A reader wrote last week and asked, “Can you talk about the promises that authors make in a manuscript? I’m not sure that I understand what people mean.” So I hope that this article helps:
I’m participating in a storybundle this week, and to my surprise, I got a number of emails from people asking what a bundle is, why you would do it, and so on.
I was talking to a movie producer yesterday who has about eighty films to his credit, and he was telling me some war stories about how producers and directors had destroyed various actors’ careers.
As I write this, the Lego Movie has been #1 at the box office for the past three weeks. Box office sales are at $190 million on a $60 million investment.
More than twenty years ago as I was finishing up some of my writing classes, I asked an aging poet named Leslie Norris, “How have the audiences changed in the course of your writing career?” Leslie grew thoughtful and said, “What astonishes me most is just how lonely people have become.
About five years ago I looked at the future of publishing and felt . . . deeply worried.
Sometimes as we are writing, we become so focused on the labor of writing—of stating facts clearly, at choosing precise words, at trying to write dazzling prose and descriptions, that we become blinded by the minutiae of what we are writing.
Some authors advocate writing only a single draft of a work, and then moving on.
One of our readers, who is about to finish his first novel asked, “When do I start to look for an agent?”
#1 Bestselling SF Author Hugh Howey shares a shocking report on how e-book sales are REALLY doing, as compared to the distorted data that we've been reading from major publishers.
You may also have noticed that it is our stories that bind the world together.
There are certain books (and cars, and foods, and vacations) that somehow demand to be talked about. You know what I mean.
In writing, little things can sometimes make a huge difference.
If you want to understand how vital character growth is to good fiction, take a look at a few classic movies.
In Hollywood, it is said that “There are only two ways to make a likeable character.” Here are those two ways, plus a few more.
Recently I wrote an article where I pointed out that as a young writer, I had heard that it takes seven years of practice before the average person breaks into publishing. That seven-year rule has always seemed somehow arbitrary to me, yet it does sound an awful lot like the popular notion that “It takes about 10,000 hours to master just about any discipline.”
One reader asked recently, “How do you define a plot point? It sounds as if the answer should be simple, but it really can be complex.
In writing, productivity is everything.
There is an old saying, “Slow and steady wins the race!” At least, that’s what Aesop taught in his fable about the tortoise and the hare. While there is something to be said for working steadily, there isn’t much that can be said for it.
We often begin a story with very little in mind—a powerful image from a dream, a play on words overheard during a conversation, an emotion that we want to capture, a clever idea for a twist. As these ideas begin to stack up, we begin to form a story.