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Found 23 results

  1. My very first manuscript was horribly cliché and pretty much plotless. In fact, it didn’t even have an ending to it. I never bothered writing one. It was clear to me that by 80,000 words there was no point in wasting my time on devising a resolution because there was never even a climax. It literally turned into one very lengthy exercise in getting to know my main characters—because I hadn’t bothered doing that before I started to write my novel. And this was okay at the time. I was brand new to creative writing and I just wanted to test my hand at being a writer since I’d never done anything
  2. Writing, development, editing, and pitch forums (as well as companion sources) for utilization by New York Pitch and Algonkian alums. This is a focal point for polishing, rewriting, or beginning a new novel manuscript. => The Algonkian Novel Writing Program is open to all Algonkian/NYP alums at no additional cost. If you are not an alum, the cost is $799.00. Comprehensive Work and Study Forums - MS Development and Editing Necessary Nuance, Strong Bewares, and Actual Results Platitudes, entitled amateurism, popular delusions, and erroneous information are all conspicuously
  3. From the Desk of Agent Richard Curtis ***** (Best of Writer's Edge) "The truth is that if all other things are equal, the author with better writing skills is the one who will rise out of the pack." As the stakes continue to rise in the publishing business, writers are adopting a wide range of strategies to advance themselves out of the midlist and onto better-selling plateaus. I myself have recommended a number of such strategies. Recently, however, as I respond again and again to the question of what one can do to escape midlist oblivion,
  4. When it comes to my all-time favorite fictional character it will always and forever be Andrew Wiggins, better known as Ender. I have loved fictional stories ever since I could read. I especially love fantasy and sci-fi. However, I had never really connected with a main character very deeply in a novel until I read Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, when I was in the latter part of Junior High school. I have since read that story multiple times and my 14-year-old self connects just as deeply every time. Every author’s dream, right, to have their stories cherished for decades? But why did
  5. Truthful, authentic, honest. All these words mean roughly the same thing, but in this case, I’ve chosen these words to describe writers and the stories they create. I’m sure you’ve all heard phrases such as “find your own authentic voice,” or “write your truth,” or “be true to your craft.” Or even “be honest with your readers.” I realize that these phrases are ambiguous at best and are usually tossed around at writing conferences to make a speaker sound like they know what they are talking about. So…what am I getting at? To be honest in what you are writing, or to be truthful in the story
  6. Conflict should be at the very heart of every story you write. Its presence throughout your manuscript, or lack thereof, can literally make our break your ability to get published. Your main characters need internal conflict, they need conflict between themselves and other characters (more than just the conflict raised by the antagonist). There should also be conflict within the setting of your novel like a picturesque countryside that isn’t entirely what it seems, etc. etc. etc. Without conflict, or tension or raised stakes for the main characters, beginning with the first scene and endi
  7. Algonkian Novel Writing and MS Revision Courses Pre-MFA, Post-MFA, or No MFA - Get Your Novel on a Realistic Path to Publication In Cooperation and Partnership With Algonkian Writer Conferences and the New York Pitch Why is This Novel Writing Program Unique? A number of significant things, as follows: Our "model-and-context" and "cross-module method" approach to studying and applying proper technique on all vital levels while your novel is being effectively developed and edited at the same time. Our detai
  8. Step-by-Step Commercial Novel Writing At Your Own Pace Below you will find our program syllabus. In our quest to get you as close to the brass ring as possible, we've developed this series of multi-genre commercial writing courses that enable you to write or rewrite your novel a step at a time, and at your own pace, while also reality-checking all core and peripheral elements of your work-in-progress. Initial focus is placed on developing story premise and proper market position, major antagonist and protagonist features, primary plot conflict(s), and overall setting decisions. The nex
  9. Have you ever had a hard time figuring out what genre your story fits into? Or, maybe you know the genre of your story, but you don’t know how to structure it. Perhaps your book keeps switching from one genre to the next depending on which chapter you’re writing. If genre is feeling a bit hazy for you, or if you just want to understand it better then this week’s picks are for you: #1: Tinker, Tailor, Wizard, Spy: The Joys (And Dangers) of Blending Genre Elements W.L. Goodwater states, “When readers browse the genre shelves at the bookstore, they are looking to sign a contract with th
  10. As noted above, this novel writing program is free for alums who are also members of Algonkian Author Connect (contact us for the password if you do not already have one). All those with a password need simply click here to access program sections using said password. If you are not an Algonkian alum, the registration and application page can be found here. Originally brainstormed by the faculty of Algonkian Writer Conferences, this program was later tested by NYC publishing professionals for practical and time-sensitive utilization by genre writers (SF/F, YA, Mystery, Thriller, Historica
  11. That said, I agree with Joe that this video might do more harm than good when it comes to giving writers advice. It sounds like Hank is (as we've been hammering on so hard here) a pantser. From the way he described his process, it sounds like he sort of wanders through the story and sees where his interest (and the characters) take him. [MORE BELOW]
  12. SEE ALSO: NWOE Bad Novel Writing Advice - Beware and Serious? Novel Writing on Edge is dedicated to the art of novel writing and assisting you to become published by a major commercial imprint or well-regarded literary press. Platitudes, entitled amateurism, popular delusions, and poorly presented or erroneous information are all conspicuously absent from this website. As the official blog of Algonkian Writer Conferences, it's mission is to provide you, the aspiring novel or narrative non-fiction author, with the realistic skills and knowledge it takes to succeed in the diffic
  13. We are living in a rather crazy time right now, with upheaval intruding upon our feelings of safety and comfort, and most of all upon our ability to remain focused on our writing. I hope to give anyone reading this the opportunity to come back to themselves and reconnect to the writer inside, and to encourage you to contemplate your reasons for choosing this path to begin with. So, to start out this brand-new forum known as Kara's Cabinet of Themes and Curiosities, as well as this brand-new year, here are my top five picks for the week and in the order that I think they should be read:
  14. What makes for good drama is a constant. To begin, we combine Siegal's "nine act structure - two goal" screenplay (very much like the Syd Field three act except that the "reversal" from Field's structure joins "Act 5" in Siegal's version) with the Field classic three act. The Two-Goal Structure, Siegal maintains, creates more dynamic plot tension due to the insertion of PLOT REVERSAL later in the story. We concur. NOTE: "Plot Point" is defined here as a major occurrence that emphatically changes the course of the story. In the genre novel as a whole, we see three to five major plot
  15. HOOK OR LOG WITH CORE WOUND AND CONFLICT Your hook line (also known as logline) is your first chance to get a New York or Hollywood professional interested in your novel. It can be utilized in your query to hook the agent into requesting the project. It is especially useful for those pitch sessions at conferences, lunches, in the elevator, or anywhere else. When a prospective agent or editor asks you what your book is about, your high-concept hook line is your answer. Writing one also encourages a realization of those primary elements that will make your novel into a work of powerful ficti
  16. Aspire to be a great genre author? So what's your high concept? If you fail to grasp the vital importance of this second question, you will fail to conceive much less write a publishable genre novel - thriller, mystery, fantasy, horror, crime, SF, you name it. Just not going to happen. Don't let any writer group or self-appointed writer guru online or writer conference panel tell you otherwise. You're competing with tens of thousands of other aspiring authors in your genre. Consider. WHAT IS GOING TO MAKE YOUR NOVEL STAND OUT from the morass of throat-gulping hopefuls who don't know
  17. It's like acid rain. It never ceases to scar, harm the environment, and ruin vacations. We're talking about bad writer advice, of course (btw, see our first article on this subject). While perusing several collections of "Worst Writer Advice" found sprouting like toxic tulips after a simple Google search (most of it authored by insufferable rank amateurs working for the ad-driven content industry, and who wisely appear between ages 12 and 17), I found the various fallacies and idiocies about novel writing contained therein to be worth pointing out. Much of it was r
  18. You will discover below a series of scholarly, researchable, frank and indispensable guides to conceiving and writing the commercial genre novel, as well as the plot-driven literary novel. But the cutting edge of the developmental peels and prods as presented makes an initial big assumption, namely, that you are honestly desirous of true publication either by a classic publisher or traditional literary press, and therefore, willing to birth the most dynamic and can't-put-it-down novel you possibly can. Further, you are also naturally desirous of great sets, mind-altering theme, unforgettable c
  19. A WATERSHED EVENT FOR SERIOUS WRITERS Whatever the stage of your project or writing life, know that all writers, if they desire to become commercially published, must see and enter the Epiphany Light. First of all, what is the "Epiphany Light"? The EL is a state of mind crucial to any aspiring author desirous of commercial or serious literary publication, and one which clearly divides the 99% from the 1% of those who've learned the hard way how challenging it is to have their expertise and projects taken seriously by professionals in the publishing business. But are the percentag
  20. What should be percolating in the aborning author's mind from the very start? Let's Talk About Passion A few basic questions first. Why are you writing a novel? For reasons of ambition, ego? Well, why not? Most of us, in one way or another, tend the ego. We want recognition, validation, a chance to prove our ability to others and thereby rise above (careful... verging on narcissism). We may need to prove something to ourselves, or more simply, gain a degree of independence from an unsatisfactory mode of existence, the existential nausea of daily grind. We might require purpose,
  21. If you've won a Pulitzer you might consider disregarding the advice in this section, but it's not advisable. No article here at WE could be more representative of the Algonkian model-and-context method of novel writing than this. Look at the percentage of novels on the shelf right now that concentrate on creating a character the reader will become concerned with without hesitation. Quite a few, yes? A novel hook with an interesting, unique, and sympathetic character will make agents sit up and take notice. This is vital to avoiding a rejection slip. A few classic exampl
  22. As you explore the nooks and literary crannies of WE, you'll find considerable words devoted to warning you away from foolish and terrible advice. But what about professional, tested, and proven advice? Below are ten bullet points for aspiring authors designed to help them overcome any confusion or misdirection when it comes to starting the novel. However, before you investigate, make certain you've already prepared by reading this sensible prologue. Note: the list below makes a base assumption that the writer is a relative novice and currently searching for direction and focus--the same st
  23. Without them many of the best selling novels of all time would simply cease to exist, their supporting beams cut away, the shell of remaining "story" quietly imploding to ignominy and self-publication. Consider the impact on a scene, any scene, as soon as the author moves the chess piece of antagonist onto the page. The mere presence of a Javert from "Les Miserables," Assef from "The Kite Runner," or Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," immediately energizes the environment. The narrative and dialogue literally crackle and groan with antagonist. What chances do yo
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