A writer’s manifesto for 2012. Read this and get to work
Sometimes I like to pretend I’m writing “to” novelist Chuck Wendig. It helps me cut the crap when self-censorship creeps in. I love Wendig’s writing voice, and I just feel freer to speak my mind on the page when I’m in his literary presence. What you’re about to read was actually blogged by Chuck Wendig last April. Who cares? If […]
Editing Fiction for Intelligent Readers (No Spoon-feeding Allowed.)
Often I think I’m illuminating my reader, when merely I’ve employed “qualifiers”—See below why qualifying is akin to spoon-feeding the reader.
Using Dirty Fighting To Escalate Tension In Your Story
Great books are filled with conflict, and great characters who learn important lessons. Writer and all-around-funny Jenny Hansen’s clever tips for Dirty Fighting Techniques can be applied to your main character’s friend, family member or a significant other…whoever he or she is in conflict. Hansen asserts, “Every entry on the Dirty Fighting List is guaranteed […]
Writers: Who to Query First, Why and How
Once upon a time, completing your manuscript was the hard part. Eventually, “The End” is behind you; with the thoughtful critique of your circle of writing partners, it is buffed and shammied to a high sheen, primped to enter a tournament of queries. The ultimate prize: publication. Literary agent Jennifer Laughran recently spelled out some […]
Fiction Writing: 7 Elements of the First Page
r am I jaded? More often than I care to admit, a book’s finely crafted opening pages evoke lovestruck stars in my eyes, much as one too many nervous cocktails over tentative introductions.
Critiquing Other People’s Writing: 7 Tips for Making Manuscripts Better
When you make friends with the red pen pointing out weak story points, redundancy or grammar errors, you give yourself the opportunity to grow as a writer and refine your final product. But is the job of the red pen wielder easier than that of the writer?
10 Simple Ways to Support Authors You Love, and Love the Readers Who Support You
I’ll admit it, I’m a fangirl. When an author’s amazing book inspires awe, when an agent teaches a class with the intention of improving and inspiring our burgeoning manuscripts, or either write a blogpost containing encouragement and advice for other writers–well, I want to return the favor of their generosity and give them a (virtual) […]
Do Readers Care About Your Fiction Characters?
Action is my habit. When I briskly type out an initial draft of a scene, the early rendition reveals a pesky ritual of churning my characters through conflict after conflict, plowing them through troubles, smacking them in the forehead with insult and treachery–often at the expense of breathing space or time for reflection. What am I? some brutish, merciless warden […]
Reflections of an author’s year of revisions
This morning I stumbled upon Nova Ren Suma‘s refreshing blog post: The Year I Revised My Novel Seven Times. Is it simple enough for me to say that I’m touched by her tender and satisfied account of her hard work? Like every writer, I want my finished manuscript to be my very best work, my heart, […]
The Biggest Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Literary Agents
Generally, I try to spare you overly lengthy blog posts. Most writers work from home and already have enough temptation to procrastinate from our craft with lame excuses such as folding laundry or taking the cat to the vet. This post is worth a sit-down. That is, if you’re serious about writing an excellent query […]