‘What’s Wrong with My Query Letter?’

Something is amiss. You’ve written a great novel. You’ve sent your query letter to over sixty agents, and still you’ve had no requests to see the entire manuscript. Why isn’t your query letter working? As a book editor and writing doctor, I get emails from first-time novelists telling me this common tale of woe. When they send me their query ... Read More

Writing Children’s Dialog: How to Get It Right

Are you struggling with the task of writing children's dialog? Some of the worst dialog ever written, in both film and fiction, has been dialog for kids. We all know children are not just miniature grownups—they don’t think like adults or talk like adults. Yet writers seem to forget that when they go to write a story and place words ... Read More

Think Twice Before Writing a Novel

Are you working on writing a novel, perhaps your first? Do you plan to finish it, then bring in an editor for help with the final polish? My experience editing dozens of books by first-time novelists suggests you might be making a mistake. Most of the novels I critique are full of serious problems the author had no idea existed. ... Read More

Adrenalize Your Action Scene!

The following article by Jessi Rita Hoffman was first published on the WriterUnboxed.com website, ranked by Writer's Digest as 2016's number-one blog for fiction writers. Whether you write YA, romance, fantasy, or actual thrillers, there are times in any novel where an action scene is called for. These scenes can be among the hardest to write. What runs like an ... Read More

How to Write a Moving Love Scene

One of the hardest scenes to successfully write is the love scene. In your mind you may picture a moving, romantic interlude, but down on paper, you find it reads like melodrama—or worse. This can spell disaster for your novel, particularly if the entire book is building to this scene and it needs to be stupendous to carry the story.

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