Wednesday, September 30, 2009

LInks of Interest

MARKETS: Science fiction romance markets--small press and epublishers.

CRAFT: Fictional versus real settings.

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: The new publishing paradigms. Agent Lucienne Diver talks about the changes in publishing and what it means for writers.

CRAFT: Does male viewpoint work in women’s fiction?

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: Earn out. What it is and what it means for your career.

MARKET NEWS: Steam and cyberpunk wanted.

CRAFT: The active main character versus the reactive main character.

CRAFT: First impressions, the first paragraphs of your story.

MARKETS: Primarily sf/fantasy/horror markets for short stories and novels.

MARKETS: An automatic book description generator. It creates good general ideas but not the final product for a query.

PROMOTION: Online promotion. Social sites.

Yet more on social sites and the newer forms now appearing.

AGENTS: Questions to ask a reputable agent before signing up.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Who Is the Main Character? CRAFT

Figuring out who the main character is in your novel is often hard for the romance writer when both the hero and heroine are strong personalities.

The simplest way to find out is to ask yourself who has to change the most in very important ways to reach her/his goal.  That person is the main character.

The main character should act to reach that goal, not have it happen to him/her as a matter of events.

Why do you need to know? If you know, you can make the novel stronger by emphasizing that character’s changes.

And when it comes time to market that novel to a publisher or the reader, you’ll know who to emphasize when you describe your novel.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I'll be busy with visiting family the week of September 21st so I won't be blogging.

Use this free time to check out the archives of this blog. The label index on the left side is a great way to find subjects you are interested in.

My domain site,, also has loads of articles on writing. Click on the short stories and articles navigation icon at the bottom of each page to see the articles index.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Links of Interest

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: The myth that you have to know someone to be published.


STEAMPUNK DEFINED: One of the hottest subgenres around right now.

PLOTS: When back story is a bad thing.

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: An overview of the state of big publishing from a survey by “Publishers Weekly.”

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: One of the people behind the failed epublisher Quartet talks about the digital publishing model.

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: Some of the dangers of self-publishing to an author’s career.

MARKETS: Galaxy Express blogs on print markets for science fiction romance. This is part one. Check the site for part 2.


PROMOTION: What kinds of marketing campaigns work. No direct link to the article. Look for the September 14th blog.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Classifying Cross-genre

If a novel is cross-genre, one of the genres must be the strongest and its genre tropes and plot must drive the novel throughout.

A sf romance is first and foremost a romance.  Linnea Sinclair's sf romance novels are driven forward by the romance. Catherine Asaro's novels are science fiction novels with a romantic element.  The science fiction plot and worldbuilding drive the novel forward, not the romance.

A werewolf novel that is driven forward by the worldbuilding and various werewolf political/pack struggles is urban fantasy.  A werewolf novel where boy wolf meets girl vampire, and they fall in love during various werewolf political/pack struggles is a paranormal romance.

The important thing to pull out of this is that you must understand what the central genre of your novel is so your novel doesn't fail by genre standards.

When you are writing your book, staying within genre or subgenre expectations makes the book much easier to sell to the big publishers in NY.

If you write what you want to write outside of those expectations, you are more likely to have a book that will only sell to smaller markets like an ebook publisher.

You will also have a harder time finding the right readers for your novel.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Links of Interest

CRAFT: How to critique your own manuscript. This subject continues through the week at this blog so keep reading past this entry.

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: Why you should be careful of what you say online.

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: Career planning and money. There’s no direct link to this article. Go to this website and look for the September 5th, 2009 entry.

CRAFT: Who is the main character of your story?

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: Some of the factors to consider when you are trying to decide if you can quit your day job to be a full time writer.


MARKETS: Editorial Assistant, Latoya Smith, for Grand Central Publishing (formerly Time Warner Books) talks about what she’s looking for. Normally, GCP only looks at agented authors, but this blog doesn’t specify.

PROMOTION: When should an author pay for professional promotion? The September 9th blog at

BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: Why you need an agent even though the publisher doesn’t require one.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Minor Characters, CRAFT

A minor character is one who makes one or two appearances in a story, or if he has more appearances, he has no real character growth. He can be anything from the stable boy who tends the horses to the best friend’s brother who has a few comic moments.

Here are things to consider when you have minor characters in a scene.

If all the characters in a scene are minor to the plot, you need to ask yourself whether you need the scene.

If the scene is only there to tell readers something about the main character, then you should move it to a scene that is necessary with characters who are more important.

If the person is familiar to the point-of-view character, very little physical description is needed unless the physical description has importance in the scene.

For example, Jim studies his friends and decides to take Fred with him to meet the bad guy because Fred is built like a linebacker and is good in a physical fight.

However, if it's in the heroine's viewpoint, and she's introduced to the hero's friends, she will pay attention to what they look like and their names so more physical detail is needed.

If the scene needs a waitress who adds nothing to the scene beyond taking the food order, you can use some line like "the waitress took their order and left."

If the hero is flirting with the waitress to make the heroine jealous, then a bit more of a physical description may be needed and a bit more personality if the character flirts back.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Links of Interest

MARKETS: Harlequin Editor Birgit Davis-Todd is interviewed.

AGENT INTERVIEW: Laura Bradford “How dark is too dark?”

EDITOR INTERVIEW: Tor editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden talks about the future of science fiction, ebooks, etc.

CRAFT: Point of View, Unreliable Narrators, and Subjective Experience

AGENT INTERVIEW: Agent Lucienne Diver of the Knight Agency.