As writers, we are expected to have a large vocabulary, but we shouldn’t always show it off.
Thirty or forty years ago, a new author was expected to master his or her craft over a period of several novels. Today is different.
One query I get from authors today is, “Should I try to publish my novel myself, or go with traditional publishing.” It’s a sticky question.
This past week, an author asked me about book sales on Black Friday. To tell the truth, I had to wonder, “Is there an upsurge on that day?” There must be some.
With new authors, I see a lot of weak narration. There are three main problems.
I read an article recently that examined authors and suggested that we were a peculiar lot.
Those of us who went through university literature programs often spend a great amount of energy studying “the classics.” It is something that I recommend for anyone who wants to write.
This past week, I’ve seen several stories where the author has used hyperbole badly.
Many years ago, as a new author, I was visiting with an old professional writer and critic at a convention. A young author, an acquaintance to both of us, stepped up and asked the old pro, “Would you be willing to read my novel manuscript?”
Recently I was speaking to some new authors about the manuscript selection process, and I realized that for many people, it’s rather frightening and confusing. So I thought that I might shed a little light on how it works.
Today, a reader asked how to write a query letter. I haven’t taken the time in the past to write an exhaustive treatment on this, so I’d like to do the topic justice once and for all.
Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, as it is more commonly called. Each year several hundred thousand people sit down during the month of November to write, with the goal of composing 50,000 words on a novel. That’s a challenge for a new writer.
Five tips on writing short.
Recently I was asked, “What do you look for in a reader?” The answer is surprisingly long. Here are some of the qualities that I need most when I ask a reader for a critique.
One problem that I sometimes see with new authors is that their openings don’t focus on a single image.
Very often as a reader, I’ll come across a story that is well written in many regards: The characters have strong voices. The setting is energetically created. The action progresses in a logical and emotionally satisfying manner. Yet the story will feel dead, empty.
As your protagonist struggles to overcome a problem, in the past I’ve talked about how the protagonist goes through at least two try/fail cycles.
Last week, I suggested that as a writer, you’re something like a radio station sending out a signal. If your signal is strong and clear, there is a good chance that readers will enjoy your tales.
Hollywood loves a “reveal.” That’s a moment where a bit of information that has been withheld from the audience is suddenly revealed onscreen. You’ve seen it a hundred times in the movies, often handled poorly.
Sometimes it seems that your life has a theme. In the past couple of weeks I’ve heard from several authors the words “I’m thinking about giving up.” I worry about that. No one ever won a race by giving up.