Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart.I was given the first three seasons on CD as a gift for Christmas. I'm just listening to them now. I'm midway through the first CD (all the podcasts are available, both podcast and transcript, for free at http://www.writingexcuses.com/ ).
From the first, I now know that if I want to pitch a YA novel, my letter should go:
Everyone knows what happens if you find out that you are a king's daughter raised by peasants. But what if you are in the king's family and find out you are a peasant's daughter?First paragraph of my story should read:
Ok. Lets be honest. I get eaten at the beginning of the next chapter, so you may wonder how I'm around for the entire book. Well, that is what this story is about.And I'll need several sections of second person imperative, which, after all, is what my character will be doing for a time after they have been eaten (telling a story through the perspective of the second person imperative commands they were forced to give).
Well, kind of. They warn you against rhetorical questions in submission letters, note that YA is probably not the place for a book where the protagonist gets eaten in the second chapter, and discuss how you can't write in the second person imperative.
I found it inspiring. Decided I'd really like to talk to the editor they had on-board, though that is probably because I don't have a book I'm writing, don't plan to write a book, and what YA editors are thinking and doing is important in my eleven year old daughter's life.
So far I can recommend everything but the bonus material.