Close

queries

Story Tropes: Lazy or Helpful?

Note on top of rose petals with text: Can Story Tropes Be Good?

Every genre and medium of storytelling uses tropes, and they often have a bad reputation—for good reason. All too frequently, they can indicate lazy storytelling or worldbuilding. But they don’t have to be a bad thing.

Pin It

July 27, 2017

Read More

The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing

Picture of library shelves with text: Pitching Our Story from the Crowd

No matter how we publish, we need to introduce our story to potential readers and interest them enough to want to look closer. Whether we’re pitching and querying agents or enticing readers with back-cover blurbs, we need to grab their attention.

Pin It

January 19, 2017

Read More

What’s the Difference between Plot and Story?

Man walking through a desert with text: How is Plot Different from Story?

When we first start off as writers, if someone asks us about our story, we might launch into an overview of our story’s plot. It’s easy to think the plot is what our story is about. But with few exceptions, story isn’t the same as plot.

Pin It

May 3, 2016

Read More

What Makes Your Story Unique?

Neon sign of "Same Same But Different" with text: Is Your Story the "Same Same But Different"?

Ever heard “write the same but different”? Usually agents want something similar enough to other stories that they know they can sell the book but different enough to not feel like a retread. Whether we’re writing queries for traditional publishing or back-cover blurbs for self-publishing, if we can identify how our story is unique, we can better sell our story.

Pin It

August 18, 2015

Read More

How to Punch Up a Blurb or Query — Guest: Julie Glover

Fist punching into water with text: Punch Up Your Blurb!

No matter how we publish, we have to come up with a great book description. Queries and blurbs have always been my weak point, so I asked my editors at each stage of the editing process for help. Julie Glover’s here today with tips for how to go from good to great.

Pin It

March 5, 2015

Read More

How to Use Needs and Goals to Appeal to Readers

Cue ball lined up on billiards table with text: The Importance of Goals *and* Needs

When we first start learning about writing, we’re often faced with a whole new language. Words like “beats,” “tension,” and “conflict” take on new meaning within the writing world. Such it is with the words “needs” and “goals.” Once we enter the writing world, those words become infused with extra meanings related to plots and character arcs.

Pin It

January 15, 2015

Read More

Taking Risks: You Have to Play the Game to Win

Cover slide of presentation: "Get the Most Out of a Writing Conference"

Last night, WANA International‘s online writing conference hosted Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA for a free workshop offered as part of the run up to next weekend’s WANACon (February 21 and 22, 2014). Gabriela presented at last fall’s WANACon, and her popular sessions earned her a return invitation with two […]

Pin It

February 13, 2014

Read More

Are You Waiting for Permission?

Begging pug dog with text: Waiting for Permission?

This past week has been a good news / bad news / good news sort of week. The conflicting emotions have been *ahem* good for making me question my strategies (yet again). On the good news side, I received the scores from my last contest, The Emily. I mentioned a few […]

Pin It

December 19, 2013

Read More