Posts Tagged With: how to get published

How to Make Writing Your Career: Word Cafe Interview with Yours Truly

Word Cafe author interview

Just for the record, the lace doilies were not my idea. Now you know.

Hey, this is cool. Join me over at Word Cafe for an interview where I reveal everything I know about:

• Building a full-time career around writing, as a novelist and a copywriter — and what a copywriter does, exactly.

• How my first book from a New York publisher actually started out as a short story — and how I grew it into a novel.

• The pros and cons of being a hybrid author (both traditionally published and self-published).

• What my fiction writing process looks like. (It’s both crazier and more straightforward than you might think).

• And, of course, my top piece of advice for writers.

Read the complete interview here. >

P.S. Also, I’m giving away a few autographed paperback books to my newsletter subscribers. Don’t miss out. Click here to subscribe to my author newsletter. >

Categories: how to write a novel, The Writing Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What an Editor Really Does — and Why You Need One

I first met Anita when she worked with my literary agent, Kristin Nelson. Anita is a freelance editor who helps writers bring out the very best in their novels. She was kind enough to share her editing insights, including why you should never let a rejection letter get you down, and why joining a critique group can not only improve your writing, but also save you money – and help you get published. Here’s Anita with all the insider info about editors. –L.

 

Anita, can you tell us what a developmental editor does, exactly?

Anita Mumm, founder of Mumm’s the Word Editing & Critique Services

Anita Mumm, founder of Mumm’s the Word Editing & Critique Services

The easiest way to describe a developmental editor’s work is that it focuses on the big picture: Does the plot work? Are the characters the kind of people readers want to spend an entire book with? Is the dialogue smooth or stilted? Is the voice appropriate to the genre and audience?

Developmental editing means making sure the foundation of the novel is sound, and that all of its parts come together in a meaningful whole.

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Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

6 Easy Steps to Planning Out Your Novel

Fiction University Janice Hardy

Useful advice for writers, brought to by Fiction University.

Attention writers:

Even if you hate the idea of writing an outline or synopsis, you can still figure out a plan to help you finish your novel fast, avoid major revisions, and beat writer’s block forever.

It’s surprisingly easy. And I’ll show you how.

Click here to read the free article on Fiction University.

 

Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Secrets of Successful Critique Groups

Critique groups: don't get bitten!

Are you hearing the Jaws theme in your head? I am. And now you are, too. :)

Critique groups: best thing ever for writers? Or soul-crushing pits of despair?

Here are my 6 secrets for spotting a top-notch critique group — or assembling your own.

Connect with other writers and get the feedback you need to finish your book, publish it, and write the next one.

Everything you need to know from Yours Truly is right here on author Patricia Stoltey’s blog:

Click here: http://patriciastolteybooks.com/2016/01/6-secrets-of-successful-critique-groups-by-laurence-macnaughton/

Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Short, Sad Saga of Mississippi Jones

Don't eat me!

Scary. Freakin’. Fish. That is all. Move along.

Some names stick with us.

Bridget Jones, Holden Caulfield, Nero Wolfe — these names are all indelibly stamped into our literary consciousness.

Those names are evocative. Memorable. Unique.

Some writers are incredibly good at coming up with names.

I am not one of them.

Continue reading

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Uncategorized, writing, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BookGoodies.com: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?

Do you talk to your characters?

Cure for writer’s block: nude finger puppets.

I once got to hear Orson Scott Card talk about his writing method. He went on at great length about how the voices of his characters talked to him.

The voices told him to do this, he said, the voices told him to do that.

As he droned on endlessly, a friend leaned over to me and said in a stage whisper:

“My voices are telling me to kill!”

The audience cracked up. Orson Scott Card was not amused.

But the thing is . . . that really is how it works. You hear the characters in your head, the same way you can hear the voices of your parents or your friends.

You know what they would say in a certain situation. And when you’re writing a book, you can turn that into the story.

Read the rest of the interview on BookGoodies.com >

Plus, you can sign up for free cool stuff when you join my author newsletter. >

Categories: book business, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help Fight Diabetes and Win a Critique!

That’s right, folks.  You already know you can write a novel — and now’s your chance to prove it.  Thanks to the heroic efforts of Brenda Novak and her elite team of auction experts, you have a chance to help a great cause AND win a personal manuscript critique from Yours Truly. 

And of course, there are plenty of other great prizes to be won, too!  Especially in the section conspicuously called Kristin Nelson Literary Agency Presents.  Who could pass up a 30-page read from veteran agent Kristin Nelson?  Or a 30-page evaluation from literary agent Sara Megibow?  These are top-notch opportunities, my friend.  Don’t miss out!

You could even win a personalized love scene written by author Tiffany Reisz!  And yes, it’s just what you think it is: a ten to fifteen page personalized fantasy love scene between you and the celebrity (or two) of your choice.  If that doesn’t give you an incentive to help out a good cause, I don’t know what will!

So do yourself a favor and check out Brenda Novak’s 2011 Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research.  You can help a much-needed cause, get a chance to score incredible prizes and maybe even give your writing a boost.  No matter what, you come out a winner!

Categories: writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aspiring Writers, Take Notes!

You can write a novel that seems absolutely perfect to you: the dialogue is tight, the characters are richly layered and the plot crackles with energy.  But you’ll still get notes, I guarantee it.  And that’s a good thing.

Notes, by the way, are the comments you get from decision-makers (mostly literary agents and editors) about things that they want you to change in your writing.  They can be about anything.  Description (“Where’s Joe standing, exactly, when the frozen turkey falls on him?”).  Continuity (“I thought Joe suffered a concussion in the last scene.  How can he sing the Star Spangled Banner?”).  Characters (“I don’t like Joe as a short-order cook.  How about we call him Bob and make him a rodeo clown instead?”)

Some notes are pure genius, and following them will improve your story in ways you never imagined.  Then there are those rare notes that seem like they’re from outer space.  One of the most memorable notes I’ve ever heard was to an animation writer: “When the monkey takes off his underwear, please make sure he’s wearing another pair beneath them.”
Because the alternative, I suppose, is just too horrible to contemplate.  The truth is, every note is a creative challenge.  It’s an obstacle that you need to find a way to overcome.  And that, I think, is the best way to look at notes: not as criticism, but challenges.
It’s not that much different from the sorts of story challenges you face while you’re writing a novel.  How do I show this character’s true nature?  How do I plant this information without being too obvious?  How do I make this scene scarier?  Or funnier?  An editor once gave me this note: “Sorry, this just isn’t funny.”  Yowtch!

But after I was done pouting, I sat down and brainstormed a dozen or so new jokes for that part of the story, and guess what?  I came up with something better.  In the end, I was proud of the job I did, the editor was satisfied, and I’d long forgotten the tiny sting of that note by the time the piece got published.

Notes force us to grow — or at least to think fast on our feet.  They’re not exactly fun.  Not even if your best friend in the whole world tells you as gently as possible while handing you a giant plate full of chocolate cake.  But it does give you an opportunity to tackle a new challenge, think of a way to satisfy the note-giver while being true to your story, and come out a winner.

 And then, by golly, you deserve that cake!

Categories: how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bestselling Authors, Millions of Dollars, and You

Ebooks have always been a hot-button topic in the publishing business.  And that was before bestselling author Barry Eisler walked away from a half-million-dollar deal in favor of self-publishing his own ebooks.

And yes, you read that right: a half a million dollars.  Which, as you’ll see in a moment, might just be chump change . . .

So is it worth it?  Walking away from all of that money to do your own thing?  You can read his talk with J.A. Konrath here and decide for yourself.  (Many thanks to fellow writer Angie Hodapp for sending that one my way.)

Meanwhile, self-published ebook phenomenon Amanda Hocking — who had been initially rejected by publishers — decided she was tired of doing her own thing and signed a two-million-dollar deal with St. Martin’s.  Which, incidentally, is the very same publisher Barry Eisler walked away from.

So what does all of this mean for you, the aspiring author?  It means face front and keep your eyes peeled.  The ebook market is a wide-open frontier right now, and it’s changing too fast for some writers (and some publishers) to catch up.  Plus, it’s vital that we don’t confuse the issue of ebooks versus paper books with the very separate issue of self-publishing versus traditional publishing.  They’re tangled together right now simply because it’s so much easier to self-publish an ebook than a traditional book, but they are different issues.

So make sure you have all of the information available to you before you make any final decisions about your career.  As an aspiring author, the last thing you want to do is prove that you can write a novel only to publish it in a way that you later regret.  You want to explore as many options as you can — and depending on your particular career, that could mean self-publishing, or it might mean traditional publishing — or some futuristic combination we haven’t even seen yet.

Categories: Ebooks | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet a Literary Agent AND Help Kids Read — No Foolin’!

Listen up, true believers.  Think you can write a novel good enough to get published?  Find out this Sunday!

Literary agent and celebrated book genius Sara Megibow (of the incomparable Nelson Literary Agency) will lead a two-hour writing workshop open to any fiction writer.  (That means you!)  Aspiring writers from all over have benefited from her advice, and now you can, too.  Even better, 100% of all proceeds go to directly benefit the Boulder Jewish Day School.  So it’ll help your writing, and it’s a good cause!  What could be better?

Get all the unbelievable details here.  And have a great writing weekend!

Categories: writing a book | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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