Author Archives: Scott Francis

Mistake 5: Paying an Agent to Read Your Work

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: There are numerous agents who charge reading fees to look at manuscripts and give feedback. And it is understandable why writers would be tempted to go along with this; it is,...

Mistake 57: Stalking

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: Who likes to be stalked? Agents and editors certainly don’t, and neither do authors. Every editor and agent has at least one stalking story to tell. Most are humorous, but some...

Mistake 51: Writing a Bad Synopsis

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: A synopsis is a short summary of a novel, the key word being short. There is some argument whether you even need a synopsis. Agents and editors state in their guidelines...

Mistake 53: Not Knowing the Magazine Market

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: When it comes to writing for magazines, one of the biggest mistakes is not knowing the market well enough. Editors want a new and fresh story, but they want the story...

Mistake 52: Not Putting Together a Strong Nonfiction Proposal

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: Professionalism counts. While fiction writers usually have to have an entire manuscript completed before starting the submission process, nonfiction writers are required to submit a proposal first. The proposal includes the...

Mistake 50: Writing a Bad Query Letter

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: Query letters are sales tools. Plain and simple. To hook an agent or editor into taking a look at your manuscript or article, you have to write a great query letter....

Mistake 49: Choosing Bad Titles

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: Novice writers often create titles that won’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t read through the piece. First and foremost, the title should invite the reader into the book, article, or...

Hot Tip for Proposals #19

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen When writing your outline, don’t write about the subject, write about the chapter. Write one line of outline for each page of manuscript you envision. You might also like:No Related Posts

Hot Tip for Proposals #20

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen At the beginning of your outline, use a quote, event, revelaton, anecdoe, statistic, idea, surprise, or joke to entice editors to read on. You might also like:No Related Posts

Mistake 48: Failing to Use Basic Formatting

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: Basic formatting in writing is a fundamental of the craft. Hard as it is to believe, about 50 percent of novice writers don’t even bother to learn this. They submit to...

Mistake 46: Not Moving On

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: A book is a large investment of time and energy. Often over a year’s worth. Simply just typing 100,000 words takes a long time. Most writers don’t want to let go...

Mistake 45: Listening to Too Much Feedback

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes  by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake:  It is possible to get so overwhelmed with feedback on your writing that you stall out. Everyone has an opinion. The question is whether that opinion is of any value. You...

Hot Tip for Propsals #17

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen Your relationship with your agent and editor will be a working marriage with personal and professional aspects to it. Test the chemistry for that marriage by meeting with them before you commit to working with them. You might also like:No Related Posts

Hot Tip for Propsals #16

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen Do not repeat information in your sample chapter that you will cover in earlier chapters. Cover only the information in your outline of the chapter. One of the goals of your outline is to enable editors to understand the context of your...

Hot Tip for Propsals #18

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen Ninety percent of nonfiction books are sold with proposals. Here are five reasons why: 1. Writers need money to write the book. 2. Writers don’t want to risk writing the book and then find that they can’t sell it. 3. The book...

Hot Tip for Proposals #13

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen In your outline, establish literary goals for each chapter as well as your book: • What effect do you want the chapter to have on your readers? • How much humor, if any, do you want in the chapter? • How many...

Hot Tip for Proposals #13

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen Avoid using a resume instead of a biography. Resumes are too formal and contain information editors don’t need. Through your proposal you may be applying for work, but you’re not applying for a job. If you are an artist of professor and...

Hot Tip for Propsals #15

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen In your outline, separating sections of chapters with subheads breaks up an endless procession of paragraphs. Subheads will also make your outline easier to read, and if they’re clever, they will engage the reader’s interest in what follows. You might also like:No...

Hot Tip for Proposals #14

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen  In your outline, avoid having all of your page counts end in five or zero. If you use just those numbers, if may seem like you are just picking the first number that leaps to mind instead of thinking through how long...

Hot Tip for Proposals #12

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen Pretend you’re an editor at the house you would most like to have publish your book. What would you want to know about the author? Every word in your bio must prove why buying your book is the right decision. You might...

Hot Tip for Proposals #12

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen Unless your book will be complicated to research or is large in scope, don’t explain who you will write it. Let your proposal prove that you know what you’re doing. If an agent or editor is working with another writer on a...

Hot Tip for Proposals #8

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen Speed is the enemy of quality. If you let yourself get caught in a speed trap, you may doom your proposal. Doing your proposal right is far more important than doing it fast. Don’t send our drafts, don’t send the proposal in...

Hot Tip for Proposals #9

How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen One way to help create a two-book deal is to make the last page of your proposal a one-page, single-spaced proposal for your next book. Give the book title and a list of chapter titles with a one-line description of each. At...