Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Flog a Pro: would you turn this bestselling author’s first page?

Trained by reading hundreds of submissions, editors and agents often make their read/not-read decision on the first page. In a customarily formatted book manuscript with chapters starting about 1/3 of the way down the page (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type), there are 16 or 17 lines on the first page.

The challenge: does this narrative compel you to turn the page?

Please judge by storytelling quality, not by genre—some reject an opening page immediately because of genre, but that’s not a good […]

How To Become a Writer

photo by Robert Couse-Barker via Flickr

Change is hard, even good change. Learning to navigate change is why we’re wired for story in the first place. Even when we’re caught up in what we might think of as mere entertainment, under our conscious radar the story is mainlining inside info on how to deal with the changes that we can’t avoid, put off, or pretend aren’t really there. And so since the only constant is change, there will always be new […]

Even More New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

Two years ago I posted a set of New Year’s resolutions for writers, which was well enough received that I posted another set of resolutions the following December. This holiday season, since I’m all about tradition (as opposed to being all about that bass), I’ve assembled several more resolutions for writers to consider as the new year approaches.

Some of the resolutions I’m proposing might initially seem to be in conflict with each other, but if you read on, I think […]

Social Media the Second Time Around

image by Steven Depolo

As I’ve mentioned here before, my next book is coming out under a pseudonym — which is energizing and daunting in equal measure. One area where the chickens are really coming home to roost (or going elsewhere to roost, I guess) is in social media.

Because Jael McHenry has her own online world that she’s been building ever since online became a thing, but Pseudonym Me — let’s call her P.M. for short — had to start […]

Flog a Pro: would you turn this bestselling author’s first page?

Trained by reading hundreds of submissions, editors and agents often make their read/not-read decision on the first page. In a customarily formatted book manuscript with chapters starting about 1/3 of the way down the page (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type), there are 16 or 17 lines on the first page.

The challenge: does this narrative compel you to turn the page?

Please judge by storytelling quality, not by genre—some reject an opening page immediately because of genre, but that’s not a good […]

The Five Stages of New Writers’ Grief

© iStockphoto.com

Earlier this year, at an online forum for writers that I frequent, I watched a familiar scenario play itself out. A new member joined the forum, full of excitement (and not a small amount of hubris) about the novel he’d just completed. As he posted his early attempts at a query letter for others to review and critique, two things quickly became clear:

He was convinced the rest of the forum would be utterly dazzled by his unmatched literary […]

Everything I Need to Know About Plot, I Learned From Buffy

photo by Jaina

A couple of weeks ago, a client told me one of his beta readers had said his book read like a comic book.  I asked why that was a bad thing.

Granted, you don’t want your characters to be shallow caricatures or your plot to be mechanical or contrived, which is what many people mean by “reads like a comic book.”  But all of this client’s characters were fully rounded and plausibly human.  Even the psychopath who hunted […]

Flog a Pro: would you turn this bestselling author’s first page?

Trained by reading hundreds of submissions, editors and agents often make their read/not-read decision on the first page. In a customarily formatted book manuscript with chapters starting about 1/3 of the way down the page (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type), there are 16 or 17 lines on the first page.

The challenge: does this narrative compel you to turn the page?

Please judge by storytelling quality, not by genre—some reject an opening page immediately because of genre, but that’s not a good […]

Seeking Immersion Conversion

photo by Marc-Olivier Maheu

“As a reader you recognize that feeling when you’re lost in a book, right? You know the one – when whatever’s going on around you seems less real than what you’re reading and all you want to do is keep going deeper into the story… Well, if you’re writing that book it’s real for you too.” ~Sara Sheridan

Lost and Loving It: I’m with Sara Sheridan. I love getting lost in a book—totally immersed in the world […]

Flog a Pro: would you turn this bestselling author’s first page?

Trained by reading hundreds of submissions, editors and agents often make their read/not-read decision on the first page. In a customarily formatted book manuscript with chapters starting about 1/3 of the way down the page (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type), there are 16 or 17 lines on the first page.

The challenge: does this narrative compel you to turn the page?

Please judge by storytelling quality, not by genre—some reject an opening page immediately because of genre, but that’s not a good […]

It’s a funny world.

A lot of humorous novels build the comedy into the characters.  We watch two hapless lovers stumble toward each other in rom-coms or pull themselves out of increasingly bizarre situations in screwballs.  You can write this kind of humor with nothing more than insight into human nature and enough love for your characters to laugh at them.  But you need a different set of skills to create a book where the comedy is built into your fictional world, whether it’s the […]

August Roundup: Hot Tweetables at #WU

 

For many of us, August brought vacation, homegrown vegetables, and plenty of words on the page. Just in case you missed the mergers, the continuing Amazon-Hachette debate, or some downright juicy craft links designed to jump start your writing, we bring you our top tweets of the month. Be sure to browse the #WU hashtags on Twitter for lots more. Enjoy the final days of summer!

 

 

#WUPrint

"Blurb Does Deal With Ingram to Help Indie Authors Get Into Bookstores" via @DigiBookWorld: http://t.co/NWozC4zVHp […]