Okay – here is the last of my SCBWI posts from SCBWI Temecula.  YA author, Debby Garfinkle, stopped by and shared her “how to solve (almost) any writing problem” tips with us. Here is a brief list of her ideas:

* How to get published – REVISE, REVISE, REVISE, REVISE…….REVISE, REVISE, REVISE. Oh! And revise!!!

* How she got through the publishing hoops  –

  • work at least 10 hrs/week on her craft
  • start with a marketable hook, an interesting mc, quirky secondary characters, internal goals, external goals, an end, lessons learned
  • write about 50 pages, print, revise (x3)
  • give to crits
  • revise again
  • finish ms (for her – 6 drafts or so went into that)
  • give to crit group
  • revise
  • more crits
  • revise
  • give to agent
  • revise
  • revise after subs (if rejected)

See – revise revise revise

Other great advice she shared –

* write synop during drafting process

* Have a DISTINCTIVE voice

* Vivid descriptions

* Use teen readers (if you write YA) – more on this next week

* Make Protag likeable

* Avoid stereotyped characters


  • Don’t try until you have the very best ms you can
  • put samples of ms in your query letter
  • make sure your query has been critted BEFORE you send it out

Yep – great advice overall!

So, anything standout? What SCBWI advice did YOU like best?

Next week is dedicated to READERS so be sure to come back for some fun things.


4 thoughts on “Advice from author Debby Garfinkle

  1. Ahhh the dreaded R word…sometimes hated and feared more than that other R word (the one that rhymes with Reflection – ooo which is also a good R word) 😀

    Yep, revisions upon revisions upon revisions definitely make the difference 🙂

    Great post! Thanks again for posting all the cool info you got from the conference 🙂

  2. I can’t decide, all the advice has been great! Although today’s advice makes me feel great, since I’m revising, revising, revising. Great post as usual!

  3. Reading about other people’s publishing journeys makes me feel like I’m not all alone in this, so thanks again for sharing this 🙂 Great advice all together, I’ll just have to keep in mind to “revise, revise and then revise some more”!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s