• Craft

    Twelve Questions To Ask Yourself After That First Draft Is Done

    You’ve finished your first draft! You are so, so, so proud. This is an accomplishment worth celebrating! And in the midst of your hard work, you’ve fought all kinds of self-doubt and torment. The quoted author was right, you really did just open a vein and bleed.  But you’re not done. Please, for the love of all that is super easy publishing, please don’t think you’re done. If your goal is to be a serious writer, to be a viable literary force in your genre, to be a legitimate player in the world of books, please don’t stop with your first draft. You’ll need to improve on it. Here are…

  • Revising and Editing,  Uncategorized

    Beginning Badly: Eight Awful Ways To Start A Novel

     In the beginning . . . It’s the first page of a brand new novel. Will it be a good beginning or a bad one? Within reading the first two sentences, you’ve already made a decision on whether or not you’ll keep reading. Your reader has too. If they have picked up your novel, they may be turned off by what they read if you have one of these eight awful beginnings. Your main character is asleep, dreaming. Why is this bad? Sleeping is passive. Unless the action of the entire novel is based in dreams or sleeping frequently, this is an amateur move. Take out the dream sequence completely and…

  • Craft,  Reading,  Uncategorized,  Work-In-Progress

    Eleven Requirements For The First Pages of Your Bestseller

    The first pages of a book are like opening a door. I let myself go at the beginning and write with an easy mind, but by the time I get to the middle I begin to grow timid and to fear my story will be too long…That is why the beginning of my stories is always very promising and looks as though I were starting on a novel, and the middle is huddled and timid, and the end is…like fireworks. — Anton Chekov The first pages of a book are  the first impression a reader, agent, publisher or reviewer will read. Your goal is to keep them so interested that…