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Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Second Draft: The Beginning of Editing

Tweet Writing a novel is hard work, and it takes a lot of time. And by the time you’re done with your first draft, you’re going to have one of two thoughts: This is the best thing ever! I can’t wait to share it with the world! This whole thing is crap. I should chuck […]

Readers in the Reticle

Tweet Recently, I talked about BISAC headers and their simultaneously freeing and restricting abilities to target broad swathes of readers. Broad Across the Beam How broad? How about things like Fiction or History or Humor? Yes, things as disparate as Dune is from Sense & Sensibility, or The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is from Meet the Beatles: A Cultural History of the Band […]

Re: Write – My Own Excerpt

Tweet There’s a certain amount of power in editing someone else’s work. In that moment, you are the expert. It can, and should, be a much more humbling experience to edit your own. It took me a long time to learn to edit my own work effectively. And I realized a few weeks ago that, […]

Who’s Your Reader? Designing Your Cover for Your Target Market (Part 1)

Tweet How often do you hear this from other authors: “Oh, I think everyone will like my book if they only read it.” Well, maybe nobody actually says it, but it’s tempting to think that anyone should enjoy your book if given the chance. In reality, however, different segments of the population enjoy definite types […]

The One Where You Get to Be Pygmalion

Today we’re talking about your Ideal Reader: why you want one, how you create one, and what he or she looks like.

Before You Hire an Editor

Tweet Recently I let you hear from one of my freelance editor friends, Laurie. One thing that she mentioned is that your manuscript (MS) needs to be in good condition before you send it off to your editor. Your manuscript needs to be polished and perfected, written at least four times, before you hand it […]

The Magic of Marketing: A Cautionary Tale

Tweet Once upon a time there was a man named Aaron Pogue. He worked every day as a writer, and yet he dreamed every day of working as a writer. You see, he worked as a technical writer translating Engineer into English. But he wanted to be a fiction writer so he could translate words into dreams. […]

The Characters in Orbit

Tweet Last week we talked about what it takes to make a realistic main character. We discussed how to start by making some decisions for him, but then letting him make other decisions for himself. We even went through the character creation process. The end result was Nathan, a 17-year-old boy with OCD who lives […]

The Cover Uncovered: Shopaholic Edition

Tweet “The Cover Uncovered” will be a monthly post where I dissect the cover of a relatively recent book and take a look at what works, what doesn’t, and what you can learn from it. Every month, we here at Unstressed Syllables are given a literary genre to loosely focus on in our work for […]

Prewriting: Turn It Upside Down and Inside Out

Today we’re going to discuss how to make a map work in your favor — or, how you can use your prewriting material in a way that doesn’t tie you down to structure.