This past Thursday, Christopher Newport University (my beloved alma mater) invited me to return and speak on a panel about careers in publishing. What an awesome opportunity to return to my old stomping grounds and impart my wisdom to those who are walking the same path I once walked. My fellow panelists included a children's … Continue reading Careers in Publishing Panel
Ekphrasis is a term which denotes writing describing a visual piece of art. In our digital world, ekprasis gets complicated as we ask the question: How do we describe the digital? The thought came to me while reading Tim Lebbon's The Silence. In the story of a family fleeing to Scotland to escape the craze caused … Continue reading A New Ekphrasis: Describing Digital Tech
Prompted Writing. I know, you may have just groaned. I was certainly that way in my early years of undergrad. I HATED prompted writing. But the truth is, skipping prompted writing time is like skipping leg day. Writing and creativity are just like muscles. The only way you're going to get any better is with … Continue reading Prompted Writing. Just Do It.
Me: So, tell me about your target audience? Author: Well, anyone really... Your book is not for "anyone". When publishers and agents are reading query letters, they want to know you've thought about audience. Why? Because they are going to be putting an enormous amount of effort and money into helping your book get into … Continue reading Your Book: It’s Not for “Anyone”
I've worked on all kinds of novels within all kinds of genres and all kinds of readers. However, after a while, I began to notice a few things that always make their way into editorial letters. One: Too Much Exposition A number of the manuscripts that make it my desk are considered nearly-perfect by their … Continue reading The 3 Most Common Mistakes I See in Novel Manuscripts
Quickly. Menacingly. Sweetly. Adverbs are wonderful little goodies that bring such nuance to the English language. And we as authors are so eager to grab them in order to bring our worlds to life in the mind of a reader. But they're low-hanging fruit. Mark Twain and Stephen King agree with me when I say … Continue reading Remove. Replace. Restructure. Keep Adverbs from Killing Your Sentences.