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Weekly Words - a quote, a tool, and a tip for writers

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” Anne Lamott

A Writing Tool

The wide variety of literary genres can make it difficult to classify books. Is the mystery solved by a couple who start a romance a mystery or a romance? Is the book for young adults or adults? Another layer is whether the book is literary, upmarket, commercial fiction. Carly Watters, a senior vice president, senior literary agent, and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency has published an excellent tool for determining this last disparity. Her infographic on the difference between literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction, with examples, is an excellent tool for writers.

Craft Tip

One of the biggest issues I see as a book coach is when something happens in the plot of a novel, and the writer doesn't show what this means to the main (or major) character. As an example, if the main character gets dumped by her partner, the reader may show her crying or slamming a door, but that isn't enough. What are the emotions behind the action? Is she crying because she's embarrassed that she's lost another love, desperate not to end up alone, or something else? Does she slam the door out of anger because she wasn't the one to end the relationship? Let the reader know. I almost always find that the writer knows the character's emotions, they just haven't made it onto the page.

There's a Story Here: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

What story would you write about this photo?

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Next Step Book Coach - If you're ready to start your novel, are stuck in the middle, or have finished and need to know what to do next - we can help.


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