Never tell me the odds

November 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, everyone and their brother wants to write a book. The more seriously I’ve taken writing, the more aware I’ve become of this fact. If you don’t believe me, just follow #amwriting on Twitter for a day. The Twitter-verse is absolutely lousy with people who are working on their first novel, memoir, poetry book, whatever. If you have any doubts about this, follow #amwriting for an hour and allow your comfortable ignorance to be washed away in a sea of tweets.

Or for another example: I love to follow literary agent Jennifer Jackson’s blog out of some sort of masochism in this regard. Jennifer Jackson does something she calls “Query Wars” wherein she reports the statistics for queries she’s received and the number of manuscripts she’s requested. (For anyone not up to speed on how the publishing world works, once a fiction author has a completed manuscript, they “query” agents with a one page synopsis of what the story is about and who they are.) For example, last week « Read the rest of this entry »

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Book Review: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King

September 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

This was definitely a great book to pick up.  It really taught me a ton about common mistakes (like using too many adverbs) that fiction writers make that send up red flags in the heads of editors and agents reading your manuscripts.  I’d say it’s a must read for anyone polishing their first (or second or third) manuscript, though I would also emphasize what they say right off the bat: these aren’t absolutes.  Some of the published examples they select to edit, like the Great Gatsby, lose their voice and uniqueness in the editing process.

If you’re looking for other great books on writing, check out the reading recommendations for writers section of the website.

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