Category Archives: Craft of Writing

Online Publishers

book-fan-rgb-300As some of you know, I’m an advocate of publishing either with a major commercial publisher through an agent, or self-publishing. To avoid one of the hundreds of ebook publishers on the net.

WHY?

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Kindle Thriller Special Offer!

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What readers are saying:

This is an amazing story of strength

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You’ve Finished Your Manuscript-Now What? (Part 2)

victoria-howard-5For my second post about whether your manuscript is ready for publication and the value of a three-chapter evaluation, I would like to discuss the opening chapter more commonly referred to as ‘how to hook the reader.’

When I am not writing I am an avid reader. If you fail to grab my attention in the first few pages, I am not going to read any further. Here are a few things I find annoying in the opening of a story:

Irrelevant information. Most novice writers feel they have to tell the reader everything about a character – known in the industry as backstory. The first few paragraphs are crucial. Introduce your protagonist, but only impart important information.

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You’ve Finished Your Manuscript-Now What?

victoria-howard-5by Victoria Howard

You’ve written a novel. Congratulations. Finishing a novel of 80,000-100,000 words is a major accomplishment. So give yourself a pat on the back, or if you prefer, pour yourself a large glass of wine.

Before you start what could be a very long process of querying a literary agent or publisher ask yourself these questions; is my novel really finished and is it of publishable quality?

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Dialogue versus Talking Heads – Part 2

by Karen McCullough

For Part 1, click HERE:

Karen_McCullough_2015_200Here are five questions to ask yourself when you’re editing your own dialogue:

1. Is it boring?

What’s boring? How about this:

“Hi, Helen,” Joe said. “How are you doing today?”
“I’m just fine,” Helen replied. “How are you?”
“Great. How’s your daughter?” Joe continued.
“She’s fine, too. How’s your sister?”

Are you snoozing yet?

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A Novel Writers Workshop Member a Finalist in the Clive Cussler Contest!

by Ken Barnett

Ken's SkeletonsBack in March, on a pure whim, I entered my self-published novel, Skeletons of Weavers Needle in the Clive Cussler Collectors Society Adventure Writers Competition for 2016.

With the contest not closing until the end of June and semi-finalists not being announced until late July, I actually pretty much forgot about it.

On July 20th I received notification that my novel was among the ten semi-finalists, selected by a judging panel of thirteen authors. Well, needless to say, that got my attention. Then, last Sunday, I received an e-mail advising me that Skeletons was among the three finalists for the $1,000.00 first prize and possible publishing considerations! Continue reading

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Dialogue versus Talking Heads – Part 1

by Karen McCullough

Karen_McCullough_2015_200How your characters communicate can make or break a story. Even if the plot is strong enough to carry it, good dialogue can increase your reader’s enjoyment of a story, while bad dialogue can bounce her out of it.

Thought experiment: Consider the interactions between Han Solo and Princess Leia in the original Star Wars movie trilogy, then compare those with the interactions between Anakin and Padme in the prequel series. Which pair is more memorable?

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Practice, Practice, Practice

MarisSoule 600by Maris Soule

I’ve been watching the Olympics, and I realized there are a lot of similarities between a successful athlete and a successful writer. Athletes who want to compete at the highest level practice. Most do this daily or almost daily. They don’t let illness stop them or family events. Because they want to improve, they find and hire coaches they know will take them to the next level. They watch videos of past performances to learn from their mistakes and find ways to improve. When they compete, they present themselves in the best way possible, either through their grooming or their uniforms or their attitudes. They do everything they can to look like and be winners.

Writers who want to succeed must do the same things. Simply wanting to write a book and have it published is not enough.

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Want To Interest an Agent?

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Have you wondered if you should attend a writers conference? How do you pitch to an agent or publisher’s rep? If you’ve ever considered signing up for a conference and pitching session, you’ll want to attend our next meeting.

One of our members, Ken Barnett, has just returned from the Las Vegas Writers Conference where he pitched to several agents. He’ll share his experiences, and, he has some exciting secrets and news to share.

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What a Headache . . .

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Oscar Wilde said he took out a comma in the morning and put it back in the afternoon.

Long before I devoted endless hours going back over and over what I’d written, I laughed at that quote.

No longer.

I’d recently completed another chapter in my wip and begun another, but something nagged at me.

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