Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Scary Stories vol 2

Many questions!
Since I have not been exposed to the momentous moment of signing a contract, how long does a writer get to consider the contract before they sign? Just an estimate mind you.

If we sent out a contract and didn't hear back from you for over two weeks, we'd be concerned. The important thing is to be in touch.
Hey EA, Can you explain a bit about option clauses? What if your subsequent works aren't necessarily a great match for that particular publisher? Should you send 'em on in anyway? Or does the clause really only apply to the second book? It seems like it might be annoying to send the editor who's editing your picture book a three-volume YA fantasy when she doesn't do much YA fantasy.

Depends on the option clause. Which is why most agents get that clause trimmed down and specificed-up. If you want to send your clause in anonymously, I could post it and see what I think (I would remove mention of the publisher, if included).
I'm working on ED2 with a major company and my contract is still not in the mail. Since it's the sequel to a great selling book, I'm not too concerned... or am I? What if.... they change their mind after all the editing!
Probably no need to worry. But how many drafts of the new book have you turned in? More than two? Time to tell them to fish or cut bait.

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As one who has written small scary stories, let me refer you to one of the stories that inspired me. It’s a fast read at about ten pages, and despite being set in a world of talking equines. I’ll bet it’s scarier than lots of you’ve read. To do best horror or fear writing, first come up with two very different settings, characters or ideas. Next, think about how these two could come jointly in a way that makes sense within the constraints of the narrative. Lastly, once you’ve got the paring and the coming jointly, flip your viewpoint around to the unsuspecting character and walk them into it. All the while dropping more and more clear hints of what's coming. Bonus points if you can get all the way to the end with the reader only then understanding what’s just happened as above. There are many factors to telling a really scary story but I'd argue that the most vital one is to use something that leans towards the truth as your base. Make it vital and preferably to something that is close to your location/time. You want to act like the story in fact scared you as well as it contribute to the common mood in the room and to give the story consistency. In your case, you're in a hotel room so you could come up with a story about the hotel, or a like hotel nearby, one of the rooms, or maybe even the basement of the hotel if you're not planning on going down there. Making it interactive becomes a bit harder I'd say. You'll have to find a way for them to relate with the story without breaking up the mood. Watch precise areas of the room such as the door as they are person tell the story "because the monster can't get in if someone is looking at the door" etc.