Novel Writing Courses and "Novel Writing on Edge" Work and Study Forums
From Concept to Query
Welcome to Algonkian Author Connect. Our Novel Writing Program's course methodology, editorial consults, and sell sheet approach, when coupled with the "Novel Writing on Edge" maxims and essays, as well as other AAC content, creates for aspiring fiction authors the perfect online location for the conception, writing, test marketing, and overall production of very good, if not brilliant, genre and literary novels. Click on "About Author Connect" to learn more about the mission, and on the AAC Development and Pitch Sitemap for the big picture.
Early stage novel writers are the most content, blissfully unaware of all they do not know. Middle stage novel writers are anxious, each day awakening to a state of ever-diminishing certainty. The more pitiable though are the late stagers, wisely understanding that even a small portion of remaining ignorance might yet be their undoing.
You might well ask, for starters, what is the best approach for utilizing the four forums below as efficiently as possible? If you are new to AAC, or a member and not an Algonkian alum, the single best approach is to begin with the forum, "Novel Writing on Edge." Read the introduction and the novel writing topics arrayed in the forum, and once done, proceed to the more inclusive NWOE novel writing and development guide which is broken into three major sections, all of them crucial, and linked to the NWOE main website.
However, if you are an alum, the best course of action is to obtain a login to the Algonkian Novel Writing Program(at no cost - request from AAC admin via the contact form), then proceed with the course modules while also absorbing the NWOE guide on a parallel track.
It is also advisable to learn from a "negative" by paying close attention to the forum that focuses on bad novel writing advice. The next forum is a great overview by writers that coversfour of the best books on novel writing. Don't neglect. It's worth a close look, i.e, if you're truly serious about writing a good novel.
On a parallel track we would be remiss not to remind you to also examine and reflect upon the AAC content in other forum sections (e.g. Kara's Cabinet). All contain valuable and often fascinating insights and advice regarding the world of books, novel pitching, and even reviews of novel writing videos.
Platitudes, entitled amateurism, popular delusions, and erroneous information are all conspicuously absent from this collection of detailed novel writing guides and maxims. From concept to query, the goal is to provide you, the aspiring novel author, with the skills and knowledge it takes to realistically compete in the novel market of the 21st century.
The best "bad novel writing advice" articles culled from Novel Writing on Edge. The point isn't to axe grind, rather to warn writers about the many horrid and writer-crippling viruses that float about like asteroids of doom in the novel writing universe. From conferences to writer groups to chat boards, they never cease to appear and threaten extinction. By posting these articles, we dearly hope we can at least save a few thousand misdirected souls. Will we?
Writer takeaways on craft learned from the best books on plot and technique utilized in the commercial novel writing program including "The Art of Fiction" by John Gardner, "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass, "Write Away" by Elizabeth George, and "The Writing Life" by Annie Dillard.
Newly updated narrative, developmental, and editorial courses that compose the Algonkian Novel Writing Program. Crucial elements analyzed and applied include high-concept premise, counter-trait characters, Six Act Two-Goal Novel, hooks and core wounds, scene selection, set cinema, and more. All genres. Registration here. Program concludes with faculty video-consults to address final edits and query letter. Free to Algonkian alums.
1. Before you begin to consider or rewrite your story premise, you must develop a simple "story statement." In other words, what's the mission of your protagonist? The goal? What must be done?
To assert her presence in a society that dismisses her as invisible and voiceless
2. in 200 words or less, sketch the antagonist or antagonistic force in your story. Keep in mind their goals, their background, and the ways they react to the world about them.
The antagonistic force is the Philippine class system as embodied by various characters. Among the primary ones are members
A Good Duke is Hard to Find
A Good Duke is Hard to Find by Christina Britton is $1.99! This is the first book in the Isle of Synne series and I’m sure it’s pronounced “sin” but my mind went to “sine” and I, for one, will avoid an island of calculus. No thank you!
Get swept away by a Regency romance of broken engagements, second chances, and stolen kisses from the author whom Publishers Weekly calls “irresistible”.
After her third fiancé leaves her at the altar, Lenora Hartley is beginning
Everybody knows the book The Little Engine That Could. Published in 1930, over the years, that little blue engine has taught billions of kids to keep on trying, to not give up. "I think I can, I think I can," was popularized by the train engine that managed to make it up the mountain. A bigger, more powerful engine broke down; other locomotives were asked to take over, but each of them refused. The little blue locomotive was asked, and it agreed to try. Because it kept believing it could, because the little locomotive kept encouraging itself, it suceeded in making it over the mountain. But n
I’ve spent virtually my entire life in the entertainment business, starting as a child in local amateur theater, then professional music, then this whole crazy book-writing thing. As different as these disciplines are, they have some core traits in common, chief of which is the need to please an audience. After all, if nobody comes to your show, or listens to your music, or reads your book, aren’t you just shouting into the void?
So a core trait that each successful artist has in common is that they do please their audience. The really successful ones please a really BIG audience.
But it’s n
The thief of perfume is, in fact, one of the most active of the twenty-first century. In the UK, cosmetics/perfume was the fourth most-shoplifted category in 2019 (after packed meat, razor blades, and whisky/champagne/gin). In the US, perfume is first on the list of products pinched by women, and an AdWeek list of the ten most shoplifted items ranks Chanel No. 5 at No. 9 (a few notches down from Axe body spray).
Just ask Mrs. Thyra G. Youngstrom. In a 1959 news article, she’s reported as having discovered her West Hartford, Connecticut, home had been ransacked. It seemed everything was out of
Carol and Charlie were my upstairs neighbors. They were an older couple, sliver-haired and retired, always around on weekdays. I registered them as vaguely eccentric but sweet, complete opposites from one another. Carol was gregarious. She was always smiling, always generous, delivering packages from the lobby to our apartment doors and feeding a feral cat on our block. I met her as I was moving into my now-husband’s place. She seemed delighted to have me in the building, peppering me with personal questions like some cheerfully nosy aunt, welcoming me to the family.
Charlie was quieter, inco
la valle d’abisso dolorosa . . .
the valley of the sad abyss . . .
You find comparatively few murderers among WASPs. Harry Kendall Thaw (the Pittsburgh coal heir who shot Stanford White, the beaux arts architect, on the rooftop of Madison Square Garden in 1906), Jean Harris (the Smith College alumna and Madeira School headmistress who murdered the diet guru Dr. Herman Tarnower in 1980), and William Bradford Bishop (the Yale-educated diplomat who bludgeoned his family to death with a sledgehammer in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1976) very nearly exhaust the list of WASPs who killed
I got married in 2012. I remember sitting on the plane en route to our honeymoon staring at my brand new wedding band and thinking: I am somebody’s wife now. A small thrill passed through me at the idea of belonging to someone in this way. Ever since, I have always enjoyed introducing myself to my husband’s coworkers or high school classmates as “Rob Baker’s wife.” Hey, he’s a great guy to be married to! But also, let me be perfectly clear, as much as I love him, ‘til death do us part and whatnot, that sobriquet better not be the thing engraved on my tombstone. And furthermore, if someday I be
One Last Stop
by Casey McQuiston
June 1, 2021 · St. Martin's Griffin Contemporary RomanceLGBTQIA
CW/TW: reference to a historical hate crime against LGBTQ people
One Last Stop is the tale of August, a young woman who has recently moved to New York City, and Jane, the mysterious woman that August meets on the subway. When August moves to New York, she intends to do what she’s done her whole life, namely, keep to herself. However, h
Photo: Nina Subin.
I first encountered Alexandra Kleeman’s work in the pages of this magazine. Her story “Fairy Tale”—published in 2010, when Kleeman was still a student in the M.F.A. program at Columbia University—is a nightmarish account of a woman confronted by a barrage of strangers who all claim to be her fiancé. The one she is forced to choose tries to kill her. Kleeman’s novel You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine employs a similarly arch and sinister surrealism to tell the story of two roommates whose identities slowly melt into one.
In her latest novel, Something New under the Sun, the
Johanna Sinisalo is a pioneer of the Finnish Weird. Her debut novel Not Before Sundown (2000, translated 2003) won the prestigious Finlandia prize in her native Finnish and won the James Tiptree, Jr Award on its translation into English. The novel is a wonderful mix of the speculative and the realist, imagining an alternative Finland in which trolls really exist from the perspective of the gay community in Sinisalo’s hometown of Tampere. Her other novels translated into English include Birdbrain (2008, translated 2011), a masterpiece of the eco-Weird, the utterly wonderful The Blood Of Angels
There’s a concept in storytelling that I’ve long tried to understand: “authentic”. Mostly it’s invoked with respect to characters. It’s important to know them. It’s important that they act and speak in ways consistent with who they are, whether entering a room or rocketing to the stars. It’s also important to know how they came to be who they are. Back story wounds and burdens shape and define them and become the engines of change.
If writing is “authentic” then every gesture, action and utterance is “honest” and everything observed is rendered in a way both original and pinpoint accurat
Last year, I took part in a London festival’s panel discussion of the work of Agatha Christie. On the panel with me were four other writers, all passionate Agatha fans. One by one, we described what we loved about her work and talked about how much she meant to us. Then it was time for the Q&A, and the questions we were asked by the audience were, by and large, the same ones I’ve been answering on Agatha-themed panels since around 2011: why is she still the no. 1 bestselling novelist of all time? Is her work dated now or is she still relevant? Even though she’s widely and rightfully regard