Saturday, February 6

Real Life Diagnostics: Would This Query Letter Grab Your Attention?

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 site. 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: Five

Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through March 11.

This week’s question:

Would this query grab an agent's attention?

Market/Genre: YA thriller

On to the diagnosis…

Friday, February 5

Me or You? Choosing Between First and Third Point of View

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week's Refresher Friday takes another look at choosing a point of view style. Enjoy!

How do you choose between first and third person point of view (POV)?

Whichever you like better.

That seems way too simple, right? But there is no preferred POV for any type of story. There are traditional  POVs for genres and markets, but no one says you have to adhere to those. But that's not helpful for someone who isn't sure which to use, so let's dig a little deeper.

Thursday, February 4

Indie Publishing Paths: What’s Your Pricing Plan? Part Three (The Freebie Option)

By Jami Gold, @JamiGold

Part of the Indie Authors Series

For the last several months, this Indie Publishing Paths series has explored how there’s no “one right way” to self-publish and be successful. The successful indie authors have all made different choices, so rather than worrying about finding the “right” way, we simply want to make the right decision for us.

The previous posts in this series have covered the steps we should go through to understand our options. We first need to figure out our goals and priorities. Then once we’re ready to put our book up for sale, we need to decide on the where (such as whether we use a distributor or we sell direct through a retailer or go exclusive with Amazon’s KDP Select), the when (whether we delay, use a preorder, or go for immediate sales), and the how much (whether we price high, in the middle, or low and whether our pricing strategy is a good match for what we want to accomplish).

Wednesday, February 3

Forcing the Issue: Adding Conflict to Your Scenes

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

I'm feeling a little under the weather this week, so here's a Golden Oldie on conflict. Enjoy!

Sometimes I notice my protagonist is following along with the plot and doing what she needs to do, one step at a time, but even though things are problematic, there's no sense that there's really anything in the way trying to stop them. Sure, it's hard, but she just needs to fight through it to the next step. Stuff's in the way, but it's not opposing her. It's the literary equivalent of a big action sequence in a movie. It's fun to watch, but it's all surface problems.

This is when I know I need to add more conflict. Not the "put random obstacles in the way" conflict, but the deeper, more interesting, "make the choices harder" type conflict.

Tuesday, February 2

Plotter by Day, Pantser by Night

By Yvonne Kohano, @yvonnekohano

Part of the How They Do It Series


JH: Anyone who's been reading the site for a while know I'm a big believer in trying new processes and shaking up how I write. I'm always on the lookout for new things to make me a more productive writer (and I suspect many of you do, too). Yvonne Kohano visits the lecture hall today to share some thought on how she manages to get writing done and work within (and without) her personality.

Award winner and storycatcher Yvonne Kohano writes contemporary romantic suspense, psychological thrillers, and nonfiction tips on creativity, when she’s not gardening, cooking, traveling, reading or learning something new. Follow her at www.YvonneKohano.com (fiction), www.GooseYourMuse.com (creativity tips), and Facebook and Twitter to learn what tickles her about being a writer.

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

Take it away Yvonne...

Monday, February 1

Starting a Novel? Let Your Idea Simmer

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Story ideas tend to simmer in my brain awhile before I turn them into a novel. I like to think about them, brainstorm them, discuss them with writer pals and my husband, and play with them to see the different facets.

I usually do this as I’m working on another project that’s past the fun, creative stage and well into the hard work stage, such as revision. It’s a way to flex my creative muscles while my analytical muscles are doing the really heavy lifting (and get a jump start on the next book).

Sunday, January 31

Writing Prompt: The Photo Prompt: Amphibious Fun

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt is a photo prompt. Write whatever comes to mind, be it a description, a story, or even a poem.

Write something inspired by this photo. 

 


Saturday, January 30

Real Life Diagnostics: Showing, Telling, and Trying to Hook Readers

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 site. 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: Six

Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through March 11.

This week’s questions:

I keep reading about "showing not telling", "making sure there are 'questions' to hook the reader" and so on, and to be honest it's all a bit confusing.

Market/Genre: Speculative

Note: We’ve got a brand-new writer here, so please keep that in mind when offering suggestions.

On to the diagnosis…

Friday, January 29

Where Do I Go From Here? Plotting Through “What Happens Next?” Part One

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week's Refresher Friday takes an updated look at getting past a sticky point while plotting. Enjoy!

Whenever I’m not sure where the plot goes it’s almost always due to a goal issue. I've usually lost sight of what the protagonist was after and why she wanted it in the first place.

The rough part is, I often know what happens next in the plot, which makes he whole thing ever harder to manage. The story needs to go there, but I can't quite figure out how to get the protagonist from point A to B.

Thursday, January 28

The Organized Writer: Making a Production and Marketing Bible

By Angela Quarles, @AngelaQuarles

Part of the Indie Author Series


I'm delighted to introduce Fiction University's newest Indie Author faculty--the awesome Angela Quarles. It's been so long, I don't even remember where I first met Angela (probably here), though I do have fond memories of our first face-to-face meeting at an RWA conference in Anaheim back in 2012. She's been burning it up lately on the indie track, and I'm honored to have her join us here to share what she's learned during her indie journey. And excited to hear what she has to say about this publishing path.

Please give her a warm welcome.

Take it away Angela...