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Category: For Authors

Posts that might interest authors in general.

Blurbs, Taglines, Pitches, and Queries

Blurbs, Taglines, Pitches, and Queries

I’ve been preparing for the RWA 2019 conference, where I plan to pitch my fantasy romance novel, The Forest Bride, to agents and editors. After much reading and study, I finally (I think) have a grasp on the differences between a blurb, a tagline, a pitch, and a query. Since I struggled with understanding these differences, I thought I’d share them.* The Blurb This is a catchy few sentences that aims to hook potential readers into wanting more. It is used…

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Compelling First Pages

Compelling First Pages

Novels need a first page that hooks the reader—whether it’s the agent you’re querying or the potential buyer browsing your book. Last week at the RWA conference I attended a panel of agents and editors assessing first pages of novels, as well as a session on submitting your novel that included tips for an effective first page. The first pages read aloud were all well written, but a few suggestions kept popping up. Set the Scene, with Balance Many of…

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Book Review: How Not to Write a Novel

Book Review: How Not to Write a Novel

Since beginning to write fiction, I’ve read numerous books on self-editing and the craft of writing. How Not to Write a Novel by Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark is a different kind of book.

Some Tips on Character

Some Tips on Character

Last month I participated in a workshop on character led by Barbara Claypole White. Here are some of the tips that helped me. Deep Characters Take Work Barbara’s books are known for their deep characters—her goal is to have each character’s voice so distinct that the reader will know who is talking even if she uses no dialog tags! Barbara shared several exercises she goes through to get to know her characters and allow them to develop in her mind….

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My Writing Process and Resources for New Authors

My Writing Process and Resources for New Authors

As I’ve resumed work on my new-adult fiction novel, I’ve considered the steps that have led to the current moment: I feel confident in my writing, but I know that I’ll continue to learn about the craft and improve. I’ve observed writing as a craft that can be improved, and not merely as the first words that spew onto the page when the author sits to write (at least not for me!). I want to record the early steps while…

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Book Mapping

Book Mapping

I recently learned about book mapping. While the class was intended for developmental editors, I found the tool helpful as a writer. What Is Book Mapping? Book mapping is a method of plotting out the action or themes of a story, to help keep track of them. This mapping can be done visually or with text in a spreadsheet. Developmental editors can use a book map to visualize an author’s manuscript and get insights into what help it might need….

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Getting Through the Slush Pile

Getting Through the Slush Pile

Last Saturday, I attended the NC Writers Network’s Spring Conference in Greensboro. I’ll post soon about the whole experience, but today I’m thinking about the final event of the day: Slush Pile Live. What is Slush Pile Live? The conference planners invited attendees to turn in the first page of their novels, anonymously. Participants sat in a classroom. At the front of the room, someone read each submission to a panel of three editors. Each editor raised a hand at…

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