Writing Process

Motivated Novelist

5 Habits of Motivated Novelists

Last year at this time, I introduced RescueTime, an online productivity tool that helps people make the most of their time while on the computer. Once again this year, RescueTime is teaming up with writers participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and offering a free month-long membership in RescueTime, complete with their premium productivity tools.…
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Reading

Who Should Read Your Unpublished Work?

One of the most common pieces of advice writers are given is: Get outside feedback. Published or not, writers typically show their work to beta readers, critique partners, friends, family members or anyone who will read it, to get feedback before submitting to an editor, agent or publisher. I’m one of those who frequently gives…
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9 Ways to Outwit Writer’s Block

*Or get out of a rut 1. Read a chapter of your WIP aloud to someone other than your cat. Invite feedback, if you’re brave. But mostly, just listen as you read. Do the words flow easily, roll nicely off the tongue? Do you stumble anywhere? Anything sound awkward? How’s the dialogue? Option: Record yourself…
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Keeping Track of Details

If you’ve been writing books for long, you may have come across the challenge of keeping the details straight so that you can be consistent throughout the book. If the hero has blue eyes in chapter 1, he shouldn’t have green eyes in chapter 14. If your characters live on 5th Street in one chapter,…
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How to Become a Better Writer:

11 Completely Non-Writing-Related Ideas 1. Be creative any way you can. Cook new recipes. Paint a picture. Design a garden. Compose a song. Build something with Legos. Organize the garage. 2. Pay attention. Observe the mannerisms of people around you. Listen to how they speak. Marvel at the way they’re dressed. Notice their shoes and…
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Writing Wisdom from Dave Cullen

Several weeks ago I was hanging out with Dave Cullen, author of Columbine (and client of one of my favorite people, agent Betsy Lerner). As I’ve written several times on this blog, I thought Dave’s book was a spectacular achievement, not just because of the story itself but because of the skill with which he…
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Tighten Up Your Manuscript!

There comes a time in every writer’s life when an editor requires them to reduce their word count. Ack! Not my precious words! Even if an editor hasn’t asked you to do this, most writers would benefit from tightening up their manuscripts before submission. (I, for one, would appreciate it. ) But how do you…
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Write Another Book!

Yesterday I talked about the importance of working on your writing as opposed to spending time on social networking. This is crucial if you’re an unpublished fiction writer. It seems I’ve been having this conversation with so many people lately… both authors and editors. It’s come up several times in my conversations with editors at…
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Q4U: A Fiction Author’s Job Description

I got this question in a blog comment a couple of weeks ago: Would you write a job description for FICTION AUTHOR? Please include the qualifications (required or optional) and the job duties (required or optional.) I ask because I’m in a bit of turmoil about my suitability for the totality of this job. I…
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Q4U: Writing Advice

Before we get to today’s Q4U, I just want to say thanks once again to all of my faithful blog readers. You’re awesome! I spent the week trying to answer reader questions and as usual, YOU addressed them better than I ever could. That’s the great thing about this little community we’ve got here. I…
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Ask the Agent: Writing by Committee

I’ve seen lots of published novels that read like they were written by committee. This doesn’t surprise me, because those immature in the craft (or just with less gift/ability, whatever you want to call it), DO write their novels by committee. Over a very long period of time, they take so many good suggestions that…
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Read, Read, Read

As a follow up to what I wrote last week about getting away from your computer and getting to a bookstore… today I want to simply say this: Read. Yes, it’s that simple: You gotta read books! You hear it all the time. As writers, we need to first be readers. I know most of…
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Ask the Agent: Walking the Line

Dear Rachelle, I have written a crime mystery that involves abuse, revenge, a murder, inappropriate conduct by a pastor, and a cover-up. There is no sex in the story, but there is some rough language. There is a message of redemption and truth. I’m not sure if this is CBA or ABA. What I think…
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How Long is Your Book?

The question of “how long your manuscript should be” is sometimes hard to answer because different publishers have different guidelines. I’m going to give you some information here, but first I want you to know WHY this is important. It’s pretty simple: If your book falls within the standard preferred word-count range, it’s one less…
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I love words.

I love books and publishing and talking incessantly about them.

I love authors and all the intricacies of managing a writing life.

I sell. I negotiate. I coach. I brainstorm.