8 Steps for a Focused Writing Plan, Fact and Fiction
Be sure each scene–every detail–relates directly to, or in some way clarifies or develops your theme. Emphasize the most important scenes or points – in other words, emphasize those sections that crystallize your meaning. In a story, develop key scenes or important details or
descriptions. In essays, emphasize, or spend the most time developing, key points. Emphasis provides direction, tells the reader when to pay close attention.
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?
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 […]
Impact Your Career: 7 Free-to-Enter Writing Competitions
I love learning about an author’s journey from first word to published book. Wooing an agent and publisher in this industry can be grueling; slush piles grow and opportunities to surprise and intrigue are often slim. Winning a respected national writing competition can propel your manuscript into the right hands, or add a compelling edge […]
Act One: 10 Essential Elements
I’m a little addicted to the The Script Lab. As I worry over and scrutinize my fiction novel, tweets about screen-writing from @TheScriptLab interject with lucid, helpful, applicable ideas. My blog is for creatives of all stripes, and ideas for good writing can come from any genre. I really like this list of elements; it reminds […]