Fiction Advice

How to Succeed at NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo — also known as National Novel Writing Month  – begins in just a few days. If you’re having butterflies in your stomach about taking on the ambitious goal of writing a 50,000-word story in 30 days, take heart. Taking a few hours to work some story elements out before you start writing will help settle your nerves. Here are 3 tips to set yourself up for success – before the clock starts ticking. Succeed at NaNoWriMo by having a clear idea of your novel’s vision. The most important step before NaNoWriMo begins is to define what your book is about. I’m not talking plot or character but about something deeper: the ideas or themes you want to explore, such as a story of love… Read More

How to Write a Novel Synopsis

You’ve finished your novel and are ready to shop it out to agents and publishers. Besides writing a great query letter, there’s one other key task to complete: Write a novel synopsis. Many beginning authors think of a novel synopsis as a summary of their books. But, when done right, a novel synopsis is like a drop of ocean water; like the drop, which contains all the elements of the ocean itself, the synopsis is an accurate distillation of a novel. The idea of taking the key points of an entire novel and relaying it over just a couple pages can be daunting. Check out my tips to write a novel synopsis that best helps you on your way to publishing success.… Read More

How to avoid query letter mistakes

The biggest hurdle standing between you and a publishing deal is the query letter. Over the years, many authors have asked me the same question: Why aren’t literary agents responding to me? More often than not, I don’t even need to glance at their manuscript to tell them why agents haven’t yet jumped at the chance to work with them — the issues start with the query letter itself. A well-written query letter can get you in the door, but one that falls flat can delay your chances at publishing success. Here are some quick tips for diagnosing what might have gone wrong and how to improve your pitch.… Read More