Dimensional characters are born from drama—not description. Here’s why (and how) to delve into your characterizations one defining scene at a time.
The process of finding a literary agent or publisher is grueling and filled with rejection land mines. And, once published, there is no guarantee a book will be successful or that an author will sell a second book. A writer must be prepared for rejection every step of the way.
I was forty-three when I wrote my first novel and realized I’d found my passion. Several years and four novels later, I finally decided to land an agent and get published. Here's how I found success.
The story of meeting my agent, Barbara Poelle, takes place over an afternoon webinar -- and it changed my life forever. Here's how a webinar helped me land my agents (and, eventually, a book deal).
On a chilly winter’s eve back in 2013, my forlorn, un-agented self was perusing Janet Reid’s blog. I kept noticing the Query Shark speak in a teasingly scathing tone of another agent. An agent who had been driving her mad of late, yanking riches out from under her well-primed nose. That agent’s name was...
Well, hello there! I'm an agent. Aloof and hard to snare, like this season's Prada bag or a yeti. I know what you're wondering: How do you stand out in a query in box along with the 497 other queries? I have the secrets here.
Stranded on a mountaintop? Shipwrecked on a deserted island? Can a story actually thrive with only two characters on the page for long stretches in a novel? Well yes. But it’s tricky. Here are some techniques I learned while writing my new release, Summer by Summer.
I should probably start by saying that the question of target audience is never in my mind as I write a novel. I make sure it’s not. If I let it creep in, it will do nothing but trip me up.
Many novelists give little thought to how they bring their protagonist onstage for the first time. But this is very important.
When I wailed, “I want to be a writer!” my husband gave me the tough news. “Linda—a writer writes.” I had not made writing a priority. Here's what I did and what you can learn.
Getting in one’s own way is a problem I think most writers suffer with from time to time. Here's how to get out of your way and get writing.
The year I turned 20 I sat down and made out my bucket list, jotting down the decade birthdays—30th, 40th, 50th, and so on—and beneath each entry what I hoped to have accomplished by that date. Longevity not being a strong family trait, I figured I had maybe five decades to make my life’s...
Here’s how to use the world’s biggest online reader hub to grow your audience exponentially.
Former agent and children's book expert Laura Backes Bardwants offers up some advice for budding children's book writers and more.
If you’re waiting for your muse, guess what? It’s inside you, just waiting for you to let it shine bright. Here are five ways to flex your writing muscle and get something accomplished now.
I recently attended a literary event where several writers read their work. I sensed polished pearls buried deep in there somewhere but honestly, I couldn’t hear them. The writers mumbled, stumbled, ran sentences together and acted as though their words were on a bullet train to a faraway station. Their verbs may have been...
Highly readable books are polished, refined, sophisticated, and mature on all three levels. To fulfill the potential of your book, develop and sharpen the following top ten elements.
Even though Renewable was my third book, it took several rewrites to find the right tone. Here’s what I learned along the way about writing to change the world.
So you want to be a bestselling YA author? Let New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren DeStefano and her agent Barbara Poelle walk you through the steps.
These are some strategies I’ve come up with after more than 25 years as a TV writer to break into the television industry.
When dividing a manuscript into chapters, how long should each chapter be? Are there any requirements on length? Find out here.
Without having a clear framework in mind before you begin your story, you risk losing sight of why you started writing your memoir in the first place. Here's help determining your framework.
When I moved to India in 2010, I didn’t consider myself a travel writer. I was a freelance essayist who wrote about family and social issues. But that didn't stop me--and that shouldn't stop you either.
In early interviews, the questions I was most often asked were around the facts of my anorexia itself: How long did it take you to realize you were still ill? Why was it so hard for you to meet your basic needs? But along the way one interviewer asked a question which really stuck...
Bestsellers carry secrets (and if they were to share a few it might be these).