Novel Boot Camp #9: Writing Action Scenes

2477626151_06a45ee557_oEverybody loves a good action scene! When fists go flying or cars blow up, it preys on our most primal feelings and fears. But a bad action scene is worse than no action scene at all. Whether it’s too detailed or too vague, badly written action  can cause readers to groan rather than grip the edge of their seats.

So how can we write amazing butt-kicking action sequences? Continue reading

Workshop #3 Submission Page

3947813464_57d4176dd9_oI’m going to break from our usual schedule and post the workshop submission page a bit earlier than usual. I would like to be able to get the bulk of this workshop organized and ready over the weekend rather than during my work week.

So for this workshop, I will not be taking submissions past the due date. You must have your submission to me by 8am EST Monday August 17th! Continue reading

Novel Boot Camp #7: The Quest for Originality

14767198802_111238d48d_oNobody wants their writing to be clichĂ©. Nobody wants to seem as if they’re relying on tropes. And certainly nobody wants to be seen as a copycat.

Pretty much every writer wants their novel to be stunningly original.

But we also know that it is impossible to be entirely original. To write an entirely original novel would result in something that actually looks nothing like a novel at all. Continue reading

“I Stopped Reading When…” Query Edition – Volume 3

4327205239_6145958833_o_stoppedWhen choosing a novel or reading through the slush pile, readers, publishers, and literary agents make snap decisions about books. Below are my snap decisions about ten query letters written by Novel Boot Camp participants.

I stopped reading (and ended the excerpt) at the point that I was no longer interested in continuing. I also included comments about why the story didn’t catch my interest.

Please play along by tracking which books you would request to read based on the query. There will be a poll at the end of the post.

Volume 1 can be found here.

Volume 2 can be found here.

Continue reading

“I Stopped Reading When…” Query Edition – Volume 2

4327205239_6145958833_o_stoppedWhen choosing a novel or reading through the slush pile, readers, publishers, and literary agents make snap decisions about books. Below are my snap decisions about ten query letters written by Novel Boot Camp participants.

I stopped reading (and ended the excerpt) at the point that I was no longer interested in continuing. I also included comments about why the story didn’t catch my interest.

Please play along by tracking which books you would request to read based on the query. There will be a poll at the end of the post.

Volume 1 can be viewed here.

Continue reading

“I Stopped Reading When…” Query Edition – Volume 1

4327205239_6145958833_o_stoppedWhen choosing a novel or reading through the slush pile, readers, publishers, and literary agents make snap decisions about books. Below are my snap decisions about ten query letters written by Novel Boot Camp participants.

I stopped reading (and ended the excerpt) at the point that I was no longer interested in continuing. I also included comments about why the story didn’t catch my interest.

Please play along by tracking which books you would request to read based on the query. There will be a poll at the end of the post.

Continue reading