Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pointing in the Right Direction ...

If you are looking for advice on what NOT to do in writing your great masterpiece, this post I'm about to direct you to might help. It focuses on the seven reasons agents will stop reading your first chapter.

  • Generic Beginnings

  • Slow Beginnings

  • Trying Too Hard

  • Too Much Info

  • Clich├ęs

  • Loss of Focus

  • Unrealistic Internal Narrative

The information for this post was gathered at a writers' conference where several agents listened to openings -- first 250 words -- of manuscripts and gave feedback. For more details, check out: WHY AGENTS STOP READING

Monday, June 14, 2010

Name That Novel #21

A portrait of American history: name this treasured story and its author.

"It ain't that big. The whole United States ain't that big. It ain't that big. It ain't big enough. There ain't room enough for you an' me, for your kind an' my kind, for rich and poor together all in one country, for thieves and honest men. For hunger and fat."
Congrats to April! The quote is from Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Check It Out ... Weekly Websites

One aspect of writing that is easy to forget ... or maybe we tend to ignore it. Like exercising. More work than fun. I speak of expanding your vocabulary. Oh, I know you probably use the thesaurus in Microsoft Word to avoid all that makes us sound dull, boring, mundane. So, why not try something different? Here are a couple of sites that help build and broaden your vocabulary.



And remember -- keep avoiding those cliches!