By Rachel Beck
They say you’re a writer if you write. But anyone chasing a book deal, who has put words on the page, enough to meet a goal word count, may constantly doubt those words are worth anything. Going from a writer to an author is the goal of anyone submitting their work to agents. As an agent, and former editor, I have received countless submissions and exchanged numerous email communications with aspiring authors, offering advice and as much helpful feedback and thoughts as I can.
I constantly wonder how helpful I’m being, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to spell out ten simple things that I may not be able to communicate individually to each writer I interact with. If you want to go from a writer to an author, with a book deal and an editor and the whole she-bang, your chances of making that happen will be a lot greater if you can check off each of these things: Continue reading “10 Things Every Writer Should Be Doing”
By Sabrina Berndt
Although I am not a writer myself, I have plenty of friends and family members who do consider themselves writers. Sometimes they fall into a slump and don’t know how to get past their writer’s block. This is completely natural, but people tend to believe there’s nothing they can do to help. Today we’ll look at what you can do to help the writers’ in your friends and family conquer their writer’s block and keep telling their story.
Be their cheerleader
Sometimes writers just want to feel appreciated. Especially if they’re unpublished, it’s hard to stay encouraged although their hay-day may be on the horizon. Or they simply get stuck and can’t seem to get around the dreaded writer’s block, which plagues every writer. Don’t be afraid to compliment them on their hard work and the piece itself. Writers have a difficult job, as we all know. It’s no easy task to create a place where readers forget reality and lose themselves in their story. If a writer you know is having a hard time, compliment them on their unique ideas and encourage them to tell their story. Whip out your pom-poms, sing them a song, whatever you need to do to make their day and break out their computer (or typewriter, we don’t judge).
Continue reading “How to Motivate and Help Other Writers”
Time in writing is important. I know this is not groundbreaking news, but I think it should be said often and with passion.
Time informs everything within a story. Is it noon? Are we going fast or slow? What century are we in? Decade? Season? Day? You’d be surprised how often the amateur writing forgets or neglects time in their writing. And if I—or any other agent—lose the sense of time in a story, this is essentially the death of the story. So I have three general tips to keep in mind when revising. Continue reading “Add a Sense of Time to Your Manuscript – An Agent’s Perspective”
By Rachel Beck
Editors, agents and authors publish a lot of instructional pieces about the craft of writing, and the mechanics of creating a strong novel. These tips tend to focus on plot, character, conflict, story arc, narrative voice, tone, etc. After all, you cannot have a successful book without these pieces in place, and not only must they be present, but they must also work in tandem to build on the goals and motives of the characters and story as a whole. If these pieces aren’t working in unison, your story may be rejected by publishing professionals, though hopefully with some helpful advice for improvement. Continue reading “Why You May Not Be Winning With Agents”
By Katelyn Uplinger
Libraries are a great and often under-utilized tool for writers. While library books provide research help, libraries offer more services than checking out books. Online databases can be gold mines of information and you can get access to them with your library card. Some libraries even have writing groups or offer writing workshops. These library resources can help improve your writing and help you research your latest book. And with so many resources going electronic now, you can don’t have to make a physical visit to your library to take advantage of the resources offered. Continue reading “Why Writers Should Use Libraries”
By Kerstin Wolf
Pacing, plot, and voice all play a massive role in creating an unforgettable novel. Just as important as all of that though are the characters. If anything, I would argue that strong, relatable characters are the single most important part of a novel. Without interesting characters that readers can relate to, the book is forgettable. Think of your favorite book. While you may love the book for a number of reasons, I would bet that you really liked at least one of the characters. Heck, I plan on naming one of my future kids after a character in my favorite book of all time! Characters are important, and one of the things I’ve noticed a lot as of late while reading manuscripts is that the characters aren’t able to hold their own. The whole story suffers if the characters aren’t strong enough. For that reason, this blog post has come to be! In this article, I hope to address some of the key aspects to a great character. Continue reading “Crafting Strong Characters”
By Anna Parsons
One of the great things about writing is that you can do it on your own time and from almost anywhere. This gives authors the freedom to work from home or while traveling and to fit writing into a busy schedule. But sometimes this freedom has its drawbacks. Without a clear schedule or deadlines, staying focused and making progress can be a challenge. Bills, laundry, kids, and Netflix can be constant distractions if you work from home, making it difficult to accomplish anything. One solution is to find a dedicated workspace. Continue reading “8 Ideas for Where to Write”