No pressure, but the opening of your book is the gatekeeper in determining whether your novel will sell. If your opening is weak, it won’t matter if chapter two is a masterpiece. Editors and agents and booksellers and librarians and readers will stop reading before they get there.
You need to write a memoir—except the mere thought floods you with anxiety. You’ve got decades of memories; where would you even start? Lists to the rescue!
Taste is not static. Rather than a fixed endpoint toward which one toils away, it’s a target that moves over the course of a lifetime.
Sometimes that first draft is never going to become a final draft. That doesn’t mean it’s a waste, though.
Ultimately, concept is far less important than character when it comes to determining the overall quality of your story, but your audience is attracted to your story based on your concept alone. Does your concept have what it takes to draw people in?
Some stories require greater scope, more voices, or a different context than can be delivered through the eyes of one protagonist. When you find this to be the case, consider using multiple viewpoints. However, you must think about several factors before launching into this greater undertaking.
For years, serialization has been discussed as a significant area of opportunity for reading and publishing in the digital age. (And note to the sticklers out there: I’m using the terms serial and serialization interchangeably to refer to any situation where content is parceled out in small bites and delivered on a specific schedule, whether the […]
You’ve probably heard the adage that you must begin your novel with action—even if it’s not the main action of the book. While this rule is fairly well-accepted in fiction teaching circles, not everyone agrees with it.
When we talk about plot as separate from the characters, the symbols, the locales, the dialogue, and the philosophical introspection, what we are doing is privileging events over everything else. But nothing exists in a vacuum.
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is adapted from The Writer’s Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre by Laurie Scheer (@mediagoddess213). So you think your idea for a new vampire novel is a good one? Think again. Nine times out of ten, your idea is really quite mediocre and has been done before, actually a […]
Writers are often advised to fill their scenes with rich detail—to show, not tell. However, taken too far, you can clutter or bloat your story with too much irrelevant description.
Editors can tell within a couple pages if a manuscript will be acceptable to them. How? What makes this decision so clear to an editor and so muddy to an author?
Today’s post is excerpted from Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, just released from Ten Speed Press. We think in story. It’s hardwired in our brain. It’s how we make strategic sense of the otherwise overwhelming world around us. Simply put, the brain constantly seeks meaning from all the input thrown at it, yanks out […]