PitchWars Update – It’s Good News!

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Update on the PitchWars contest:

*drumroll*

“THE ENIGMA FILES: PHANTOM THIEF” got picked by a mentor!

Woohoo!

This means the lovely Jennifer
Malone, my new writing mentor, will read over the book throughout December. Then she’ll send me the most masterful, in-depth critiqueI’m sure I’ll have ever seen.

But the fun doesn’t end there! I’ll then revise the book in answer to all her feedback, and re-present it for the final stage of the contest: so 15+ agents can read it, and request more.

I’m so excited.

Dave

Judgment is Coming…

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Saw this poster upon stepping outside New Cross Gate train station…
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At first, I thought it was some sort of ‘End of the World’ notice. I thought it was nice they wanted to remind us ahead of time, but the Mayan’s predicted date was still a way’s off. Then, upon closer inspection (ie. spotting a release date and the Lionsgate logo), I quickly realised that this was a teaser poster for the upcoming ‘DREDD’, and that it was pretty spiffy, for more than one reason…

Firstly, it LOOKS GOOD, and draws your attention and curiosity. Judgement? Whut now? There is a city in the midst of fiery devastation, and surely that means this judgement is either a) the cause of said destruction, and not good, or b) the answer to this ruined city’s problems, in which case huzzah! It can’t come around quick enough!

Secondly, could have just shown a picture of Dredd himself, but then – other than to take in the costume – you wouldn’t give it a second glance. They purposefully left him out, along with any other glaringly obvious iconography from the movie or comics. Doing so is a very clever marketing strategy, if you think about it… Instead of thinking ‘If we don’t make it obvious this is advertising DREDD, how is anyone going to know?’ They instead went with ‘Hey, if we just have the ominous statement “JUDGMENT IS COMING”, it will confuse a lot if people, but in a good way – instead of shrugging it off, they’ll hopefully look into it online, and find out more about the movie!’

And they’re not the only ones to take this approach. Only recently I saw an advertisement on the tube for ‘Rekall memory services’. This was easier for me to place, as I’m a huge fan of the original TOTAL RECALL, but it struck me nonetheless as an ingenious marketing campaign – involve your audience, bring them into the world of your story, and they feel more affinity towards it.

And I’m sure it’s not just movies utilising this strategy – the card game ‘Magic: The Gathering’ did a similar postal campaign for their recent horror-influenced ‘Innistrad’ set, mailing postcards done in the olde English style of posters, declaring everything from witch hunts to monsters stealing children. They were odd and disturbing, and set the mood perfectly when the new range of cards came out.

I’m sure books can use similar approaches, if they haven’t already. I’m already in the planning stages of a HUGE publicity angle for the series I’m writing, but I can’t be alone…

What do YOU think? Are there any unique publicity/advertising campaigns for books I’d should know about? Maybe you have plans for the future, or would like to share a past success? Leave a comment!

Until next time,

Dave

Day 29 – Make Em’ Laugh…

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I’m currently in the process of perfecting the first 5000 words of my novel in time for an agency’s funny-story competition, and when I’d gotten it to the best I possibly could at the moment, I went on to write more of the overall novel. That’s when I noticed something for probably the first time…

Writing comedy is HARD. Seriously hard. And comedy for children? Probably the hardest of all.

It’s not as simple as “That’s funny, I’ll put that in!” You’ve got to consider your audience, the joke’s suitably, it’s necessity to the story, it’s phrasing/delivery… There’s no point having a funny idea if you can’t get it across clearly for your readers. Especially children – adults will read a long, convoluted humourous passage, decipher the intended joke, and move on. Children will just find the book boring, and put it down. Then you, as the author, have lost.

Thankfully, as the author, you have as long as it takes to make every joke zing (unless you’re an already-published author working to a deadline, in which case I’d think it’s safe to say you’ve already proven you know how to write jokes). Your first draft can be as long and muddled as it can possibly be, because your revision process will then whittle away all that fluff and prattle time and time again, until you’re left with as close to perfect as it’s going to get. And it’s the same with writing the jokes. So what if it took you four lines to say “grandma blew-up the birthday cake”? What matters is that, by the time you’ve revised it half a dozen times or more, you’ve got something snappy, surprising, and sure to make the kids giggle.

So take it from me – just because writing gets hard from time to time doesn’t mean you’re going anything wrong. It just means you’re learning more about the writing craft itself…

Until tomorrow!

Dave

Day 28 – Still Behind…

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I’m getting more and more lethargic as the days progress, and my blog schedule is suffering because of it. And for that, I apologise.

The good news is a) I haven’t given up, and b) there’s only two posts to go (after this one).

But where to go from there? Obviously, I want to do more book reviews, interviews, and talk about my own writing projects and process, but I currently have two writing competitions I’m working on, as well as the constant search for employment, so posting regularity might take a dip after the 30th post. But I won’t give up on it! So stay tuned… And you never know what you might find next.

Until tomorrow!

Dave

Day 5 – Twice in a Row?!

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Yes, twice. I’m beginning to have serious doubts about this WordPress app. I might have to consider re-installing it.

Anyway, onto the original post…

I’m working on several manuscripts these days. Why? Because that’s how I roll…

No, but seriously, I do it because even though I have the urge to write every day, I’m not always in the mood to write the same thing. I mean, I can’t always write mystery. Sometimes I want to write comedy, or horror, or even action. By working on several novels consecutively, I can cater to whatever genre suits my mood without that mood interfering with a novel it would be unsuitable for.

So next time you find yourself in a funny mood halfway though your adventure, consider starting a comedy rather than trying to force a laugh in there.

Writers block is, to me, refusing to cater to the writing mood you’re in at the time. If you’re a writer, you can always write – don’t let “but I can’t write my novel” get in the way!

Until tomorrow!

Dave