of these at a time. You don’t want to just eat (for example) protein—you want to pair it with fats or carbohydrates.
Jeannie here. This post first appeared in my literary consultant blog, but I've changed it up a bit. I feel like this topic is pretty evergreen around New Year's.
I always got a slew of new clients at the beginning of the year. And it seems like Thinklings Books has gotten quite a few queries from authors too. Whether I am here at Thinklings or working on my own, it's far too many to work with; and besides, I know better by now than to expect most of them to follow through. Back when I was just consulting by myself, I told some of my personal clients to try my query boot-camp classes in February. Usually there were three major groups: self-important narcissists, impatient eager beavers, and dropouts. I mostly want to talk about the last group.
We’ve had a lot of great book submissions lately, but several that we thought showed promise all let us down in one specific area: They lacked the ability to switch between scene and summary. In the case of our most recent slew of submissions, this was accomplished by extensive blocks of dialogue.
Other times, we get submissions where there isn’t any dialogue for pages, maybe even chapters.
Books need both. If you don’t have dialogue, then it’s all summary and nothing more than a 300-page book report on a book that has not yet been written. If it’s all dialogue, then it’s a poorly written script for a movie.
This week Deborah’s book Bargaining Power is available on Amazon!
I (Deborah) paint sometimes. I’m not very good, but I’m not particularly bad either. Like an absent-minded female Bob Ross who prefers finger painting her happy little clouds (yes, I use oils) and doesn’t stick ugly buildings in front of her beautiful landscapes.
At Thinklings, we strive to publish books that are not only readable and enjoyable but also re-readable. What makes a book re-readable? It depends on the reader! We’d love to see your comments below on what you think makes a book re-readable. The answers we came up with are: Nostalgia can certainly play a part—think favorite books from childhood. (One book Sarah is nostalgic about is No Flying in the House by Betty Brock: the first fantasy novel she remembers reading. For Jeannie, it’s Nancy Drew books, specifically The Hidden Staircase.) Wonderful characters who come alive, breathtaking settings, timeless themes that stir the heart, clever plot twists, a beautiful or engaging writing style, and personal connections also make a book re-readable.
Jeannie here: your friendly, frazzled CMO of Thinklings. I'm also a literary consultant, and I've been in the biz for more than a decade and a half. This post was pulled from my blog.
I've always enjoyed writing letters. However, with the advent of modern technology, letter writing has fallen out of fashion. At least, that's what you'd think. While we may not use the post office to mail letters like we used to, there are modern heirs to the letter, but they've been co-opted . . . by impatience. The main heir would be email. I love email. Well, I love writing a good email letter. I do this with my editor Deborah and proofreader Sarah. They are both great writers, and we enjoy sending each other long, thought-out emails with interesting ideas. Same with my writer friend Emma who lives in Germany.
Merriam-Webster defines quality as: “degree of excellence; superiority in kind” (2a, 2b).
So what does it take for a book to be considered excellent and superior? You could Google that question and receive a million—or more—different answers. That’s why we at Thinklings Books thought it important to create our own list of criteria, so that anyone submitting a manuscript to us (or anyone simply curious) can have a reference guide, rather than be left hoping and praying and searching endless web pages.