You don't have to be a gun expert to write about guns. In most cases, you're actually better off being as non-specific as possible. Getting into a lot of details about actions and calibers and so on is a sure-fire way to put most of your readers to sleep. When details matter, though, it's important to get them right. Failing to do so can turn readers off to your writing.
"Format guidelines were not instituted to drive you crazy. That's just a perk." —Janet Reid, Literary Agent The other day I was reading a blog post by agent-blogger Janet Reid (of Query Shark fame), who had some interesting things to say about the importance of manuscript formatting: "I'm reading (as are all other agents and editors) … Continue reading Formatting Like a Microsoft Word Ninja
Even if you have no interest in ever running a marathon (or even a 5K), if you’re “competing” in the 50K/30.0 “marathon” of NaNoWriMo, you’re still a marathoner in my book.
I started October with just half of a story in my head, and that made me nervous. This is the month to plan for November, the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). 2017 will be my sixth year writing (at least part of) a novel while thousands of people around the world are doing the same … Continue reading Brainstorming with a Partner
Discovering your most productive time of day is just smart. Timing and environment can have a profound impact both on how quickly we write and on the quality of what we produce. But I suggest you can become more productive as a writer by paying attention to the length and frequency of your writing sessions.
In my post from last month, "How Far Is Too Far? How Much Is Too Much?" I talked about how authors of young adult books are including more profanity, sexual situations, drug use, and other controversial content in their novels. I was really curious to find out in greater detail what readers of all ages … Continue reading Survey Analysis: How Far Is Too Far? How Much Is Too Much?
I didn't actually set out to answer those questions. But over the past several months, they've been on my mind. A lot. Let's back up. My teenaged daughter is a voracious reader. She always seems to discover and read the "hot topic" books months before I even hear about them. She'd read all John Green's … Continue reading How Far Is Too Far? How Much Is Too Much?