Who knew? The first chapter of a novel can, literally, make or break its success. Oh. You knew this? Well, bear with me. I am learning as I go here. So, I made the classic rookie mistake. I began my novel the way it began in my head: with my protagonist waking up. It is how many… Continue reading The Importance of The First Chapter
I’m working with an older WIP this week. It began with a target of 50,000 words. Then about a month ago, I was halfway done when I learned that it now needed to be 20,000 words longer for the publisher I’m targeting. Eep! I’m a pantser-plotter, so the outline that I’d painstakingly created on Scrivener and… Continue reading Secondary Characters with Sandra Jones
I wrote the first chapter of my first novel six years ago this month. I’m happy to report that I’ve learned a number of lessons in those years. To celebrate, I thought I’d list six of those lessons. 1) Adverbs: The publishing world hates them, which makes me sad. I love them. 2) Prologues: Oops.… Continue reading Six lessons learned
Voirey Linger I’m going to finish four books by the end of May with an estimated word count total of 200,000 words. Don’t choke. Breathe through it. You with me? Okay then. Please note, I didn’t say I was going to WRITE four books. The books are already on my hard drive, partials left languishing… Continue reading Goals and Deadlines
There’s a blank page staring me in the face. It isn’t that I don’t have plenty of ideas. I have an entire Evernote workbook stuffed full of bunnies. And a few of those ideas are fairly well outlined. There are some fairly large blocks of dialogue and scene synopses in that file. I have all… Continue reading Drawing a blank
Voirey Linger I see the topic of book length come up quite frequently in writers’ circles. What’s too long? What’s too short? How big should a scene or chapter be? The advice tossed around can be very confusing because, well, quite simply, there is no one right answer. Books are as long as the story,… Continue reading How Long Is a Book?
By Voirey Linger As writers, we deal with failure regularly in the form of the dreaded rejection. We hear regularly that it’s part of the business. But it’s more than just a facet of business, it’s part of life. No one is completely successful at everything they attempt. Everyone fails. But too often we see… Continue reading Failure: Take It Like a Scientist