By Eleanor Shelton On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress announcing the colonies’ separation from Great Britain. The Declaration was actually adopted on July 2, and a clean copy signed by the congress on August 2, 1776, but let’s not quibble about a couple of days when theContinue reading “The Words Matter”
By David E. Sharp Stakes are all about what’s on the line in your story. But the only thing really at stake is your reader’s attention. It’s part of our job to readers invested in our story. If we do it well, we might even keep them on the edge of their seat.
By Ronda Simmons It’s been decades since I was a student, yet when the weather warms up, and the grass is green, I have difficulty focusing. I’m always looking for a hammock somewhere to enjoy a good read. My writing goals tend to suffer, and I would be willing to bet I’m not alone.
By Brian Kaufman The editor from a New York publisher just wanted to go to the bathroom. The author, attending a writer’s conference in Colorado Springs, blocked the way, promising to be brief. And he was straightforward, delivering his pitch, no windup. Having agreed to look at the first 30 pages of the novel, theContinue reading “A Great Pitching Practice”
By Eleanor Shelton There was a French female rugby player who was a shoo-in for the French national rugby team. The Olympics were on the horizon. She even got the five rings tattooed on her forearm. One day she was jogging through the woods, a place she regularly ran, when a tree randomly fell onContinue reading “It Can (And Should) Happen.”
By Brian Kaufman Having finished two novels and grown tired of rejections, I began to write a third novel. I had a clever idea and a marvelous, operatic ending in mind. 35.000 words in, I realized I’d dead-ended. I stuck my stack of legal pads in a box (this was before home computers walked theContinue reading “Abandoned”
By David E. Sharp I don’t know why anyone would trust me with hiring practices. Nevertheless, I have been on both sides of the job interview process. When I conducted interviews for positions in a Texas library, I had a canned set of questions I was supposed to ask. Among them was the single-most hatedContinue reading “Flawlessness Is Flawed”
By Ronda Simmons I was called bookworm when I was a kid. It wasn’t a compliment.
An audience is the target of your communication. Written communication is an odd duck because the transmission is not immediate. When you speak to someone in person, the communication is rooted at that particular moment. The written word typically exists without a direct interface. This is important because for a connection to be made, theContinue reading “Who Are We Writing For?”
By Eleanor Shelton As we all know, stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Nothing new there. But just how many words it takes to get there is highly regulated, especially for debut novelists. All novels should be at least 60,000 words. Otherwise, they’re novellas. Less than 20,000, and they’re short stories. And depending onContinue reading “Word Count Woes”