It’s no secret that kids love to laugh. (Adults, too.) And as a consequence, funny stories always rank high on editors’ “must have” lists. If you possess a knack for writing humor, you’re well on your way to winning editors’ (and readers’) hearts.
But say you’re not the world’s greatest joke writer — in fact, you think …
Dear Writer Guy,
How do you know when you’ve hit on the right first line for your story?
Martha B., Seattle
For me, it’s a feeling. When the first line clicks, you feel it. It leads you into the rest of the book, it establishes the voice and character attitude right away, and most of all, it …
The writing life is rife with opportunities for disappointment. Our human condition can’t avoid it. We construct hopes for ourselves and our work, knowing there are plenty of rocks and boulders ahead in the rushing waters of the marketplace.
This is not just in our professional lives, of course. It’s there in every other aspect of …
Never say anything bad about a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. By then, he’s a mile away, you’ve got his shoes, and you can say whatever you want.
Like a joke (even that one), a story doesn’t work properly without set-ups. What are set-ups? Just the crucial planting of key information in …
Okay, so you’ve completed a full draft of a picture book manuscript. Now what? Revisions, of course! As we all know, it’s unusual that a first draft (or even a tenth or eleventh) be ready right off the bat for submission. Writers should embrace the revision process. And while I’m no author, I do get …
1. You aren’t making it disappear forever
Create a “cut file” for everything you remove from your work-in-progress, knowing you can use it in a) another book b) a short story c) the same book, should it prove relevant later on.
2. Serve that plot/kill those darlings
Remember, we’re all storytellers, thus the Continue reading
As an onomast and an author, I’m very sensitive to names in fiction. Yes, your characters are metaphorically your “babies,” however you shouldn’t name them as you would a child. Here are five mistakes that writers make regarding names in fiction:
1. The name …
Here are three things that glib, hasty or form declines from New York editors and agents aren’t telling you. The solutions can help you whether you are seeking a major imprint or going it alone:
1. PROBLEM: I was able to begin skimming your novel almost right away.
Ouch. That’s …
Plots are like Christmas turkeys — we’re always looking for ways to fatten them up. Juicier plots feel more complex, more satisfying. They keep readers up late turning the pages, and keep editors asking for more.
How do you make sure your book’s plot is a juicy one? Here …