Creating a Dynamite Four-Sentence Opening Paragraph

opening scene, window with curtains, breeze blowing inI began my writing career in drama, and when I start a new chapter of a novel, the first thing that comes to mind is the dialogue. Bad idea. When you come into the middle of a conversation, you always feel like you’re missing something, and I suspect my readers react the same way. So I went looking for a metaphor that would help me write an effective opening paragraph for every chapter. And to do that, I had to figure out what readers want at the beginning of a chapter.

And then I had a thought; starting a chapter is like entering a new room we have never been in before. What do readers want to know about that unknown room? Continue reading “Creating a Dynamite Four-Sentence Opening Paragraph”

The Quantum Leap Scam—um, Program

Quantum Leap logoFrom our mailbag: a reader forwarded an email she got from a man named Steve Harrison promoting the Quantum Leap Program. Never heard of it? You’re probably lucky. The email acknowledges the many choices an author may face: going the traditional route, choosing a hybrid publisher, or self-publishing, and offers to help you navigate the options. Here are some of the offers he makes: Continue reading “The Quantum Leap Scam—um, Program”

You Don’t Need to Suck at Marketing

no excuse for sucking at marketing shield-417828_640I’m in a lot of writers’ groups and have been for eight years now. That means I see a lot of similar posts and comments from people at various levels of experience and success. One of the most common refrains I hear is, “I don’t sell a lot of books because I suck at marketing.”

Hmm. I’ve asked a few people what they mean by that and get answers ranging from Continue reading “You Don’t Need to Suck at Marketing”

Plot Twist: Romance Writers of America

burning cityAuthors who write romance are required to include a few stumbling blocks in the path of their protagonists on the way to their happily-ever-after. But their largest professional organization, Romance Writers of America, has hit a stumbling block so high that the group’s survival is in doubt.

It all started back in August, when Continue reading “Plot Twist: Romance Writers of America”