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Archive for April, 2010

Writer Tip: Emily Bryan

“Figure out what kind of story you want to tell and stick to it. Cross too many genre barriers and the booksellers won’t know where to shelve you. Begin as you mean to continue. If you start out with snarky comedy, don’t end up with a chainsaw toting serial killer. Remember the movie Fargo? It was both hysterical and horrific. And confusing. A reader doesn’t like those sorts of surprises. If you’re naturally drawn to dark, angsty tales, don’t try to add humor. If wit fizzes out of you like a shaken soda, don’t try to write a serious story. Stay true to your own voice.”

Visit Emily Bryan’s website. (Emily has 7 pages of writing advice under the WRITE STUFF tab!)
Purchase Emily Byran’s latest release, Stroke of Genius.

Writer Tip: Brenna Lyons

“Don’t worry about the distractions. I don’t mean telling the kids not to interrupt your writing time unless there is fire or blood. I mean the writing-borne distractions. Don’t spend your time worrying about the perfect opening line or scene, the perfect title, the perfect market… Don’t spend your time worrying about which genre fits your book best. Don’t spend your time editing and rewriting what you’ve got done. Leave all of that until the fist draft is done and then go back and do those things. While you’re allowing yourself to be distracted by the nits that you don’t need with an early draft, half the book could already be written.”

Brenna Lyons, author of the EPIC’s e-Book Award-winning TIME CURRENTS

Writer Tip: Larissa Ione

“Celebrate everything. Probably seems like a strange writing tip, but in this business we take a lot of knocks and hard hits. It’s important to keep your spirits up, and one way to do that is to keep a bottle of champagne (or whatever you celebrate with) handy at all times. I always keep a bottle of champagne chilled, and I’ve done it since before I was published. If you’re aspiring to be published, celebrate every milestone — finishing the book, sending off your first query letter, getting your first manuscript request, finaling in your first contest, etc. If you are published, celebrate getting your first cover, your first release day, getting your first great review, making your first foreign sale…and then keep on celebrating everything. More foreign sales, more covers, more contracts, hitting lists…everything. There is so little in this business that we can control…so we need to grab every opportunity to celebrate and remember why we’re writing!”

Visit Larissa Ione’s website at www.larissaione.com
Read a release from Larissa – Ecstasy Unveiled or The Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance

Writer Tip: Abby Wood

“The best tip given to me when I started my writing career is…BE PROFESSIONAL. From your first query letter to your follow-up thank you that you send after receiving a rejection. Publishers, editors, and reviewers will remember how professional you acted. You want them to know that you take your job seriously. Remember: You want to leave doors open. Don’t give them a chance to slam the door with diva-like behavior.”

Visit Abby Wood’s website at www.authorabbywood.com
Purchase Abby’s latest release, Throwing a Kink in the Kidnapping.

Writer Tip: Vivi Andrews

“My advice is to give yourself permission to suck when you’re generating the first draft. You can worry about making it beautiful and flawless in revisions, but the first draft isn’t meant to be perfect. I know if I don’t give myself permission to write dreck, my overachiever tendencies will kick in and I will spend all my time revising and rewriting that first chapter, never getting out of the starting gate. So instead I braindump the entire first draft onto the page, fully expecting it to be unreadable. And strangely enough, when I start revising, I often find it needs much less fixing than I thought it would.”

Visit Vivi Andrews’ website at www.viviandrews.com
Purchase one of Vivi’s releases – Serengeti Storm or Shifting Dreams

Writer Tip: Anna Campbell

“My best advice if you’re starting out is sit down and write a whole book from page one to the end. That will teach you more than anything else, wonderful as the resources available to a writer are. Don’t listen to the siren call of a new idea when you hit the doldrums. Keep plugging on until you finish that manuscript. Then put the book under the bed for six months and write something else. Only then come back to edit the first manuscript – you’ll be amazed what writing a second manuscript has taught you. The other benefit of putting your work aside for an extended period of time is that you can see mistakes more easily once you’re not quite so close to the story.”

Visit Anna Campbell’s website at www.annacampbell.info
Purchase Anna’s upcoming release, My Reckless Surrender (June 2010)

Writer Tip: Shelley Munro

“My advice is to keep hope in the mail ie. always have more than one submission out with editors or agents at a time. If you receive a rejection, this means you’ll still have another submission to pin your hopes on, and it will cushion your disappointment about the rejection.

During my pre-published days I found the hope in the mail method worked well for me. I entered contests. I submitted manuscripts to editors and agents. I worked out a plan for each manuscript, and if I received a rejection, I’d evaluate the feedback and move on to the next part of my plan. Since becoming published, I still adhere to the hope in the mail method as much as possible. Having more than one submission floating around really does help cushion disappointment if you receive a rejection.”

You’re already at Shelley’s website. Why don’t you explore a little while you’re here?
Purchase Shelley’s next release, The Bottom Line.

Writer Tip: Victoria Janssen

“Read everything you can, both inside and outside your genre.”

Visit Victoria Janssen’s website at www.victoriajanssen.com
Purchase Victoria’s latest release, The Moonlight Mistress

Writer Tip: Samantha Kane

“Editing: The most important thing you will ever do. I’m not kidding. First, self-edit. Find your style. Do you like to edit as you write? Do you prefer to finish the first draft and then go back and edit? Fine. The important thing is that you do it. You may scoff, but there are people out there who skip this step altogether. Amazing but true. Cross your t’s, dot your i’s, and edit for grammar and punctuation. Then edit for content: GMC, characterization, plot consistency, romantic conflict, dialogue and dialogue tags. It is not your writing group’s, your critique partner’s or your editor’s job to do this. That’s right, IT IS NOT YOUR EDITOR’S JOB. By the time you send your manuscript to your editor it should be as clean as you can possibly make it. Most editors will tell you that their job is content editing, not line editing. And if you send a submission full of errors to an editor or agent? In most cases they won’t read past the first glaring mistake.

Second, edits from an editor or agent. Do them. Suck it up and drive on. You all three have the same goal: to produce the best, most marketable book possible. If they have to fight you every step of the way, then guess what? You’re not worth their time. Because there are writers out there who will gladly do the edits. And that is the author they would rather work with. The best advice I ever received was from writer Claudia Dain, who said the correct response to an editor’s request for rewrites or edits was, “You want words? I’ve got words. I’m a writer.” I have followed that advice religiously. I do the edits, I don’t argue, I get them done on time, and I hand them in with a thank you. And yes, this does make a difference in how I’m treated. And I also think my books are better for every edit I have made. Remember, editors and agents are your first readers. If something doesn’t work for them, chances are it won’t work for Jane Doe Reader, either.”

Visit Samantha Kane’s website at www.samanthakane.us
Purchase Samantha’s latest release, Love in Exile.

Writer Tip: Kristan Higgins

“The best writing tip…hmmm. I guess it would be keep your head down and get the job done, first of all. You can’t be published if you don’t finish your book. Be ruthless. Pretty good books aren’t going to sell, so dig deep. And have faith in yourself. No one was born published.”

Visit Kristan’s website at www.kristanhiggins.com
Purchase Kristan’s latest release, The Next Best Thing