can write a book - but it takes something special
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Ten Tips for Writing a
1) Write from
the inside out.
Determine what is fascinating about you, as
well as what you find fascinating in life, and write from
your unique perspective. That we each possess a story
that we alone can write is the biggest advantage any of
us have in the publishing industry. Use it!
every scene with telling details.
Allow your reader to easily form a mental picture.
Remember to remind readers what your characters look like
and give your characters a tag so that they can be sorted
out quickly. This allows your action to feel real and
pulls the reader into your story.
author authenticity, which is what allows your reader to
Authenticity is established by seamlessly blending
factual information into your story by virtue of those
telling details. Authenticity is not achieved
by the authors simply knowing that his story is
how it really happened.
the possibility that you might be writing or have written
the wrong book.
We writers are too often derailed at criticism of our
early attempts at fiction. We can keep trying to improve
our initial work, as though were incapable of
selling any manuscript if we cant sell this
particular one. No writing is ever wasted. You will carry
what youve learned to your next manuscript.
immediately before the inciting incident that will shift
the balance of your main characters life.
Let your reader in on how things were before this key
shift of power occurred that has changed the heros
life. Thats the fastest way to engage your reader
in the story.
your plot so that each action leads to a reaction that
heightens the suspense.
The adult novel typically requires twenty plot points in
which an action is taken or a discovery is made that
forces the characters to react.
let your character eat an apple when he can be eating
This is another way of saying: Make every word count. If
you can, in this example, show your character eating
something unusual, you enliven your prose and
characterize at once.
compelling characters can compensate for almost anything.
We read fiction for characters. Without them, the plot is
just a string of events, and we can read about events in
the newspaper. As you write, remember that each and every
one of your characters has lived for many years before
page one takes its first snapshot of their lives.
is the heart and soul of fiction.
Strand your hero on the face of a cliff and throw rocks
at him. When youre being nice to your hero or
heroine, youre being bad to your book. Keep the
conflictand hence the suspensegoing till the
shoot yourself in the foot.
Its surprisingly tempting to send off a manuscript
when the writer knows its not quite as good as it
can be, or to send it to an editor or agent who
isnt looking for this type of work. That provides a
ready excuse for why the book was rejected, but also
all-but guarantees that it will be.
© 2004 Leslie Caine. All Rights Reserved.
Caine is the author of the mystery DEATH BY INFERIOR
DESIGN for Bantam/Dell, as well as 10 mysteries for
Ballantine published under the name Leslie OKane.
For more information please visit the authors
website at www.lesliecaine.com
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