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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 yet every once in a while I come across a story whose author threw caution to the wind so splendidly I am tempted to play around with point of view myself. If you find yourself so inclined, read on.

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 there’s nothing unique enough about the project to persuade agents and editors and ultimately publishers to take a chance and champion the work.

In a publishing landscape that’s more difficult than ever, thanks to the pandemic and other factors affecting retail businesses right now, it’s more important than ever that you are able to differentiate your story, positioning it against all of the bestselling titles by brand-name writers. While it’s true that book sales are up, they are up for backlist, that is, books that have already been published, mostly by authors who have already found an audience. For new titles, especially those being published by debut authors and midlist authors trying to build a readership, breaking out is tougher than ever.

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...

DEAR SANTA: A Writer’s Christmas Wish List

DEAR SANTA: A Writer’s Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa, I hope this finds you well and safe and enjoying your holiday prep up there at the North Pole. I’m not sure if you’re taking requests from writers during these troubled times, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway. I won’t lie. I wasn’t quite as good a...

On the First Day of Christmas…

On the First Day of Christmas…

You know the song: On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….  Let’s just skip to the last—and best—verse. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Twelve Newfies drooling Eleven Dachshunds digging  Ten Jacks a-leaping  Nine Poodles...

What I Learned from Crime Bake: A Writer’s Story

What I Learned from Crime Bake: A Writer’s Story

There are certain times in a writer’s life when everything changes. You may not see it at the time, but when you look back, you realize that was the moment that changed you, your writing, and your writing career forever. For me, this happened when I moved to New...

Writing Nature

Writing Nature

When I was a very young woman, I heard a writer say that when you set a story in a given place, you should be able to name every bird, every tree, every flower in that setting. I remember thinking, “Uh oh.” As an Army brat who moved at least once a year, I barely got...

Writing About the Pandemic—or Not?

Writing About the Pandemic—or Not?

This is the question I hear all the time from writers of all levels of experience. The uncertainty of life during the pandemic has affected everyone in the book business—writers, agents, editors, publishers, booksellers, librarians, reviewers. We publishing...

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