I only ask because it seems like the big publishing companies tend to reward the prodigy model: you know, the wunderkinds who graduate from a prestigious university and get a seven-figure advance for a novel about New York or a YA fantasy series.
They have cherubic cheeks and photograph well for all the media outlets and act like very intellectual twenty-five-year-olds.
If you are at all like me, you fantasize about leaving it all behind–the job, the husband and kids, the yappy dog. Not for good, no, that’s a different post. Just for a week, maybe two, to go to a writing retreat.
You dream of traveling to a far away, preferably warm, but maybe not-so-warm (this is your make-believe moment, too) place where you can while away the days at a beautiful beach or curb-side cafe, writing your forthcoming novel.
As a full time editor, I read and gave feedback on 61 books this year. For those of you who wonder how this is possible, for most books I am not copyediting them, only (only!) giving feedback about every part of the fictional world — plot, characters, dialogue, beginnings/endings, themes, structure, metaphors, etc.
I’m basically a story doctor, helping writers tell better stories.
I loved my time as guest editor for Press 53’s Prime Number Magazine, and wanted to pass on a few tips to writers trying to break into literary journals. I got hundreds of submissions and had to pick carefully to select only the top 3, and here’s my best advice on how to get your next acceptance!
Listen up! This video tells you how to choose a social media platform, how to automate your social media to draw readers, when you should start your social media outreach, and what sort of content to offer.
I looked at the first paragraphs of more than 1,000 novels to make this list.
The first paragraphs below are the ones that shocked, surprised, and delighted me. The paragraphs that made me want to read the rest of the book, the paragraphs so memorable that I would dream about them.
Writers, learn from these first paragraphs. When you’re revising the first paragraph of your novel, or preparing to start a novel, do yourself a favor and read through every single one of these. They will radically improve the start of your book.