Author Archives: Brian

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/24/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!) for the week’s best Tweets. (If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments, or if you want more of a particular category of Tweet, also comment.) Best of Best Reading 67 Overlooked Freelance...

Using Famous Names and Proper Nouns in Fiction

Q: In a work of fiction, what restrictions exist on using the names of professional sports teams, TV networks or real people (e.g., the Los Angeles Dodgers, FOX Network or Rupert Murdoch)?—Jeff Stanger A: If your character is a Dodgers fan or loves watching FOX news or happens to walk past...

Hiring a Public Relations Specialist

Q: I’ve finished my book, landed a contract and have a publication date. Should I hire a public relations specialist to spread the word? –Ozzie G. A: While most of us don’t have loads of extra cash to drop on hiring a PR specialist, most of us don’t have a bestseller...

Is It People or Persons?

Q: What is the correct way to write the following sentence: “Mark was one of the most generous persons I’ve ever met,”  or “Mark was one of the most generous people I’ve ever met”? Help!—Mark A: Ironically, Webster’s New World College Dictionary’s definition of “people” uses the word “persons” five times....

Starting a Sentence With "But"

Q: So, BK, what about starting a sentence with “but”? Is there a rule for that? Because I do it all the time. But I really don’t want to, if it’s against the rules. It’s just so hard to be good sometimes. —Amanda Joann SmithA: I once covered this in the...

How Hollywood Handles Book Options

Q: I’m curious to know how a novel gets optioned for a movie. What’s the process and, as an author, what can one expect?—Marlon Sanders A: The first step in this process, of course, is to write an amazing novel. That’s how Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code) did it. That’s...

Looking To Get Paid

Q: I’ve been writing articles in one of the local papers here in our hometown, but I’ve never been paid for my work. The Editor/Publisher of the paper knows me personally. Do I have the right to ask for some compensation for my articles? (Thanks to avid reader Soly Paraiso for...

To Show or Not to Show Your Quotes

Hey Everyone, Many of you are already familiar with my “Questions & Quandaries” column in the print version of Writer’s Digest, but now I’m entering the blogosphere–that’s right, they’re crazy enough to have me blogging. Of course, I tried negotiating for a fancier office, a nicer parking spot and 3 free...