Tag Archive - writing tips

Tweaking Your Writing and Genre for Success

Last week I began talking about the wisdom in studying other authors’ works in order to nail a genre. This may or may not be something you are interested in, but in dealing with hundreds of clients each year who hire me to critique and edit their novels, I note that most of them 1) want to have successful sales with their books and 2) are targeting a specific genre. Some of my clients aren’t sure what genre they are writing in, or what audience they are writing for. As a result, those books are usually unfocused, awkwardly constructed, lacking clear style and voice.

I get that a lot of beginning writers are just finding their feet (or, rather, voice) and are often experimenting with writing to get some chops and see if they can just write a somewhat coherent novel. All well and good. But at some point, a writer needs to ask herself questions like “Just what do I want to do with this book?” and “Do I want to grow fans and make money from my writing?” Continue Reading…

Nailing Genre by Studying Successful Authors

I’m going to talk a bit about craft in some of these Writing for Life posts since they are off topic from the course I’m running this year (The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction, which runs Wednesdays). And really, this topic has as much to do with marketing as it does with actual writing craft. And for some, it’s a controversial topic.

Although there are some who oppose studying, deconstructing, mimicking, or breaking down (it’s called many different things) another writer’s work, I wholeheartedly encourage it. When I studied one particular novel last year to get a feel for a genre I had never written in, and then ran a blog post about my process (which went viral through the Internet writing world), in the midst of tremendous support for what I’d done, I had a handful (three or four) people go on the warpath to attack what I did. Continue Reading…

5 Writer Goals to Help You Avoid Overwhelm

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do to be a writer? If so, join the club. Sometimes the writing journey feels overwhelming. There aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish the mind-boggling amount of things we writers feel must get done in order to grow not just as writers but in order to establish our place in the publishing world.

Years ago, all an author had to do was write a book and send it off to a publisher (one handwritten copy at a time!), and if her manuscript was accepted, the publisher did all the work of publishing and promoting. Now, authors have to be writer, marketer, publicist—and sometimes publisher—in order to make strides to become known and to have their books sold and distributed. Continue Reading…

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