10 Things Not to Say to an Agent When You Pitch Your Project

10 Things Not to Say to an Agent When You Pitch Your Project

It’s conference season again, that wonderful time of year when we agents listen to hundreds of pitches—some good, some bad, and some ugly. Here’s what not to say. (And yes, these are real lines from real-life pitches.) #1 My villain is so bad he kills the dog. It’s...
The Daring Writer’s Guide to Point of View

The Daring Writer’s Guide to Point of View

Point of view issues keep more otherwise sellable authors from selling their work than nearly any other problem. That’s why as an agent, author, and writing teacher, I always caution my clients, fellow writers, and students to play it safe when it comes to POV. And...
Go for Broke: 6 Ways To Make Your Story Stand Out

Go for Broke: 6 Ways To Make Your Story Stand Out

I recently led a workshop at the New York Pitch Conference, an event dedicated to helping writers perfect their pitches—and in the process, discover what might be keeping them from selling their work in an increasingly unforgiving marketplace. Often it’s the fact that...
The Presidents on Writing

The Presidents on Writing

Practically every president has written a book; some have even written those books all by themselves. The general consensus is that the honor of greatest writer among the presidents falls to Abraham Lincoln—with Ulysses S. Grant a distant second—but all who’ve...
WRITE BY HEART:  Creating stories that pack an emotional punch

WRITE BY HEART: Creating stories that pack an emotional punch

It’s been a rough couple of years and many of us are simply exhausted. Outrage fatigue, pandemic fatigue, crisis fatigue—all manner of fatigue has besieged us. To the point where all we feel lately is numb. At least that’s how I’ve been feeling. And then I watched two...

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