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Showing posts from March, 2008

Published Writers Who Can't Get Agents

This is a great blog post by literary agent Lori Perkins that published or not, you'll want to read. Very interesting. I hope it drives you to be that marketable, excellent-writing-craft writer.

Published Writers Who Can't Get Agents

Random Writing Q and A

The faboo writers at the FAITH blog ask me some great writing questions.

The Evolution of Chick Lit

I’m on Tina Ann Forkner’s blog, talking about chick lit in the CBA, and where I think it's going. Anyone who writes humorous women's fiction might want to check it out.

Update: Someone hijacked Tina's blog and she switched to Wordpress, but lost the guest blog post. So, I'm posting it here. Enjoy!

The evolution of chick lit

We’ve all heard it—chick lit is dead. And let’s face it, after a while, it’s a bit tiring to read about yet another designer-clad, latte-chugging single girl in the city.

Some people don’t realize that chick lit has always been a subgenre of women’s fiction. Yup, that angsty stuff.

Think about it—it’s about a woman/girl’s personal journey. It’s not necessarily a romance. She travels from one state of mind, heart, job, and living situation into another. She might pick up a guy along the way, but not necessarily, because her existence doesn’t require male accompaniment.

But what sets chick lit apart—at least for me—is that it’s funny and it’s real. It’s abo…

"Big Picture" Manuscript Critiques

I talk about how I do “big picture” manuscript critiques on Missy Tippens’ blog

The Top Ten Mistakes I See in Fiction Manuscripts

Come by and visit Gina Conroy’s blog for the top ten mistakes I see in fiction manuscripts.

Update: Sorry guys, originally I posted this on the 12th, but Gina's post is actually up TODAY, March 14th.

Those first lines

“The most important sentence in an article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence your article is dead. And if the second sentence doesn’t induce him to continue to the third sentence, it’s equally dead. Of such a progression of sentences, each tugging the reader forward until he is hooked, a writer constructs that fateful unit, the ‘lead.’”

--William Zinsser, On Writing Well

The quote is referring to nonfiction articles, but it applies equally well to your fiction manuscript’s opening hook.

There’s something about a terrific opening line that pulls me immediately into the story. It builds anticipation in the reader that this will be a GREAT story, not just an okay one, because the very first line is so intriguing.

Here are some examples of good opening lines:
Scene transitions – opening hooks

The opening of your manuscript is not the place to be lazy or sloppy with your writing. Make every sentence count, because that reader picking your book up…

I'm at SORMAG blog today

Today, I give some hard advice for writers on the Shades of Romance blog.

Update: I corrected the wrong link.

Seven of Nine – uniqueness in your characters

I’m a HUGE Star Trek Voyager fan, and I’ve been watching the reruns on SpikeTV. I really like the character Seven of Nine.

For you non Star Trek fans, Seven is a human woman who was a Borg (mindless cyborg) for most of her life, but Captain Janeway rescued her from the Borg collective and is teaching her how to be an individual.

Much of her storyline is Seven learning to be a unique individual after being just like all the other mindless, unethical Borgs. Sometimes the situations she gets herself into are humorous, other times they are heartbreaking or bittersweet.

Seven is a good example of a character who already IS unique. She has two aspects her character that make her so unique:

(1) Her backstory as a Borg is already unusual
and
(2) her striving to become someone different gives the audience something to root for. Her goal of overcoming a complete LACK of individuality is a very different sort of character arc.

Seven’s example also teaches me, as a writer, to work harder to break out o…