I’ve been doing a bit of blogging to flesh out the content on the Caffeinated Press site, mostly about writing/editing and the business of publishing. Synopses of my recent posts follow.
- How Much Scene-Setting Is Too Much … Or Too Little? – Scene-setting isn’t easy. There’s no magical paint-by-numbers approach for getting it right. When done well, a perfectly described scene can make a story; when done poorly, the story collapses.
- 21 Books That Moved Me – The world benefits when authors tell their stories. But the stories that move us the most are informed by a deep understanding of the trends and ideas that undergird them. This understanding comes from reading or otherwise experiencing each individual plank on the scaffold of our story.
- On the Effective Attribution of Speech in Fiction – Balancing diction and tone and rhythm to generate a character’s authentic voice makes for tough work for any author. But perhaps even more important than a character’s voice is the structural framework into which that narration sits.
- Points of View – One of the most common structural reasons a person’s manuscript may receive the cold shoulder from an agent or publisher follows from the apparently random admixture of narrative points of view within a story.
- Reflections on Fusion Genres – The technical term for a novel that blends more than one genre or sub-genre into a single story is fusion genre. Very many fusion books are good. But because there’s a higher barrier to market than with straight-genre work, very few publishers are willing to take them on, and in the crowded self-publishing world, the sheer volume of available works means that any one story almost assuredly will be lost in the crowd.
- Every Voice Matters – Few would deny the truism, but the underlying lesson is observed more often in the breach: That every voice matters and deserves a chance to be heard.
- Handling Feedback with Grace – Good writers know that the trial-by-fire from beta readers or professional editors is what brings our newborn manuscript through its long, painful adolescence known as “rewrites” until we finally have a mature product ready for the market.
- How to Query Like a Pro – To find a publisher, you’ll need to perfect your query package.
- Tips for Robust Self-Editing – Before you submit your work for a peer critique, give yourself a robust self-edit. Look for common punctuation or grammar challenges that often burden less experienced authors.
- The One Mistake That Thwarts Aspiring Writers – Before you submit your work for a peer critique, give yourself a robust self-edit. Look for common punctuation or grammar challenges that often burden less experienced authors.
Send me your ideas for post topics related to writing, editing and publishing — I’d be happy to draft something that answers your questions!