REVISING EMMA

 

Emma Nelson is the writer I selected to work with in Pitch Wars, a fabulous Twitter-based pitch contest put on by Brenda Drake. You can read a bit about how I chose Emma in my post HERE.

We have two months to revise Emma Nelson’s novel, whose working title is The Witch’s Bond. We are preparing it for the Pitch Round in November, when participating agents will accept pitches, so the manuscript needs to be pitch perfect.

Emma (whom I only just met but who is so wonderful!) has graciously allowed me to share the revision process with all of you, so I invite you to follow along as we revise so you can learn the process and apply it to your own work. I will add how-to steps and tips along the way.

Here is a quick synopsis of Emma’s story --- the pitch she submitted to PitchWars.

Dear Mentor,
You’d think that talking with the dead would be all in a day’s work for a certified mortician, ghost-hunting tour guide in Salem, MA, but when Cici runs into a time slip—when the present overlaps with a previous time period—and starts seeing actual ghosts and witches on her Salem’s Lore Haunted Tour outings, she quickly learns that coming face to face with legends isn’t exactly the thrill ride she’d imagined.
Forced to confront her new reality, Cici recruits a wax museum owner and a bouncer with a lineage of dark magic. Together, they unearth the legends behind Salem’s most notorious witch, Bridget Bishop, in order to solve the mystery of the hanged bell ringer of St. Peter’s Church. When Cici's lovingly offbeat Haitian-American family becomes entwined in her efforts, she must hurry to break the chain of ghostly time loops before there's no escape for the victims--or her family.
The Witches’ Bond is a wild romp of hauntings, witchcraft, and time tweaking set in contemporary Salem, MA, one of the most cursed cities in America. It is an adult historical mystery, with supernatural elements. It is complete at 71,000 words.
I have an MA in English literature and have taught college writing courses. I wrote a chapter for the Routledge Companion to Fairy-Tale Cultures and Media, set to be released July 2017; a chapter in Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television; and I edited and compiled Dark Magic: Witches, Hackers, and Robots, set to release in October 2016. I work as an editor for Quantum Fairy Tales magazine, volunteer with Teen Author Boot Camp, and I regularly attend critique groups and writing conferences. I love working with others and am always eager for feedback and suggestions on how to improve my work. I look forward to hearing from you.[JN1] 
 Sincerely,
 Emma Nelson

 

 
 
 
 

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This audio recording (below) is an hour-long conversation with Dale Vernon and Mike Coyne, two of the authors of the book, Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families . We talk about the pleasures and perils of writing about one's own family, the power of being real in your writing, and how a dyslexic guy with no publishing background self publishes a beautiful book and gets it into the hands of readers.

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THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO AGONY AND DEFEAT: 43 OF THE WORST MOMENTS IN THE WRITING LIFE AND HOW TO GET OVER THEM

 Just $2.99 -- click image to purchase on amazon