Best of Blog: Round Up!

IMG_5222.JPGI spent 5+ years on this blog and I haven’t posted in awhile, but I wanted to share a great round up of some of my top posts throughout the years.

I think I’ve made this place a good launch pad for authors’ careers answering questions about all aspects of the writing and publishing arenas.

Let me know which articles were most helpful to you!

THE CRAFT

Top Tips for Writing / Editing:

On characters 30 questions to ask your main character.

On comparison to other writers 6 Tips on why writers shouldn’t (but might) compare themselves to others, and why they shouldn’t (what they should do).

On category and genre. Infographic: Do You Know The Difference Between Literary, Upmarket and Commercial Fiction? Helping writers understand the difference between these three categories so that they can market and sell (or query) their book better.

On writing page one: Tips To Hook A Reader on Page One Tips on what hooks a reader (so they keep reading) like a secret, verses mistakes that encourage them to put the book down.

On where your book begins Five reasons why you might be starting your novel in the wrong place.

On how to redirect a wandering book: 4 ways to edit your book back on track When you feel like you’re losing your novel, do these four things.

On writing synopsis Ways to write a synopsis.

Top Tips for Dealing with Writer Anxiety:

On what writers should stop worrying about Lessons writers should take to heart on what they can and cannot control.

On what writers should stop wasting their time on What writers need to avoid so their time is more productive.

THE BUSINESS

Top Tips for Social Media / Marketing:

On Instagram Tips on how to use Instagram and how it can establish brand/marketing.

On writing for the market and you Tips on writing for the marketing but not trying to write “trends.”

On agents googling authors Insight on the truth about agents googling writers after they like a query, as well as what social media is best for each kind of writer (including times to post).

On building platform 7 ways to build an online community which is essential to success.

On how social media hurts writers 6 ways social media doesn’t help you get published–i.e. what writers shouldn’t do or share online.

Top Tips for Querying / Pitching:

On querying 8 query tips that nobody tells writers (but you do!)

On personalizing your QL 10 ways/examples on how authors can introduce their book in their Query Letter that shows they’ve done research and/or have similar taste.

On QL content–focusing on plot vs. theme 3 big reasons why agents are interested in plot-driven Query Letter instead of theme-elaborate Query Letter.

On passing on QLs 5 quick reasons why an agent say “no thanks.”

On pitch potential The advantages and disadvantages of various ways authors pitch their work to agents (in person, conference, etc.).

On reading slush (your strategies) How I read slush!

Top Tips for Publishing:

On publishing industry “rules.” 4 rules you can break and 6 you can’t.

On publishing your debut novel. 5 tips on how to get your book to the printer.

Top Tips for Agent Relationships (and getting one):

On lessons you’ve learned as an agent. Your 15 points on what you’ve learned about being an agent–I thought these were really sincere and smart and something to exemplify.

On what agents like to know about potential authors. What you like to know about potential authors.

On how to be a good client. 7 tips on what will make you a great client to work with (for your agent).

On what’s wrong with your manuscript. Agent perspective on what flags a weak novel.

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2018 MSWL

Subway Girls_Final CoverI’m open to queries again and here’s the wishlist:

  • Upmarket, structurally interesting, sweeping love stories of all kinds. I’d truly love a LGBTQ in the vein of ONE DAY or THE VERSIONS OF US. Something like a more commercial PAYING GUESTS (which I loved, but I’m not interested in capital L literary fiction right now).
  • Historical novels where plot & setting have to work together i.e. NIGHTINGALE, ARCADIA, GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND. I’m not interested in writers using historical novels to tell me how much research they’ve done. I want a very plotty historical. Beatriz Williams-esque.
  • Multi POV, time slip or dual past/present narrative structure women’s fiction, historical, domestic suspense, or upmarket like THE ALICE NETWORK, THE SUBWAY GIRLS.
  • Literary mysteries/suspense/thrillers with female lead i.e. DARK PLACES, YOU WILL KNOW ME, THE FEVER, THE POWER
  • Still looking at domestic suspense, and psychological thrillers. The stakes are high and competitive out there so I’m not looking for something that is overcomplicated and trying to out-do what’s on the market. I’m looking for excellent, simple (which is so much harder!), spooky/creepy writing.
  • Plot-driven story of marriage, complicated family drama, or mother/daughter relationships i.e. THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, MATING FOR LIFE, MODERN LOVERS, THE NEST, SHE REGRETS NOTHING, THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING
  • Coming-of-age anything! i.e. THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY, YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP, AFTER HER, THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD, THE GIRLS, HISTORY OF WOLVES, GIRLS ON FIRE, AGE OF MIRACLES, YOU WILL KNOW ME
  • Would love an East/West Germany or Berlin Wall historical with a romantic hook. Something sweeping and heartbreaking.
  • I’ve been fascinated by this actual event for a decade. Looking for a historical women’s fiction/book club book about garment district’s 1911 shirtwaist fire tragedy.
  • Accessible, smart, heartbreaking love stories: THE VERSIONS OF US, FOREVER INTERRUPTED, ONE DAY
  • Commercial “Millennial” novels: i.e. STARTUP, THE HATING GAME, THE ASSISTANTS, THE KNOCKOFF, THE REGULARS. Starting careers, moving to new cities, friendships etc.
  • Family secrets & single events that chance the course of many lives i.e. COMMONWEALTH, ONE DAY, VERSIONS OF US, ATONEMENT
  • #ownvoices, sweet, funny, family-centric love stories i.e. JANE THE VIRGIN, AYESH AT LAST
  • Non fiction: parenting, feminism, health, wellness, business, essay collections—from individuals with large platforms (bloggers, YouTube, newsletters etc)

Submission directions here.

Closing Down The Blog

 

Hi everyone, it’s been a great 6 years of blogging, but it’s time to end the party.

My advice to all writers regarding social media and blogging is that if you can’t post consistently with new content then it’s not worth it–and I’m taking my advice! I will leave it up so that you can still read the articles for information.

Thank you to my 3,000 blog followers–and 80,000 visitors a year!– for engaging with me and asking great questions.

Here are some of my top posts from over the years:

On comparison to other writers

On where your book begins

On Instagram

On characters

On category and genre

On querying

On personalizing your query to agents

On your first page

Did you have any favorite posts over the years? Let me know in the comments.

Moving forward, I’m taking the energy I was using on blogging and spending it on my other social platforms. Come follow me over there!
Instagram / Twitter / Tumblr

 

 

 

5 Year Blog-versary Round Up!

9e4073d6863e21b9a5b923c3e62390afWow, 5 years since this blog began!

Thank you to the loyal readers and commenters for your engagement with my posts.

I decided to do a round up of some of my top posts over the years.

Craft:

30 Questions to Ask Your Main Character

When You Start Comparing Yourself To Other Writers

7 Things Writers Should Stop Wasting Their Time On

6 Tips To Hook A Reader on Page One

4 Ways To Edit Your Book Back on Track

Business:

Do You Know The Difference Between Literary, Upmarket and Commercial Fiction?

5 Secrets To Publishing Your Debut Novel

7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With

Queries:

How To Write A Synopsis

8 Query Tips No One Tells Writers

How I Read Slush: 3 Lessons for Writers

Agent perspective: What’s wrong with your manuscript

Social Media:

7 Ways To Build a Platform Through Your Online Community

6 Ways Social Media Doesn’t Help You Get Published

Q: Do you have a favorite post? One that changed your opinion of the industry or changed your manuscript for the better?