Author Archives: Chuck Sambuchino

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5 Tips to Help You Make Your Deadline

1. Do the math. Before you undertake the final throes of a deadline, you should map out how much time you have and how much writing you have to do. It's a terrible SAT math question: if a novelist only has so much time to write x-amount of words, how long before it feels...

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4 Ways to Build Healthy Relationships with Your Readers

I wrote Anne Rice an email. She wrote me back fifteen minutes later. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was, a stranger, and she immediately wrote me a kind, friendly note. Having a positive relationship with your readers pays off. Readers are more likely to buy your book if they feel a personal connection...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by You Byun

3. Please yourself as a reader. I have the highest standard and expectation as a reader, like you do. When I walk into a bookstore, I want to be surprised to find a new picture book that will astonish me. I want to fall in love. I want to feel jealous because I didn’t...

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Agent Advice: Kristina Holmes of The Holmes Agency

This installment features Kristina Holmes of The Holmes Agency. She began her literary career at Ebeling & Associates, and after six years left to start her own venture. Fueled by a passion to bring meaningful books to the world, on January 2012, her agency was born. From her home base in Boulder, Colorado, she`s...

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The 9 Ingredients of Character Development

1. Communication style: How does your character talk? Does she favor certain words or phrases that make her distinct and interesting? What about the sound of her voice? Much of our personality comes through our speech, so think about the way your character is going to talk. Her style of communication should be distinctive...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Jeanne Ryan

1. Learning to write synopses well is a golden skill. You’re probably aware that if you can master these little guys, you’ll have a leg up on selling manuscripts on proposal, competing in writing contests and applying for grants. But did you know they can also play a big role in selling subsidiary rights?...

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Agents Barbara Poelle and Holly Root Cover It All With Their “How to Write a Successful Novel: The Craft, Techniques, and Strategies” Webinar on March 28

If you don't know who Barbara Poelle and Holly Root are, I'll tell you. They are both awesome literary agents who both sell a lot of books and also are extremely good at teaching writers how to improve their work. Basically, they're super-cool and super-smart. And now, somehow, the planets have aligned and they...

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Picture Books Are Not Just for Children: 10 Reasons Why

2. Picture book language is often more sophisticated than the first chapter books that children read, and therefore an excellent way for children to learn language. It is here that children, and others, can learn vocabulary, imagery, rhythm, shape, structure, conciseness, emotional power. 3. The picture book is the most flexible of all literary formats....

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Story Problems? Maybe You Need a Good Piece of Device

Find your device early in your planning or drafting process. Laura Whitcomb included devices in a book about first drafts for a reason. In The Anatomy of Story, John Truby puts the device fourth in a twenty-two step process. He uses the term “designing principle,” and while we can debate whether he means a...

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Agent Advice: Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary Management

This installment features Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary Management. After a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in bucolic West Africa and a one-year stint in the savage jungles of Hollywood, he is thrilled to be living once more in Brooklyn. As befitting his chosen career in publishing, he subsists on a diet of...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Chandler Klang Smith

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Chandler Klang Smith, author of GOLDENLAND PAST DARK) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent -- by sharing seven...

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How I Got My Agent: Julie Kibler

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Julie Kibler, author of the literary fiction debut novel, CALLING ME HOME (2013). These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Kaylee Davis of Dee Mura Literary

Kaylee is seeking: Kaylee is actively seeking to build her client list in the genres of sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, and young adult; bonus points if there are elements of steampunk, coming-of-age, urban fantasy, espionage, social commentary, or counter culture. Kaylee is drawn to exciting, thought-provoking stories with a fresh perspective that explores what...