Video: “Strong Female Characters”

The “Strong Female Characters” title is in quotation marks because I mean it a little differently than people might think I do.

In this video, I explain how a “strong” female character is actually one that has agency and is an active participant in her own storyline. Often, these days, in a well-meaning attempt to diversify female characters and teach equality, writers and publishers are pushing an image of traditional femininity as weakness, and consequently presents girls and women in media who reject femininity and embrace more traditionally masculine attitudes, clothes, language, and roles as a way to show their strength. My video explains why this is not the only way to make a female character strong, and why we need other images of strength too.

 

Video: Critique of Romance Tropes

Here’s something a little different from my usual: I’m offering a video about romance tropes in fiction and how they can sometimes send damaging messages to people about what real-life romance is and what place it should occupy in our lives. Informed primarily from an aromantic perspective–meaning that I’m a person who rarely sees herself in fictional narratives and is affected more negatively by certain messages about romance the way it is currently handled in fiction.

The big takeaway from this video is that we need more important friendships in our fiction! And fewer assumptions about the inevitability of romance and the heteronormative assumption!

 

Video: What Literary Agents Do (Besides Sell Your Book!)

Sometimes people think the only reason to try to get a literary agent is so you can have a chance at the Big Five or get considered by publishers who don’t take unagented stuff, but there are so many more things agents can and likely will do for clients besides sell their books. Here’s my video about those things. Agent love!

Video: Not-So-Frequently Asked Submission Questions

In the same vein as my previous post about less frequently asked questions about querying, I’m now posting the follow-up: Not-So-Frequently Asked Questions about submission for agented authors.


In the video, I answer the following questions:

  • What if it doesn’t sell?
  • Should I research my editors? Should I interact with them?
  • How should I behave online while I’m on submission?
  • How is being on submission different from submitting to agents?
  • What if it DOES sell?
  • What information should the agent be sharing with me while I’m on submission?
  • What do I do to stay calm while I’m on submission?
  • Why does it take so long?
  • What’s the “Big Five”? What’s an imprint?
  • What should I do next if my book doesn’t sell?
  • What does it mean if an editor praises my book but still rejects it?
  • What if the publisher wants to change my title?
  • How do agents pitch books to publishers?
  • Everybody else is getting book deals and I’m not! Is it just never going to happen for me?
  • Can my agent dump me?
  • How important is luck?
  • What about direct submissions to publishers without an agent?
  • What can I expect in terms of an advance?
  • What’s the one piece of advice you would offer to someone who’s newly on submission?

Video: Not-So-Frequently Asked Querying Questions

I’ve got a new video on querying literary agents . . . and this time, I’m addressing the not-so-frequently asked questions. If you’ve got the basics down but have some lingering concerns, check this out and ask your own!

In the video, I answer the following questions:

  • How many agents should I query at once?
  • How long is an average response time?
  • How do I respond if an agent wants to see part or all of my book?
  • Oh God, why am I so nervous? Why is this the hardest letter I’ve ever written?
  • What if all I’m getting are rejections?
  • What if I sent a partial or full manuscript a while ago but then I edited it and it’s better now? Should I send them my updated version?
  • How do I handle approaching remaining agents if one offers representation?
  • What if an agent wants me to make changes to my book and try again?
  • If I get a rejection from an agent, should I reply?
  • What if I get an offer from an agent I don’t want to represent me?
  • When can I list them as my agent on my blog and in my Twitter profile and stuff? I’m dying to tell everyone!
  • What if they seem interested but they refer me to an editor I have to pay for or promise representation for a reading fee?
  • What does it mean if the agent wants to call me?
  • Can I talk about my agent search online?
  • What’s your one piece of advice to an author newly querying agents?