Archive for the ‘General fiction’ Category

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.

Click here to read the answer...

re: What To Do When Your Story Feels “Rushed”

posted 3/12/14

Dear Editor…

My readers are pretty unanimous in their love for my characters, but some say the story feels rushed. I don’t know what to do with this feedback. Any advice?

Thanks,
Anon.

Click here to read the answer...

re: Is the Vietnam Era a Publishing Black Hole?

posted 2/22/13

Dear Editor…

I’m writing a MG novel set in 1965 in Midwest America. While the story is about a little girl who wants a dog, the background story touches upon her brother, and the neighbor’s son, both in Vietnam. We learn about the war through letters written by her brother. Recently, I was told that 1965 isn’t historical, and that the Vietnam war is a black hole in the publishing world. Well, then! Is my novel doomed even though the story isn’t non-fiction, and isn’t only about Vietnam?

Sincerely,
Rachel

Click here to read the answer...

re: Help! Unromantic Me Can’t Write Romantic Scenes

posted 1/31/13

Dear Editor…

I’m trying to write a romantic scene for a YA novel that I’m writing but I’m the most unromantic person I’ve ever met. Do you have any advice as to how I can get over my unromanticness and write good romance scenes?

Sincerely,
Taylor

Click here to read the answer...

re: What Is Speculative Fiction?

posted 1/8/13

Dear Editor…

I just met someone who told me she’s writing “speculative fiction.” She then described a WIP that I would call paranormal. Would you please explain speculative fiction to me?

Thank you,
T.

Click here to read the answer...

re: Scare Readers with Your Mind, Not Your Monsters

posted 11/27/12

Dear Editor…

I want my WIP to totally scare readers, but it hasn’t scared even one of my Beta readers. They agree that the monsters are cool and the chases are exciting, but scary? Not so much. I’m frustrated. Advice?

Sincerely,
Wannabe Scary

Click here to read the answer...

Guest Editor Robin Cruise: When Do You Put “and” Before “then”?

posted 10/25/12

Dear Editor…

When you use “and then” in a sentence, is it more clear to use either “and” or “then” versus both? Why would you need the word “and” before “then”?

Thanks,
Natasha

Click here to read the answer...

Guest Editor Taryn Fagerness re: Are U.S. Readers OK with International Settings?

posted 10/19/12

Dear Editor…

How essential is it to place your story somewhere that’s familiar or, alternatively, exciting to readers? My story demands that it’s placed in either British Columbia, Canada, or Scotland in the UK, but I’ve read that U.S.-based readers mostly want to read stories based in places that they know or are familiar with (anywhere within the U.S.), or they want something exotic (e.g., Thailand, the Philippines). Is this really true? Would an editor ask me to change the location of my story? Has this ever happened to you or anyone you know of?

Sincerely,
Franziska

Click here to read the answer...

re: When Is Too Many Words Too Many Words?

posted 9/28/12

Dear Editor…

My fantasy is at 126,000 words; I can probably cut to 115-120K but maybe not to 100K without ruining plot. In a market in which short is seen as more viable, should I worry about this?

Lorie

Click here to read the answer...

re: Fictionalizing Real-Life Settings

posted 9/26/12

Dear Editor…

My mc attends a design school in LA closely based on the Fashion Institute (FIDM) there, a fairly well known school. Should I change the name? Details regarding curriculum, location, and the facility will play into the story and her decision to be a student there. Am I allowed to use the material I received in my research trip to the school and NOT call it by its real name and not be “plagiarizing”?

Thanks,
K. R.

Click here to read the answer...