Sleuth: Gail Bowen on Writing Mysteries — Writing Craft Book Recommendation

Title: Sleuth: Gail Bowen on Writing Mysteries Author: Gail Bowen Publisher: Regina, SK, Canada: University of Regina Press, 2018 Genre: Adult non-fiction Topics: Writing craft, writing advice, a writer’s first-hand experiences Opening Sentences: (I love this!) I began writing when I was forty-three. I mention this because a surprising number of people believe that, if they haven’t written something significant by the time they’re forty, it’s game over. … By the time you’re forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, or ninety plus, the well is primed. … If you have always longed to write this is the time to get started because this is the time you have. Synopsis: The publisher’s… Read More

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Novel-Revision Workshop Coming Up at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University!

Do you have a first (or second or third) draft of a novel manuscript? Are you unsure how to proceed with your next draft? Do you find the process of revision daunting? Many people struggle with revision: how to evaluate their draft, how to deepen the character development, how to enhance the plot arc, how to deal with comments from critique partners — how to bring all the necessary elements together to make a successful finished manuscript. There are many ways to address this. I’ve recently learned about one that intrigues me, and I thought you might find it interesting and potentially helpful, as well. Janice Hardy is a novelist… Read More

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More About Mentor Texts — What to Read? How to Choose?

With so many books out there, how does a writer choose appropriate mentor texts to read? (If you missed my initial post about mentor texts, you can find it here.) Here are some hints for choosing good mentor texts. At the end of the post, I’ll suggest some links where you can find more assistance. 1. Choose CURRENT books. No matter how much you may love a classic you first encountered years ago (or last month), literature — and particularly children’s literature — has changed quite a bit in recent years. Look for books that have been published within the last 3-5 years. 2. Usually you will look for books… Read More

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Using Mentor Texts

As my editing clients could tell you, I often suggest reading mentor texts — recently published books by established writers that can show how others have handled the issues the client is trying to bring to life in his or her manuscript. Seeing how well-established writers deal with character development, or the building blocks of plot, or story arc, or the use of antagonists and obstacles to the protagonists, can help a new writer think about how they can deal with those same challenges in their own writing. Reading and analyzing such books can help a writer see what works and what doesn’t in order to hone his or her… Read More

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Are You Up for a Challenge? A Writing Challenge, That Is…

As we look ahead to 2017 and to a new year of writing, I want to recommend two excellent challenges to get your creative juices flowing and your pen flying over the paper (or your fingers flying over the computer keys). If you write picture books, author Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 challenge is designed for you. Not only does it encourage participants to write a new picture book manuscript draft every month (thus the name — 12 drafts in 12 months) but there is a lively online community (both at a members-only Forum and a members-only Facebook Group), there are monthly blog posts and exclusive-to-members webinars with writers, editors and agents.… Read More

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