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 today's novel market.
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. For more art and life in novel writing, the links below are stimulating selections from AAC forum stars:
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, core wounds, set cinema, and more. All genres. Program concludes with faculty video-consults and querying. See topics below for more info.
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 threaten extinction.
Comparables: World Gone By meets Who They Was in this 90,000 plot-driven and character-rich debut novel set in modern day New York.
Hook: A gun-runner for an urban gang sets out to uncover the mystery of his best friend’s death and triggers a chain of events that jeopardizes everyone in his orbit, including him.
Marlon Brown is a gun-runner for the Bloods, whose best friend has been gunned down outside of the gang's established territory. Though the whisper stream comes alive with speculation about who did the deed and why, conjecture isn't enough for Marlon. He ha
If your book is all concept, it's all boring!
First of all, I will admit to having enjoyed this book when said and done. Even though I'm about to use it as an example of what not to do, it was still a heartwarming read about love and loss and how trust can conquer fear if we let it.
This novel is a classic case of the concept getting way, way ahead of the plot.
So first, the concept: How to Stop Time revolves around a man named Tom Hazard who ages slower than normal people. He's not immortal exactly, but his body takes so long to grow old that he might as well be. B
The act of the story statement
Shadow Baelfiyer is a thief living on Chicago’s South Side. She is plagued by dreams of a world that has magic and dragons and a family she knows to be dead. Her aunt tells her these are just dreams. However, on a daily thieving hunt Shadow runs into two strangers who make her rethink all she has known. They are from a world called Elspeth where magic roams, people transform into lions; a world where she was born, and was taken away from, where she too has magic. These strangers take Shadow on a journey to find her past, but a great threat is uncovered
The Queen’s Bargain
The Queen’s Bargain by Anne Bishop is $1.99! This book was mentioned in a previous Hide Your Wallet and is part of the Black Jewels series. I didn’t keep up with the series as a whole, so I’m unsure how this fits in. I think it focuses on secondary characters now, but correct me I’m wrong?
POWER HAS A PRICE. SO DOES LOVE.
Return to the dark, sensual, and powerful world of the Black Jewels in this long-awaited new story in the New York Times bestselling fantasy saga
I feel like I’m committing a grievous writerly sin by even typing these words, but I must speak my truth:
I would like to see more passive protagonists in fiction.
While the title of this post is tongue-in-cheek, I do think that passive protagonists are unfairly maligned in part because of the unspoken association between passivity and femininity. I’ll get into why I think so a little later, but let’s discuss what “passive protagonist” means first.
The importance of intent
Passive protagonists are the antithesis of what we’re told makes a good story. A good story, says common wisdom, is dr
Welcome to Book Beat!
Book Beat aims to highlight other books that we may hear about through friends, social media, or other sources. We could see a gorgeous ad! Or find a new-to-us author on a list of underrated romances! Think of Book Beat as Teen Beat or Tiger Beat, but for books. And no staples to open to get the fold-out poster.
Artie and the Wolf Moon
Author: Olivia Stephens Release
Jeremy Peoples must do whatever it takes to find forgiveness and make peace with the past.
The Antagonist Plots the Point
Stacy Ramone is a former marine, married, with one son, a flawed family man with a heightened sense of loyalty and a rapidly declining mental state. His ultimate plan was to use the money he and his wife were making by selling narcotics and stolen pharmaceuticals to buy a local bar until he is betrayed by Jeremy. Several years later, Stacy remains unseen, a dormant facet of Jeremy’s complicated and violent past, until a series of even
Illustration: Liby Hays. Courtesy of Hays.
Liby Hays’s Geniacs!, a graphic novel out this summer from the art book publisher Landfill Editions, takes place at a hackathon—truly inspired material for slapstick comedy, body horror, and philosophical reflection alike. This tech competition’s goal? Invent a new life-form. “People always think my ideas are dumb … but they’re purposefully so! Their failure is coded within them! It’s like when scientists artificially reanimate the cells of a dead pig’s brain. The brain becomes trapped in an infinite loop reliving the terror of its final moments. But
1. Story statement. Reconcile with past and find self.
2. Antagonist. Tess begins the story at a low point; anxious, consumed by memories of the past. She presents as nervous, little confidence in herself. She places too much emphasis on what people think. Dominated by internal thoughts that belittle and degrade herself. Natural people pleaser who doesn’t speak up for wants and needs, would rather keep the peace. As the story commences, we see Tess having to start making decisions albeit it small; from paying by cash or card, to directions. Midway, we start to recognize her poor decisio
Attached is a first draft of Assignments 1-7 for the upcoming workshop in St. Augustine. All comments most welcome. Looking forward to meeting fellow writers and learning a lot soon.
“Few suspected women of spying, and certainly no one expected a middle-aged knitter to be surreptitiously gathering intelligence.” -Elizabeth Bentley, A Most Clever Girl
While researching topics for my next novel, I stumbled across Elizabeth Bentley’s name and was gobsmacked that I’d never heard of this American spy who once ran the largest Soviet spy ring in America. Because Bentley was a female NKVD-spy-turned-FBI-informer—a combination America wasn’t quite sure what to do with—she was overshadowed both in life and after her death by Joseph McCarthy and Whittaker Chambers. In fact, Whitt
Gustave Caillebotte, Woman at a Dressing Table, 1873. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
My grandmother collected perfume bottles, a seeming whimsy for a woman of such plainness and ferocity. I have three of them, given to me when she was still alive. They lived in a drawer and then later, in a decorative moment, on the bookshelf, where I have since placed them higher and higher out of reach, as my daughter has attempted to climb up to play with them, a slow-moving game between us, until now they are so high up as to be out of view. I tend not to be sentimental about objects, but I at least
On Wednesday, we announced our sixth trio of eliminations and revealed that this week’s two quarter-finalists from the “different” batch are SHADOWS OF IVORY by T.L. Greylock/Bryce O’Connor and WINDS OF STRIFE by U.G .Gutman. These two battle it out in our final quarterfinal of SPFBO 7
In treading a different path in fantasy fiction, our two quarter-finalists stretched our expectations of fantasy protagonists. One gave us a cruel man who finds and murders witches but considers that a mercy, even as his actions eat away at him. The other gave us a young woman gifted by position and wealth
The question we have been asked more than any other in our career as pro podders is ‘why are women so obsessed with true crime?’. And the numbers do stack up, we at RedHanded have been in the criminal fixation game for nearly five years, and we still boast an audience heavily swayed in the female direction. Eighty-two percent swayed, to be exact. So, the question is worth asking, but the truth is, true crime and the commercial consumption of it is nothing new.
As far back as 1888, Victorian media moguls cottoned on sharpish to how much faster they could sell their papers if they recounted the
I’VE JUST WORKED OUT THE TITLE.
That’s so damn clever… The title obviously, not me. Damn I hope you gave yourself a proper pat on the back Gray.
We’re off to a good start, aren’t we. You’ll have to excuse me, please, as I’m suffering from serious book hangover. The kind where… you’ve finished the book, so you stare off into space thinking about it, then your hands reach for it in an attempt to return to reading it. But there’s nothing left to read…
The Last Days of Hong Kong is the third and final instalment of G. D. Penman’s Witch of Empire series (The Year of the Knife and The Wou