First-Time Authors

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

Story Trap

In my 25+ years of experience working with first-time authors, I have seen — sadly — too many of them often get in the way of their own success. Of course, no author deliberately sets out to fail, but often beginning writers will cling to story elements that may have sparked their initial writing, but outlive their usefulness as the story begins to take shape. Here are the top 5 self-sabotaging traps that first-time novelists get into and what to do to avoid them:… 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