Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024
  • Rebecca Williamson Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/8/2024
  • Sheila Fernley Agent Spotlight Interview, Critique Giveaway, and One-Hour Zoom Call on 7/29/2024
  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

How Writing in Verse Can Improve Your Prose by Debut Author Sandy Deutscher Green and Ghost Writers: The Haunting of Lake Lucy Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Sandy Deutscher Green here with a guest post to celebrate the release of her MG horror in verse Ghost Writers: The Haunting of Lake Lucy. It sounds like a creepy story with a mystery to solve that I’d enjoy.

Here's a blurb:

A lakeside summer vacation is just what 13-year-old Jayce needs… except he’s convinced the ghost from his nightmares lives in the creepy house next door. But when he decides to team up with his twin sister to write a letter to the phantom neighbor, he’s shocked when THE GHOST WRITES HIM BACK. Now Jayce must uncover the dark secret of a cursed lake—or remain haunted forever.


Follower News

Before I get to Sandy’s guest post, I have Follower News to share. Eric Haan recently released book 2 in his Drakenaarde Chronicles, Xander the Shadow Girl. Here’s a blurb: Xander the stable girl is tough and smart; she also likes to keep a low profile – she’s an expert in camouflage. Then, she’s kidnapped and loses her memory. When Jake tries to rescue her, Xander must remember who she is and choose: step into the light and make a stand… or remain hidden in the shadows. And here are a few links: https://www.jakethedragontalker.com/

J.Q. Rose just released Introducing Mom's Memories and Reflections on Motherhood: A Guided Journal. Here's a blurb: Mom’s Memories and Reflections on Motherhood: A Guided Journal is adorned with bright yellow sunflowers and created with pages to journal about mom's unique life experiences, capturing the laughter, tears, and growth that define motherhood. This journal promises to be a timeless heirloom, safeguarding memories and reflections for generations to cherish. And here are a few links:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0D1Q6M13H and http://www.jqrose.com/

Now here’s Sandy! 

How Writing in Verse Can Improve Your Prose

The thought process behind writing a novel in verse can help you write tight and interesting prose without losing the storyline, sacrificing character development, or skipping important beats in your narrative. It can weed out tedious detail and infuse your story with emotional and sensory richness.

In verse novels, word placement on the page enhances the theme of the story and mirrors the emotions of the character. Matching the cadence of the scene by crowding or spreading words mimics the emotional range of a character feeling elation, apprehension, trepidation, longing, jealousy, or any of the dozens of emotions our characters are capable of feeling. Words are sparse and choosing the perfect word encourages you to write the way the narrator is conveying the story. Do your characters always think or speak in perfect sentences? We often communicate in fragments or clauses.

Writing free verse is more than dropping articles and punctuation. It’s being conscious of the rhythm of the words and stanzas by taking natural breathing breaks in the text.

Identify the theme or purpose of your first chapter and rewrite it using shorter lines. Take natural line breaks where you would if you were reading it aloud. Read it aloud yourself, or have your computer’s read aloud function or a person read it to you.

Inside your stanzas, you might discover alliteration or imbedded rhyme, where rhyming words are scattered throughout the text. If not, you might add them, or not, whatever you feel is appropriate. At the end of the chapter, reread the last stanzas. Your chapter title might be there, if you’re inclined to name your chapters (or the title of a poem).

Each poem represents a scene and must fulfill the same requirements as a scene:

Here's an exercise to tighten the words in your story. Try it on one chapter. I’ve used a few lines as an example:

·       Write one chapter in prose:

“There are some people who live year-round at the lake,” Ally said. She pointed to a boy, about thirteen years old, playing some sort of video game on a towel. “Like that kid.”

“How come he’s not out here?” I asked. All that bouncing and sliding was way too much fun.

Ally shrugged. “All I know is that he’s not very friendly. He never talks to anybody. I think he might already be a teenager.” 

·       Rewrite it in free verse, concentrating on emotion and reaction:

she points to a boy on a towel

absorbed in a video game

older than us

wearing cut offs

a leather band wraps his wrist 

hair the color of sand

back curved like the moon

blending into the beach

lonely afternoon 

living at a lake resort

isn’t a vacation for everyone. 

·       Switch back to prose from the verse:

             The year-round boy scowls at him from behind his game. Older than us, he’s wearing cut offs and a leather band around his wrist. His sandy-colored hair blends into the beach.

            An offer to him to join us dies in my throat. Living at the beach isn’t a vacation for everyone.


If you’re having trouble with a scene, this exercise might be just what you need to jumpstart your writing by concentrating on transitions between scenes, senses, foreshadowing, advancing the plot, and whether the scene resolves the conflict.

Ultimately, your story will be one that children will love!

You can find Sandy at: Website: www.sandydgreen.com

Giveaway Details

Sandy is generously offering a hardback of Ghost Writers: The Haunting of Lake Lucy for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by May 25th. If your email is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter or follow Sandy on her social media sites, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This book giveaway is U.S.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Greg Pattridge. You can find the participating blogs on his blog.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Wednesday, May 15th I have a guest post by Rose Atkinson-Carter, a freelance writer for Reedsy

Thursday, May 16th I'm participating in the Moms Rock Giveaway Hop

Monday, May 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Caroline Trussell and a query critique giveaway

Saturday, June 1st I’m participating in the Berry Good Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, June 5th I have an interview with author June Hur and a giveaway of her YA historical A Crane Among Wolves and my IWSG post

Monday, June 10th I have an agent spotlight interview with Jenna Satterthwaite and a query critique giveaway

Sunday, June 16th I’m participating in the Dad-o-mite Giveaway Hop

I hope to see you on Wednesday!



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

That's a really cool exercise, Sandy! I think a lot of writers will find this useful.

Danielle H. said...

Thank your for the writing exercise and example. I've been reading many NIV and would enjoy trying this with my own writing. I follow the author on Facebook and Instagram and follow Natalie on Twitter. I shared this post on tumblr. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this exciting book!

Patricia T. said...

Wow! I never heard of a horror story written in verse. Intriguing interview with Sandy. I have read so many novels in verse and can see how they would improve a writer's prose. Thank you for sharing!

Kate Larkindale said...

Very interesting. I've never thought about writing in verse, but I may try this.

Liz A. said...

I'll add that to the toolkit. It might even work for writing queries where short is what needs to happen. Although, my poetry writing is not that great.

Greg Pattridge said...

The example of how to change prose into verse was perfect. I've focused more on reading the traditional text base story but have come to admire verse style of writing. Looking forward to sharing Sandy's book with a review in September. (No need to enter me in the Giveaway opportunity).

Carol Baldwin said...

Sandy, a very instructive article and exercise. Thanks for sharing it, Natalie! It's so fun to read an article written by an author I know!!!

Carol Baldwin said...

No need to enter my name, Natalie!

traveler said...

Very helpful and a wonderful book. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Mewla Young said...

Thanks for the great suggestions!

Jacqui said...

Love the idea of something new to try. Thanks!

Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf said...

Having written a fair amount of poetry (though not as much lately), I can definitely see how switching into writing verse would get one's feelings moving and make it easier to continue writing in prose! I'll pass on the giveaway, but thanks so much for sharing this guest post, Natalie!

Sandra Cox said...

Fascinating juxtapose on prose and verse.
Congrats to the authors on their new releases.
'Lo Natalie.

Linda Browne said...

I love the premise of a horror novel in verse, with a ghost writing back! Thanks for the exercise!

Nancy P said...

Sounds incredibly fascinating! LifeSmartly Bonne.Vivante Positive.ideas.4youATgmail

Rosi said...

Congrats to Eric and J.Q. This is an interesting post. I think it's brave to write a novel in verse. I would love to try it sometime. Thaks for the post. I will pass on the giveaway. My copy is on its way.

Charlotte said...

this sounds great! I've never read a mg horror novel in verse, and am very intrigued.

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.