Archive for the ‘General fiction’ Category

Revision Week: Marie Force

posted 6/3/16

Dear Readers…

Revision Week ends with a flourish thanks to the fabulous Marie Force, author of some of our favorite contemporary romance series. Marie has sold more than five million copies of her books worldwide, some self-published, others traditionally published. She is talented, prolific, and here to give us a glimpse into her process. Today also brings us to the grand finale giveaway: a Free Full Manuscript Edit by the Editor. Read the full post for giveaway details and Marie’s interview.

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Re: How to Not Annoy Readers?

posted 1/6/16

Dear Editor…

I have a story idea: Two strangers’ lives tragically collide in a hit & run accident, leaving the DRIVER with haunting visions of the VICTIM. Driver’s visions of Victim become more desperate and her guilt more debilitating, so she decides to return to save Victim—and herself. My question: What do you think of this non-traditional structure: Book 1: Victim’s POV pre-crash; Book 2: Driver’s POV post crash; Book 3: Victim’s POV & resolution of Driver’s story. I worry about leaving Victim’s story in limbo for all of BOOK 2. Readers won’t know if the protagonist they just spent 100 pages with is dead or alive. Is that enthralling, or just plain irritating? I know I could do alternating POV chapters, but I don’t care for that style. Ideas?

Thanks!
Plotting Author

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re: Am I Locked into a Character’s Nickname Once I Use It?

posted 10/19/15

Dear Editor…

When giving your character a nickname, should you use that after it’s introduced or can you go back and forth between names?

Sincerely,
H. S.

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re: Word Count Intimidation

posted 4/14/15

Dear Editor…

As I understand it, a young adult novel needs to have a word count of between 40,000 and 60,000 words. The thought of having to write that much paralyses me at word one. I don’t know how I’ll be able to write that much, how I’ll be able to stretch my story and whether I may be wasting my time. What should I do?

Sincerely,
JC

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re: Why Does My Action “Read Slow”?

posted 3/9/15

Dear Editor…

The feedback on my mystery manuscript was that it has lots of action but “reads slow.” The reader gave one bit of elaboration: “Some of the paragraphs ‘feel’ long even though they aren’t.” I’m not sure what to do with that. Suggestions?

Sincerely,
Confused

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re: How Can I Make Readers Cry?

posted 10/20/14

Dear Editor…

I cried when I wrote my romance manuscript. My beta readers aren’t crying. What am I doing wrong?

Sincerely,
Boo-Hoo

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re: Does Paragraph Length Matter?

posted 10/9/14

Dear Editor…

Do paragraphs have to be the same size?

Sincerely,
Adele

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re: How Come If I Stay’s Opening Works?

posted 9/22/14

Dear Readers…

Last week a writer—Diane—asked me why some current bestsellers that start with backstory or as the day is dawning can make those slower beginnings work so well? She specifically asked about The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay. I posted my answer about The Fault in Our Stars last week. I think this is such a useful exploration of story beginnings that I’m taking up that same question today, this time parsing out If I Stay‘s opening.

The Editor

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re: Should Chapter Titles Be Banished?

posted 7/24/14

Dear Editor…

I recently heard that some editors don’t like chapter titles, saying they give things away. Should I not use chapter titles?

Sincerely,
Anonymous

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re: How to Balance High Action with Deep Characterization

posted 5/29/14

Dear Editor…

I’m writing a teen thriller, filled with lots of action. Beta readers say I’ve got the action but that the characters aren’t interacting enough. I don’t really know what they mean, since the protagonist and her protector are in every scene together. They talk all the time! Ideas? Can you recommend some books that do it right?

Thanks,
T. E. S.

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