I’ve often heard people who give writing advice say “don’t write a prologue.” If I were someone qualified to give writing advice, I’d say, “don’t write a bad prologue.” The prologue at the beginning of Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind is a beautiful and necessary part of the novel. If The Name of … Continue reading On beginnings: The prologue to The Name of the Wind
The beginning of any novel is critically important, and it can be daunting to write one. In this series on beginnings, I’m going to dissect some of my favorite opening lines and passages, and hopefully find some strategies for starting a book. One of the best beginnings I’ve ever read is from The Windup Girl … Continue reading On beginnings: The Windup Girl and constructed chaos
Welcome to the third part of my series of articles on literary agents. Over the last few weeks I've talked about finding literary agents and researching them. Once you've got a few likely names, it's time to write that query. Here is a very basic overview of the six steps to a successful query for your … Continue reading How to write a query in six easy steps
The Beatles must have gotten the worst querying advice ever!
Thanks to the fickle magic of Twitter, I came across a quote that seemed especially meaningful to me right now. It's from my favorite literary badass, Junot Díaz. Díaz spent ten years writing the book that would eventually win him the Pulitzer Prize. This quote makes me wonder if there was a moment, or many … Continue reading When there is no hope, you write anyway
There comes a moment in the creative process when one set of eyes isn’t enough, and you need to find someone to critique your work. At the same time, you’ll probably need to do some critiquing of your own, either to reciprocate or just to improve your own skills. Here are some tips on how … Continue reading How to critique a story (and get some eyes on yours)