May 12, 2014

Last week I spent my free time in the company of two excellent novels.  The first, I Always Loved you, written by Robin Oliveira, tells the story of the relationship between artists Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas.  It's a riveting fictionalized account that contains some...

May 10, 2014

A common question I’m asked by debut authors is, “How do I find an agent?” In today’s market, it’s almost essential to find representation, particularly if you’ve written adult fiction and want to publish it with a large traditional publisher. I find that, even with th...

May 10, 2014

A hook sentence, often called a narrative hook or literary hook, is a sentence in the first paragraph of the manuscript that either asks a questions or makes the reader ask a question and therefore captivates the reader. Frequently it is the first sentence of the book.

...

May 10, 2014

Does your book feature a well-developed protagonist? The reader must feel as if he or she knows your leading character well in order to develop empathy and care about what transpires over the course of the book. Some of the essentials to make this happen are:

1. Give yo...

May 10, 2014

If you are a first time author, increase your chances of getting an agent by crafting your book so that it falls into the so-called “sweet spot”. So you ask, “What is this ‘sweet spot’?” For most adult manuscripts, the ideal length is 80,000 to 90,000 words, although s...

May 10, 2014

Many new authors make the mistake of including so-called “filter words” in their manuscripts. Indeed, even many of us who’ve written published books find that these little words have inadvertently made their way into our first drafts and need to be cut. Filter words su...

May 10, 2014

Often I’m asked, “How do I come up with a good idea for a historical novel?” The answer is: “Ideas are all around you.”

1. Take an event that enthralls you and create a similar one. In her novel, The Lifeboat, Charlotte Rogan invents a luxury liner’s demise occurring on...

May 10, 2014

One of the most exciting areas in publishing today is the YA novel. Many innovative YA novels and trilogies have achieved success beyond what the genre usually generated in the past. So if you have a desire to write YA, my advice is to go for it.

But how do you know if...

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