Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bad Reviews, or How to Hide the Bodies

By Dario Ciriello

Part of the Indie Author Series

Any author who’s been following the bizarre Kathleen Hale review-stalkergate dustup may, like myself, be wondering whether we might be better off never looking at a review of our work again. In fact, multiple award-winning editor/author Gardner Dozois told the Clarion West class I was in a dozen years ago not to pay attention to reviews; another famous author I know never reads any reviews of his work, not even the mainstream ones by professional reviewers and critics. Not even the good ones.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pick Six: The Character Creation Game


By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

My monthly post is up over at Pub(lishing) Crawl today. I've created a fun game to create characters based on the Five Personality Traits we talked about Monday. I had such a blast just doing the examples that now I want to write a book based on that character. I'll have to see if I can slip them into an existing story. Maybe Bob and the Zombies? Hmmm....

Anyway, come on over and play, and share your random characters!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Finding Rhythm and Voice for a Beginning that Sings

By Karina Sumner-Smith, @ksumnersmith

Part of the How They Do It Series


Starting a novel can be a scary time, especially if things aren't going well or you get off to a slow start. There are things you can do to shake up the muse and find the spark to get your opening working again. Karina Sumner-Smith visits the lecture hall today to share a few tips to make your beginning sing.

Karina Sumner-Smith is a fantasy author and freelance writer. Her debut novel, Radiant, was published by Talos/Skyhorse in September 2014, with the second and third books in the trilogy to follow in 2015. Prior to focusing on novel-length work, Karina published a range of fantasy, science fiction and horror short stories, including Nebula Award nominated story “An End to All Things,” and ultra-short story “When the Zombies Win,” which appeared in two Best of the Year anthologies. Visit her online at karinasumnersmith.com.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

Take it away Karina...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Five Traits to Help You Create Your Character's Personality

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Creating a character is more than choosing a name and physical details. Who they are and how they act plays a much stronger role in how a novel unfolds. There are dozens of ways to develop the inner depths of a character, and one way is by understanding their personality.

Psychologists over the last sixty years have broken personality down into five traits that determine a person's personality, which influences how that person interacts with the world. These traits can be beneficial to determining how your character might interact with your story world.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Real Life Diagnostics: New Writer Nerves: Am I Doing This Right?

Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Real Life Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and I diagnose it on the blog. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem.

If you're interested in submitting to Real Life Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines.

Submissions currently in the queue: One 


Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through October 25.

This week’s questions:

I seem to be using a lot of sentence fragments and want to know if that is 'ok' and works well. You are welcome to comment on any other areas of improvement.


Market/Genre: Fantasy

NOTE: There's a revised query for the middle grade sci fi up for those interested in how the writer edited it. Scroll down to the bottom for the new text.

On to the diagnosis…

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Real Life Diagnostics: A Look at a Fantasy Query: Would You Want to See More?

Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Real Life Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and I diagnose it on the blog. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem.

If you're interested in submitting to Real Life Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines.

Submissions currently in the queue: One + one resubmit 


Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through October 25.

This week’s questions:

Does this query make an agent want to ask for the manuscript? Is it noticeably weaker at the end? Are the stakes high enough? As it's a slice of life fantasy, I want to emphasize there are no Dark Lords to defeat or McGuffins to retrieve...the journey is primarily a character one.


Market/Genre: Fantasy query

On to the diagnosis…

Friday, October 17, 2014

Query First? The Query as a Plotting Tool

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Since we just revisited the NaNo Prep Series, let's wrap it up for Refresher Fridays with another look at the query as a plotting tool.  

Most writers know that after they've written their novel it's time to write their query. But I've found that writing the query before you start the novel is a great way to make sure you have the core elements needed for a solid story.

For those I just sent into sheer panic, never fear -grin-. I'm not talking about an agent-worthy query, just something that sounds halfway decent and nails your protagonist, antagonist, inciting event, story goal, conflict, stakes, and how the protagonist wins. Because if you can't specify those seven things before you start your novel, you're very likely going to run into problems at the halfway mark, if not sooner.

Why?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Choosing the Right Social Media Site for You and Your Readers

By Marcy Kennedy, @MarcyKennedy

Part of the Indie Author Series


When it comes to how to spread the word about your book, you’ll hear widely divergent opinions. Don’t bother with promotion. Promote in every possible way. Do real life events—forget about social media. Don’t bother with real life events—stick to blogging and social media. Buy ads. Don’t buy ads.

The one thing everyone can agree on is that indie writers need a way to let potential readers know their books exist. We don’t have access to a publisher’s ready-made audience. My experience (backed up by discussions I’ve had with other authors who’ve used the same methods) is that social media does help build your audience.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NaNoWriMo Prep: Planning Your Novel’s Ending

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

And now we've come to the final installment of the annual NaNo prep articles.

Getting to “The End” is pretty satisfying, both as a reader and a writer, but there’s also a lot of pressure. There are many things that need to happen--plots and subplots to wrap up, and those pesky character arcs to fulfill. And then there’s the whole “satisfying resolution” to worry about.

The ending is the last 25% of the novel, so we’re looking at another 12,500 words of your 50K (for the NaNo folks). At least one of those final chapters is going to be your wrap up, though that can be a much smaller chapter. There’s a good chance that you won’t know all the specifics about your ending in the planning stage. Don’t worry, because this is pretty common. Ideas and situations will develop over the course of the novel that will help flesh this out. Even if you do know exactly how the ending will unfold, you might find deeper meanings or ways to make it resonate more once that first draft is written.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book Signing Event: Janice Hardy is Coming to Hiram Bookstore

I'll be signing books (both the novels and the writing book) and chatting with readers and writers at Hiram Bookstore in Hiram, GA on October 24, from 5-8pm. If you're in the area, come on down and say hello!

Where: Hiram Bookstore
5077 Jimmy Lee Smith Pkwy #109
Hiram, GA 30141
(770) 943-6800

When: Friday, October 24, 5:00 - 8:00 pm