Scene and Summary | What’s the Difference?

by Marylee MacDonald, August 11, 2019 in For Beginning Writers

Scene and summary are the key building blocks of any novel. Some novelists devote more of their page count to scenes. Other writers use fewer scenes and more summary. Sometimes, publishers want writers to cut a book’s length, and writers are forced to compress moments in the tale when they might have wanted to let […]

Could ARCs Help You Get More Amazon Reviews?

by Marylee MacDonald, July 28, 2019 in Book promotion, For Writers Ready to Publish

Ever wondered how authors get tons of reviews the first week of their launch while you’re writing groveling emails to your family and friends, asking them to please, please, please read your book and write a review? The answer is that authors who get reviews provide free ARCs (Advanced Review Copies) to avid readers. Avid […]

Ten Questions for Robert J. Emery

by Robert J. Emery in Ten Questions

In this column I’m asking subscribers to share their knowledge about writing, publishing, and marketing their books. I’m calling it “Ten Questions.” Thank you, Robert J. Emery, for giving readers insight into a writer who has successfully made the transition from writing for the screen to writing page-turning books. Read Midnight Black.–Marylee MacDonald Robert J. […]

A Protagonist Must Have a Goal

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Doing Revisions

Every protagonist must have a goal. Your protagonist (Frodo Baggins) wants to throw the Ring in the fires of Mt. Doom or, in the case of Harry Potter, defeat the evil Lord Voldemort. These are the protagonists’ “big picture” goals. A big picture goal describes the entire arc of the novel, from the instant a […]

Ten Questions for Saralyn Richard

by Saralyn Richard in Ten Questions

In this column I’m asking subscribers to share their knowledge about writing, publishing, and marketing their books. I’m calling it “Ten Questions.” Thank you, Saralyn Richard, for allowing us to share in your excitement about your new book release, Murder in the One Percent.–Marylee MacDonald Saralyn Richard’s Author Tip: “Because Murder in the One Percent […]

What Stories Should You Write?

by Marylee MacDonald in For Beginning Writers

Most writers begin writing because they know they have one story to tell. Their goal is to “write a book.” But, most of us have more than one book we could write, and we have a wealth of material to draw on. We also have different themes that occur in our lives. Possibly, we have […]

Free Yourself from Writing Autobiographically

by Marylee MacDonald in For Beginning Writers

If you can free yourself from writing autobiographically, the whole world opens before you. But how can you do this? So often the stories that spring naturally to mind arise from personal experience. This is only natural. Our deepest emotional impressions occur in childhood. Thus, childhood provides a rich source of emotionally-laden story material. Often, […]

Ten Questions for Cornelia Fick

by Cornelia Fick in Ten Questions

In this column I’m asking subscribers to share their knowledge about writing, publishing, and marketing their books. I’m calling it “Ten Questions.” Thank you, Cornelia Fick, for sharing your journey from wanting to be a writer to becoming the author of a published book. You have definitely achieved the dream that motivates all of us!–Marylee […]

Ten Questions for Ben East

by Ben East in Ten Questions

In this column I’m asking subscribers to share their knowledge about writing, publishing, and marketing their books. I’m calling it “Ten Questions.” Thank you, Ben East, for letting readers know about your civil servants and ordinary citizens, trying to make sense of an Orwellian world. Your two approaches to writing–using an outline vs. letting the […]

Revising Fiction – Going Through the Door

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Doing Revisions

Revising fiction–deep revision–may require authors to expand scenes or add new ones. But how can any author know which scenes those are? We’re so close to our stories, it’s hard to have any perspective. And yet, we must provide our readers with a clear and accurate picture of our characters’ inner and outer journeys.  We […]