Writers Network Meeting
August 5, 2022
10 – 11 a.m. via Zoom (open for chat 30 minutes before meeting)
Let’s Hunt Down Common Errors
Scott and Tish Davidson
We’ve heard over and over that you must catch the attention of busy agents or editors in the first few pages of your work. Whether you are sending your writing to a publisher, agent, editor, or contest, the first five pages are critical to keeping your audience reading. Tish and Scott Davidson experienced the importance and power of the first five pages when they judged over 160 books in a contest for small press and independently published books. The entries ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. In this talk the Davidsons will focus on the ridiculous. And the mistakes writers made to get their books rejected early. There will be examples, lots of examples. Some are obvious. Others are subtle. All are fatal. By looking critically at the work of others, you will get a good idea of how to write to get your book rejected in the first five pages. And then you can go out and do the opposite!
Attendees will learn common problems that get a writer rejected. Areas covered will include:
- information dumps/too much background too soon
- introducing too many characters (and confusing character names)
- solitary character thinking/dreaming openings/common tropes
- action that continues too long without adequate supporting details of character, place time (like a prolonged battle)
- excessive long, overly descriptive writing or excessive use of dialect
- failure to set a genre expectation for the reader.
The Davidsons are voracious readers and writers. Tish Davidson just signed a contract for her 17th traditionally published book. She writes on medical issues and history for audiences ranging from elementary school to adult. Her new book for teens, Hormones: Your Questions Answered, (ABC-CLIO, an imprint of Bloomsbury) will be released this July. For the past eight years, she has judged book contests in categories ranging from health and wellness to action-adventure to historical fiction.
Scott Davidson writes, reads, and collects science fiction. He has had a column, “The Last Byte,” in IEEE Design & Test for over 25 years, been on the editorial board of two journals, and has judged science fiction books for an independent book contest.