Let’s look at how some new novels showcase memorable fictional mothers. From loving, supportive mothers to complex, trailblazing mothers to selfish, vindictive mothers, this list from Andrea Lochen, author of The Repeat Year (Berkley, 2013) and Imaginary Things (see below) has it all!
And I can’t begin to fathom the breadth of income necessary to earn the audacity of designating oneself a philosopher in this century, but I’m pretty sure we aren’t shopping in the same stores.
Words are the foundation of any great story. Whether eloquent, blunt, allusive or rudimentary, words are the playthings of those new to the alphabet and MFA students alike. I have two children, ages 5 and 7; both alphabet aficionados and no strangers to playthings. Like any book nerd, I do my best to feed their […]
Writing “well” should be good enough. Good enough to score an agent and a publishing contract. Good enough to entice a potential reader to move past page one, and keep reading, breaking only for food and the uncontrollable urge to refer your book to everyone with an inbox. Author and mighty story expert and deconstructrix […]
A lot of new writers are being told to start right in the action, and this tip needs to be clarified. We need some kind of conflict in the beginning to make us (the reader) choose to side with/like the protagonist. This conflict doesn’t necessarily have to do with the main story problem (directly).
Be sure each scene–every detail–relates directly to, or in some way clarifies or develops your theme. Emphasize the most important scenes or points – in other words, emphasize those sections that crystallize your meaning. In a story, develop key scenes or important details or
descriptions. In essays, emphasize, or spend the most time developing, key points. Emphasis provides direction, tells the reader when to pay close attention.
Often I think I’m illuminating my reader, when merely I’ve employed “qualifiers”—See below why qualifying is akin to spoon-feeding the reader.
Great books are filled with conflict, and great characters who learn important lessons. Writer and all-around-funny Jenny Hansen’s clever tips for Dirty Fighting Techniques can be applied to your main character’s friend, family member or a significant other…whoever he or she is in conflict. Hansen asserts, “Every entry on the Dirty Fighting List is guaranteed […]
Once upon a time, completing your manuscript was the hard part. Eventually, “The End” is behind you; with the thoughtful critique of your circle of writing partners, it is buffed and shammied to a high sheen, primped to enter a tournament of queries. The ultimate prize: publication. Literary agent Jennifer Laughran recently spelled out some […]
r am I jaded? More often than I care to admit, a book’s finely crafted opening pages evoke lovestruck stars in my eyes, much as one too many nervous cocktails over tentative introductions.